Last summer, I wrote a post entitled Who was the Best Rookie QB to Start a Playoff Game (Since 1970)? where I compared the rookie seasons of each quarterback to start a playoff game in NFL history. Well, now we have another this season that has joined that group. Matt Sanchez has joined Shaun King, Ben Roethlisberger, and Joe Flacco as the only QB to win a playoff game his rookie season. He and Flacco are the only two rookie QBs to win two playoff games (I would give Big Ben plenty of credit for helping his team to the top seed in the playoffs, but I’m a Steelers fan). So far in this playoffs, Sanchez has played better than I would have expected him to. Since he has accomplished something that only Flacco did before him, I wanted to see how he matches up with the other rookie QBs that I compared earlier. For the data on those players, please refer to the link above.
Archive for the ‘Best QBs Analyses’ Category
About this time last year, I thought it was quite possible that Vince Young’s days in Tennessee were numbered. Despite having a winning record as a starter his first two seasons, his passing was poor and appeared to be trending downward. When he was injured in game 1 of the 2008 season, he lost his starting position due to a combination of immature actions/ statements and the fact that the Titans just kept winning with Kerry Collins as the starter. When Tennessee re-signed Collins this offseason with the understanding that he would be the starter, it definitely seemed that Young’s chances in Nashville were slim. Now, following a disastrous 0-6 start, Young regained his starting position and the Titans won 5 straight before losing to the Colts last week. He started this past weekend, and had good numbers but a pulled hamstring in the second quarter sidelined him for the rest of the game. Because of the excellent record that the Titans have had since Young’s return, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at his numbers from his first two years and compare them to what he has done so far this season. I wondered if he really was performing at the high level that his 6-1 record as a starter this year would indicate.
I added a little more information about Hines Ward’s rankings that I thought was interesting.
A little over a week ago, I wrote a post showing how high Hines Ward ranks among NFL WRs in playoff yardage. So far this year, he and Ben Roethlisberger are having historic seasons in terms of passing and receiving yardage. As of the time of this writing, both are leading the league in respective passing and receiving yardage. I wrote in the previous post on Hines that he was on pace to have over 1400 receiving yards. After his game on Sunday against the Browns, he is now on pace to have nearly 1600 receiving yard this season, which would be a career high and a Pittsburgh Steelers record (currently held byYancey Thigpen with 1398 yards in a season). Ben is on pace to have over 5000 passing yards this season, which also would be a Steelers record (currently held by Terry Bradshaw with 3724 yards in a season). With two Steelers on such a historic pace, for this franchise, at least, I wanted to see how they compared with other players’ performances after the first 6 games of the season.
Again this year, we have two rookie quarterbacks who started from game 1 of the season. Last year when Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco started, they had unprecedented success, at least in a year where there were two rookie QBs starting (not to mention rookie head coaches as well). This year, we have Mark Sanchez and Matthew Stafford, each starting from game 1 with rookie head coaches as well. I was curious how well Sanchez and Stafford match up against other QBs that started very early in the season. Because of this, I went to Pro-Football-Reference.com‘s Player Game Finder and queried on players’ 1st 5 games of their rookie season, with greater than or equal to 80 attempts and a passer rating of 65 or above (sorted by passer rating). Here are the players that I came up with.
Of course, being a Steelers fan, I love Ben Roethlisberger. I am also an NC State alum, so I love Philip Rivers as well. An argument can be made that he is one of the top 5-10 college quarterbacks ever, particularly considering that unlike other QBs in that discussion, he didn’t have a team filled with top 10 recruiting classes. Considering that and the fact that his college offense was a typical pro-style offense, not the run-and-shoot or spread, his numbers in college were staggering. Just check here, and scroll down to the bottom. With that said, I wanted to take a look at how Philip Rivers compares with his more decorated Draft Classmates. I realize that Rivers is the only first round QB from the 2004 NFL draft without a super bowl ring. But, that doesn’t mean he’s vastly inferior to Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning.
So, as I have already done in this post and this followup post on Ben vs. Eli, I will review Philip Rivers’s accomplishments against theirs. I will also review the level of defense that he faced so far in his career. He’s been hammered for playing in the weak AFC West, but has the Chargers’ defensive schedule overall been significantly weaker than the Steelers’ and Giants’ schedules? We’ll find out. (Note: All data taken from www.pro-football-reference.com)
This is just a quick follow-up to my previous post on Ben vs. Eli. In the comments, Varmint had a request:
As a follow-up, it would be interesting to know which division had the better pass and rush defenses. Obviously, a better rush defense puts more pressure on the QB to get the job done. The combined defensive rank is more important, but I think knowing both categories would be an interesting addition.
So, I went back and looked at the opposing defensive ranks broken out by pass and rush defense rank. First, as Varmint asked, I looked at the defenses just in the division, but then, for my own gratification, I did the same for all teams that Ben and Eli have faced in their careers. As before, I did not include the defensive ranks of teams that the Steeler or Giants faced in which the player did not play. (more…)
Note: When I started this post, I used this article from NFL.com to find the names of the rookies QBs that I didn’t already know. However, in researching Shaun King’s rookie season (see here, under 1999), I discovered that Pat Haden also started in the playoffs as a rookie QB in 1976. But, after a little more research, I discovered that Haden had played in 1975 in an earlier league called the USFL (not the USFL of Herschel Walker). I know, it’s a bulletin board post, but it does explain why an article on NFL.com would leave him out. So, I will leave him out.
Last weekend, I was watching the NFL Replay of the Falcons-Cardinals playoff game from this past year, and I saw a statistic flash on the screen that there have been 8 rookie quarterbacks to start a playoff game since 1970. So, I decided to find out who they were and compare their rookie seasons and playoff performances. We all know about Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco from this past year, as well as Big Ben’s 2004 rookie campaign. And, most of us could probably guess on Dan Marino as one of the other rookie QBs to start a playoff game. After that, the other names may surprise you. The other four rookie quarterbacks to start a playoff game since 1970 were Bernie Kosar, Jim Everett, Todd Marinovich???, and Shaun King.
Before we get too into the statistics, I wanted to review each of these players rookie seasons and highlight one or two accomplishments of note for each one. These are in chronological order.
Hello, everyone! This is the first ever post on the newly created Wolfpacksteelersfan’s Blog. Some of you may recognize me from Behind the Steel Curtain or other SBNation blogs. Most of my posts will consist of statistical analyses, but I may throw in something else if I feel like it. Anyway, if anyone has any ideas for an analysis that you want to see, let me know. I will do my best to get them. Anyway, let’s dive right into the first analysis.
A few days ago, on ESPN.com‘s AFC North blog, James Walker argued that Ben Roethlisberger is ahead of Eli Manning in every way. Then, ESPN’s NFC East blogger, Matt Mosley, argued the opposite. After reading both arguments, I wanted to take a more in depth look at Big Ben’s accomplishments versus Eli’s. James’s arguments are based on Ben’s superior numbers in every category except sacks. Matt’s rebuttal seems to largely rest on the argument that the Steelers were loaded in 2004 while the Giants sucked and that because the NFC East is stronger than the AFC North, Eli has faced tougher defenses, on average. So, I thought it was worthwhile to test the validity of these arguments and see what else the pertinent data can tell us. All data in this post comes from www.pro-football-reference.com.