Archive for July, 2009

Who was the Best Rookie QB to Start a Playoff Game (Since 1970)?

July 27, 2009

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Note: When I started this post, I used this article from 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 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.



What would Hines Ward’s numbers be if he played for an average passing team or a pass happy team?

July 20, 2009
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A few months ago, I read a post on Pro Football’s Blog that analyzed what Marvin Harrison’s career would have looked like if he didn’t have Peyton Manning as his QB. That reminded me of a question that I’ve heard asked about Hines Ward: Since he’s always played on a run first team, what kind of numbers would he have if he were on a more pass happy team? Of course, as with the Harrison analysis, there is really no way of knowing. But, I thought it would be entertaining to complete a simple calculation to get an idea of how many catches and receiving yards he might have if given more opportunities to catch the ball.


A Detailed Analysis of Big Ben vs. Eli

July 16, 2009

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‘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