NFL Stat Predictions: 5 Quarterbacks Looking to Rebound in 2012
Make no mistake: the NFL these days is a passing league.
Joe Flacco threw a career-high 542 attempts, 53 more attempts than 2010.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for a career-high 3,832 yards, thanks to an additional 128 passing attempts over 2010.
But for all the extra passes, some quarterbacks' production suffered.
Here are five such quarterbacks who are looking to rebound this year.
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Vick threw a career-high 423 attempts in 2011, yet his passer rating plummeted from 2010's sterling 100.2 to a pedestrian 84.9 in 2011.
This year, many project Vick to have a big year.
I, for one, am not quite seeing it.
The defense should be better, which may help with field position for the offense, and Brent Celek may carry over his stellar finish to 2011. But DeSean Jackson remains an enigma and LeSean McCoy remains the star of the offense.
Projection: 244 completions, 457 attempts, 3,501 passing yards, 20 passing TDs,15 INT, 623 rushing yards, four rushing TDs
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Despite passing for an astounding 551 attempts, Freeman's quarterback rating plummeted from a strong 95.9 in 2010 to a miserable 74.6 in 2011. Freeman threw more interceptions (22) than touchdowns (16).
With Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks, prized free agent receiver Vincent Jackson and first-round rookie RB Doug Martin, Freeman is poised for a much better offensive showing in 2012.
Projections: 311 completions, 510 attempts, 3,810 passing yards, 27 passing TDs, 15 INT.
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Despite a career-high 513 passing attempts in 2011, Roethlisberger saw his passer rating fall from 97.0 in 2010 to 90.1 in 2011.
The Steelers beefed up the offensive line in the draft, picking up stud guard David DeCastro and tackle Mike Adams, and adding explosive running back Chris Rainey.
Mike Wallace is expected to return. Receiver Antonio Brown enters his third season, the season many wideouts become legit stars. And new offensive coordinator Todd Haley has been known to get the most of his passing offense.
Projection: 327 completions, 510 attempts, 4,278 passing yards, 27 TDs, 16 INTs.
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Rivers threw a career-high 582 passes last year yet saw his passer rating fall from 101.8 in 2010 to 88.7 last year.
This year, he lost receiver Vincent Jackson. He gained free agents Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal and hopes second-year receiver Vincent Brown takes the next step in his development.
Tight end Antonio Gates isn't getting any younger, and rookie tight end Ladarius Green is, well, a rookie.
In this case, I don't think the prospects look too bright for Rivers this year.
Projection: 347 completions, 560 attempts, 4,375 passing yards, 26 TDs, 21 INTs.
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Gabbert was a rookie last year and threw a relatively modest 413 passes. Given his brutal receiving corps last year, could you blame him?
His passer rating was a painful 65.4 in 2011.
But 2012 looks like a whole new story.
With free agent receiver Laurent Robinson and top rookie receiver Justin Blackmon complementing running back Maurice Jones-Drew, Gabbert should easily rebound from his dreadful rookie campaign.
Don't forget he was the 10th-overall pick in the 2011 draft, so he must have some talent. And now that he has a couple impact receivers, Gabbert will have a better sophomore season.
Projection: 306 completions, 510 attempts, 3,015 passing yards, 18 TDs, 13 INTs.