Which quarterbacks are passing muster this year, and which are failing fantastically?
This weekend marks the midway point of the 2012 NFL season. Each team has six or seven games on the books, and most quarterbacks have started to hit their groove (or lack thereof) and have become what they're going to be this season. We've gotten through any fast or slow starts and into the meat of the season.
So, let's hand out some grades!
How the Grades Were Tabulated
These grades were, to a large extent, derived solely through one tool: my eyes. Thanks to NFL Rewind and the new coaches' tape, interested members of the media (and fans) are able to watch every single snap, every single week. That's part of my job.
There's no metric that was used across the board. While I'll reference things like passer rating, yardage, etc., those are being used to explain what I saw. Please disagree with me in the comments. I welcome it. Just don't think someone is "misranked" because so-and-so has one more touchdown and one fewer interception.
Was Everyone Graded on the Same Scale?
Yes and no.
I spent a long time trying to scrub the grades of any expectation bias. Just because someone underperformed doesn't necessarily mean he deserves a worse grade (*cough*NEWTON!*cough*).
However, part of performing well/poorly is how one performs with the talent around him and how he responds to the hand he's been dealt. Two quarterbacks with the same objective numbers don't deserve the same grade if one has better tools to work with. Not sure there's anyone who would seriously disagree with that.
Call it a "curve" if you want. Quibble with the grades if you wish. Feel free to write your own slideshow and use your own qualifications!
Are These Grades Predictive? Is a QB's Entire Career Taken into Consideration?
No and heck no!
These are grades for this season, from the games in Week 1 through the games in Week 7. They are not, in any way, an evaluation of who is better, but rather who has been better so far this season. It also is not, in any way, predictive of who will be better or worse moving forward.
Matt Stafford, Andy Dalton and Cam Newton may be fine quarterbacks and superstars moving forward, but none of that is relevant to how they played in the first half of the season.
Does a Team's Record Matter?
Sure it matters—just not to grading quarterbacks.
On to the grades!