QBER/Week 9: Wheeze Kids Refuse To Act Their Age, Raise Bar

Paul LadewskiCorrespondent IINovember 12, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 05:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings hugs Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers following the Vikings victory over the Packers on October 5, 2009 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

(QBER is short for Quarterback Efficiency Rating, a more comprehensive, easily understood rating system that I devised to place the emphasis where it belongs—the ability of a quarterback to advance the ball, avoid negative plays, and score touchdowns in comparison to his peers. A rating of 100.0 is the league average.)

For years, we heard criticism about the lack of quality play at the quarterback position. Well, consider the complaint department to be closed these days, largely because a bunch of geezers won't have it any other way.

Of the top six in QBER this week, Peyton Manning (33), Brett Favre (40), McNabb (32), Tom Brady (32), and Drew Brees (30) have reached the Big Three-oh. Manning, Favre, and Brady are locks for Hall of Fame induction, while McNabb and Brees have yet to be mentioned in any such discussion.

If there’s a common trait among the vet set, then it’s the ability to play smart and avoid mistakes on a consistent basis. Manning, Favre, McNabb, Brady, and Brees have turnover rates that are at least 25 percent better than the league average of one for every 30.8 pass calls.

At 25, Aaron Rodgers is the baby of the bunch. Suffice it to say, he’s in pretty good company right now.

The QBER leaders through Week Nine of the regular season

1. Peyton Manning 138.7

2. Brett Favre 138.5

3. Donovan McNabb 133.7

4. Aaron Rodgers 130.2

5. Tom Brady 125.1

6. Drew Brees 124.5

7. Matt Schaub 123.6

8. Philip Rivers 122.5

9. Tony Romo 122.1

10. Carson Palmer 116.7

11. Matt Hasselbeck 116.2

12. Joe Flacco 115.9

13. Eli Manning 114.2

14. Kyle Orton 112.9

15. Ben Roethlisberger 112.6

16. Matt Cassel 106.4

17. Matt Ryan 105.4

18. Shaun Hill 104.7

19. Kurt Warner 104.0

20. Jay Cutler 102.0

21. David Garrard 85.9

22. Trent Edwards 83.2

23. Kerry Collins 79.3

24. Chad Henne 79.2

25. Mark Sanchez 78.1

26. Jason Campbell 77.8

27. Marc Bulger 76.3

28. Matthew Stafford 58.7

29. Josh Johnson 51.3

30. JaMarcus Russell 47.7

31. Jake Delhomme 38.5

32. Derek Anderson 29.7

A Few Observations

  • Has any quarterback in NFL history performed a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde act quite like Kurt Warner in the last two games? In Week Eight, Warner had a net of one touchdown and six interceptions, and his QBER plunged from 105.6 (17th) to 87.0 (21st) as a result. Last week the veteran responded with five TD passes and zero turnovers, and his QBER climbed to 104.0 (19th) again.
  • The NFL passer formula lists Ben Roethlisberger at fourth overall, 11 spots higher than his QBER rank. What’s the difference? Negative plays mostly. Roethlisberger has been the victim of three touchdowns via fumbles and interceptions, which the NFL system chooses to ignore. Furthermore, the QBER formula also takes into account his 266 yards lost in sacks and turnovers. Only David Garrard (minus 291 yards) and Brett Favre (minus 266) have lost as much or more this season.
  • So far, so good for Vince Young and the Tennessee Titans. Young has a 113.8 QBER, which is nearly 35 percent better than that of Kerry Collins, who started the first seven games of the season. The Texas product would rank No. 13 overall if he had the minimum of 18 pass plays per game necessary to qualify for the list.
  • In 68 fewer attempts, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith has as many touchdowns and three more turnovers than Shaun Hill, whom he replaced two weeks ago. Smith may be Mr. Excitement, but Hill is the most productive of the two candidates. His 104.7 rating is nearly 21 percent better than Smith’s 84.0 mark thus far.


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