QBER/Week 10: Quinn, Anderson or LeBron? Doesn't Matter in Browns Town

Paul LadewskiCorrespondent IINovember 18, 2009

CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 16: Quarterback Brady Quinn #10 of the Cleveland Browns walks off the field after he threw an interception which was returned for a touchdown in the third quarter by Dawan Landry #26 of the Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 16, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/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.)

The Cleveland Browns rank 32nd and dead last in points and total yards in the league, and some longtime observers consider theirs to be the worst offense that the NFL has witnessed in decades. For that, quarterbacks Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn have shouldered a lot of the blame and rightfully so.

Nonetheless, the QBER of Quinn (29.7) and Anderson (29.5) are so similar and ridiculously below the league norm, there’s reason to believe that not even Otto Graham in prime could work miracles here. Or even LeBron James, for that matter. Rather, the problem appears to have as much to do with the scheme or the talent around them or both perhaps.

If the Browns sign-callers changed uniforms on the field, only they would know for sure. Quinn (3.8 yards per pass play) and Anderson (3.7) move the ball at almost identical rates, which is to say, nearly 40 percent below the league average.

Anderson finds the end zone more often – one touchdown per 82 attempts – while Quinn has yet to produce a touchdown, as his only TD pass was offset by an interception return for six points. At one turnover per 17.9 pass plays, Quinn protects the ball better than Anderson, who gives it up once ever 14.9 chances.

Quinn and Anderson lack the minimum number of pass plays (166) to qualify for the QBER list, and it’s just as well. They would rank next-to-last and last, respectively.

Pssst, LeBron, better keep your night job for awhile.


The QBER leaders through Week 10 of the regular season:

1. Brett Favre 141.6

2. Peyton Manning 140.9

3. Donovan McNabb 132.4

4. Tom Brady 129.4

5. Aaron Rodgers 129.1

6. Philip Rivers 128.0

7. Matt Schaub 124.3

8. Drew Brees 123.7

9. Kyle Orton 120.2

10. Joe Flacco 115.6

11. Tony Romo 115.4

12. Eli Manning 115.0

13. Carson Palmer 114.9

14. Kurt Warner 110.8

15. Matt Hasselbeck 108.1

16. Ben Roethlisberger 106.0

17. Shaun Hill 105.1

18. Matt Ryan 101.4

19. Matt Cassel 100.0

20. David Garrard 93.5

21. Jay Cutler 87.3

22. Marc Bulger 85.6

23. Jason Campbell 83.4

24. Chad Henne 81.6

25. Trent Edwards 80.2

26. Kerry Collins 79.6

27. Mark Sanchez 77.0

28. Matthew Stafford 67.9

29. Jake Delhomme 52.5

30. JaMarcus Russell 50.7


A few observations:

• Drew Brees is a healthy eighth on the QBER charts, but his recent 2-to-1 turnover-to-touchdown ratio may be cause for concern. In the last four weeks, the New Orleans Saints quarterback was the victim of six interceptions and four lost fumbles.

• Kyle Orton for Most Valuable Player? Probably not, but the Denver Broncos quarterback deserves more than token consideration. His QBER has ranked ninth or higher in all except Week Nine thus far. As for his supposed inability to throw the ball downfield, he ranks ahead of Jay Cutler, Brett Favre, Carson Palmer, and Ben Roethlisberger in net yards per pass attempt.

• Speaking of Roethlisberger, like his team, he can’t get over the hump, it seems. Where Big Ben ranked in QBER the last seven weeks: 15th, 15th, 14th, 15th, 13th, 15th, and 16th.

• Which quarterback gives up the ball at the lowest rate? Surprise, surprise, he’s Brett Favre, who has only four turnovers in 307 pass plays. Orton owns a share of the lead with identical numbers.

• The average NFL quarterback? He’s Matt Cassel, whose 100.0 rating is the league norm.