Derek Anderson vs. Alex Smith: NFL's Two Worst QBs Battle for NFC West Title

Gordon TrueCorrespondent ISeptember 9, 2010

Ask almost anyone, and they'll tell you that the NFC West will be won by either the San Francisco 49ers or the Arizona Cardinals.

The Arizona Cardinals have won the division two years in a row but lost a lot of talent in the offseason, including Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner.

The San Francisco 49ers seem to be on the rise and are poised to challenge the defending division champions.

Both teams have a huge question mark hovering over the quarterback position.

The Cardinals will start newly signed free agent Derek Anderson, while the 49ers will start their 2005 No. 1 draft pick, Alex Smith.

A look at the stats will show that these two players have been the two worst quarterbacks in the NFL over the last four years.

If you were to compile a list of all the NFL quarterbacks who have at least 1,000 combined pass attempts in the past four seasons, you would get 26 players, including Anderson and Smith.

We will use this list of 26 players to see where Anderson and Smith stack up against the rest of the NFL quarterbacks (who have had a reasonable amount of playing time) over the last few seasons.


(You can find the list here.)



Passing Completion Percentage

Derek Anderson has the worst completion percentage at 52.9 percent. Alex Smith is second worst, right behind him at 57.2 percent. 


Yards Per Pass Attempt

Smith comes in in last place with 6.11 yards per attempt. Anderson is second worst on the list with 6.39 yards per attempt.


Adjusted Net Yards Per Pass Attempt

Smith has the fewest net yards per pass attempt of any quarterback at 4.60. Anderson is right behind him at 4.88.


Passer Rating


Anderson comes in in last place with a passer rating of 69.7. Smith actually manages to get third worst in this category, beating out Vince Young with a passer rating of 73.9.


Touchdown to Interception Ratio

Vince Young actually comes in in last place here with a ratio of 0.82, and Jon Kitna is second worst with 0.94.


Anderson comes in third worst on the list with a ratio of 1.02, and Smith is fourth worst with a ratio of 1.09.


Passing Yards

No one on the list has fewer passing yards than Smith, who has 6,134. Anderson manages to come in fourth worst, beating out Vince Young and Matt Cassel with 7,084 yards.


The list could go on, but I think this is enough to get the point across.

One thing is for sure: Derek Anderson and Alex Smith should feel very lucky to have a starting job in the NFL right now. 

No one has managed to play worse and still land a starting job.

So one of the ugliest divisions in the NFL will come down to a battle between two of the worst quarterbacks in the league.

If one of these quarterbacks can manage to shake off the past, he should have the edge in the NFC West divisional race.