QBER/Week 7: Oh, What It's Like to Be a Manning These Days

Paul LadewskiCorrespondent IIOctober 29, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 11:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts gestures to the sideline during the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on October 11, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Colts defeated the Titans 31-9.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/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.)

Death, taxes and Peyton Manning in an upright position.

Indianapolis Colts veteran Peyton Manning is atop the QBER charts for the third week this season, but his gaudy 156.5 mark doesn't tell the whole story. 

Even more remarkable is the fact that, every time Manning drops back to pass, there’s a 98.6 percent chance that he’ll throw the ball. The cleanest quarterback in football totaled three sacks and scrambles in 218 pass plays this season. Heck, the Pope doesn’t get that kind that of protection at the Vatican these days.

In fact, Manning hasn’t been taken down with the ball in his hands since Week Two, a period in which he attempted 154 passes in four games. 

Can that be why Manning has time to do all those television commercials?

As for baby brother Eli, he doesn't have it so bad, either. In 210 pass plays, the New York Giants signal-caller has been sacked only a half-dozen times, nearly 50 percent better than the league average.

The QBER leaders through the Week Seven of the regular season:

1. P. Manning 156.5

2. Orton 140.1

3. Schaub 139.3

4. McNabb 138.7

5. Brees 137.2

6. Rodgers 134.5

7. Favre 125.14

8. Brady 125.13

9. Rivers 122.89

10. Flacco 122.87

11. Ryan 122.8

12. Romo 118.9

13. E. Manning 116.3

14. Hasselbeck 114.9

15. Roethlisberger 114.7

16. Palmer 113.4

17. Warner 105.6

18. Hill 103.7

19. Cassel 99.1

20. Cutler 96.4

21. Wallace 89.1

22. Garrard 86.2

23. Edwards 82.1

24. Campbell 78.7

25. Bulger 78.0

26. K. Collins 77.8

27. Henne 64.82

28. Stafford 64.8

29. Sanchez 62.2

30. Johnson 49.7

31. Russell 46.5

32. Anderson 41.9

32. Delhomme 22.4

A few observations

  • Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre went down and went down hard last weekend. His ranking plunged from third to seventh, largely because of two turnovers that resulted in minus-158 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Green Bay Packers counterpart Aaron Rodgers shot up from 11th to sixth overall, the first time since Week Three that his QBER was higher than the legend he replaced last season. The two will meet for the second time this season on Sunday afternoon, this time in Green Bay. 
  • The other big gainers of the week: Carson Palmer (21st to 16th), Philip Rivers (15th to ninth), and Tony Romo (19th to 12th).
  •  What do to with Jake Delhomme? Simple. Sit him at least for awhile. The Carolina Panthers quarterback has been responsible for a league-high 15 turnovers in 194 pass plays, by far the worst rate among qualifiers. More evidence: Last week Delhomme threw three interceptions and his QBER actually improved. 
  • Maybe Chicago Bears management should have waited awhile before it extended the contract of Jay Cutler for two more seasons. Mistakes have blind-sided Cutler much like they had earlier in his career. His turnover rate of one per 20.7 pass plays ranks ahead of only Delhomme and Derek Anderson among veterans at the position. As for the improved vertical pass game that we heard so much about last summer, Cutler has moved the ball at a rate that's about 4 percent less than the league average.
  • The San Francisco 49ers have to be encouraged about Alex Smith, who had a 189.7 QBER in his regular-season debut. Nonetheless, quarterback play has not been a significant problem for the team this season. Shaun Hill had a respectable 103.7 mark before he was benched last week.

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