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QB Fact Check

Is it a coincidence that the top 4 rated quarterbacks in the NFL are all playing on teams that are still undefeated heading into week 5?

Att Comp Pct Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G TD TD% Int Int% Lng 20+ 40+ Sck SckY Rate
Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts (4-0)
137 97 70.8 34.2 1,336 9.8 334.0 9 6.6 3 2.2 80T 18 5 2 15 114.5
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints (4-0)
129 87 67.4 32.2 1,031 8.0 257.8 9 7.0 2 1.6 58T 13 1 4 39 108.4
Brett Favre Minnesota Vikings (4-0)
125 85 68.0 31.2 837 6.7 209.2 8 6.4 1 0.8 43 9 1 9 59 104.6
Eli Manning New York Giants (4-0)
125 79 63.2 31.2 1,039 8.3 259.8 8 6.4 2 1.6 54T 18 3 2 16 104.1

How does it make you feel to see Eli Manning up there statistically as a top 5 quarterback? I know heading into the 2009 preseason with his big new $100+ million contract, many believed Eli was undeserved of his pay day…. that he wasn’t elite enough, that he was barely a top 10 player.

HONESTLY — HOW ABOUT NOW?

You see, critics have nowhere left to hide. If leading the team to a Superbowl win in 2007 didn’t prove it, and if the 2008 NFC Title didn’t solidify it (after they were picked to finish last in the division), now we have some stats to back it up. Historically, it is true that Eli’s numbers have not showcased his value, but there in lies the problem for those who can’t see beyond the numbers. For the Giants it’s about winning games, not about stats. This year’s beginning couldn’t be further from that trend though. They are dominating their opponents, have a #1 passing defense, have a #1 passing offense, won another 3-straight on the road, and there’s no sign of slowing down even though injuries have plagued the team since training camp.

With all the distractions and setbacks though, Eli Manning has been this team’s rock. All training camp we heard about preparation, working on the long ball, getting together with receivers to tighten up the offense, staying focused. Obviously the proof is in the pudding… and we now know he’s been battling an injury all along.

HERO STUFF.

What’s even more interesting is where some of the other players performances stack up against the air time, praise, and general discussion they receive in the mainstream sports media. Below are statistics for those QB’s whose team has at least 2 wins after week 4. It’s fun to see who rounds out the bottom of the list — Tony Romo, Tom Brady, Mark Sanchez — and then recognize how much air time and hype has been expended on covering these players’ persona. Looking at these stats it would seem to indicate that the more hype, the worse their performance on the field.

The odd man out in that scenario? Brett Farve. But ask yourself if you’d expect anything less from him in his current situation.

Att Comp Pct Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G TD TD% Int Int% Lng 20+ 40+ Sck SckY Rate
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers (2-2)
127 77 60.6 31.8 1,098 8.6 274.5 6 4.7 1 0.8 62T 17 5 20 134 101.1
Matt Schaub Houston Texans (2-2)
129 80 62.0 32.2 1,047 8.1 261.8 8 6.2 3 2.3 72T 15 5 8 50 98.6
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2)
142 104 73.2 35.5 1,193 8.4 298.2 5 3.5 4 2.8 51 14 2 10 84 98.1
Kyle Orton Denver Broncos (4-0)
117 69 59.0 29.2 906 7.7 226.5 5 4.3 0 0.0 87T 13 3 6 38 97.7
Joe Flacco Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
151 95 62.9 37.8 1,103 7.3 275.8 8 5.3 3 2.0 72T 12 1 5 39 94.3
Shaun Hill San Francisco 49ers (3-1)
106 66 62.3 26.5 700 6.6 175.0 5 4.7 1 0.9 50 7 1 13 75 93.3
Phillip Rivers San Diego Chargers (2-2)

150 88 58.7 37.5 1,245 8.3 311.2 6 4.0 3 2.0 81T 16 4 10 63 90.6
Jay Cutler Chicago Bears (3-1)

129 83 64.3 32.2 901 7.0 225.2 8 6.2 5 3.9 68 13 1 8 46 89.3
David Garrard Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)

138 82 59.4 34.5 941 6.8 235.2 5 3.6 1 0.7 34 10 0 7 28 89.1
Jason Campbell Washington Redskins (2-2)

124 81 65.3 31.0 963 7.8 240.8 5 4.0 5 4.0 59T 10 2 8 51 85.5
Tom Brady New England Patriots (3-1)
174 108 62.1 43.5 1,129 6.5 282.2 4 2.3 2 1.1 36T 9 0 4 34 83.7
Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
131 76 58.0 32.8 990 7.6 247.5 4 3.1 4 3.1 80T 14 5 8 41 79.4
Carson Palmer Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)
137 79 57.7 34.2 845 6.2 211.2 6 4.4 5 3.6 44 10 1 9 62 75.2
Mark Sanchez New York Jets (3-1)

110 63 57.3 27.5 744 6.8 186.0 4 3.6 5 4.5 46 11 3 9 77 71.2

Kyle Orton – you have not thrown an interception yet and you threw a fluke 80+ yard touchdown to keep your perfect record. I am not willing to say you are the reason your team is 4-0 though. Contrast to Brett Farve’s performances the past two weeks, and you see what I’m getting at.

Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 20 times and still has a 100+ passer rating, that is actually pretty impressive. But I still don’t understand why all of ESPN has a man crush on him, because he hasn’t won anything meaningful yet.

Mark Sanchez – the same goes for you. I’m glad for you that you’ve found some early success but take some advice from your counterpart in NY… it’s about winning games, not magazine covers. I’m sure Tom Brady would take that 2007 Superbowl ring and a perfect season over GQ’s cover story of the perfect man any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

Tony Romo is perhaps the most overrated quarterback in history.

Tom Brady and the Patriots should be 2-2 at this point, Buffalo had them beat. And one of the reasons is that Brady is not his old self again yet… he hasn’t connected with Moss for anything deep this season. For anyone else, that doesn’t sound like a staple but for that duo, it is. I expect the Patriots to get hot later on this season as they figure out how to keep Moss engaged and Brady in a position to hit him on long strikes.

Att Comp Pct Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G TD TD% Int Int% Lng 20+ 40+ Sck SckY Rate
BONUS ROUND
Kerry Collins Tennessee Titans (0-4)

153 87 56.9 38.2 914 6.0 228.5 5 3.3 6 3.9 69T 7 3 5 28 68.9
JaMarcus Russell Oakland Raiders (1-3)

108 43 39.8 27.0 506 4.7 126.5 1 0.9 4 3.7 57T 4 1 9 44 42.4

Kerry Collins, former NYG is having a tough go of things. I feel for him but maybe the magic is over. Lots of incompletions, lots of interceptions, and not much defense. The Titans are experiencing quite a fall from grace…. its a shame because it would be like seeing the Giants with all their talent get off to a difficult 0-4 start without any really good reason because they have a good team with lots of weapons and great rushing attack to fall back on. It would be nice to see Collins pull it together one of these weeks and get back on track, I always thought he was a good guy and he deserves to go out on a less than sour note.

JaMarcus Russell has the worst passer rating in the NFL, yet is consistently spoken about as one of the best pure talents to ever throw a football, I’ve heard him compared to Elway for example in terms of just pure arm strength and throwing a beautiful 60+ yard pass down the sideline in practice. But of course, practice doesn’t count. He needs to bring it at game time, I just hope he doesn’t decide to bring it THIS particular week against the Giants.

And to bring it back around, I look for Eli Manning to play 3 quarters of football and have an efficient day with 200+ yards passing, 2 touchdowns, and perhaps one pick to keep it real. Playing through an injury is not as easy as it sounds, and my hope is that Eli can stay just comfortable enough to deliver a win without doing irreparable damage to his foot.

Looking forward to what I think will be a better game than most anticipate.

24 – 17 Giants.


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