QB MidTerm Report Card

The era of the quarterback is alive and thriving in the NFL as 2015 has been yet another wide-open passing year around the league through eight weeks. QB play continues to improve across the board, a long-term trend well exemplified by the consistently rising QB Ratings over the past decade. Here are the number of qualifying QBs that finished the season with QB Ratings over 90.0 between 2005 and 2014:

’05 – 8
’06 – 8
’07 – 8
’08 – 9
’09 – 12
’10 – 13
’11 – 10
’12 – 10
’13 – 11
’14 – 16

Through Week 8 of this season, a whopping 17 starting QBs hold ratings over 92.0. With this in mind, I decided to grade the league’s most important players on a rough curve, based solely on their performance so far this season. Here’s what I came up with:

*1. Tom Brady, NE A+
+ 20 TDs to 1 INTs, 344 YPG
+ 7 TDs, no INTs , 77% in 4th quarter
*2. Aaron Rodgers, GB A
+ 15 TD to 2 INTs, 110.9 passer rating
– career-low 224 YPG
*3. Carson Palmer, ARI A-
+ career-high 110.2 passer rating
– ugly loss to Vick/Landry Jones-led Steelers
4. Cam Newton, Car B+
+ Has been best (0 INTs, 105.2 passer rating) in 4th quarter
+ Carrying the offense of an undefeated team on his back
– Truly sub-elite overall numbers
*5. Andy Dalton, CIN B+
+ Career year across the board, including 1.5 avg yards/catch increase over career mark
– General distrust; Ugly Week 8 game vs PIT, including 2 fourth quarter INTs (one in red zone)
*6. Drew Brees, NO B
+ Huge 69.6% and 340 ypg numbers
– Puzzling, probably injury-caused shaky start
*7. Philip Rivers, SD B
+ League-leading 2,753 passing yards
– Uncharacteristic third-down struggles, characteristic critical TOs
*8. Matt Ryan, ATL B-
+ 300 ypg, 6 wins under first-year, defensive head coach
– Patches of inconsistent play, 7 INTs
*9. Eli Manning, NYG B-
+ Efficient 17 TD 4 INT 66% stat line
– Cost NYG 2 divisional games with brain fart at DAL and stinker at PHI
*10. Russell Wilson, SEA B-
+ Playing mostly solid Russell Wilson ball: 68.8%, 235 passing ypg , 38 rushing ypg
– 59.7% on third-down, 47.8% in red zone; lack of offensive cohesion
11. Joe Flacco, BAL C+
12. Jay Cutler, CHI C+
13. Brian Hoyer, HOU C
*14. Josh McCown, CLE C
*15. Alex Smith, KC C
16. Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ C-
17. Peyton Manning, DEN C-
18. Kirk Cousins, WSH C-
19. Ryan Tannehill, MIA D+
20. Matt Stafford, DET D+
21. Andrew Luck, IND D

*QB Rating over 92.0


Rookie/2nd Years

*1. Derek Carr, OAK A-
2. Teddy Bridgewater, MIN B
3. Jameis Winston, TB B
*4. Marcus Mariota, TEN B
5. Blake Bortles, JAX C

Failing Grades

Colin Kaepernick, SF
Sam Bradford, PHI
Nick Foles, STL


*Tony Romo, DAL
*Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
*Tyrod Taylor, BUF

*QB Rating over 92.0


Hot Seat Watch

1. (Joe Philbin, MIA)
2. (Ken Whisenhunt, TEN)
3. Jim Caldwell, DET
4. Chuck Pagano, IND
5. Jim Tomsula, SF
6. Mike McCoy, SD
7. Gus Bradley, JAX
8. Mike Pettine, CLE
9. Bill O’Brien, HOU
10.Chip Kelly, PHI

Power Tiers

Contenders: NE, GB, ARI, CIN, DEN, CAR
Almost there: ATL, PIT, MIN, OAK, SEA
In the hunt: STL, NO, NYJ, NYG, PHI, WSH, IND
Down not out: HOU, KC, JAX, BUF, MIA, TB, DAL

Picks League Update

It’s Year 3 of a head-to-head, every game against the spread picks league between the girlfriend and myself. After we both enjoyed 2 competitive seasons of well over .500 picking (in which she was the victor both times), things have taken a turn this season. I am leading, but I am not proud:

Me (49-54)

Her (46-57)

Yuck. It’s a good thing I have no money to gamble on these games. I’ll spare you a Week 9 pick this time around in the hopes that I’ll earn back some respect with marked improvement before my next post in 4 weeks. Thank you for making it this far…


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