NFL Week 2 Quarterback Report
September, 16, 2013
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
USA TODAY SportsAaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers both put up big numbers on Sunday in leading their teams to victory.Our weekly deep dive into NFL quarterback play. Many thanks to our friends at ESPN Stats & Information for supplying analysis and data to drive this post. Remember that Total QBR runs on a scale of 0-100. The scale for traditional passer rating is 0-158.3.
Passer rating: 124.3
Analysis: By this measure, Rivers put together the best game for a quarterback in Week 2. He completed 76 percent of his passes (36 of 47) for 419 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover and just one sack. On third down, he was nearly perfect (12 completions in 13 attempts for a Total QBR of 98.4) and he was much better in the fourth quarter as the San Diego Chargers held off the Philadelphia Eagles. Rivers' QBR in the fourth quarter was 72.6. It was 0.02 in the Week 1 collapse to the Houston Texans and 7.7 combined over the previous two seasons.
Passer rating: 105.5
Analysis: The Denver Broncos focused on their mid-range passing game against the New York Giants; 32 of Manning's 43 passes -- and 25 of his 30 completions -- traveled 10 yards or fewer in the air. Broncos receivers accounted for 116 yards after the catch. The end result was a highly efficient game for Manning: 69.8 percent completions, no interceptions and no sacks.
Passer rating: 146.0
Analysis: Rodgers took three early sacks when the game was still competitive, accounting for the QBR dip, but ultimately he became the first NFL player since 1962 to have 480 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in one game (Y.A. Tittle). He also completed 81.0 percent of his passes, the third-best total of his career. How did he do it? Actually, by playing it relatively safe. All told, 35 of his 42 attempts traveled fewer than 15 yards downfield and 11 were at or behind the line of scrimmage. He also torched the Washington Redskins' standard four-man rush, completing 24 of 26 passes against that scheme.
Passer rating: 117.8
Analysis: Ryan played a really nice game against the St. Louis Rams. He completed 13 of 17 passes against the blitz, including an 81-yard throw to receiver Julio Jones. He also hit on 7 of 10 passes on third downs and connected on all 10 passes he threw in the fourth quarter. Finally, Ryan didn't take any unnecessary risks. Of his 43 attempts, 26 traveled 5 or fewer yards downfield. He completed 22 of them.
Passer rating: 87.8
Analysis: You won't find a less aggressive approach than what the Rams took Sunday against the Falcons. It's true that Bradford threw for 352 yards, but to do it he attempted 55 passes. Of that total, 35 traveled 5 or fewer yards downfield. And he completed barely half of those throws (19), well below the league average of 68 percent for the 2012 season. Overall, Bradford's average pass Sunday averaged just 5.6 yards past the line of scrimmage.
Robert Griffin III
Passer rating: 104.2
Analysis: The Washington Redskins' plan to limit Griffin's running opportunities has made him a different quarterback. The Redskins used the read-option only three times Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. As best as can be seen via video analysis, Griffin has taken off nine times this season and none has been a genuinely designed run. Meanwhile, much of his passing production -- 44 percent of his yards and four of his five touchdown throws -- has come in fourth-quarter "garbage time." His QBR in the first quarter of games this season is 0.5 and it is 5.6 in the second quarter. It's fair to expect improvement as he grows more confident with his knee, but for now, Griffin is not the same player he was in 2012.
Passer rating: 75.3
Analysis: Ponder produced a frustrating mix of mistakes and downfield success in a loss to the Chicago Bears. He telegraphed a sideline throw that was intercepted by Bears cornerback Tim Jennings and returned for a touchdown and completed only 53.3 percent of his passes. But he also tied a career high by completing five passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield, including a 20-yard touchdown to tight end Kyle Rudolph. Overall, amid a Fox Sports report that he is on a shorter leash than many people realize, Ponder didn't lose his job but also didn't do enough to secure it long-term, either.
Passer rating: 20.1
Analysis: Kaepernick had the worst game of his career no matter how you look at it. He completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes, committed four turnovers and took three sacks. He did rush for 87 yards against the Seattle Seahawks, but he reacted poorly to pressure for most of the night. The Seahawks had him under duress on 13 of his 35 drop-backs, and he completed only one pass (for 14 yards) on those plays.
ROUNDING OUT THE WEEK
Passer rating: 123.4
Briefly: Vick threw for a career-high 428 yards, leading the Eagles to incredible production despite holding possession for fewer than 20 minutes of the game. The Eagles ran 58 plays and amassed 511 yards in that time period. He completed six passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield for a total of 199 yards.
Passer rating: 95.0
Briefly: A career-high 57 rushing yards included an 18-yard scramble on a third-and-15 play in a one-score game. Smith has now thrown two touchdowns without an interception in each of his first two games in the Kansas City Chiefs' offense.
Passer rating: 108.3
Briefly: Stafford threw two first-half touchdowns to Calvin Johnson, but the Detroit Lions' offense seemed stymied after a Reggie Bush knee injury. Stafford almost exclusively worked the underneath routes, throwing only three passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield. All three were incomplete, the first time since Week 9 of 2010 that he has not completed at least one such throw.
Passer rating: 53.3
Briefly: Manning threw four interceptions against the Broncos and is now the first player since 2005 to throw seven in his first two games of a season. On Sunday, he converted only one third down on 11 attempts and misfired on 10 of 14 passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield. He did finish with 362 yards, but for the most part, Manning has been a mess early in 2013.
Passer rating: 99.1
Briefly: Romo connected with receiver Dez Bryant five times in the first quarter for 100 yards but managed just four more completions to Bryant for 41 yards thereafter. The Chiefs brought an extra rusher on 19 of Romo's 40 drop-backs after the first quarter, an adjustment that worked well.
Passer rating: 94.4
Briefly: The Ravens managed a victory over the Cleveland Browns, but for the second consecutive week, Flacco struggled to get the ball downfield. He missed on all five passes of at least 20 yards downfield and has now missed 11 of 13 such throws in two games.
Passer rating: 97.2
Briefly: Cutler made two big mistakes, fumbling on a sack that the Minnesota Vikings returned for a touchdown and then forcing a ball into the end zone for an interception. But he led a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive week and now has 15 fourth-quarter comeback victories in his career, via Pro Football Reference.
Passer rating: 67.6
Briefly Brees struggled against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' pressure, managing just one completion in seven attempts while under duress. But his 31-yard strike to Marques Colston late in the fourth quarter set up the game-winning field goal.
Passer rating: 89.3
Briefly: Manuel's 296 passing yards were the most by a Bills rookie quarterback since 1970. He led a game-winning drive in his second NFL start, pulling his QBR from 29.6 to 51.6 in that possession.
Passer rating: 79.7
Briefly: Luck had a decent day on his feet, converting two third downs on scrambles. Once again, though, he didn't have much success downfield. He completed only 9 of 24 passes with an interception on balls that traveled more than 5 yards downfield.
Passer rating: 107.4
Briefly: The Miami Dolphins' big road victory against the Indianapolis Colts featured a strong downfield passing performance. Tannehill completed 8 of 9 passes that traveled more than 10 yards downfield for 209 yards, including all three he targeted receiver Mike Wallace with. But he also took five sacks, including three on third down.
Passer rating: 92.1
Briefly: The Tennessee Titans have developed a relatively safe game plan for Locker. Only two of his 17 completions traveled more than 10 yards in the air.
Passer rating: 73.5
Briefly: Palmer completed just 3 of 8 passes in the fourth quarter but alertly targeted the end zone late and drew a pass interference call on the goal line to set up the Arizona Cardinals' game-winning score.
Passer rating: 76.6
Analysis: Schaub had an excellent first quarter but then capped his struggles by throwing a terrible interception that was returned 23 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, when his QBR was 16.7. He did rally in overtime to complete two passes to receiver DeAndre Hopkins to clinch the victory.
Passer rating: 92.1
Analysis: The Jacksonville Jaguars managed just nine points against the Oakland Raiders in Henne's first start. He was sacked five times.
Passer rating: 79.8
Briefly: Newton didn't get out of the pocket much at all, attempting just one pass outside of it against the Buffalo Bills, and he took six sacks -- four on third down. His one completion of longer than 15 yards downfield was a 40-yard touchdown to receiver Ted Ginn.
Passer rating: 56.1
Briefly: Capping a chaotic week, Freeman managed just nine completions in a loss to the New Orleans Saints -- including two apiece in the third and fourth quarters.
Passer rating: 83.8
Briefly: Weeden didn't have a turnover but he took five sacks and now has been brought down 11 times in two games this season.
Passer rating: 63.9
Briefly: In a game dominated by defense, Wilson struggled -- but not as much as Kaepernick. He completed only 8 of 19 passes and took four sacks -- three against the 49ers' standard four-man rush -- but he also threw a touchdown pass and committed only one turnover.
Passer rating: 71.0
Briefly: The New England Patriots' lack of reliable receivers is alarming. Brady targeted Julian Edelman 18 times. Of his other 21 throws, he completed only six and had four dropped.
Passer rating: 76.0
Briefly: Although the numbers were not exceptional, Pryor led the Raiders to a victory in his second start. He managed 176 combined yards, passing and receiving, and took three sacks but did not commit a turnover.
Passer rating: 27.6
Briefly: Smith's fourth quarter against the Patriots was a reversal of his success in Week 1. He completed 1 of 6 passes in a winnable game while throwing three interceptions, the most during the fourth quarter in an NFL game in six seasons.