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Monday, August 21, 2006

NFL: Which Backup QBs look the best in Preseason?

I've taken a look at the relevant QB stats from the first two preseason games and evaluated those who had significant playing time (minimum of 15 pass attempts over two games). There were only 23 players who qualified, as the remaining 9 teams had their QBs playing time split among too many of their players to result in meaningful analysis of their #2s.

I got the depth charts for each team from, as well as the stats. Here are the headlines:

Looking Strong:
Aaron Rodgers (GB)
David Garrand (JAC)
Tony Romo (DAL)
Matt Cassel (NE)
Kyle Boller (BAL)
Jay Cutler (DEN)
Jeff Garcia (PHI)
J.P. Lossman (BUF)

About Average:
Seneca Wallace (SEA)
Sage Rosenfels (HOU)
Jamie Martin (NO)
Josh McCown (DET)
Vince Young (TEN)

Below Average:
Todd Collins (WAS)
Anthony Wright (CIN)
Marques Tuiasosopo (OAK)
Joey Harrington (MIA)
Ken Dorsey (CLE)
Chris Weinke (CAR)
Jim Sorgi (IND)
John Navarre (ARI)

My primary evaluation criteria is Yards per Attempt which tends to correlate best with Points per Drive, a key factor in determining the outcome of games. Teams with high Yds/Att tend to move the ball better, score more points, sustain longer drives and keep the opposing team's offense on the sideline. A starting QB in the NFL averages about 7.1 Yds/Att while a backup averages about 6.4 during the regular season.

It is also interesting to see which backup QBs have improved this stat during '06 Preseason relative to their '05 Regular Season performance.

Showing Improvement:
Rodgers (GB) 13.9 vs. 4.1
Garrand (JAC) 11.7 vs. 6.7
Garcia (PHI) 8.0 vs. 5.2 (with Detroit last season)
Boller (BAL) 8.6 vs. 6.1
Losman (BUF) 8.0 vs. 5.9
Casell (NE) 9.2 vs 7.6

Getting Worse, but explainable:
Dorsey (CLE) 4.7 vs. 5.3 (to be fair he switched teams SF-CLE)
McCown (DET) 6.2 vs. 6.8 (also changed teams ARI-DET)
Martin (NO) 6.5 vs. 7.2 (moved from STL to NO)
Harrington (MIA) 5.3 vs. 6.1 (moving from DET-MIA)
Rosenfels (HOU) 6.6 vs. 7.6 (MIA to DET)

Just plain getting worse:
Weinke (CAR) 3.9 vs. 4.9 (low number of passes however)
Sorgi (IND) 3.4 vs. 7.3 (might get bumped to #3 behind Shaun King)
Navarre (ARI) 3.0 vs. 7.3 (pre-season is supposed to be easier right?)

The best two backup QBs at this point are likely Romo (DAL) and Garrard (JAC), with Boller, Cutler, Garcia, and Losman right behind.

Let me know what you think.....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shaun King is playing as well as anyone on that list, and it's a farce that he is listed behind Sorgi. King has led more TD drives than Sorgi has gotten first downs.

11:39 PM

Blogger LineJunkie said...

I agree that Shaun King is playing much better than Sorgi. At the time I looked at all these players, King was listed as #3 on the depth chart for Indy and Sorgi #2.

9:19 AM


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