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CQBR: Aaron Rodgers reigns supreme in Week 2

Had Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones not fumbled on the Washington Redskins goal line for a touchback, Aaron Rodgers' lofty Complete Quarterback Rating (CQBR) would have been even higher in Week 2.

Had Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones not fumbled on the Washington Redskins goal line for a touchback, Aaron Rodgers’ lofty Complete Quarterback Rating (CQBR) would have been even higher in Week 2.

It always takes a few weeks for the muddy waters of a new NFL season to settle. So far through two weeks of the 2013 regular season — much like we saw in 2011 after the lockout — defenses around the league are struggling to find their sea legs, perhaps due to new rules that severely limit the amount of contact players can have in practice.

This week’s Complete Quarterback Ratings (CQBRs) are a perfect illustration of these realities. Ratings league wide were in tumult, as only one quarterback who achieved a lofty Fabulous Five rating in Week 1 made a repeat appearance in Week 2, and only one quarterback in the Week 1 Flaccid Five was to be found there after Week 2.

On the other hand, after an opening week in which the league average was inflated by Peyton Manning’s otherworldly seven-touchdown performance, mean CQBR was down by 12 percent this week. So it looks like things are gradually starting to equalize.

Fabulous five

Many people were surprised when Aaron Rodgers failed to crack the top five in Week 1, especially since he kept the Green Bay Packers competitive against the San Francisco 49ers.

Well, this week he regained what some would consider his rightful place atop the leaderboard, connecting on 34 of 42 passes for an incredible 81-percent completion rate, a franchise-record 480 yards, a stellar 11.4 yards per attempt, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. He could have thrown two more touchdowns on the day, but a scoring strike to wide receiver Jordy Nelson was negated by a penalty, James Jones fumbled at the goal line, and the Packers elected to take a knee in scoring range instead of running up the score.

Not even Rodgers’ three kneel downs and four sacks for -39 yards could put an appreciable dent in his almost unearthly 132.71 CQBR. His performance on the day was a guaranteed win for the Packers, as evidenced by his 1.06 Quarterback Win Expectancy (QWE), which indicates that he gave Green Bay a 106-percent chance to win.

Following (somewhat) close on Rodgers’ heels was Philip Rivers, who despite a late-game collapse in Week 1 seems to be experiencing something of a career renaissance in 2013. His impressive 76.6-percent completion rate and respectable 8.9 yards per passing attempt lead to three touchdowns and helped propel the San Diego Chargers to a close victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. He put his team in an excellent position to win, as his 0.92 QWE indicates.

Rivers’ opponent in that game, Michael Vick, did everything that could be asked of him, completing 23 of 36 passes for 419 yards, an incredible 11.9 yards per attempt average, and three touchdowns. His elite CQBR of 105.03 was good for a win probability of 85 percent, so it certainly wasn’t Vick’s fault the Eagles lost in a close contest.

Barely edging Vick out for third place this week was Matt Ryan, who, although he wasn’t nearly as efficient in yards per attempt (8.7), was significantly more accurate at 76.7 percent. Ryan only threw two touchdowns, but he didn’t have to throw more, as a pick-six by defensive end Osi Umenyiora helped to preserve the Atlanta Falcons’ lead over the St. Louis Rams — and eventually the win.

It would have been virtually impossible for Peyton Manning to have surpassed his Week 1 outing — after all, no quarterback in NFL history has ever thrown eight touchdowns in a game — so it’s hardly a surprise that his CQBR is quite a few points lower this week. The Denver Broncos were going up against the New York, known for being tough in the trenches, although their physicality was not on display in this game. Manning’s 307 yards and two touchdowns were enough to seal a third consecutive victory in the Manning Bowl. Manning was the only member of the Fabulous Five not to post a CQBR of at least 100.

Flaccid Five

One has to wonder what is up with Matt Flynn that he isn’t able to beat out Terrelle Pryor for the Oakland Raiders’ starting job.

Pryor followed up a respectable but by no means overwhelming Week 1 performance (CQBR = 61.53) with a thoroughly forgettable outing against the abysmal Jacksonville Jaguars. He completed 15 of 24 passes at a passable 62.5-percent clip, but his per-attempt average of 5.3 yards was borderline wretched. He completed no pass longer than 17 yards and did not manage to throw a touchdown. He also fumbled twice. On the bright side, he avoided throwing an interception. His CQBR of 28.13 was good for a QWE of just 0.27. The fact Oakland won by 10 points only highlights how dreadful Jacksonville is this year.

The Seattle Seahawks defense might have put on an awe-inspiring display of dominance against the San Francisco 49ers, but Russell Wilson himself was less than inspiring. Against what is admittedly one of the best defenses in the league, he managed to complete just eight of 19 attempts (42.1 percent) for a meager 142 yards (7.5 yards per attempt). He did throw a touchdown, but that was offset by an interception and a fumble. Wilson is no slouch behind center, but it’s clear that this team will go as far as its defense takes them.

Slumping into the forlorn five for the second consecutive week is Josh Freeman, whose coach paid him the ultimate insult by taking the ball out of his hands in the final moments. And no wonder! He eked out just nine of 22 passing (40.9 percent) for 125 yards at a scant 5.7 ypa average. He did throw a touchdown, but he also completed a pass to the New Orleans Saints defense. Were it not for a pick-six by safety Mason Foster, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would have had no chance in this game. Perhaps Freeman can take solace in the fact that his CQBR 14.17 wasn’t the worst rating of Week 2.

It’s not easy to post a negative CQBR, yet not one, but two starting quarterbacks (and two backups) managed that dubious feat.

Rookie Geno Smith actually had a more efficient day than Freeman in terms of accuracy (42.9 percent) and yards per attempt (6.1). But he failed to throw a touchdown and doomed the offense’s best efforts by throwing three interceptions. It’s a testament to just how poor the New England Patriots looked that the New York Jets were in this game up until the very end. Based on Smith’s CQBR of -1.97, the Jets only had roughly a five-percent chance of winning, so it’s no surprise they ended up on the wrong end of the scoreboard.

But oh, how the mighty have fallen! After ranking third in the league last week with an awesome CQBR of 109.34, Colin Kaepernick could hardly have been worse against the suffocating Seattle defense. He completed 46.4 percent of his passes for a laughable 4.5 yards per attempt average and torpedoed the 49ers’ prospects with three interceptions and one lost fumble. The only thing that kept his rating from plummeting still further was his respectable 9.7 yards per carry scrambling average.

If Kaepernick has many more days like that this season, head coach Jim Harbaugh will have some serious explaining to do, especially since Alex Smith, whom he traded away to Kansas City, has posted a CQBR of nearly 70 so far this season.

Week 2 CQBR and QWE

PlayerPAttComp%Y/AIntPTDRAttY/ARTDSackSYdsFumCQBRQWE
Aaron Rodgers4281.011.4043-1.004390132.711.06
Philip Rivers4776.68.90333.70160113.580.92
Matt Ryan4376.78.70200.002170105.300.86
Michael Vick3663.911.90263.81161105.030.85
Peyton Manning4369.87.1023-1.0000088.820.73
Robert Griffin III4065.08.01340.3016087.420.72
Matthew Stafford3666.77.70220.5015180.540.67
Jay Cutler3971.87.42333.0018176.190.64
Sam Bradford5558.26.41338.3000071.880.60
Alex Smith3658.36.20287.10424070.450.59
Joe Flacco3366.76.40141.50214069.520.59
Tony Romo4271.47.10121.50317168.520.58
Chad Henne3865.86.30124.50527065.620.56
E.J. Manuel3969.27.61143.3019160.580.52
Andy Dalton4555.66.20133.3000058.300.50
Matt Schaub4854.26.22300.00218055.710.48
Jake Locker3056.74.90225.00419153.950.47
Christian Ponder3053.37.61163.0010052.360.46
Brandon Weeden3363.66.90023.50539051.720.45
Andrew Luck4358.17.51149.5036150.420.44
Cam Newton3855.36.01243.80646050.160.44
Ryan Tannehill3467.69.40140.30522349.110.43
Carson Palmer3956.46.4112-1.0014048.940.43
Ben Roethlisberger3754.16.81116.00217047.300.42
Tom Brady3948.74.7012-1.0017041.530.37
Drew Brees4656.57.02100.00426132.450.31
Eli Manning4957.17.44100.0019030.730.29
Terrelle Pryor2462.55.30095.60312228.130.27
Russell Wilson1942.17.511103.30424122.560.23
Josh Freeman2240.95.71135.30112114.170.17
Geno Smith3542.96.13035.704250-1.970.05
Colin Kaepernick2846.44.53099.703201-3.790.03
Jason Campbell425.01.50000.00000-14.91-0.05
Nick Foles10.00.00000.00000-54.30-0.35
Average58.690.50
1016 comments
TheBaskett
TheBaskett

not to mention that the browns got slick rick'd.. he's been on a roll.. Thanks for Harrison Smith Browns

rajigunderson17
rajigunderson17

My RB's are injured and being little bitches.

Bush and Rice. 

↑ Not a good meal combo, btw. 

Evil Donkey
Evil Donkey moderator

@←sgunderson17→ You'll probably get a half out of Bush, As long as Merriweather isn't there to spear him with his helmet.

TheBaskett
TheBaskett

did anyones FF Team get better or worse because of the Richardson trade..

JVince 11
JVince 11

@thebaskett my North vs South league got better... I have Richardson on an offense that will make defenses think hard now... shitty OL still.

Donny33
Donny33

Screwed this week because of it, but better long term.

0125
0125 moderator

Should Ray Rice be benched this week?

0125
0125 moderator

Even if he does play, how effective will he be? I have McFadden and Murray on the bench who are healthy and can take on a full game's load

Evil Donkey
Evil Donkey moderator

This means in the collusion league, I have 0 starting RB

0125
0125 moderator

Roddy White has not missed a game in his career. I think thats why he forcing the issue and lining up at the start of each game. I think thats very stupid. Rest up Roddy, we need ya later on in the season!

0125
0125 moderator

Always start Julio! haha

0125
0125 moderator

Yea. Hes fine. Hes the number 1 for now, while White recovers. 

0125
0125 moderator

Did you see what he did on a bum knee last week?

rajigunderson17
rajigunderson17

Jvince, do you have a mini shopping cart in your helmet collection room? 

gatrbuc 17
gatrbuc 17 moderator

Bears fans...........How bad is Bennett hurt?