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CQBR: Peyton Manning galloping ahead of herd

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is putting up unprecedented numbers through the first four weeks of the 2013 NFL regular season.

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is putting up unprecedented numbers through the first four weeks of the 2013 NFL regular season.

One of the most valuable traits any NFL quarterback can bring to his team is consistency. As we have shown in the past, a quarterback doesn’t have to be great in order to keep his team in the game. He just has to be proficient and not make any egregious mistakes.

It’s almost better that a quarterback be consistently bad than amazing one week and dreadful the next, because at least then his team can make an informed decision and move on from him. Quarterbacks that show just enough brilliance to give their teams hope tend to doom those organizations to failure, because they are simply given too many chances to fail. There are several NFL quarterbacks who have proven themselves consistently bad this year, and it’s doubtful they will remain starters much longer.

Of course, it’s even better if a quarterback can be consistently good. Already in 2013, several quarterbacks have done just this. They’re the ones who appear in the Fabulous Five week after week.

Week 4 CQBR and QWE

Nick Foles475.012.30100.00000225.611.77
Peyton Manning3482.49.60400.00160152.891.22
Drew Brees3976.910.60440.202160130.841.05
Philip Rivers4283.39.51300.00170122.640.99
Jake Locker2475.06.20332.702130117.990.95
Ryan Fitzpatrick837.513.5012-0.10000103.200.84
Matt Cassel2564.09.90220.5010193.490.77
Matt Hasselbeck366.712.30000.0000093.200.77
Tony Romo3773.06.60212.30319092.300.76
Tom Brady3164.510.2025-0.2000187.860.73
Brian Hoyer3865.87.10241.00322079.980.67
Colin Kaepernick2365.27.30231.50216178.690.66
Andrew Luck3661.17.21223.60214073.150.61
Matt Ryan5463.07.81200.00222071.990.61
Alex Smith4158.572375.3010069.120.58
Robert Griffin III3158.17.30131.40110067.660.57
Ben Roethlisberger5170.67.51100.00526161.680.53
Matt Schaub4963.37.22210.70430060.050.51
Michael Vick2751.99.20084.50313053.690.47
Matthew Stafford3565.76.91151.21114252.170.46
Brock Osweiler366.73.30020.9000044.010.39
Carson Palmer3855.36.52140.9018038.480.35
Matt Flynn3265.67.11130.60733235.110.33
Jay Cutler4757.46.73211.30331135.100.33
Geno Smith3467.68.52130.80550233.500.31
Ryan Tannehill3562.97.13146.80433131.280.30
Russell Wilson2352.25.3101014.50532119.820.21
Mike Glennon4355.84.5212-0.20220119.580.21
Joe Flacco5050.06.95200.00426019.060.21
Eli Manning3748.65.91122.00317216.530.19
Sam Bradford4146.34.9113-0.80532116.230.18
Andy Dalton4254.84.91042.7023213.720.16
Blaine Gabbert3253.15.63021.8041404.970.10
EJ Manuel2245.57.621110.102202-0.390.06

Fabulous five

Right now it’s looking like the man on top of our Fabulous Five has a decent shot at posting the greatest single-season performance of all time.

For the fourth consecutive week, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning appears in the top five. For the third time this season, he posted the highest CQBR in the league. Against the increasingly disappointing Philadelphia Eagles, he completed a virtually immaculate 82.4 percent of his passes at a superb average of 9.6 yards per attempt, throwing four passing touchdowns, no interceptions, and no fumbles. He has now achieved the unprecedented feat of throwing 16 touchdowns with no picks to start a season. Any time a quarterback can avoid turning the ball over, he gives his team an excellent chance to win, and indeed, Manning’s CQBR of 152.89 was good for a Quarterback Win Expectancy (QWE) of 1.22 — a guaranteed win.

Following a full 14 percent behind in QWE at 1.05, yet still putting up a guaranteed win, was New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, whose impeccable 130.84 CQBR was a product of his 76.9-percent completion rate and fantastic 10.6 ypa average. He also threw four touchdowns and avoided giving up any costly interceptions or fumbles. If the Saints can shore up their porous run defense a bit, the future looks bright for New Orleans.

After a string of seasons in which fans and pundits alike had begun to give up on him, San Diego Chargers signal caller Philip Rivers continues to put his career back on track. Against the Dallas Cowboys, Rivers completed an incredible 83.3 percent of his passes at a superb 9.5 ypa, connecting on three touchdowns. He did throw an interception, but that wasn’t enough to mar his awesome CQBR of 122.64, which was high enough to all but guarantee a win for the Chargers.

Demonstrating impressive accuracy for a young quarterback at 75.0 percent, Jake Locker was less efficient than either Manning or Brees, only averaging 6.2 yards per attempt. He did throw three touchdowns, however, and kept the ball out of the hands of his opponents. Unfortunately, he left the game with an injury after attempting 24 passes and had to be replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick. A look at Locker’s QWE of 0.95 reveals that it would have been pretty difficult for the Tennessee Titans to lose this game; all their defense had to do was avoid making any mistakes.

In his first game as a Minnesota Viking, Matt Cassel proved himself more than capable of leading the team to victory, completing 64 percent of his passes at a brisk 9.9 ypa. He tossed a pair of touchdowns and took good care of the ball, although his day was marred by a fumble. His CQBR of 93.49 was more than respectable and helped the Vikings to prevail over the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.

Flaccid Five

Eli Manning‘s continuing struggles might not look quite so laughable if his big brother weren’t simultaneously putting up such outlandishly good number, but that is the predicament in which Eli the Lesser finds himself. His 48.6-percent completion rate is simply not acceptable in today’s NFL, nor is his atrocious 5.9 ypa average. He threw just one touchdown in 37 passing attempts and all but nullified the value of that with an interception and not one, but two fumbles. With Manning posting a CQBR of 16.52 , his team would be expected to win fewer than one in five games, so it’s no real surprise that the New York Giants are 0-4.

Veteran Sam Bradford seems to go from bad to worse. Against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, Bradford managed to complete just 46.3 percent of his passes at a risible average of 4.9 yards per attempt. He did manage to connect on a touchdown pass, but also shot his team in the foot with an interception and a fumble en route to a dreadful 16.23 CQBR. If head coach Jeff Fisher can’t find a way to turn Bradford’s career around, the St. Louis Rams are going nowhere this year, and Fisher will quickly find himself out of a job.

The flaming redhead, Andy Dalton, continues to be an enigma. Some weeks he looks like he might be breaking into the second tier of quarterbacks; other weeks, he looks clueless. This week, despite attempting 42 passes, he only completed 54.8 percent of them, throwing no touchdowns and coughing up an interception and two fumbles. His miserable outing earned him a CQBR of 13.72.

It’s difficult to come up with epithets and pejoratives strong enough to describe the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4) right now, and quarterback Blaine Gabbert is part of the problem. His completion percentage of 53.1 and yards-per-attempt average of 5.6 weren’t the worst anyone posted this week, but his three interceptions torpedoed his team’s chances of winning. The only comfort Jaguars fans can take from his 4.97 CQBR is that at least it wasn’t negative. At this rate, the team might even win two games this season.

At least the quarterback at the bottom of our list has an excuse: he’s a rookie. Although a number of his peers have down well in their maiden campaigns of late, E.J. Manuel can at least be expected to struggle. His average of 7.6 yards per attempt was actually decent, but he shot himself — and the Buffalo Bills — in the foot by giving up two interceptions and two fumbles to just one touchdown. No team whose quarterback has a CQBR of -0.39 is going to win many games, so head coach Doug Marrone needs to grab the bison by the horns immediately.

Booming backups

Besides Matt Cassel, who got the start at Wembley Field, a couple of backups had to enter games in relief of their starters and did well enough to deserve recognition this week.

Ryan Fitzpatrick took over for Jake Locker and performed admirably. Although his 37.5-percent completion rate was by no means earthshaking, his average of 13.5 yards per attempt represented an extremely high level of efficiency. He threw a touchdown in just eight attempts, earning an excellent CQBR of 103.20 to help preserve the Tennessee Titans’ 38-13 win over the New York Jets.

And then we have Nick Foles, who for four plays was in a galaxy of his own, completing three passes at a superb 12.3 yards per attempt for one touchdown. His CQBR of 225.61 was one of the highest of the past five seasons and earns him a mention in the honor roll. It might also have earned him a tryout for a starting job one of these days.


Gonzalez would be pissed, come back for another year just for the team to tank on purpose.

JVince 11
JVince 11

If the packers lose this weekend....

I don't even know if Katee Owens could bring me back up...... well... wait.. she has no problem doing that.


man, my internet at work is going balls ass slow this morning...i can't even load gmail...

JVince 11
JVince 11

@niemerg1 I have no experience with balls ass..... so that is all you bro-cha-cho!


if we go 6-0 after these next 2 games, I will be so happy and less nervous about our team and whether or not the defense is the real deal


@NightStalkerThief  Chicago is a toss up..... I have a feeling Saints are going to get beat down in the Windy City especially since its supposed to be raining all weekend there. 


@NightStalkerThief depends on your definition of chilly, it's about mid 60's right now where i live and i'm wearing shorts ad a t-shirt, granted i will be wearing this when the temp drops to te mid 40's 


@NightStalkerThief If it is Raining the Saints lose and they lose big.  or even if the Field is still wet and sloppy. 


If you think the Saints are an outdoor team that can play well in horrendous field conditions think again 


@NightStalkerThief cause it's not cold. remember where i live it usually tops out in the mid 80's, it'll hit 100 a couple times a year but generally 85 is the max 

G&G moderator

@smtate91 I can't wish you something bad, because you are already a Panthers fan...


You should've known better Mr. Tweet Master, you would've seen it way before me.

JVince 11
JVince 11

Childerz.. when do the Wild play???