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Become a Bajillionaire Picking NFL Winners Using Quarterback Rating Stats

By Chris Malumphy

If you could predict which quarterback was going to have the best QB Rating in a particular game you could quickly become a millionaire. Oh heck, a million isn't what it used to be, you could easily become a bajillionaire. Here's why and how.

The quarterback with the better quarterback ranking in a game has won an outstanding 83% (40-8) of the time thus far in 2016. While the quarterback rating statistic has been much maligned in terms of ranking which passers are best, it does in a very general but remarkably precise way get to the essence of the modern game of football.

Quarterbacks with a game QB rating of 100.0 or better (minimum of 15 attempts for the purposes of this article), have a record of 26-7 (.788). Not too shabby. But it is even more impressive when you learn that of those 7 losses, six where to teams where the quarterback had an even higher rating, and the one exception was a one point loss in which the Saints led by Drew Brees (131.3) lost to the Raiders and Derek Carr (98.5) with the outcome of the game decided by Coach Jack Del Rio's gutsy decision to go for a two-point conversion rather than play for overtime. Thus, in games in which one team has a quarterback that reaches a 100.0+ rating and the other team does not, the likelihood of a win has been over 95% (20-1) in 2016.

Losers with 100.0+ QB Ratings
WeekLoserNameQB
Rating
ScoreWinnerNameQB
Rating
1FalconsMatt Ryan112.6L 24 - 31BuccaneersJameis Winston125.1
1SaintsDrew Brees131.3L 34 - 35RaidersDerek Carr98.5
1ColtsAndrew Luck119.5L 35 - 39LionsMatthew Stafford128.6
1CardinalsCarson Palmer104.7L 21 - 23PatriotsJimmy Garoppolo106.1
2BillsTyrod Taylor112.8L 31 - 37JetsRyan Fitzpatrick116.5
2RaidersDerek Carr115.0L 28 - 35FalconsMatt Ryan131.5
3LionsMatthew Stafford112.3L 27 - 34PackersAaron Rodgers129.3

Teams whose quarterbacks do not break a QB rating of 100.0+ for the game are likely to lose. Thus far in 2016 teams whose quarterbacks had game rankings of less than 100 are 22-41 (.349). Quarterbacks with a rating between 90.0 and 99.9 are 6-6 (.500). Those with ratings 80.0 to 89.9 are 5-9 (.357). Quarterbacks with game ratings of 70.0 to 79.9 are 7-10 (.412) and those with ratings of 69.9 or less are 4-16 (.200). Now, if you could only predict in advance what the likely QB ratings for the two quarterbacks in any game were going to be. There is no need to be precise, just guestimate which quarterback is likely to have the better day and if you are correct you'll pick winners over 80% of the time. If you also know that the quarterback you selected will have a rating of 100.0 or higher then your selection could win as often as 95% of the time.

QB Game Rating Win-Loss Record
QB RatingWinsLosesPct
100.0+2670.788
90.0-99.9660.500
80.0-89.9590.357
70.0-79.97100.412
<= 69.94160.200

Should be easy when you realize, for instance, that the Browns. 49ers and Jaguars haven't had a quarterback with a rating of 86.0 yet this year or that the defenses of the Broncos, Eagles, Texans and Titans haven't allowed the opposing quarterback to achieve a rating of 80.0 or more in any of their games. Or that neither the Jets nor the Lions have held a quarterback under 100.0 yet. But stay away from the Saints and the Falcons. Both Drew Brees and Matt Ryan can put up some really good numbers, but the Saints and Falcons defenses haven't held any quarterbacks under the high 90s yet. Also, beware of erratic quarterbacks. Ryan Fitzgerald put up some pretty good numbers during week two resulting in a rating of 116.5. Week three? Not so good: 18.2. Ouch.

Otherwise, it should be fairly easy. You can try it out at your own risk. Results may vary. Past results are no guarantee of future performance. State and federal laws may apply.

2016 Week 3 Passing Statistics
NameTeamOppAttCPctYdsAvgTDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SacksYds
Lost
RatingScore
Trevor SiemianBroncosBengals352365.73128.9411.400.029132.1W 29 - 17
Aaron RodgersPackersLions241562.52058.5416.700.024129.3W 34 - 27
Carson WentzEaglesSteelers312374.23019.726.500.000125.9W 34 - 3
Dak PrescottCowboysBears241979.224810.314.200.000123.6W 31 - 17
Tress WayRedskinsGiants11100.03131.000.000.000118.7W 29 - 27
Russell WilsonSeahawks49ers231565.224310.614.300.0217114.9W 37 - 18
Matt RyanFalconsSaints302066.72408.026.700.0215113.2W 45 - 32
Matthew StaffordLionsPackers412868.33859.437.312.4317112.3L 27 - 34
Kirk CousinsRedskinsGiants352160.02968.525.700.0214106.4W 29 - 27
Alex SmithChiefsJets332575.82377.213.000.0216105.2W 24 - 3
Drew BreesSaintsFalcons543666.73767.035.611.921797.5L 32 - 45
Trevone BoykinSeahawks49ers9777.8657.2111.1111.10094.2W 37 - 18
Ryan TannehillDolphinsBrowns392564.13198.237.725.11893.9W 30 - 24
Brian HoyerBearsCowboys493061.23176.524.100.00093.7L 17 - 31
Jameis WinstonBuccaneersRams583662.14057.035.211.721693.0L 32 - 37
Sam BradfordVikingsPanthers281864.31716.113.600.021893.0W 22 - 10
Philip RiversChargersColts392666.73308.500.000.021192.9L 22 - 26
Andrew LuckColtsChargers372464.93318.912.712.721491.2W 26 - 22
Case KeenumRamsBuccaneers261453.81907.327.713.81787.0W 37 - 32
Cody KesslerBrownsDolphins332163.62447.400.000.031785.9L 24 - 30
Eli ManningGiantsRedskins382565.83509.212.625.321382.1L 27 - 29
Terrelle PryorBrownsDolphins5360.0357.000.000.01181.2L 24 - 30
Derek CarrRaidersTitans352160.02497.112.912.91479.3W 17 - 10
Derek AndersonPanthersVikings11100.033.000.000.00079.2L 10 - 22
Jacoby BrissettPatriotsTexans191157.91035.400.000.01672.9W 27 - 0
Andy DaltonBengalsBroncos312167.72066.600.013.241772.8L 17 - 29
Joe FlaccoRavensJaguars402972.52145.300.025.021564.0W 19 - 17
Ben RoethlisbergerSteelersEagles442454.52575.800.012.343562.4L 3 - 34
Brock OsweilerTexansPatriots412458.51964.800.012.422160.6L 0 - 27
Blake BortlesJaguarsRavens382463.21945.125.337.942660.6L 17 - 19
Tyrod TaylorBillsCardinals251456.01194.800.014.043051.9W 33 - 18
Blaine Gabbert49ersSeahawks251456.01194.800.014.00051.9L 18 - 37
Cam NewtonPanthersVikings352160.02627.500.038.686447.6L 10 - 22
Marcus MariotaTitansRaiders331751.52146.500.026.11246.8L 10 - 17
Carson PalmerCardinalsBills502652.02875.700.048.052736.0L 18 - 33
Ryan FitzpatrickJetsChiefs442045.51884.300.0613.60018.2L 3 - 24

Jameis Winston, Oliver Luck, Blaine Gabbert & Alex Smith Worst Week Two Passers

By Chris Malumphy

Who would have thought that some of the worst passing performances in week two of the 2016 NFL season would be put up by Jameis Winston (quarterback rating of 39.2), Oliver Luck (64.3) and Alex Smith (68.1). While Blaine Gabbert (64.9) could be expected to be among the worst on any given Sunday (or Monday and Thursdays nowadays), the others are well-above average quarterbacks. Of course, their opponents last week do have pretty good defenses that can send any quarterback into a tailspin: Winston (Cardinals), Luck (Broncos), Gabbert (Panthers), Smith (Texans).

As a Browns loyalist, I was more than dismayed by the bogus taunting call on Terrelle Pryor near the end their game against Ravens game on Sunday. The Browns were threatening a game-winning drive, and Pryor had just made a catch that with a defensive holding penalty against the Ravens would have given the Browns a first down at about the 10 with 20 some seconds to go. Instead, the call against Pryor placed the ball back on the 30. At that point, Josh McCown's quarterback rating for the day stood at 95.8. The next play was a desperation toss into the end zone that was intercepted, dropping McCown's rating to 80.4 a 15.4 point drop. It never occurred to me before how just one play in a game in which a quarterback threw over 30 passes could change a quarterback's rating. It never occurred to me that a referee's call on a different play could influence that rating either. No excuses for a throw that didn't need to be made, but McCown played a gutsy game with a serious injury and the referee's call destroyed the Browns' chance at a victory. I'm sure McCown doesn't care a twit about his stats, but he played a heck of a game and it's a shame that his stats no longer reflect that.

2016 Week Two Passing Statistics
NameTeamOppAttCPctYdsAvgTDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Score
Philip RiversChargersJaguars241770.82209.2416.700313138.9W 38 - 14
Matt RyanFalconsRaiders342676.539611.638.812.917131.5W 35 - 28
Jimmy GaroppoloPatriotsDolphins271866.72348.7311.10000130.8W 31 - 24
Carson PalmerCardinalsBuccaneers311858.13089.939.70014124.1W 40 - 7
Sam BradfordVikingsPackers3122712869.226.500432121.2W 17 - 14
Ryan FitzpatrickJetsBills342470.63741112.90014116.5W 37 - 31
Derek CarrRaidersFalcons453475.62996.636.70010115L 28 - 35
Tyrod TaylorBillsJets3018602979.931013.300112.8L 31 - 37
Cam NewtonPanthers49ers4024603538.841012.510111.8W 46 - 27
EJ ManuelBillsJets111001010000000108.3L 31 - 37
Eli ManningGiantsSaints41327836890000215104.1W 16 - 13
Dak PrescottCowboysRedskins302273.32929.70000414103.7W 27 - 23
Marcus MariotaTitansLions332575.82387.226.113314102.8W 16 - 15
Jacoby BrissettPatriotsDolphins9666.79210.20000222100.2W 31 - 24
Ryan TannehillDolphinsPatriots453271.13898.624.424.40093.7L 24 - 31
Brian HoyerBearsEagles12975786.500000091.7L 14 - 29
Drew BreesSaintsGiants442965.9263612.30021689.5L 13 - 16
Carson WentzEaglesBears342161.81905.612.90021086.6W 29 - 14
Case KeenumRamsSeahawks3018602398000032085.3W 9 - 3
Russell WilsonSeahawksRams352262.92547.3000021584.7L 3 - 9
Andy DaltonBengalsSteelers543157.43666.811.9001084.3L 16 - 24
Kirk CousinsRedskinsCowboys462860.93647.912.212.221484L 23 - 27
Josh McCownBrownsRavens332060.62607.926.126.131880.4L 20 - 25
Trevor SiemianBroncosColts332266.72668.100131078.6W 34 - 20
Ben RoethlisbergerSteelersBengals371951.4259738.125.41978.5W 24 - 16
Blake BortlesJaguarsChargers5031623296.6242421077.8L 14 - 38
Jay CutlerBearsEagles171270.61579.20015.931574.9L 14 - 29
Matthew StaffordLionsTitans4022552606.512.512.542272.9L 15 - 16
Joe FlaccoRavensBrowns452555.63026.724.424.40072.6W 25 - 20
Aaron RodgersPackersVikings362055.62135.912.812.853370.7L 14 - 17
Brock OsweilerTexansChiefs331957.62688.11326.121468.8W 19 - 12
Alex SmithChiefsTexans372054.11865000041468.1L 12 - 19
Blaine Gabbert49ersPanthers361747.22436.825.625.62664.9L 27 - 46
Andrew LuckColtsBroncos402152.51974.912.512.552764.3L 20 - 34
Drew StantonCardinalsBuccaneers4125112.800000039.6W 40 - 7
Kellen ClemensChargersJaguars1000000000039.6W 38 - 14
Jameis WinstonBuccaneersCardinals522751.92434.711.947.732239.2L 7 - 40

2016 NFL Week One Rushing Leaders

By Chris Malumphy

The leading rushers in week one were: DeAngelo Williams, Steelers, 143 yards; Lamar Miller, Texans, 106; Matt Forte, Jets, 96;, C.J. Anderson, Broncos, 92; Danny Woodhead, Chargers, 89; David Johnson, Cardinals, 89; Carlos Hyde, 49ers, 88; and Jalen Richard, Raiders 84.

Running Statistics for 2016 Week One
NameTeamOppAttYdsAvgTDScore
Cam NewtonPanthersBroncos11544.91L 20 - 21
Jonathan StewartPanthersBroncos15644.30L 20 - 21
Ted GinnPanthersBroncos12020.00L 20 - 21
Fozzy WhittakerPanthersBroncos3134.30L 20 - 21
Mike TolbertPanthersBroncos263.00L 20 - 21
Trevor SiemianBroncosPanthers5204.00W 21 - 20
C.J. AndersonBroncosPanthers20924.61W 21 - 20
Andy JanovichBroncosPanthers12828.01W 21 - 20
Devontae BookerBroncosPanthers382.70W 21 - 20
Robert GriffinBrownsEagles5377.40L 10 - 29
Isaiah CrowellBrownsEagles12625.21L 10 - 29
Duke JohnsonBrownsEagles3227.30L 10 - 29
Andrew HawkinsBrownsEagles1-1-1.00L 10 - 29
Carson WentzEaglesBrowns210.50W 29 - 10
Ryan MathewsEaglesBrowns22773.51W 29 - 10
Kenjon BarnerEaglesBrowns44210.50W 29 - 10
Darren SprolesEaglesBrowns5122.40W 29 - 10
Wendell SmallwoodEaglesBrowns111.00W 29 - 10
Aaron RodgersPackersJaguars4164.01W 27 - 23
Eddie LacyPackersJaguars14614.40W 27 - 23
Randall CobbPackersJaguars3113.70W 27 - 23
James StarksPackersJaguars471.80W 27 - 23
Blake BortlesJaguarsPackers221.00L 23 - 27
T.J. YeldonJaguarsPackers21391.91L 23 - 27
Denard RobinsonJaguarsPackers372.30L 23 - 27
Jameis WinstonBuccaneersFalcons430.80W 31 - 24
Doug MartinBuccaneersFalcons18623.40W 31 - 24
Charles SimsBuccaneersFalcons492.20W 31 - 24
Russell ShepardBuccaneersFalcons199.00W 31 - 24
Adam HumphriesBuccaneersFalcons177.00W 31 - 24
Matt RyanFalconsBuccaneers3103.30L 24 - 31
Tevin ColemanFalconsBuccaneers8222.80L 24 - 31
Devonta FreemanFalconsBuccaneers11201.80L 24 - 31
Shaun HillVikingsTitans284.00W 25 - 16
Adrian PetersonVikingsTitans19311.60W 25 - 16
Matt AsiataVikingsTitans4133.20W 25 - 16
Cordarrelle PattersonVikingsTitans188.00W 25 - 16
Jerick McKinnonVikingsTitans166.00W 25 - 16
Stefon DiggsVikingsTitans1-1-1.00W 25 - 16
Marcus MariotaTitansVikings4194.80L 16 - 25
DeMarco MurrayTitansVikings13423.20L 16 - 25
Derrick HenryTitansVikings530.60L 16 - 25
Tyrod TaylorBillsRavens5112.20L 7 - 13
LeSean McCoyBillsRavens16583.61L 7 - 13
Reggie BushBillsRavens3-4-1.30L 7 - 13
Joe FlaccoRavensBills4-3-0.80W 13 - 7
Justin ForsettRavensBills10414.10W 13 - 7
Terrance WestRavensBills12322.70W 13 - 7
Mike WallaceRavensBills11111.00W 13 - 7
Kyle JuszczykRavensBills122.00W 13 - 7
Jay CutlerBearsTexans2126.00L 14 - 23
Jeremy LangfordBearsTexans17573.41L 14 - 23
Ka'Deem CareyBearsTexans144.00L 14 - 23
Brock OsweilerTexansBears4143.50W 23 - 14
Lamar MillerTexansBears281063.80W 23 - 14
Alfred BlueTexansBears144.00W 23 - 14
Tyler ErvinTexansBears133.00W 23 - 14
Jay ProschTexansBears122.00W 23 - 14
Derek CarrRaidersSaints2168.00W 35 - 34
Jalen RichardRaidersSaints38428.01W 35 - 34
Latavius MurrayRaidersSaints14594.21W 35 - 34
DeAndre WashingtonRaidersSaints5142.80W 35 - 34
Jamize OlawaleRaidersSaints122.01W 35 - 34
Taiwan JonesRaidersSaints1-8-8.00W 35 - 34
Drew BreesSaintsRaiders252.50L 34 - 35
Mark IngramSaintsRaiders12584.80L 34 - 35
Brandin CooksSaintsRaiders11111.00L 34 - 35
Tim HightowerSaintsRaiders492.20L 34 - 35
John KuhnSaintsRaiders242.00L 34 - 35
Travaris CadetSaintsRaiders111.00L 34 - 35
Philip RiversChargersChiefs294.50L 27 - 33
Danny WoodheadChargersChiefs16895.60L 27 - 33
Melvin GordonChargersChiefs14574.12L 27 - 33
Alex SmithChiefsChargers4153.81W 33 - 27
Spencer WareChiefsChargers11706.41W 33 - 27
Jeremy MaclinChiefsChargers1-1-1.00W 33 - 27
Charcandrick WestChiefsChargers3-1-0.30W 33 - 27
Andy DaltonBengalsJets372.30W 23 - 22
Jeremy HillBengalsJets9313.41W 23 - 22
Giovani BernardBengalsJets5255.00W 23 - 22
James WrightBengalsJets2-6-3.00W 23 - 22
Ryan FitzpatrickJetsBengals4153.80L 22 - 23
Matt ForteJetsBengals22964.40L 22 - 23
Bilal PowellJetsBengals44110.20L 22 - 23
Ryan TannehillDolphinsSeahawks5173.41L 10 - 12
Arian FosterDolphinsSeahawks13382.90L 10 - 12
Damien WilliamsDolphinsSeahawks294.50L 10 - 12
Russell WilsonSeahawksDolphins4164.00W 12 - 10
Christine MichaelSeahawksDolphins15664.40W 12 - 10
Thomas RawlsSeahawksDolphins12322.70W 12 - 10
C.J. ProsiseSeahawksDolphins1-2-2.00W 12 - 10
Rashad JenningsGiantsCowboys18754.20W 20 - 19
Shane VereenGiantsCowboys6386.30W 20 - 19
Dak PrescottCowboysGiants2126.00L 19 - 20
Ezekiel ElliottCowboysGiants20512.51L 19 - 20
Alfred MorrisCowboysGiants7355.00L 19 - 20
Keith SmithCowboysGiants133.00L 19 - 20
Matthew StaffordLionsColts252.50W 39 - 35
Ameer AbdullahLionsColts12635.20W 39 - 35
Theo RiddickLionsColts7456.41W 39 - 35
Golden TateLionsColts122.00W 39 - 35
Dwayne WashingtonLionsColts210.51W 39 - 35
Andrew LuckColtsLions3217.00L 35 - 39
Frank GoreColtsLions14594.20L 35 - 39
Robert TurbinColtsLions144.00L 35 - 39
Josh FergusonColtsLions1-2-2.00L 35 - 39
Jimmy GaroppoloPatriotsCardinals4123.00W 23 - 21
LeGarrette BlountPatriotsCardinals22703.21W 23 - 21
Julian EdelmanPatriotsCardinals3165.30W 23 - 21
James WhitePatriotsCardinals144.00W 23 - 21
Brandon BoldenPatriotsCardinals144.00W 23 - 21
Carson PalmerCardinalsPatriots210.50L 21 - 23
David JohnsonCardinalsPatriots16895.61L 21 - 23
Chris JohnsonCardinalsPatriots122.00L 21 - 23
Ben RoethlisbergerSteelersRedskins1-2-2.00W 38 - 16
DeAngelo WilliamsSteelersRedskins261435.52W 38 - 16
Fitzgerald ToussaintSteelersRedskins362.00W 38 - 16
Kirk CousinsRedskinsSteelers188.00L 16 - 38
Matt JonesRedskinsSteelers7243.40L 16 - 38
Chris ThompsonRedskinsSteelers4235.81L 16 - 38
Case KeenumRams49ers3103.30L 0 - 28
Todd GurleyRams49ers17472.80L 0 - 28
Malcolm BrownRams49ers155.00L 0 - 28
Tavon AustinRams49ers122.00L 0 - 28
Benny CunninghamRams49ers111.00L 0 - 28
Blaine Gabbert49ersRams9434.80W 28 - 0
Carlos Hyde49ersRams23883.82W 28 - 0
Shaun Draughn49ersRams7182.61W 28 - 0
Mike Davis49ersRams310.30W 28 - 0

Quarterback Play Remains Key to Success as 2016 NFL Season is Underway

By Chris Malumphy

Four quarterbacks made their first career starts during the first game of the 2016 NFL season: rookies Carson Wentz of the Eagles and Dak Prescott of the Cowboys along with second year pro Trevor Siemian of the Broncos and Jimmy Garoppolo, now in his third season with the Patriots. Wentz, Garoppolo and Siemian won their first starts while Prescott lost by one point in a matchup against Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Wentz and Garoppolo played well but Siemian came out victorious primarily due to the Broncos stalwart defense and a missed field goal by the Panthers in the waning moments of the game. Only Alex Smith and Oliver Luck attempted more passes than Prescott in the first week of the season, but Prescott gained a miserably low 5.0 yards per attempt and was one of just seven quarterbacks who failed to through a touchdown pass during the first game of the season joining: Buffalo's Tyrod Taylor, Minnesota's Shaun Hill, Miami's Ryan Tannehill, Washington's Kirk Cousins, Cleveland's Robert Griffin III and Los Angeles' Case Keenum.

Week one had some fine passing performances. Eleven quarterbacks had ratings topping 100.0 with another five over 90.0. Quarterbacks with ratings under 90.0 are therefore in the bottom half of the league. However, putting up a fantastic quarterback rating doesn't necessarily lead to victory. The Saints' Drew Brews had a great day throwing the ball completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 423 yards, 10.1 yards per attempt, with four touchdowns and no interceptions and a league leading 131.3 quarterback rating. Nevertheless, the Saints lost to the Raiders 35-34, partially due to a successful daring move by Coach Jack Del Rio to go for a two point conversation rather than play for overtime. Three of the top six quarterback ratings during week one were amassed in losing causes as the efforts of Brees, Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan and their teammates fell short of victory.

Although having a statistically great passing day doesn't always lead to victory, passing poorly almost surely leads to a loss. Nine quarterbacks had ratings of 77.0 or less. Eight of the nine lost their games: Jets' Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bears' Jay Cutler, Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill, Redskins' Kirk Cousins, Panthers' Cam Newton, Cowboys' Dak Prescott, Browns' Robert Griffin III and Rams' Case Keenum. The only quarterback with a poor passing rating to come out victorious was the Broncos' Trevor Siemian who won because his defense caused opponent Cam Newton to have an equally poor game, holding the Panthers to three second half points, and because the Panthers missed a field goal that should have won the game.

The Buccaneers' Jameis Winston showed that he is a real force and well worthy of his number one selection a year ago. Winston completed nearly 70% of his passes and threw four touchdowns without taking a sack. Detroit's Matthew Stafford also played well winning a shootout with Oliver Luck of the Colts. Andy Dalton continues to play well for the Bengals, at least during the regular season. Dalton completed 76.7 percent of his passes for 366 yards and a league leading 12.2 yards per attempt despite taking 7 sacks.

Those seven sacks must concern the Bengals, but the Bears and the Dolphins also have to worry about the state of their offensive lines and the health of their quarterbacks as Jay Cutler and Ryan Tannehill were both sacked five times. Of course, the defenses of the Texans and the Seahawks do provide more pressure than most other teams.

In addition to worrying about protecting their quarterbacks from being sacked too often, teams also grow concerned when their quarterbacks don't protect the ball. One game is certainly too soon to tell, but the Redskins, Broncos and Rams can't be too thrilled that Kirk Cousins, Trevor Siemian and Case Keenum each threw two interceptions. Cousins' job is safe for this season, but Paxton Lynch is awaiting his eventual first start in Denver while both Sean Mannion and Jared Goff hope to get to move under center in Los Angeles sooner rather than later.

Take note that nearly 10% of quarterbacks expected to be starters at the beginning of the season have already been injured and will miss extensive time: the Cowboys' Tony Romo, the Vikings' Teddy Bridgewater and the Browns' Robert Griffin III (who at least made it through opening day, injuring his shoulder near games end). Three down, 29 to go and what is an increasingly dangerous game to play.

Quarterback play continues to be the key to winning NFL games. Although difficult to predict in advance, the quarterbacks with ratings higher than their opponents during week one of the 2016 NFL season were 13-3. Moreover, two of the three losses were by just one point each. Denver beat Carolina 21-20 in the season opener even though Cam Newton (69.5) passed slightly better statistically than Trevor Siemian (69.1). The daring play call by Coach Jack Del Rio helped the Raiders top the Saints 35-34 despite Drew Brees (131.3) out-passing Derek Carr (98.5). And the woes in Tennessee continue as the Titans fell to Vikings while Marcus Mariota (86.5) threw better than career backup Shaun Hill (77.3). Of course, the Vikings remain one of the better teams in the league even with the loss of Teddy Bridgewater to injury. They would have gone deeper into the playoffs last season had they not missed an easy game-winning field goal at the gun.

As an aside, home teams were just 7-9 during week one.

QB Statistics from 2016 Week One
NameTeamOppAttCPctYdsAvgTDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SacksYds
Lost
RatingScore
Drew BreesSaintsRaiders422866.742310.149.500.014131.3L 34 - 35
Matthew StaffordLionsColts393179.53408.737.700.018128.6W 39 - 35
Jameis WinstonBuccaneersFalcons332369.72818.5412.113.000122.6W 31 - 24
Andrew LuckColtsLions473166.03858.248.500.0217119.5L 35 - 39
Andy DaltonBengalsJets302376.736612.213.313.3742114.0W 23 - 22
Matt RyanFalconsBuccaneers392769.23348.625.100.0312112.6L 24 - 31
Ben RoethlisbergerSteelersRedskins372773.03008.138.112.7112112.4W 38 - 16
Eli ManningGiantsCowboys281967.92077.4310.713.624110.3W 20 - 19
Jimmy GaroppoloPatriotsCardinals332472.72648.013.000.027106.1W 23 - 21
Carson PalmerCardinalsPatriots372464.92717.325.400.0319104.7L 21 - 23
Carson WentzEaglesBrowns372259.52787.525.400.028101.0W 29 - 10
Joe FlaccoRavensBills342367.62587.612.900.043399.9W 13 - 7
Derek CarrRaidersSaints382463.23198.412.600.00098.5W 35 - 34
Alex SmithChiefsChargers483470.83637.624.212.133397.8W 33 - 27
Philip RiversChargersChiefs362569.42436.812.800.011097.3L 27 - 33
Aaron RodgersPackersJaguars342058.81995.925.900.01095.1W 27 - 23
Brock OsweilerTexansBears352262.92316.625.712.921689.1W 23 - 14
Marcus MariotaTitansVikings412561.02716.624.912.421986.5L 16 - 25
Blake BortlesJaguarsPackers392461.53208.212.612.632085.4L 23 - 27
Blaine Gabbert49ersRams352262.91704.912.900.00084.2W 28 - 0
Tyrod TaylorBillsRavens221568.21115.000.000.021679.9L 7 - 13
Russell WilsonSeahawksDolphins432762.82586.012.312.331877.5W 12 - 10
Shaun HillVikingsTitans331854.52367.200.000.00077.3W 25 - 16
Ryan FitzpatrickJetsBengals351954.31895.425.712.91177.0L 22 - 23
Jay CutlerBearsTexans291655.22167.413.413.453176.2L 14 - 23
Ryan TannehillDolphinsSeahawks291655.21866.400.000.053674.8L 10 - 12
Kirk CousinsRedskinsSteelers433069.83297.700.024.70072.7L 16 - 38
Cam NewtonPanthersBroncos331854.51945.913.013.031869.5L 20 - 21
Dak PrescottCowboysGiants452555.62275.000.000.00069.4L 19 - 20
Trevor SiemianBroncosPanthers261869.21786.813.827.721969.1W 21 - 20
Robert GriffinBrownsEagles261246.21907.300.013.832255.0L 10 - 29
Case KeenumRams49ers351748.61303.700.025.721034.2L 0 - 28

Cowboys’ Dak Prescott is the Most Impactful Quarterback Drafted in 2016

By Chris Malumphy

Fifteen quarterbacks were drafted in 2016 with three taken in the first round including the first two picks. But fourth rounder Dak Prescott, the eighth quarterback selected, will be the first to have immediate impact by starting for the Dallas Cowboys on opening day as the replacement for the injured Tony Romo. Prescott deserves the honor. During the preseason he has far outplayed all of the other 14 quarterbacks drafted earlier this year. His quarterback rating of 137.8 is 40 points greater than his nearest rival. He has thrown the most touchdown passes and has yet to be intercepted. None of the other quarterbacks drafted in 2016 is close to his 78% completion rate, the nearest being Miami's Brandon Doughty at 71%. And Prescott and the Cowboys' receivers have been amassing some significant yardage, 9.1 yards per attempt; the next highest is New England's Jacoby Brissett at 6.9. These are preseason statistics to be sure, but the only other rookie quarterback near a starting spot now is Denver's Paxton Lynch, and he has yet to be given the nod.

The top two picks in the draft, Jared Goff for the relocated Rams and Carson Wentz for the Eagles will be on the bench opening day, neither having excelled during the preseason and with Wentz tending to injured ribs. [Update: the Eagles' trade of Sam Bradford to the Vikings is likely to get Wentz on the playing field sooner than expected.] Paxton Lynch of the Broncos may not get the opening day start, but he is likely to be the main man in Denver very, very soon. The Jets selection of Christian Hackenberg is likely to be as memorable as the selection of fellow Penn Stater Todd Blackledge by the Kansas City Chiefs back in 1983 ahead of Jim Kelly, Tony Eason, Ken O'Brien and a fella named Dan Marino. Jacoby Brisset has done ok in New England, but I believe Bill Belichick already thinks he is set at quarterback. Cody Kessler has done nothing but complete some dinks in Cleveland and has yet to challenge Robert Griffin or even Josh McCown. Connor Cook has played poorly in Oakland. Cardale Jones hasn't shown much accuracy or consistency in Buffalo.

The Chiefs Kevin Hogan has barely gotten on the field for a team with great depth, if somewhat limited talent, at quarterback. [Update: the Chiefs cut Hogan, who thne signed with the Browns.] In Washington, Nate Sudfeld won't be challenging Kurt Cousins or Colt McCoy anytime soon. Jake Rudock has shown enough talent that he could challenge for the backup spot someday. Brandon Allen is probably a year away for challenging for the backup position in Jacksonville. If only Jeff Driskel were better, he might have actually had the chance to challenge for the backup or even starting role in San Francisco which currently has the worst quarterback situation in the NFL. Brandon Doughty, the fifteenth quarterback drafted in 2016, has done well enough that he could hang on as a third stringer with the potential to be a backup in years ahead.

Preseason Statistics for Quarterbacks Drafted in 2016
NameRndPickPlyrTeamCollegeAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Jared
Goff
111RamsCalifornia492244.92324.724.124.142955.8
Carson
Wentz
122EaglesNorth Dakota State241250.0893.700.014.20041.8
Paxton
Lynch
12626BroncosMemphis684058.84586.745.922.972686.5
Christian
Hackenberg
22051JetsPenn State471736.21593.412.124.31635.7
Jacoby
Brissett
32991PatriotsNorth Carolina State563867.93876.911.800.061793.4
Cody
Kessler
33193BrownsUSC281967.9923.313.600.074284.2
Connor
Cook
42100RaidersMichigan State563155.43686.600.035.42453.3
Dak
Prescott
437135CowboysMississippi State503978.04549.1510.000.026137.8
Cardale
Jones
441139BillsOhio State592949.23626.111.723.431160.1
Kevin
Hogan
525162ChiefsStanford15746.7362.400.016.70025.7
Nate
Sudfeld
612187RedskinsIndiana532852.82384.535.700.064283.7
Jake
Rudock
616191LionsMichigan513058.83336.547.812.01696.3
Brandon
Allen
626201JaguarsArkansas482756.33026.324.236.332863.0
Jeff
Driskel
63220749ersLouisiana Tech311548.41324.300.026.521333.3
Brandon
Doughty
72223DolphinsWestern Kentucky282071.41856.600.000.053889.1

Competition for Quarterbacks Drafted in 2016
Los Angeles Rams
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Sean Mannion603965.03255.446.711.785794.1
Jared Goff492244.92324.724.124.142955.8
Case Keenum241875.01887.814.200.019111.1
Note: Jared Goff may be the future, but the jobs of Case Keenum and Sean Mannion seem safe until Goff can complete more than 45% of his passes.
Philadelphia Eagles
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Chase Daniel603761.73325.511.723.352568.2
Sam Bradford403280.02857.125.012.5225102.6
Carson Wentz241250.0893.700.014.20041.8
McLeod Bethel-Thompson211676.21115.300.000.00087.6
Note: Incumbent Sam Bradford is playing well and Carson Wentz's playing time was limited due to injury.
Denver Broncos
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Paxton Lynch684058.84586.745.922.972686.5
Trevor Siemian432762.82856.612.324.70070.4
Mark Sanchez302066.72197.313.313.331085.3
Note: Paxton Lynch is outplaying his competition and the job could be his much sooner than anyone thought. His sack totals are a concern however.
New York Jets
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Bryce Petty563257.14818.635.411.862495.9
Christian Hackenberg471736.21593.412.124.31635.7
Geno Smith321753.11404.413.113.10062.0
Ryan Fitzpatrick291655.21836.313.400.022285.8
Note: Christian Hackenberg is playing worse than any of the other quarterbacks drafted in 2016. He has no right playing third string ahead of Bryce Petty unless Petty's injury is serious.
New England Patriots
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Jacoby Brissett563867.93876.911.800.061793.4
Jimmy Garoppolo543666.74067.511.900.032495.1
Tom Brady351954.32426.925.712.921183.3
Note: Jacoby Brissett has played fine, but unless their is an injury, he probably won't see the field this year behind Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Cleveland Browns
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Robert Griffin III382257.93138.237.912.6628100.0
Josh McCown371951.41915.200.012.742555.1
Cody Kessler281967.9923.313.600.074284.2
Austin Davis9444.4323.600.000.00053.9
Note: Coach Hue Jackson has a lot of faith in Cody Kessler, but it is Robert Griffin's job for now with Josh McCown likely to be the number one backup unless he is traded. Kessler had an excellent completion percentage in the preseason, but only an infinitesimal 3.3 yard average per attempt.
Oakland Raiders
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Connor Cook563155.43686.600.035.42453.3
Derek Carr382463.22516.625.312.61888.8
Matt McGloin351954.31514.325.712.90072.4
Note: Derek Carr's job is not in jeopardy. Connor Cook played poorly in the preseason, but he does get the ball further downfield than backup Matt McGloin.
Dallas Cowboys
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Jameill Showers622946.83185.123.211.653166.5
Dak Prescott503978.04549.1510.000.026137.8
Tony Romo6583.36010.000.000.011108.3
Note: Dak Prescott has been the rookie quarterback star of the preseason and will start for the Cowboys due to Tony Romo's back injury.
Buffalo Bills
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
EJ Manuel754053.33915.222.711.374971.6
Cardale Jones592949.23626.111.723.431160.1
Tyrod Taylor181161.11508.315.600.024106.2
Note: Cardale Jones hasn't done anything to threaten Tyrod Taylor's starting job yet.
Kansas City Chiefs
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Alex Smith463269.63547.712.200.03999.4
Aaron Murray412561.02736.700.037.343850.2
Nick Foles352468.62356.700.000.00087.2
Tyler Bray261350.01525.800.000.00068.1
Kevin Hogan15746.7362.400.016.70025.7
Note: Of all the quarterbacks drafted in 2016, Kevin Hogan has played the least. With vets Alex Smith and Nick Foles in front of him, he can sit back and spend the year in learning mode, if he makes the team or the practice squad.
Washington Redskins
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Nate Sudfeld532852.82384.535.700.064283.7
Colt McCoy372773.02717.325.412.7211100.2
Kirk Cousins281760.72278.1310.713.6110107.3
Note: Nate Sudfeld had three touchdown pass with no interceptions in the preseason, but Kirk Cousins is the entrenched starter in Washington and Colt McCoy has proven to be an excellent backup.
Detroit Lions
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Dan Orlovsky563358.93386.011.823.61667.4
Jake Rudock513058.83336.547.812.01696.3
Matthew Stafford402665.02666.600.012.542773.5
Note: Jake Rudock is no threat to Matt Stafford, but Dan Orlovsky better beware.
Jacksonville Jaguars
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Brandon Allen482756.33026.324.236.332863.0
Chad Henne371951.42025.512.725.421054.1
Blake Bortles342470.62427.125.900.016110.2
Max Wittek8112.5202.500.0112.5000.0
Note: Brandon Allen has played at least as well as, and has possibly outplayed, Chad Henne. But the Jaguars are looking for a breakthrough season and if anything happens to rising star Blake Bortles, Henne is likely to get the first call. By next year, however, Henne may be gone with Allen first in line for the backup position.
San Francisco 49ers
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Jeff Driskel311548.41324.300.026.521333.3
Christian Ponder251664.01987.914.014.031885.1
Colin Kaepernick241354.21174.900.000.00067.5
Blaine Gabbert221254.51466.614.500.00090.3
Thad Lewis211257.1974.600.000.01768.9
Note: It is unfortunate that Jeff Driskel is a sixth round talent, and has played like one in the preseason, because the 49ers quarterback situation is so bad that it is making Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder look good. Driskel has the worst completion percentage and average yards per attempt of the five quarterbacks vying for the position, including Colin Kaepernick and Thad Lewis.
Miami Dolphins
NameAttCPctYdsAvgTDTD
Pct
IntInt
Pct
SacksYds
Lost
QB
Rating
Ryan Tannehill533464.23256.123.811.91485.8
Zac Dysert312064.52026.513.213.20080.3
Brandon Doughty282071.41856.600.000.053889.1
Matt Moore151173.31268.416.716.731792.6
Note: At this point, Brandon Doughty will not displace Ryan Tennehill or Matt Moore, but he is a challenge to Zac Dysert. Doughty could also stick if the Dolphins decide to move on from Moore as the primary backup.

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