Week Eleven Quarterback Rankings

The Week Eleven Quarterback Rankings

The Overall Rankings

McNabb Finishes On Top

The lead story in Week Eleven is that Donovan McNabb has played his last game in 2006. Because he only attempted 13 passes in week eleven he did not qualify for the rankings this week (you need 14 attempts to qualify). So McNabb will finish 2006 as the only quarterback to be above average in every week he played. Well, let me amend that statement. If Jason Campbell is unable to remain above average the rest of the way, McNabb will finish as the only signal caller who was always above average.

McNabb also finishes the 2006 campaign with a QB Score per play of 3.28, a mark only bested by two quarterbacks since 1995 [Peyton Manning (in 2004) and Randall Cunningham (in 1998)]. Although his team is only 5-5, McNabb has been quite good this year and it is too bad he couldn’t stay on the field to finish the season.

Aaron Brooks Contradicts Andrew Walter

Andrew Walter indicated last week that Oakland’s play-calling was the reason why his performance was so consistently poor this year. That comment appeared to lead head coach Art Shell to bench Walter and turn the quarterback job over to Aaron Brooks. Brooks responded with the first above average performance by an Oakland quarterback this season. Perhaps the Raiders did call better plays for Brooks. Or perhaps Brooks is just a better signal caller than Walter. One suspects that the latter is closer to the truth.

Eli Manning Bests His Brother

In week five Peyton Manning posted his first below average performance of the season. His brother, Eli, offered the second best performance by a quarterback that week. Since week five Peyton has been consistently ranked in the top ten while his brother Eli has had trouble just being average. This last week Eli continued his relatively poor play, ranking 28th in QB Score per play. Peyton, though, was even worse. So although Eli is struggling, for one week he can claim to be the best Manning quarterback in the NFL. Unfortunately the brothers will take the field again in Week Twelve and one suspects that Peyton will again demonstrate which Manning brother is truly the best.

Joey Harrington Returns to Detroit

For most football fans the fact the Detroit Lions always are shown on Thanksgiving is probably not such a good thing. But for a Lions fan living in California in the Matt Millen era, Thanksgiving represents one of the few times I can see the Lions play football. Tomorrow not only do I get to see the Lions, but I also get to see Joey Harrington’s return.

As a Lions fan I was always hopeful that Harrington would develop into a productive quarterback. The data says that didn’t happen in Detroit, although I always thought part of the problem was with Harrington’s supporting cast. In Harrington’s first four games in Miami, though, his performance was consistently below average. This suggested that maybe Harrington was the problem. These last two weeks, though, Harrington has been a bit above average. So maybe Harrington is finally becoming the quarterback Lions fans hoped he would be these past few years.

Tomorrow he gets to show this is true. Of course, the Lions defense allowed Matt Leinart to be productive last week, so another solid performance from Harrington tomorrow might not mean much. If Harrington does play well it will move the Lions that much closer to the number one pick in the April draft. And with such a pick the Lions can take another talented player whose abilities Matt Millen and company will fail to develop.

Hopefully everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving. I might write something tomorrow as I watch the Lions play the Dolphins.

– DJ

QB Score has been discussed previously in the following posts:

Football Outsiders and QB Score

Consistent Inconsistency in Football

The Value of Player Statistics in the NFL

Simple Models of Player Performance