The Worst Performance, Times Three
Back in week six Rex Grossman of the Chicago Bears posted a QB Score per play of -7.12. Up until week 13 this was the worst performance by an NFL quarterback in 2006. The Bears defense apparently wished to take Grossman off the record books, forcing Brad Johnson of the Vikings into a QB Score per play of -7.28 in week thirteen.
Johnson’s performance, though, was not the worst performance of the week. David Carr of the Houston Texans finished his game on Sunday with 32 yards passing, 5 yards rushing, and 37 yards lost from sacks. In sum, Carr had zero yards at the end of the game. With a QB Score per play of -7.55, Carr was ranked even lower than Johnson.
Grossman, though, was not going to relinquish his crown of worst quarterback so easily. Grossman accumulated only 15 yards. Coupled with three turnovers, Grossman had a QB Score per play of -8.63. So despite a determined effort by Carr and Johnson, Grossman finished week thirteen where he started. Grossman has still offered the worst performance by a signal caller in the league this year.
Jay Cutler Has a Difficult Debut
After week ten the Broncos were 7-2. Even after two consecutive losses to division rivals the Broncos would have still made the playoffs if the season ended after week twelve. But Mike Shanahan was not pleased with the play of quarterback Jake Plummer and in week thirteen decided to turn the team over to rookie Jay Cutler.
Cutler was the Broncos first round draft choice and had apparently played quite well in the preseason. A regular season game on Sunday night, though, is a different story. Cutler posted a QB Score per play of -3.68. If we take out his last play – a 71 yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall which required Marshall to break three tackles – Cutler would have posted a QB Score per play of -6.33. Back in week one Plummer posted a per play mark of -6.40, so Cutler’s performance with our without the last play would not have been the worst performance by a Denver quarterback this year. Still, this could not have been what Shanahan had in mind when he made the switch.
Eli Manning is Almost the Best Manning
Eli Manning posted a QB Score per play of 4.49 in a losing effort to the Dallas Cowboys. Except for his brother – Peyton Manning — this would have been the best performance by a quarterback in week thirteen. Not sure what to say about that, other than having a brother in the same profession, who consistently does better than you, must not be fun.
Charlie Frye is Great, and then Gone
Peyton Manning would not have had the best performance in week thirteen if Charlie Frye could have avoiding injury. Well, that may not be entirely true. But after thirteen pass attempts Frye had posted a QB Score per play of 5.86. This was easily the best performance Frye had offered this season, whose 2006 has been a struggle (a point chronicled at The Disappointment Zone).
Interestingly, Derek Anderson came off the bench and posted a QB Score per play of 3.67. This was Anderson’s first action in the NFL and he came in with very little preparation. Anderson was a sixth round draft choice by the Baltimore Ravens in 2005, but he was waived before the end of the first month of his first NFL season. The Browns picked him up and now he has a good chance to start against Pittsburgh this week.
Is it the play calling in Oakland?
After five turnovers in week thirteen and a loss to a team that had negative passing yards, one wonders if the problem in Oakland is the coaching or the talent. Andrew Walter claimed the coaching was the problem. Art Shell appeared to disagree, benching Walter for Aaron Brooks. Then Shell changed offensive coordinators, apparently vindicating Walter. But after what the Raiders did against the Texans, maybe the problem is really with the people on the field.
Hopefully the Raiders can figure this out before the season ends. Right now the Lions and Raiders are tied for the worst record in the NFL. I would hate for my Lions to miss out on the first choice in the draft. Hopefully the Raiders can win a game or two and help the Lions end the season and immediately get on the clock.