Aug 30, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during a time out in the game against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

1st & 2nd Year QBs By The Numbers

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Numbers don’t lie.  Is Blaine Gabbert truly the worst quarterback from the last two years?  Source:  Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Here in Jacksonville we understand the difficulty of picking a good starting quarterback.  Byron Leftwich failed, Blaine Gabbert looks like a painful project, and for some reason it feels like we’re the only ones who get it wrong whenever we try.  Fortunately, this year presents a good study of how this year’s crop of passers and last year’s crop of passers can do.  Whether it’s a quarterback that teams reached for, like Ryan Tannehill, or someone a team waited patiently for, like Andy Dalton, 10 teams have first or second year quarterbacks under center for them this season.

How do they stack up?  We will use this season’s numbers for purposes of simplicity and in order to show development for second year quarterbacks versus the relative newness of the NFL for the rookies.  We will go in the order they were drafted.

1st Year Quarterbacks:


2012 Record Completions Attempts Comp % Yards Touchdowns Interceptions
Andrew Luck 2–3 118 221 53.40% 1488 7 7
Robert Griffin III 3–3 113 161 70.20% 1343 5 2
Ryan Tannehill 3–3 118 198 59.60% 1454 4 6
Brandon Weeden 1–5 129 231 55.80% 1519 7 10
Russell Wilson 4–2 95 152 62.50% 1108 8 6

2nd Year Quarterbacks:


2012 Record Completions Attempts Comp % Yards Touchdowns Interceptions
Cam Newton 1–4 80 136 58.80% 1154 4 5
Jake Locker 1–3 67 106 63.20% 781 4 2
Blaine Gabbert 1–4 80 146 54.80% 796 5 3
Christian Ponder 4–2 144 210 68.60% 1434 8 4
Andy Dalton 3–3 142 215 66% 1726 12 9

As we can see the overall effectiveness of the quarterback is heavily reliant on the talent around him.  Christian Ponder has Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph with a strong running game behind Adrian Peterson, Russell Wilson is flying high with Sidney Rice, Zach Miller, and resurgent Marshawn Lynch.  That said, others like Cam Newton have seemed to regress in their second year despite a strong rookie season.  What’s the difference?  Is it purely development?  How about that dreaded sophomore slump?  Why is Russell Wilson outperforming Andrew Luck with his strong receiving talent?

No matter what you see in the numbers, keep in mind that at the end of the day numbers don’t lie.  At the end of the day it isn’t just drops from Justin Blackmon or the overall weakness of the Browns that keep Blaine Gabbert and Brandon Weeden in check, it’s just a reflection of the quarterback’s ability to lead his team.

Some quick notes:

  • The more mobile quarterbacks seem to have the higher completion percentage
  • More traditional pocket passers have more yardage
  • Only Andy Dalton has double digit touchdowns
  • Only Brandon Weeden has double digit interceptions
  • Blaine Gabbert is the least productive quarterback in terms of yards per game (159.2 YPG)

– Luke N. Sims

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Tags: 2011 NFL Draft Quarterbacks 2012 NFL Draft Quarterbacks Jacksonville Jaguars Robert Griffin III Rookie Quarterbacks

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