1st & 2nd Year QBs By The Numbers


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 RecordCompletionsAttemptsComp %YardsTouchdownsInterceptionsAndrew Luck2–311822153.40%148877Robert Griffin III3–311316170.20%134352Ryan Tannehill3–311819859.60%145446Brandon Weeden1–512923155.80%1519710Russell Wilson4–29515262.50%110886

2nd Year Quarterbacks:

2012 RecordCompletionsAttemptsComp %YardsTouchdownsInterceptionsCam Newton1–48013658.80%115445Jake Locker1–36710663.20%78142Blaine Gabbert1–48014654.80%79653Christian Ponder4–214421068.60%143484Andy Dalton3–314221566%1726129

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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