Wednesday, January 2, 2013
AFC North regular-season QB report card
By Jamison Hensley
A look at the quarterbacks in the division for the 2012 regular season:
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
2012 stats: 329-for-528 (62.3 percent) for 3,669 yards, 27 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
Comment: Dalton was more impressive as a rookie because he didn't make as many costly mistakes. This year, he had four interceptions returned for touchdowns. He also finished with 20 turnovers (16 interceptions and four fumbles lost). Still, Dalton threw 27 touchdowns (tied for seventh-most in the NFL) without a true No. 2 receiver. And, with a trip to the playoffs on the line, he completed a 21-yard pass to set up the winning field goal in Pittsburgh. Dalton needs to improve on third downs, where he completed 47.5 percent of his throws this season.
QBR: 50.7 (22nd among quarterbacks this season)
Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns
Stats: 297-for-517 (57.4 percent) for 3,385 yards, 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
Comment: Weeden didn't look like a first-round bust but he certainly fell short of expectations. He brought the big play back to the Browns offense with his strong arm. Weeden just didn't display great instincts. His 21 batted-down passes led the league (and was four more than anyone else) and his 17 interceptions were tied for fifth-most. In terms of passer rating, he ranked 28th on third downs and 27th in the fourth quarter.
QBR: 26.6 (35th among quarterbacks this season)
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Stats: 317-for-531 (59.7 percent) for 3,817 yards, 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Comment: When Flacco was bad, he was really bad. When he was on his game, he looked like a top-10 quarterback. Flacco had 14 touchdowns and four interceptions in 10 wins. He finished as the fourth-best passer in the fourth quarter and 12th on third downs. But Flacco is one of the streakiest passers in the league and he struggled with pocket presence at times. His biggest problem was consistently throwing the ball deep downfield, although he didn't get much help from his offensive line. One stat to remember is Flacco got hit 12 times while throwing, the fourth-highest total in the NFL.
QBR: 46.8 (25th among quarterbacks this season)
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Stats: 284-for-449 (63.3 percent) for 3,265 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Comment: Roethlisberger strongly hinted at times that he wasn't on board with Todd Haley's offense, but he was extremely effective in the scheme early. He was having an MVP-type season for the first nine games of the season, when he threw 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. For the second straight season, his season turned on an injury. In four games after returning from a rib and shoulder injury, Roethlisberger threw four interceptions including two costly ones late in games that ruined the Steelers' chances of getting to the playoffs. The 26 touchdown passes are the second most Roethlisberger has thrown in a season, which is impressive considering he played in just 13 games.
QBR: 62.8 (12th among quarterbacks this season)