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Monday, September 12, 2011
NFC North QBR update: Week 1*

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

We're all getting used to having a new quarterback evaluation tool at our fingertips. Our understanding of Total Quarterback Rating will evolve over time, but in the short term I think it will be interesting to see what QBR can tell us about a quarterback's performance that might have escaped the grasp of the traditional passer rating. Expect a weekly update, usually on Mondays.

In descending order of passer rating:

Aaron Rodgers
Week 1 passer rating:
132.1
NFL rank: 2
Week 1 QBR: 91.1
NFL rank: 2
Comment: Rodgers had a great game last Thursday night no matter how you look at it. But he got additional credit from QBR for his three-touchdown performance in the first quarter, a surge that gave the Packers command for almost the entire game. QBR gives more weight to production during "competitive" portions of a game, and obviously teams are tied at the start of the first quarter.

Matthew Stafford
Week 1 passer rating:
118.9
NFL rank:
4
Week 1 QBR:
87.4
NFL rank:
3
Comment:
(*Updating with information from ESPN analytics): Stafford got a little extra credit from QBR because he didn't take a sack. Most of his extra QBR credit, however, came from a second-quarter performance, during which he led the Lions back from a 10-3 deficit. His biggest play was the 36-yard fourth-down touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson that gave the Lions the lead for good.

Jay Cutler
Week 1 passer rating:
107.8
NFL rank: 9
Week 1 QBR: 60.4
NFL rank: 13
Comment: Cutler was lower in QBR primarily for two reasons. He took five sacks, which count at least partially against the quarterback. And secondly, the Bears held a double-digit lead for much of the game, lowering the clutch aspect of many of his best throws.

Donovan McNabb
Week 1 passer rating:
47.9
NFL rank: 28
Week 1 QBR: 20.7
NFL rank: 24
Comment: With 39 total yards, you're not going to rank highly in any passing evaluation. QBR was a little kinder to McNabb because he accounted for a touchdown despite an NFL-low 22 "action plays" among starters.