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Monday, December 17, 2012
NFC North Week 15 Quarterback Report

By Kevin Seifert

Two NFC North quarterbacks played winning football Sunday. Their teams won. Two did not and their teams lost. Funny how that works. Let's sift through the details, with help as always from Jacob Nitzberg of ESPN Stats & Information.

Aaron Rodgers
Passer Rating: 116.8
QBR: 83.0
Action plays: 48
Comment: Rodgers was productive, efficient and largely mistake-free in his team's most important game of the season. He completed 9 of 13 passes on third or fourth downs, converting the first down on eight of those completions. Rodgers accomplished a relative rarity in his career against the Chicago Bears' defense, completing 3 of 4 passes that traveled at least 21 yards in the air. He did not commit a turnover. Three sacks, two of which Rodgers took on third down, dragged down his Total Quarterback Rating.

Christian Ponder
Passer Rating:
Action plays:
QBR suggests Ponder played a key role in the Vikings taking their 24-7 second-quarter lead. In the first quarter, he completed 4 of 5 passes for 45 yards while also converting fourth-down play with a scramble and later avoiding the pass rush to score on a 5-yard run on third down. He completed all three of his passes that traveled between 10 and 14 yards in the air, an accomplishment based on recent history, but was again unable to complete a pass that traveled 15 or more yards past the line of scrimmage. All told, though, Ponder completed 70.8 percent of his passes and produced a winning performance on the road in a game with playoff implications.

Jay Cutler
Passer Rating: 72.5
QBR: 6.9
Action plays: 33
Comment: Based on QBR, Cutler's performance Sunday was the second-worst of his season. The worst? The Week 2 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He took four sacks, and the second-quarter interception on a miscommunication with receiver Devin Hester was the biggest swing play of the game for either team, based on ESPN's win probability model. Cutler completed 3 of 5 passes on third down, but none converted a first down, and he did not complete any of his six passes that traveled 15 or more yards past the line of scrimmage. In his career, Cutler has a QBR of 20.1 against the Packers and 59.6 against all other opponents.

Matthew Stafford
Passer Rating: 37.6
QBR: 4.9
Action plays: 58
Comment: There isn't much mystery to Stafford's evaluation. He threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and completed a season-low 48.0 percent of his passes overall. Stafford tried pushing the ball downfield but completed only 3 of 13 attempts that traveled more than 11 yards downfield, with two interceptions.