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Monday, December 24, 2012
NFC North Week 16 Quarterback Report

By Kevin Seifert

The NFC North got four productive and efficient quarterback performances in Week 16. Let's take a closer look with our usual help from Jacob Nitzberg of ESPN Stats & Information:

Aaron Rodgers
Passer rating: 125.1
QBR: 88.8
Impact plays: 44
Comment: Rodgers accounted for four touchdowns and now has more touchdown passes (35) than all NFL quarterbacks except Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. The Tennessee Titans were afraid to blitz Rodgers, but he torched their standard rush by completing 22 of 26 passes against it. His QBR showed was a bit lower on a relative scale because he completed two of eight passes on third and fourth downs. That 25.0 completion percentage was tied for the second-lowest of his career in such situations. But overall, there was little to nitpick in a truly efficient and explosive performance.

Matthew Stafford
Passer rating: 82.7
QBR: 71.8
Impact plays: 59
Comment: Stafford's 443 passing yards were his second-most in a game, regulation or overtime, and they were the most in NFL history in a game for a quarterback who didn't throw a touchdown pass. Stafford's inability to get the Lions into the end zone in a series of downs early in the fourth quarter was the only thing that really dragged down his QBR. Otherwise, Stafford was productive and nearly mistake-free. He did not take a sack, threw one late interception and completed 11 passes that traveled between 11 and 20 yards in the air.

Christian Ponder
Passer rating: 81.8
QBR: 78.5
Impact plays: 38
Comment: Ponder was more explosive than normal against the Houston Texans and also converted two third downs with long scrambles. His 21-yard run on third-and-10 in the second quarter set up a field goal, and his 29-yard scramble in the fourth quarter on third-and-two set up the Vikings' final touchdown. He completed four of nine passes that traveled at least 15 yards in the air, the same number he has completed in his previous seven games combined. It was the first time since Week 8 that Ponder had more than one such completion.

Jay Cutler
Passer rating: 76.8
QBR: 60.6
Impact plays: 29
Comment: Cutler didn't complete any of his six attempts in the first quarter and managed just one completion in his first 11 attempts before rebounding midway through the second quarter. He completed four passes that traveled at least 10 yards in the air in the quarter -- including an 11-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall -- to help the Bears to a comfortable halftime margin. Cutler had no turnovers and took one sack.