- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Take a look at the Total Quarterback Rankings for Week 1 because they tell a story that goes beyond the basic statistics.
This new system takes into account passing, rushing, sacks, fumbles, penalties and it also takes into account at what point in the game plays were made. In this system, two NFC South quarterbacks had top-10 performances in the opener, even though their teams lost. The other two ranked No. 20 or worse and their teams also lost. Let’s take a look at how each NFC South quarterback fared in Total Quarterback Ranking.
Carolina rookie Cam Newton came in at No. 6 with a 75.7 rating. The scoring system goes up to 100 and 50 is considered an average score. Newton’s 422 passing yards helped put him way above average.
The other two NFC South quarterbacks came in well below the “average’’ line. Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman, who never seemed to get into much of a rhythm against Detroit, was No. 20 with 34.7 points.
Under this or any ranking system, I think it’s fair to say Atlanta’s Matt Ryan had the worst day of any NFC South quarterback. He made an uncharacteristic poor decision on a pass that was intercepted by Brian Urlacher. He also lost a fumble that Urlacher returned for a touchdown. In this ranking system, Ryan was No. 24 with 27.7 points.
By the way, on Wednesday, a league-wide Quarterback Watch feature will debut on this blog. It will be sort of like Mike Sando’s weekly MVP Watch. But this feature will focus totally on quarterbacks. Each week, we’ll highlight a quarterback trend or theme and take a look at a few quarterbacks from around the league whose stock is either rising or falling. I can tell you right now a couple of NFC South quarterbacks will be featured in the first Quarterback Watch.