QBR ranks: Wilson, Bradford in focus

December, 24, 2012
12/24/12
4:15
PM ET
Seattle's Russell Wilson and St. Louis' Sam Bradford were the most impressive quarterbacks in the NFC West for Week 16.

They'll be on opposite sidelines at CenturyLink Field to close out the regular season Sunday. Now, before you go sprinting to the betting window to let it ride on Wilson and the unbeaten-at-home Seahawks, remember that the Rams are 3-0-1 in their past four road games and 4-0-1 in NFC West play.

The Rams have held the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers to one scoring pass and six sacks in three games this season. They took a 14-0 lead at San Francisco before settling for a tie. Wilson tossed three interceptions without a touchdown pass during a 19-13 defeat at St. Louis in Week 4.

All Wilson has done over the intervening 12 weeks is toss 21 touchdown passes. His 83.6 Total QBR score over that span ranks second only to the 84.5 for Peyton Manning. Tom Brady (77.9), Aaron Rodgers (77.7) and Matt Ryan (75.4) are next. Wilson's NFL passer rating (106.9) since that Rams game ranks second to the 110.8 for Rodgers and ahead of those for Manning (106.3) and Robert Griffin III (104.5).

The Seahawks have scored 150 points over their past three games.

"So, if we hold them under 50, is that good?" Rams coach Jeff Fisher joked Monday.

Wilson has eight total touchdowns over the past two weeks. His QBR scores during blowout victories over Buffalo (99.3) and San Francisco (97.6) have set a standard. The 99.3 at Buffalo was the highest by any qualifying quarterback in a game this season. The 97.6 against San Francisco was the highest against the 49ers in the history of the QBR metric, which dates to the 2008 season.

With that, let's take a player-by-player look at NFC West quarterbacks in relation to Total QBR for Week 16:
  • Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (97.6 QBR, 115.3 NFL rating). Wilson completed 15 of 21 passes (71.4 percent) for 171 yards with four touchdowns, one interception, zero fumbles and one sack. He rushed six times for 29 yards and two first downs. Seattle converted 11 of 12 third-down chances when Wilson was still in the game. The home-field edge in Seattle draws attention to Wilson's success at CenturyLink Field. Wilson also leads the NFL in Total QBR on the road (92.7) since Week 8. He ranks fifth on the road since Week 2 (78.8) and eighth on the road for the full season (69.9). The 49ers generally do not blitz much, but they brought added pressure several times against Wilson. He made them pay, completing 5 of 6 attempts for 91 yards and a touchdown when San Francisco brought five or more pass-rushers. That worked out to a maximum 158.3 passer rating and maximum 100.0 QBR score in those situations.
  • Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams (67.9 QBR, 81.7 NFL rating). Bradford completed 13 of 27 passes (48.1 percent) for 196 yards with two touchdowns, one interception, zero fumbles and zero sacks. Bradford has often been at his best in fourth quarters this season. The reverse was true this time. Bradford had the lowest fourth-quarter QBR score (0.2) of any quarterback in the NFL during Week 16. It didn't matter all that much, however, because Bradford did enough to help his team build a lead over the first three quarters. His 78.0 QBR score through three quarters demonstrated as much. Bradford was at his best in the third. He completed 4 of 7 passes for 104 yards and two scores in the quarter. His third-quarter QBR score (99.3) beat out the third-quarter marks for Manning (97.9), Matthew Stafford (96.8) and Aaron Rodgers (96.4) for best in the NFL during Week 16. Bradford's 80-yard scoring strike to Lance Kendricks was the longest pass play of either man's career. It came at a critical time, too, helping the Rams pull away.
  • Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (27.8 QBR, 72.0 NFL rating). Kaepernick completed 19 of 36 passes (52.8 percent) for 244 yards with one touchdown, one interception, one sack and zero fumbles. He had seven rushes for 31 yards and two first downs. This was a rough game for Kaepernick. The 49ers burned through timeouts and took delay penalties, including once coming out of a timeout. The 49ers opened the game by going three-and-out, all on passes. They fell behind quickly. Former starter Alex Smith was more efficient during a Week 16 victory at Seattle last season, but the games were dissimilar for other reasons. Seattle's offense is so much better now than then. The Seahawks' ability to score early on offense and special teams put pressure on Kaepernick to carry much more of the burden.
  • Ryan Lindley, Arizona Cardinals (26.0 QBR, 55.0 rating). Lindlely completed 17 of 30 passes for 141 yards with zero touchdowns, one interception, two sacks and zero fumbles. He now has 171 pass attempts on the season without a touchdown. Bobby Hoying is the only player in NFL history to attempt more passes over a full season without connecting for a touchdown, according to Pro Football Reference. Lindley ranked third behind Wilson and Tony Romo in QBR against five-plus pass-rushers. His was 98.9 on those plays. Lindley completed 4 of 5 attempts for 40 yards and took no sacks on those plays.
  • Brian Hoyer, Arizona Cardinals (16.8 QBR, 51.4 rating). Hoyer completed 11 of 19 passes for 105 yards with zero touchdowns, one interception, two sacks and one fumble, which Arizona recovered. He had no rushing attempts. The Cardinals were getting blown out when Hoyer entered the game. Hoyer completed 4 of 9 passes for 40 yards and a 41.6 QBR score against five-plus pass-rushers.

The chart below shows QBR scores for quarterbacks relevant to NFC West games in Week 16. Rankings in the first column reflect all NFL games for the week.

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