Atypical struggles for trio of QBs

October, 27, 2011
10/27/11
9:00
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The San Diego Chargers, Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens each have four wins despite getting less-than-stellar play from their usually dependable quarterbacks.

Those teams aren't in trouble just yet, but continued subpar play of their respective signal-callers could have each team on the outside looking in come January.

Philip Rivers
Rivers
Philip Rivers, Chargers (4-2, 1st in AFC West)
2011 season: 1,715 Pass yds, 64.7 Comp pct, 7 TD, 9 Int, 57.1 Total QBR


In 2010, Rivers led the league with a career-high 4,710 pass yards and set a completed a career-high 66 percent of his passes. It was his third straight season with at least 4,000 yards.

Problem: Interceptions
He's already thrown nine interceptions, tied for second most in the league. Rivers has four games with multiple interceptions this season, one shy of his career worst (five such games in 2007).

Solution: Let it fly downfield
Of those nine interceptions, just one has been on a throw of 30 yards or more downfield. From 2008-10, Rivers' 35 completions on throws of at least 30 yards or more downfield led the league. He has just three such completions on eight attempts this season.

Matt Ryan
Ryan
Matt Ryan, Falcons (4-3, T-2nd in NFC South)
2011 season: 1,683 Pass yds, 61.1 Comp pct, 9 TD, 8 Int, 62.7 Total QBR


Ryan set career highs in pass yards (3,705) and touchdowns (28) while throwing a career-low nine interceptions in 2010, leading Atlanta to an NFC-best 13-3 mark and earning a Pro Bowl selection.

Problem: Can't stay off the carpet
He's been prone to interceptions, currently on pace for a career-high 18. But part of the reason may be how much he's been roughed up -- he's been sacked 18 times already this season.

Solution: Get rid of the ball
Of his 18 sacks this season, 16 have come when the defense has rushed four or fewer, the most among QBs this season. He's been sacked just twice when the defense has sent five or more rushers.

Joe Flacco
Flacco
Joe Flacco, Ravens (4-2, T-2nd in AFC North)
2011 season: 1,415 Pass yds, 52.1 Comp pct, 8 TD, 5 Int, 45.2 Total QBR


Flacco has shown steady progress since entering the league in 2008, upping his yardage and touchdown totals in each successive season. He guided the Ravens to a 12-4 mark in 2010, before falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Round.

Problem: Accuracy
Flacco’s completion percentage is noticeably down from seasons past. A regular finisher in the low 60s, it currently sits in the low 50s. He’s particularly struggled in the first half of games -- his 48.8 first-half completion percentage is the lowest in the league.

Solution: Shorten the routes
Flacco has completed 60 percent of his throws inside of 10 yards, but beyond that, his completion percentage drops to 38.5 percent.

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