Ryan off to torrid Total QBR start

September, 24, 2012
9/24/12
11:47
AM ET
Matt Ryan
Ryan
The Atlanta Falcons are one of three remaining undefeated teams in the NFL, and one look at the play of quarterback Matt Ryan this season will show you why.

Completing 30-of-40 passes for 275 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in Sunday’s 27-3 victory over the San Diego Chargers, Ryan is off to the second-best three-game start in the Total QBR era (since 2008). His 84.6 QBR was the ninth-best in Week 3, and his 91.6 QBR for the season is almost a full 10 points better than his closest competitor, the Indianapolis Colts' Andrew Luck.

Ryan has excelled on third down, posting a 97.2 QBR in those situations, which ranks second behind Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers this season. On Sunday, Ryan was 9-of-10 with seven first downs on third down, including a touchdown pass to Julio Jones with 0:58 remaining in the first half.

SOPHOMORES OUTSHINE ROOKIES
The five rookie starting quarterbacks have been a major story this season, but on Sunday it was the play of the sophomore passers that stole the headlines.

Second-year quarterbacks went 4-0 on Sunday, including wins over the top two picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, Luck and the Washington Redskins' Robert Griffin III. Three of the four second-year quarterbacks posted single-game career-high Total QBRs, led by the Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton’s 93.4, which was tops in the league in Week 3. Dalton completed 19-of-27 passes for 328 yards with three touchdowns and an interception at Washington.

Jake Locker shined in leading the Tennessee Titans to their first win of 2012, throwing for 378 yards and two scores against the Detroit Lions. The Minnesota Vikings' Christian Ponder had two touchdown passes and ran for another in a surprise defeat of the San Francisco 49ers. Only Blaine Gabbert of the Jacksonville Jaguars struggled, but he still threw the game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass against the Colts.

Overall, sophomore quarterbacks as a group added 21.1 more points to their teams than an average quarterback would have, while the rookie quarterbacks took away 3.2 more points from their teams than an average passer.

FLACCO OUTPLAYS BRADY IN 4TH
With the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens locked in a tight contest last night, the Ravens outscored New England 10-3 in the fourth quarter as Joe Flacco led the Ravens on two long scoring drives to take the lead. Flacco was 9-of-11 on those two drives and was more efficient than Brady in the fourth quarter overall. Flacco posted a near-maximum 99.1 QBR in the final period, while Brady clocked in with a 35.7 QBR.

Complete QBR statistics for all quarterbacks can be found here.

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