Friday, November 26, 2010
Ryan, Cassel under Center of Attention
By Vince Masi
Our weekly look at quarterbacks who are under the center of attention:
He is scheduled to make the 20th home start of his career Sunday for the Atlanta Falcons against the Green Bay Packers. With a win, he'll be 19-1 in his career at home. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only QB who began his career in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) and won 19 of his first 20 home starts was Danny White.
Here are some other nuggets on Ryan at the Georgia Dome:
• He’s won 14 straight home games, the second-longest active streak behind Tom Brady's 25
• He’s 13-0 against NFC opponents
• He has three home games with three pass TD this season (tied for NFL lead)
• He has 20 passing first downs in the fourth quarter with the score within seven points (leads NFL)
• He’s hooked up with Roddy White for a TD 13 times since 2008 (T-most for a QB-WR combo in the NFL)
How many quarterbacks have managed the game better than Cassel recently? From Weeks 6 through 11, Cassel threw 14 touchdowns to just one interception, the highest TD-Int differential in that span. The only QB in that span with a higher passer rating than Cassel’s 108.9 is Joe Flacco at 113.5. If there's a reason that's gone slightly under the radar, it might be because Cassel isn't putting up huge totals in yards. Over the last six weeks, Cassel's 237.3 yards per game ranks only 18th.
Manning might have to learn the same lessons his former New York Giants teammate Tiki Barber did to control his fumble issues. Manning has 38 fumbles since the start of 2007 -- only Jason Campbell of the Oakland Raiders has more among quarterbacks with 42. Manning has lost 22 of those fumbles, the most by a QB and six more than the next active quarterback -- David Garrard of the Jacksonville Jaguars. In total, Manning has 21 turnovers this season (16 interceptions, five fumbles lost), which is second to Brett Favre's 22.
Speaking of turnovers, one player who has learned from past mistakes is Josh Freeman, especially on the road. Last season, his percentage of passes that were intercepted away from home was the 3rd-highest rate at 5.7. This season, he's reduced it to 2.4 percent. That will be put to the test Sunday when he faces the Baltimore Ravens. Opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of just 70.4 in games played in Baltimore -- the fifth-lowest rating entering Week 12.