Friday, December 10, 2010
Big Ben, Favre under Center of Attention
By Vince Masi
Our weekly look at quarterbacks who are under the center of attention.
Ben Roethlisberger should be in the lineup Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Cincinnati Bengals despite having surgery to repair a broken nose. The Bengals have been a team that has given Roethlisberger fits, even at home. In his career, Roethlisberger is just 3-3 with a 71.9 passer rating in six games at Heinz Field against the Bengals. Compare that to the other teams in the AFC North where he is a whopping 12-1 with a 97.6 career passer rating at home against the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns combined, including playoffs.
Brett Favre's streak of 297 straight regular-season starts may be on the line as he has been bothered by a shoulder injury suffered last week against the Buffalo Bills. But if he does play for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the New York Giants better bring the pressure.
When facing at least five pass rushers this season, Favre has thrown seven interceptions -- the most in the NFL -- which is the amount of total picks he threw all of last season. Favre's passer rating in that situation is 56.8, which ranks 30th out of 32 quarterbacks who have attempted at least 60 passes.
Speaking of pressure, Sam Bradford has been seeing plenty of pressure all season. He has the most pass attempts in the situation talked about with Favre this season. That has forced Bradford to make plays from outside the pocket and he's produced. Bradford has seven passing touchdowns when throwing outside the pocket, most in the league, and he's yet to throw an interception. Bradford's passer rating on attempts outside the pocket is 105.0, which is higher than mobile QBs Michael Vick (103.9) and Aaron Rodgers (71.7).
In each of the last two games, Tom Brady has thrown for over 300 yards, while averaging 10 yards per attempt with four touchdown passes. It's the first time in his career he's had consecutive games averaging 10 yards per attempt, let alone reaching these other plateaus.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Brady is just the fourth quarterback to throw for 300 yards, average 10 yards an attempt and throw four touchdown passes in consecutive games. The others: Kurt Warner (2000), Randall Cunningham (1998) and Johnny Unitas (1962). If Brady does it again Sunday at the Chicago Bears, he would be the first to do it in three straight games.