Friday, December 17, 2010
Vick, Eli, Brees Under Center of Attention
By Vince Masi
Our weekly look at quarterbacks who are under the center of attention.
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback has thrived when teams have tried to sit back in coverage this season. When teams send only four rushers, Michael Vick has averaged 9.4 yards per attempt, the highest rate in the NFL this season. His passer rating when facing basic pressure is 108.5, second only to Philip Rivers entering Week 15. However, he'll be facing the New York Giants on Sunday, who have recorded 23 sacks when sending four rushers this season, tied for the fourth-most total this season.
Eli Manning has led his team to a 9-4 record but has been turning the ball over at an alarming rate. Manning has thrown 19 interceptions this season, which led the NFL entering Week 15. If he throws one more pick, he will tie his career high set in 2007, the year the New York Giants won the Super Bowl. He will also join an interesting set of quarterbacks in franchise history to have multiple 20-interception seasons: Charlie Conerly (3), Phil Simms and Pro Football Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle.
Getting off to a fast start has been one of the keys to the New Orleans Saints offense in the last two seasons. Drew Brees has thrown a career-high nine touchdown passes in the first quarter alone this season. Last week against the St. Louis Rams, he was 13-15 for 97 yards with two touchdowns in the opening quarter.
Since the start of last year, Brees has completed 77.7 percent of his passes and has a 114.6 passer rating in the first quarter, both tops in the NFL.
It looked as though year two would be easy for Mark Sanchez, who was the first New York Jets quarterback to have at least eight touchdowns and zero interceptions in the first five games of a season. But the last three games have been a struggle. He has completed just 47.6 percent of his passes with one touchdown and five interceptions. His passer rating of 46.8 is the worst over the last three weeks of any quarterback with at least 60 attempts. This week, he’ll face the Pittsburgh Steelers, who during their four-game win streak have surrendered a passer rating of 59.7, second-lowest in the NFL in that span.