Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Donovan McNabb Under Center of Attention
By Vince Masi
Our weekly look at the quarterbacks who are under the "center of attention"
How could any discussion of quarterbacks this week not begin without talking about McNabb's return to face the Philadelphia Eagles?. He is the Eagles all-time leader in pass attempts (4,746), pass yards (32,876) and touchdowns (216). The Washington Redskins knew all too well about McNabb's success. Since the 1970 merger, only Phil Simms and Jim Hart threw for more yards against Washington than McNabb's 3,949.
Great players want to improve on one thing year-by-year, even when it appears they've pretty much mastered their position. It seems Manning has found something to improve. Through three games, Manning has been the league's best QB in the fourth quarter, with an absurd passer rating of 157.8. He also leads in completion percentage at 79.3 (23-of-29) and yards per attempt (12.4).
The Atlanta Falcons quarterback goes under the center of attention for his work in the overtime win over the New Orleans Saints last week. He was at his best when his team was trailing, completing 15-of-18 passes with 2 touchdowns.
This season, he's also continued to improve on 3rd down, a situation he struggled with in his first two years. Ryan’s passer rating was 82.0 with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in those two seasons. Entering Week 4, Ryan is the NFL's top-rated QB on 3rd down at 132.3 and is tied for the lead with four TD (Tom Brady and Philip Rivers also have four).
It's amazing what you can do when you're not being sacked. Over the 2008 and 2009 seasons, only Ben Roethlisberger was sacked more times (96) than Cassel was (89). This year, he's been sacked just twice in 79 dropbacks this season. Of QBs that have started each of their team's first three games, that's the 5th-lowest sack percentage in the NFL (2.5 percent).
The Jacksonville Jaguars enter Week 4 with the fewest points scored in the AFC with 40. They are the only AFC team without a rushing TD and that might be because of Garrard's turnovers. He's thrown five interceptions on just 74 attempts. That rate of 6.8 percent is the 2nd-worst in the league among QBs with at least 14 attempts per team game played. Only Mark Brunell in 1996 had more through the first three games of a Jaguars season with six.