Stats & Info: Brady Quinn

Brady Quinn's deep passing lifts Chiefs

December, 3, 2012

AP Photo/Colin E. BraleyBrady Quinn had one of the best games of his NFL career in Sunday’s win against the Panthers.
As a reminder, Total QBR is a quarterback rating that takes into account all of a QB’s significant contributions (passing, rushing, sacks, fumbles, penalties) to his team’s scoring and winning and summarizes them into one number on a 0-100 scale, where 50 is average.

Brady Quinn's 97.6 Total QBR in Sunday’s win over the Carolina Panthers was the highest by a Kansas City Chiefs quarterback in a single game in the past five seasons. He was 8-of-9 on 3rd down and 6-of-7 for 132 yards on passes traveling at least 15 yards beyond the line-of-scrimmage.

Matt Cassel has yet to have a game with six completions of 15 yards-or-more downfield this season.

One of the biggest plays for Quinn was his touchdown pass to Tony Moeaki on 4th-and-1 with two seconds remaining in the first half. According to ESPN’s win probability model, that completion increased the Chiefs’ chances of winning from 46.2 percent before the play to 64.4 percent following the score.

Quinn’s 97.6 Total QBR was also his career high as a starter; he never previously had a single-game QBR above 80 as a starter and hadn't had a start above 60 since Week 15 of 2009.

• Tony Romo had a season-high 96.7 Total QBR in Sunday night’s win over the Eagles. It was his first game with a QBR over 90 since Week 15 of 2011 against the Buccaneers. Since that game 22 different quarterbacks have posted a QBR of 90 or better, including Matt Flynn, Mark Sanchez, and the aforementioned Quinn.

• Colin Kaepernick had an 82.4 Total QBR in Sunday's loss to the Rams, his third straight start with a QBR over 70. Alex Smith has not had a single-season three-start stretch with QBRs above 70 in the past five seasons.

• Peyton Manning posted a 90.2 Total QBR in Sunday's win over the Buccaneers. Manning has six games this season with a QBR of at least 90, the most in the NFL. With his performance, Manning (81.1) also jumped Tom Brady (79.6) for the league lead in overall QBR this season.

Total QBR can be used to quantify just how important the quarterback position has become to winning in the NFL. Looking back to previous years, the team with the higher Total QBR has won 86% of regular season games since 2008 (as far back as Total QBR goes). That is higher than the comparable mark for teams with the advantage in total yardage, turnover differential, and NFL passer rating.

Can Weis Fix Brantley's Woes?

August, 16, 2011

Kim Klement/US Presswire
John Brantley looks to improve his game under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.

New Florida Gators offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is considered a guru for quarterbacks. Tom Brady, Matt Cassel, Jimmy Clausen and Brady Quinn all excelled while playing in an offense designed by Weis.

Weis’ newest task is to turn around the career of Florida quarterback John Brantley. Brantley was the 2006 Gatorade Player of the Year and the 25th-ranked recruit in the 2007 ESPNU 150. He spent his first three seasons in Gainesville as Tim Tebow’s backup, until he finally got his chance to start in 2010. The results were not what Brantley and Gators fans had in mind.

In 13 games, Brantley threw just nine touchdown passes and 10 interceptions, and Florida finished 8-5, its worst record under Urban Meyer. Worst of all, Brantley struggled in the Gators' biggest games, finishing with one touchdown and five interceptions against Florida’s four ranked opponents.

With Brantley now playing in Weis’ quarterback-friendly system, many are wondering if his game will progress similar to that of Quinn in 2005. In his first season with Weis, Quinn threw 15 more touchdowns and three fewer interceptions than in the previous season. His passing efficiency rose by nearly 33 points.

If Brantley is going to make a similar leap, he will need to improve in two key areas. First, he needs to get better on early downs, especially first down.

First down is the best time for quarterbacks to throw: the average passing efficiency for an FBS quarterback is 9.1 points higher on first down than any other down.

Defenses typically play their base personnel and coverage, so quarterbacks tend to have a good idea what is coming. Yet, first down is where Brantley has his lowest passer efficiency.

Last season, he ranked 113th in the nation in first-down passing (minimum 50 attempts) with just two touchdowns and three interceptions. The good news is Brantley should get plenty of chances to turn it around. During the Weis era (2005 to 2009), the Notre Dame Fighting Irish threw the ball 47.9 percent of the time on first down, ninth most in FBS over that stretch.

The other area where Brantley needs to improve is with his touch on the deep ball.

Last season, Brantley completed just five of his 24 throws of 20 yards or more with only two completions against SEC opponents.

Brantley has a tendency to overthrow his target with 41.7 percent of his deep passes going long. Weis’ offense should again provide opportunities for Brantley to showcase improvement. In 2009, Jimmy Clausen averaged four throws of 20 or more yards per game, including 11 against the Michigan Wolverines.

If Brantley can resolve his first-down woes and struggles with the deep ball, he just might be the latest collegiate pupil of Charlie Weis to cash in at the NFL draft.
The Cardinals used three starting quarterbacks last season and haven’t had one QB start every game in a season since Kurt Warner did it for them in 2008.

They hope that their trade for Kevin Kolb brings more stability at the position, though Kolb has only seven career starts and has never started more than three games in a row.

Kevin Kolb
But he does bring a pair of impressive performances in 2009 with him. In his first two career starts, Kolb threw for 391 and then 327 yards -- the most yards in his first two starts by any quarterback in league history.

Kolb blows away the second-place finisher on that list. Elias tells us that Todd Marinovich is next up, throwing for 638 yards in his first two starts over the 1991 and 1992 seasons. That still puts him 80 yards behind Kolb.

Of course big yardage in the first two starts isn’t necessarily a precursor to success. The next two behind Marinovich are Jeff Blake and Aaron Brooks.

In his NFL career, Kolb has been at his best in the first quarter: a 64.2 completion percentage, 8.0 yards per attempts, 3 TD, 0 interceptions and a 107.7 rating. His rating drops every quarter after that: to 87.1, 59.8 and 52.3.

One area where he’s shown a strength – even in a small sample – is in play-action passing. He’s completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 10.8 yards per attempt in play-action. He holds a 104.5 rating on those plays.

The Kolb trade also shines the light on just how little NFL production the QB draft class of 2007 has posted in its four years in the league.

Let’s take a look by the numbers at the 2007 QB draft class, a class that saw 11 QBs drafted:

0 – With a winning record

1 – With double-digit wins (Trent Edwards)

2 – Who do NOT have a losing record (Drew Stanton, 2-2 and Troy Smith, 4-4)

3 – Who never started a game in the NFL (Isaiah Stanback, Jeff Rowe and Jordan Palmer)

7 – Career starts by Kolb, the first QB drafted in the second round in 2007

10 – Combined wins by the two QB drafted in the first round: JaMarcus Russell (7-18) and Brady Quinn (3-9)