Stats & Info: Dan Orlovsky

Opposing needs dictate AFC South strategy

April, 16, 2012
Stats & Information gets you ready for the NFL Draft at the end of the month with a look at the biggest need for each team. Today, we take a look at the AFC South.

Houston Texans
Need: Wide receiver

With Andre Johnson injured most of the season, the rest of the Texans’ wide receivers couldn’t fill the void. The Texans were one of two teams that didn’t have any 30-yard receptions from their receivers on throws that traveled less than 15 yards.

Last season, Houston’s wide receivers ranked 30th in receptions (90), yards per reception (8.9) and first downs (53) and 31st in yards after catch per reception (3.1) on throws less than 15 air yards.

Kiper’s 1st-Round Prediction: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
McShay’s 1st-Round Prediction: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

Indianapolis Colts
Need: Skill position players

The Colts need to replace skill players at every offensive position. In addition to departed quarterback Peyton Manning, the Colts have to replace production from Joseph Addai, Jerome Felton, Pierre Garcon, Anthony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark, Jacob Tamme and Anthony Hill.

Also, all three quarterbacks who took a snap for the Colts last season are not under contract with the Colts - Kerry Collins (free agent), Curtis Painter (free agent) and Dan Orlovsky (signed with Tampa Bay).

Luck is just the start of Indianapolis’ rebuilding process.

Kiper’s 1st-Round Prediction: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
McShay’s 1st-Round Prediction: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Jacksonville Jaguars
Need: Pass-rushing defensive lineman

The Jaguars registered just 31 sacks in 2011, tied for 25th in the league. The problems stemmed from the Jaguars’ inability to create pressure using a four-man rush. Jacksonville sent four or fewer rushers on 77.4 percent of dropbacks, the sixth-highest percentage in the league.

Despite such a heavy reliance on standard pass rushes, Jacksonville’s defense averaged a sack once every 24.0 dropbacks using a four-man pass rush (26th in NFL).

Kiper’s 1st-Round Prediction: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
McShay’s 1st-Round Prediction: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

Tennessee Titans
Need: Cover corner

Tennessee rushed four or fewer defenders on 75 percent of dropbacks last season, but was ineffective at generating pressure. The Titans registered just 23 sacks in 2011, second-fewest in the league.

When Tennessee couldn’t get to the quarterback, their secondary was exposed. The Titans tied for 23rd in the NFL with eight interceptions and a 71.0 Total QBR when using a four-man pass rush. Kamerion Wimbley will improve the pass rush, but look for a cornerback to replace (and/or improve on) Cortland Finnegan.

Kiper’s 1st-Round Prediction: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
McShay’s 1st-Round Prediction: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
AP Photo/Paul SancyaMatthew Stafford is among those quarterbacks chasing notable milestones this weekend.

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady have been getting a lot of the headlines and attention this week for their upcoming matchup on Sunday. So has Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for his successful run in his team's undefeated season.

But let's not forget about some of the NFL's other notable quarterbacks to watch this weekend. Others include:

Eli Manning, New York Giants
vs Redskins, 1 pm ET

Manning has thrown 14 touchdown passes in the fourth quarter this season, four more than any other player in 2011 and tied for the most in a single season in league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The mark was originally set by Johnny Unitas in 1959 and then matched by Peyton Manning in 2002.

Manning has thrown 15 touchdown passes against five or more pass rushers this season, with nine coming in the fourth quarter, most in the NFL.

Rodgers has the second-most touchdowns against such pressure with four.

Manning also leads all quarterbacks with 15 throws of at least 40 yards, three more than Matthew Stafford. He had two against the Redskins in a Week 1 loss.

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints at Vikings, 1pm ET

Brees can set the Saints record for most touchdown passes in a season. He enters Sunday with 32, two shy of the mark he set in 2008 and tied in 2009.

He's thrown 11 touchdowns in his last four games and has not thrown an interception in that span. The last time he went five straight games without an interception was in 2004.

Only Rodgers has a higher completion percentage and more touchdowns on throws 11 yards or more downfield than Brees this season. Brees faces the Vikings Sunday, a team that ranks as one of the worst defenses on such throws.

Dan Orlovsky, Indianapolis Colts
vs Titans, 1 pm ET

Orlovsky is 0-9 in his career as a starter. He’s started games for the 2008 Lions (who went 0-16) and this Colts team (currently 0-13). He has the worst record as a starter for any active quarterback, one loss worse than Curtis Painter, two worse than John Beck.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
at Raiders, 4:05 pm ET

Stafford has 3,754 Pass yards this season and needs 246 yards to post the fourth 4,000-yard season in Lions history. The others are by Scott Mitchell (1995) and Jon Kitna (2006, 2007).

Stafford's effectiveness on third down has been a key in both wins and losses for the Lions recently.

In the Lions last nine games, Stafford is 25-for-35 with five touchdowns in third-down situations in wins, 23-for-58 with one touchdown in the five defeats.

Stafford ranks as the NFL's second-most prolific shotgun passer, trailing only Brady in passing yards out of that formation. The Raiders defense has held opposing passers to the seventh-lowest NFL passer rating in the NFL. Opponents have completed 56 percent of their throws in shotgun against them, five percentage points below the NFL average.

Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
at Ravens, 8:20 pm ET
After having an NFL-high 21 turnovers through 11 weeks, Rivers has just one turnover in his last three games, tied for the 35th-most in the NFL during that span.

Rivers led all passers with 17 interceptions through the first 12 weeks of the season, including 10 picks against four or fewer pass rushers (tied for the most in the AFC).

But Rivers has turned things around in his last two games, which the Chargers have won by a combined 51 points.

The chart on the right notes the difference in his game against such pressure.