Stats & Info: Eli Manning

A look at the season through Total QBR

December, 31, 2014
12/31/14
11:04
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Below are 10 need-to-know facts about the 2014 regular season from the perspective of ESPN’s Total QBR.

(1) Tony Romo finished the regular season with the highest Total QBR in the NFL. This is the first time since 2006 (the first year of Total QBR) that Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady did not lead the league in Total QBR.

(2) Aaron Rodgers finished 0.1 points behind Tony Romo for the top spot in Total QBR, marking the closest race for No. 1 since 2006.

(3) Experience matters in today’s NFL; Every player ranked in the top 10 in Total QBR has been in the league at least seven years. Conversely, four of the bottom five qualifying QBs in Total QBR are either in their first or second year in the league.

(4) Seven of the top eight players in Total QBR have won at least one Super Bowl. Tony Romo is the only player in the top eight without a Super Bowl ring, and Russell Wilson is the only player ranked outside of the top eight (he ranks 12th) that is a champion.

(5) The top eight players in Total QBR have combined for 60 postseason appearances (includes this season) and 68 playoff wins. The other 22 qualified players have 31 postseason appearances as starters and 20 playoff wins.

(6) Eli Manning had the largest increase in Total QBR (+34.4) from 2013 to 2014 among players with at least 200 action plays each of the last two seasons. Manning ranks seventh in Total QBR this season after ranking 27th last year. He set career highs in Total QBR, completion percentage and touchdown-to-interception differential in 2014.

(7) Josh McCown had the largest decline in Total QBR (-49.4) among that group of players. After throwing 13 touchdowns and one interception last year, McCown was one of two players with at least three more interceptions than touchdowns this season (Blake Bortles was the other).

(8) The average Total QBR this season was 56.0, the highest in a season since QBR was first calculated in 2006.

(9) The team with the higher Total QBR won 85.7% of its regular season games this season. That is higher than the comparable mark for teams with the advantage in total yardage, turnover differential and NFL passer rating.

(10) Looking ahead to the playoffs, defense wins championships. Since 2006, three teams that went on to win the Super Bowl had a quarterback ranked in the top 10 in regular season QBR. All but two of those Super Bowl Champions were ranked in the top 10 in opponent QBR, including five in the top 5. The Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks are the three playoff teams ranked in the top five in opponent QBR this year.

Luck channels inner Peyton Manning

November, 4, 2014
11/04/14
1:23
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AP Photo/Bill KostrounAndrew Luck has 300 passing yards in seven straight games.

It seems that every week Andrew Luck matches or surpasses his predecessor Peyton Manning in some regard.

On Monday, Luck had his seventh straight 300-yard passing game, setting a new Colts franchise record and tying Manning for the third-longest streak in NFL history.

Luck now has 3,085 passing yards this season. Only once in history has a player had more through the first nine games of a season -- Manning (3,249) last season.

Luck joined Manning as the only quarterbacks with 23 passing touchdowns in each of their first three seasons.

Luck now has a career-high 26 passing touchdowns this season, passing Manning (24) for the most in the NFL.

Luck is the first player in NFL history with at least 350 passing yards in five straight road games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

It was a different Manning -- Eli -- who went up against Luck on Monday. Eli fell to 0-3 in his career against the Colts (first two were against Peyton), while his head coach Tom Coughlin fell to 0-7 in his career against the Colts.

Eli and Luck made history together -- it was the first Monday Night Football game in history in which both quarterbacks had at least 350 passing yards with no interceptions.

But Eli left plenty of opportunities on the field.

Eli couldn't beat blitz
Eli Manning was 0-for-7 on throws at least 20 yards downfield. This season, he has completed four of 26 attempts thrown at least 20 yards downfield. Only Geno Smith has a lower completion percentage on those throws.

Manning overthrew his intended receiver on 10 attempts, matching the most overthrows he's had in a game since 2006. Four of Manning’s overthrows came on attempts thrown at least 20 yards downfield.

The Colts blitzed on 29 Manning dropbacks, the most by any team this season.

Manning was limited to 13-of-29 passing against the Colts blitz, including his fumble while being sacked in the third quarter.

The Colts limited Manning to 2-of-8 passing when under duress.

It was the Giants’ 24th straight game with a turnover, the longest active streak in the NFL.

The Colts are now 12-1 following a loss since Luck entered the league.

Manning, Foles dominate with play fakes

November, 10, 2013
11/10/13
11:01
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Not everyone could make it look as easy as it did for Drew Brees against the Dallas Cowboys' porous pass defense on Sunday night. Here’s a look at some of the other top performers from Sunday’s contests.

Manning and Foles win with play-action
Peyton Manning and Nick Foles each maintained pace with Tom Brady in their own way and a key reason for that was the play-action pass.

Manning matched Brady in 2007 for the most touchdown passes through nine games (33) and did so on a day in which he was 9-for-9 for 187 yards with three touchdown throws on play-action passes. Manning leads the NFL with 1,317 yards on play action this season, 431 more than the next-closest passer (Brady).

Foles matched Manning with nine completions (on 14 attempts) and three touchdowns on play-action passes, netting 172 yards. He joined Brady as the only two players in NFL history with 10 touchdown passes and no interceptions in a two-game span in a single season. Brady did that in 2007.

Not surprisingly, Manning and Foles are 1-2 in the NFL in QBR on play action passes this season. Manning is a smidge ahead, 95.4 to 95.3.

You didn’t have to be great to win
A couple of quarterbacks continued their winning ways despite tough days on the field.

Cam Newton posted his lowest Total QBR in a win in his career (19.3), but the Carolina Panthers won their fifth straight by beating the San Francisco 49ers. Before Sunday, the Panthers had been 1-12 in games Newton started in which his Total QBR was below 40.0. The only other win was against the Jaguars in 2011.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning finished even worse than Newton, with a 15.2 Total QBR. That’s the lowest for him in any win since 2007, when he beat the Buffalo Bills with a 2.7 Total QBR.

Manning’s Total QBR was the third lowest by any quarterback in a win this season. EJ Manuel won with a 9.8 against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4 and Geno Smith won with a 14.8 against the New Orleans Saints in Week 9.

Sophomore slump
Though Foles was great again and Russell Wilson had a 92.3 Total QBR (his seventh game above 90 in the last two seasons), two other second-year quarterbacks struggled significantly.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck’s 13.6 Total QBR was the worst in a single game in his career. Luck had all sorts of trouble with the Rams blitz. He finished 3-of-11 for 16 yards, an interception and two sacks in situations in which the Rams sent at least five pass rushers.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had a 7.7 Total QBR, his lowest this season. Kaepernick was 0-for-6 on throws deeper than 10 yards downfield, including a game-ending interception.

It is the first time in his career Kaepernick hasn’t completed a deep pass with multiple attempts.

QBR spotlight: Andy Dalton’s inconsistency
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton finished with a 17.3 Total QBR in a loss to the Ravens, a week after he had a 13.5 Total QBR against the Dolphins.

Dalton has been up and down all season. He had three straight games with a Total QBR below 40 in Weeks 2 through 4, followed by four straight games over 50, before his current two-game slide.

This is nothing new for Dalton: In 2012, his performance had even more drastic swings. Dalton had similar highs where his Total QBR averaged over 75 for three- to four-game stretches and had lows in which his Total QBR averaged below 35 for four-game stretches.

Keys to not losing: Giants 23, Vikings 7

October, 22, 2013
10/22/13
12:23
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Joe Caporeale/USA TODAY SportsAdrian Peterson could not get going against the Giants.

What were the keys to the New York Giants win over the Minnesota Vikings on "Monday Night Football"?

This game was more about what the Vikings couldn’t do then what the Giants could do.

Josh Freeman was all over the place
Josh Freeman had a rough go of it in his first start with the Vikings, completing only 20 of 53 passes. His 37.7 percent completion percentage was the lowest in a game by a quarterback with at least 50 attempts since Eli Manning completed only 34 percent of his throws against the Redskins in Week 15 in 2007 and tied for the fourth-lowest of all-time among quarterbacks with at least 50 attempts.

Our video-review crew charted Freeman with 16 overthrows. That’s the most overthrows by a quarterback in a game in the eight years in which we have data on the statistic.

Freeman has overthrown his receivers on 24 percent of his pass attempts in 2013. No other quarterback has a percentage of higher than 18 percent.

Freeman's 18 total off-target throws are the second most in a game since 2006. Tony Romo had 19 in Week 8 of last season, also against the Giants.

Freeman has also thrown an interception in seven straight games, tied with Carson Palmer for the longest active streak in the NFL.

Peterson kept in check again
The Giants limited Adrian Peterson to 28 rushing yards, his fewest in a game since Week 11 of 2011 against the Raiders (a game in which he was injured and had only six carries).

The Giants have held Peterson to 54, 26 and 28 rushing yards in his past three games against them. He has averaged 53 yards against them in four games. The only team against which he has had less success is the Redskins, against whom he's averaged 45 yards in four games.

The Vikings entered Monday's game averaging 338.4 total yards a game, but only finished with 206 vs. Giants. That's their lowest offensive output since Week 1 of 2011 (187 yards vs. Chargers).

Did You Know: Manning brothers always win
The win by the Giants not only was their first of the season, but it kept alive a personal streak for the Manning brothers.

The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Eli and Peyton Manning have now won at least once in each of the past 28 weekends in which both started.

That’s one shy of their best streak, a 29-week run spanning 2008 and 2009.

Eli Manning entered Monday’s game with an NFL-high 17 turnovers, but did not have any in this contest. He snapped a streak of six straight games with an interception.

Top stats to know: Vikings at Giants

October, 21, 2013
10/21/13
11:53
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Rob Grabowski/USA TODAY SportsEli Manning leads the NFL in turnovers this season (17).
The Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants meet tonight on "Monday Night Football" (8:25 ET/ESPN). Here are six stats Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden might touch on tonight:

1. The Giants lead the NFL with 23 turnovers -- six more than any other team and two more than they had all of last season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, they’re the first team to have a turnover differential of -16 through six games since 1989, when the Lions and Cardinals were each -17 at that point.

Eli Manning leads all players with 17 turnovers, including 15 interceptions, already matching his interception total from all of 2012. He’s the first player to throw 15 interceptions in the first six games of a season since Dan Fouts in 1986.

His Total QBR of 3.0 in the fourth quarter is the lowest in the NFL this season. But he needs just 215 passing yards to pass Phil Simms for the most in franchise history.

2. Josh Freeman is expected to make his debut with the Vikings. Only three players (out of 37 qualified quarterbacks) have a lower Total QBR than Freeman this season (26.8).

Since going 10-6 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2010, Freeman is 11-23 (.324) as a starter. Blaine Gabbert is the only quarterback with a lower winning percentage since the start of 2011 (min. 20 starts).

3. Adrian Peterson is fourth in the NFL with 483 rushing yards. He'll need to pick up the pace to approach his 2012 total of 2,097 yards, which was the second-highest season total in NFL history.

He’s 75 yards shy of tying Earl Campbell for 31st on the league's all-time rushing list and 121 from tying Shaun Alexander for 30th.

4. This game features teams that rank last and next-to-last in the NFL in opponents’ third-down conversions, and are 30th and 32nd in the league in opponents’ points per game.

5. The Giants are 0-6 for the second time in franchise history (started 0-9 in 1976). According to Elias, they're the first team in NFL history to allow at least 25 points and commit at least three turnovers in each of its first six games.

6. Neither team has won a game in North America this season. The Vikings' only win came in London against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4.

Keys to victory: Bears defeat Giants, 27-21

October, 11, 2013
10/11/13
1:12
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What were the three biggest keys to the Chicago Bears win over the New York Giants on Thursday night?

The short passes worked
Jay Cutler was 20-of-27 for 187 yards and two touchdowns on throws that traveled 10 yards or fewer. Cutler's 27 attempts and 6.9 yards per attempt were both season highs.

This was the fifth time this season that Cutler had multiple touchdown passes in a game, matching the total he had for the entire season in both 2011 and 2012.

Cutler was 9-for-10 when targeting Brandon Marshall, matching the best completion rate to Marshall in any game since Marshall joined the Bears.

DB blitzes scared Manning
The Bears brought a defensive back as a pass rusher on three Eli Manning dropbacks. Two of those blitzes resulted in an interception.

Manning has thrown five interceptions this season when facing a defensive back as a pass rusher, more than any quarterback had in all of 2012.

Manning has thrown an interception once every 7.2 dropbacks when facing a defensive back who was a pass rusher compared with one every 24.5 dropbacks not facing one.

Manning is the first player to throw 15 interceptions in the first six games of a season since Dan Fouts did so for the San Diego Chargers in 1986.

Unsung key: Podlesh's punts
Bears punter Adam Podlesh might not have had the most impressive day on the stat sheet, but his punting definitely played a role in the Bears win.

Adam Podlesh
Podlesh
Podlesh averaged only 36.7 yards per punt on his three kicks, but the Giants did not return any of those boots. That resulted in their starting field position being on their own 9, 8, and 10. They were able to score on the first of those, but did not score on either of the last two.

The Giants average starting field position after punts was their own 9. That's the worst starting field position for a team against a punter in any game in which that punter punted multiple times all season.

Top things to know: Giants at Bears

October, 10, 2013
10/10/13
11:56
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Elsa/Getty ImagesEli Manning has already thrown 12 INT this season, three fewer than he had all of 2012.
Week Six of the NFL season begins tonight as the New York Giants take on the Chicago Bears from Soldier Field.

Through five weeks, every NFC East team has a losing record and the division is a combined 5-14, worst in the NFL.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the only time an entire division has been under .500 through five weeks since the merger in 1970.

Let’s take a look at some storylines for this game.

1. The Giants are 0-5 for the first time since 1987. The only time the Giants lost their first six games of a season was in 1976, when they opened 0-9.

One reason for the Giants rough start has been their defense. They are the second team in NFL history along with the 1954 Chicago Cardinals to allow MORE than 30 points in their first five games of a season. No team has ever allowed MORE than 30 points in each of its first 6 games.

2. Through five games, Eli Manning has been sacked 15 times and has thrown 12 interceptions. He’s already approaching his 2012 season totals in both categories (19 sacks and 15 interceptions).

In addition, his QBR (34.2) is less than half of what it was in 2012 (68.9).

Of the league-high 20 turnovers the Giants have this season, Manning has been responsible for 14, tied for the second most by a player through five games since realignment in 2002.

With two turnovers tonight, he’ll tie Daunte Culpepper in 2002 for the most turnovers through six games.

Manning is one of three starting quarterbacks this season completing under half of his attempts thrown at or behind the line of scrimmage. Both of the other quarterbacks (Brandon Weeden and Josh Freeman) were removed from their starting jobs.

3. Jay Cutler has been sacked three times in each of the last two games (both losses) after being sacked a total of three times in the Bears' 3-0 start.

In addition, he has thrown for 300 yards in back-to-back games for the first time since 2009. He’s never thrown for 300 yards in three straight games. Cutler has also thrown a TD pass in 11 straight games, tying a career high.

4. Brandon Marshall expressed frustration with the Bears offense after their Week 5 loss. He was targeted five times last week after averaging more than 10 targets in his first four games.

Marshall leads the Bears with 46 targets this season, but has just one more than the next highest receiver (Alshon Jeffery, 45).

Marshall finished with 131 more targets than the next highest Bear last season.

MISC
The Giants are last in the NFL in rushing at 56.8 YPG. They’ve rushed for under 100 yards in all five games this season.

The Bears have lost two straight following a 3-0 start. They’re 3-4 in their last seven home games since starting 2012 4-0 at home.

Despite forcing no turnovers last week, the Bears still lead the NFL with 58 takeaways since the start of 2012. Last week snapped Chicago’s streak of six straight games with at least three takeaways, the longest in the NFL since the Bills from 2004-05.

The Bears have lost four straight home games against the Giants since beating New York at Soldier Field in 1991.

Manning, Romo put on show in Dallas

October, 7, 2013
10/07/13
4:37
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Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post/Getty ImagesTony Romo threw for a franchise-record 506 yards but a costly pick helped give Denver the win.
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. Since 2008, the team with the higher QBR has won about 84 percent of the time. Complete QBR statistics for all quarterbacks can be found here.

Manning and Romo duel in Dallas
Peyton Manning (93.7) and Tony Romo (92.1) both posted Total QBRs over 90 while tallying more than 40 action plays. It is only the second game since 2006 in which two opposing quarterbacks each posted a Total QBR greater than 90 with that many action plays (David Garrard and Matt Schaub – Week 4, 2008).

Peyton Manning has a Total QBR of at least 93.7 in three straight games. Aaron Rodgers is the only other quarterback with a Total QBR that high in three straight games (Week 6-9 in 2011) during the last eight seasons. Manning also did it with the Colts from Week 4 to Week 7 in 2009.

Romo’s Total QBR Sunday was the highest for a starting quarterback in a loss this season.

Romo throws costly interception
Tony Romo’s interception with 2:04 left in the 4th quarter Sunday dropped the Cowboys’ win probability by 25.9 percent. Romo has thrown six interceptions during the last three seasons that have dropped his team’s win probability by at least 20 percent. Only Matt Schaub and Eli Manning have more (seven).

Brady, Pats offense struggles
Tom Brady’s 16.8 Total QBR against the Bengals was his worst in a game since Week 14 of the 2006 season (lost 21-0 to the Dolphins).

The Patriots have an offensive EPA per game of -3.3 this season (-12.0 in Week 5). So the Patriots actually contribute three fewer expected points than an average offense. This is rare for a Patriots offense that finished the season with the most offensive expected points added in two of the last four seasons.

Quick hitters
• Matt Schaub posted a 4.9 Total QBR Sunday, his 2nd-lowest in a start since the start of 2006 (only made 2 starts prior to 2006 season). Schaub’s 35.4 Total QBR this season ranks 27th in the league among qualified quarterbacks, after he ranked 12th in the league last season.

• Kansas City Chiefs had a Defensive EPA of 4.7 Sunday, and their defense has added an expected 65.6 points to their team’s net points this season. No other defense has an expected points added total higher than 30 this season.

• Eli Manning posted a 47.5 Total QBR Sunday, and his Total QBR is 34.2 this season, his lowest in his first five starts of a season dating back to 2006 (Total QBR era). He also had three intentional grounding penalties Sunday. No quarterback has committed more than two intentional grounding penalties in a game since the start of 2001.

• Nick Foles filled in admirably for Michael Vick Sunday. His 84.6 Total QBR is the highest among 30 quarterbacks who have come off the bench and had at least 20 action plays during the last 3 seasons.

• Cam Newton’s 5.7 Total QBR was the 2nd-lowest in a game in his career (1.6 vs Broncos in Week 10 last season). Newton was sacked seven times and threw three interceptions against the Cardinals – all when facing five or more pass rushers.

Line struggles hurt Steelers, Giants

October, 4, 2013
10/04/13
2:02
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Getty ImagesPoor line play has contributed to the Steelers and Giants starting 0-4 this season.
There have been some surprising starts to the NFL season, both good and bad. We take a look at issues that have contributed to 0-4 starts by the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants.

Check out Dean Oliver's in-depth analysis of the specific problems the Steelers and Giants face with their offensive lines.

The Steelers and Giants have combined to win four of the last eight Super Bowls but are off to their worst starts since 1968 and 1987, respectively.

Pittsburgh is the first team since the 2005 Houston Texans to fail to record a takeaway in their first four games. New York has been outscored by 85 points, the worst mark in team history through a season's first four games.

The bad news for the Steelers and Giants -- in addition to the 0-4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars -- is that since the playoffs expanded to 12 teams in 1990, only one team has started 0-4 and made the playoffs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. That would be the 1992 San Diego Chargers.

Let’s take a look at some numbers to support why the Steelers and Giants are off to such bad starts.

Pittsburgh
The Steelers' offensive line struggles have been evident all season, especially after losing Maurkice Pouncey for the season in Week 1 when he tore two ligaments in his right knee.

Pittsburgh is averaging 58 yards per game on the ground, fourth fewest in the league. The Steelers' 232 total rush yards are their fewest through their first four games since 1935.

Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 15 times this year and has fumbled three times on sacks. Both totals are the most in the NFL.

The Steelers are allowing 27.5 points per game, which would be their most in a season since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. They are tied with the Giants for the fewest sacks in the NFL (four).

New York
Eli Manning is off to arguably the worst start of his career. He has thrown a league-high nine interceptions, most in his first four starts of a season.

His Total QBR of 30.0 ranks 29th in the league, worst in his first four starts to a season since 2006.

The Giants can’t stay on or get off the field, a recipe for a bad team. They have converted a league-low 23 percent of third-down plays, and they have allowed opponents to convert a league-high 50 percent on third down. That includes allowing the Chiefs to convert 9-of-16 third downs in Week 4.

The Giants' pass rush has been running on fumes all season. In fact, it extends into last season as New York has gone nine straight games without sacking the quarterback more than twice.

The last time the Giants had more than two sacks was Nov. 25, 2012, when they got to Aaron Rodgers five times in a 38-10 win.

Two of the four sacks they have this year have come with four or fewer pass rushers, or a sack on 1.9 percent of opposing QB dropbacks.

As recently as their 2011 Super Bowl season, the Giants' four-man pass rush sacked opposing quarterbacks on 7.3 percent of their dropbacks, tied for second in the league.

Manning flourishes in 2nd half of games

September, 30, 2013
9/30/13
2:47
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Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY SportsPeyton Manning's Total QBR is a big reason why the Broncos are 4-0 this season
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. Since 2008, the team with the higher QBR has won about 85 percent of the time. Complete QBR statistics for all quarterbacks can be found here.

Manning can't be stopped
Peyton Manning had a Total QBR of 95.9 against the Philadelphia Eagles, his highest this season and his second highest in a game since the start of the 2010 season.

Dating back to Week 16 last season, Manning has a Total QBR of at least 80 in each of his last six regular season games, the longest such streak for any quarterback in the last eight seasons.

Manning’s Total QBR this season is 91.4, the second highest for any quarterback through the first four weeks of a season since 2006.




Manning has done the majority of his damage in the second half this season, throwing 10 of his 16 touchdown passes after halftime.

His Total QBR of 98.0 in the second half is the highest in the league, and Jay Cutler is the only other quarterback with a Total QBR over 85 in the final two quarters.

Rivers bounces back
Philip Rivers’ Total QBR dipped to 29.4 in the second quarter Sunday after he threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. But his play was impressive throughout the rest of the game, raising his Total QBR to 81.3 and leading the San Diego Chargers to a comeback win.

Rivers posted a Total QBR of 98.3 in the second half against the Dallas Cowboys compared to a 42.5 Total QBR in the first half. It was his highest in any second half in the last two seasons. For more on Rivers click here.

Quick Hitters
•  Jake Locker posted a Total QBR of 87.8 against the New York Jets before leaving with an injured hip, his highest in any career game. Locker has a Total QBR of 86.8 in the last two weeks, the second highest in the league behind Peyton Manning. He is completing 67.2 percent of his passes while throwing four touchdowns and no interceptions in his last two games.

•  Russell Wilson’s Total QBR was 20.6 Sunday, the second lowest of his career, and he had far more success running the ball than throwing it. He rushed for 77 yards against the Houston Texans, the second most in any career game, and his expected points added on rushing plays was +2.4, compared to -1.8 on passing plays. Wilson threw for 123 yards Sunday, the second fewest in his career, and completed 12 of his 23 passes.

•  Eli Manning has a Total QBR of 30.0 this season, his lowest through four weeks in the last eight seasons. His Total QBR of 23.7 against the Kansas City Chiefs was his second lowest this season and he was unable to solve Kansas City’s pass rush. Manning posted a Total QBR of 0.6 against five or more pass rushers Sunday, completing two of his six passes with an interception and two sacks.

RGIII's struggles have Redskins reeling

September, 23, 2013
9/23/13
2:55
AM ET

Greg Fiume/Getty Images Robert Griffin III and the Redskins are off to a slow start this season.
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. Since 2008, the team with the higher QBR has won about 85 percent of the time. Complete QBR statistics for all quarterbacks can be found here.

RGIII continues slow start
Robert Griffin III had a Total QBR of 11.9 in the first quarter Sunday, continuing a familiar trend this season. Griffin has a Total QBR of 1.8 in the first quarter this season and is completing 46.7 percent of his passes in the opening 15 minutes.

Compare that to the final three quarters, where RG III’s Total QBR increases to 39.5 and he completes over 65 percent of his passes.

Griffin has posted a Total QBR under 50 in five career games, including all three this season. He has a Total QBR of 26.6 on the season, which ranks 30th out of 34 QBs. Last year his Total QBR was 69.3 through three weeks (11th in NFL).

One reason why Griffin was successful last season was his running ability, with the second-highest rush EPA among quarterbacks after Week 3 (5.52). His expected points added on rushes this season is -0.25 and he has attempted just 15 rushes through three games.

Overturned TD costs Redskins
With 9:15 remaining in the fourth quarter, Robert Griffin III completed a pass for 57 yards to Aldrick Robinson that was originally called a touchdown, and would have given the Washington Redskins a 23-20 lead (pending the PAT).

However, replay showed that Robinson dropped the ball. According to ESPN Stats & Information's win probability calculator, the Redskins’ win probability was 42.8 percent after the play was ruled incomplete. Had it been ruled a touchdown, Washington’s win probability would have been 69.5 percent.

Kaepernick can't connect
Colin Kaepernick had a Total QBR of 11.8 against the Indianapolis Colts, his lowest in any career start. After posting a Total QBR of 89.8 in Week 1, Kaepernick has struggled in the last two weeks, especially with his downfield passing.

He is 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) on throws more than 10 yards downfield in the last two weeks, after completing 52.6 percent of such throws against the Packers to open the season.

Quick Hitters
• Tony Romo posted a Total QBR of 96.7 against the Rams, the highest by any quarterback in a game this season. It was Romo’s third-highest Total QBR in the last five seasons.

• Eli Manning had a Total QBR of 11.4 Sunday, only the third time in the last five seasons he posted a Total QBR under 15 in a game. Manning was sacked seven times, the third most in his career, and completed one of his seven passes thrown at least 15 yards downfield. Manning’s Total QBR of 34.9 this season is his lowest through three weeks in the last eight seasons.

• Aaron Rodgers had a Total QBR of 33.3 against the Cincinnati Bengals, his third lowest in the last three seasons. Rodgers was 1-of-6 against five or more pass rushers and has a Total QBR of 15.2 against added pressure this season, on pace to be his lowest in six seasons as the starter (68.0)

Giants ineffective on both sides of the ball

September, 17, 2013
9/17/13
12:54
PM ET

Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesEli Manning has thrown a league-high seven interceptions this season.
The New York Giants dropped eight spots in the ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings after two games, sitting at No. 20 after starting the season at No. 12.

The drop was warranted from a statistical standpoint, as the Giants rate as one of the worst teams in the league.

With 14 games remaining though, there’s still plenty of time to turn the season around. But to do so, the Giants will need to fix some pretty glaring problems.

Turnovers
The Giants have committed a league-worst 10 turnovers through the first two weeks of the season, including seven interceptions by Eli Manning. No other quarterback has more than four interceptions this season.

Manning’s success has varied by targeted receiver. He has thrown one interception when targeting Victor Cruz, Brandon Myers and Hakeem Nicks this season, his three most targeted receivers so far.

That leaves Manning with six interceptions when throwing to all other Giants, including four when targeting Rueben Randle (three in Week 2).

Manning’s interceptions have even come on the simplest of plays. Two of Manning’s Week 1 interceptions came on screen passes. Only four quarterbacks have had multiple interceptions on screens in the last five seasons combined.

No run game
The Giants have run the ball 33 times this season for a league-low 73 yards (2.2 yards per rush, also the lowest).

Although the offensive line has struggled, the running back situation hasn’t helped. The Giants are one of three teams in the NFL to average less than one yard after contact on rushes this season.

David Wilson was supposed to be the answer for the Giants' running game, but with two fumbles on 14 rushes, he’s seen the field on only 34 percent of the Giants’ snaps.

No pass rush
New York allowed 77 points in their first two games this season, worst in the NFL. Last season, the Giants didn't allow their 77th point until their fifth game.

A big reason for the defensive struggles is a lack of pass rush, once the calling card of the Giants' defense.

They have relied heavily on a four-man pass rush in recent years. In the last three seasons, nearly 70 percent of their pass rushes have come on such pressure.

This season, the Giants have recorded a sack 2.9 percent of the time when sending four or fewer rushers. In the 2011 Super Bowl season that rate was 7.3 percent.

Seattle spells doom for opposing QBs

September, 16, 2013
9/16/13
4:12
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Jonathan Ferrey/Getty ImagesColin Kaepernick suffered the worst start of his career Sunday in Seattle.
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. Since 2008, the team with the higher QBR has won about 85 percent of the time. Complete QBR statistics for all quarterbacks can be found here:

SEATTLE IS A TOUGH ENVIRONMENT FOR OPPOSING QUARTERBACKS
Colin Kaepernick’s Total QBR was 14.0 on Sunday night, the lowest Total QBR in any start of his career. It was also the lowest Total QBR in Week 2 (min. 15 action plays). Both of Kaepernick’s worst games in terms of Total QBR have come at Seattle, where opposing quarterbacks have been limited to a 33.1 Total QBR since the start of last season, 2nd-lowest among NFL teams at home.

Kaepernick's three interceptions in Seattle on Sunday match the total amount he had during the regular season last year.

SLOW START FOR RG III
Robert Griffin III had a Total QBR of 43.0 against the Packers, including 5.3 in the 1st half as the Packers built a 24-0 lead. Griffin has done most of his damage late in garbage time this season, as the Redskins haven’t entered the 4th quarter this season with a win probability above 2%.

Griffin’s Total QBR is 23.4 this season, ranked 30th in the NFL among 33 qualified quarterbacks (84.6 through his first 2 games last season, 2nd in the NFL). His passer rating, which does not account for the clutch weight of the situation, is 89.6, ranked 17th in the league.

QUICK HITTERS
Philip Rivers had a 93.5 Total QBR against the Eagles, his 2nd-highest Total QBR in a game since the start of last season. He posted a 72.6 Total QBR in the 4th quarter, he entered the game with a league-low 7.7 4th-quarter Total QBR during the last 2 seasons (0.02 4th-quarter Total QBR last week).

EJ Manuel’s Total QBR rose from 29.6 at the beginning of the Bills’ final drive to 51.6 after his game-winning touchdown pass. Manuel’s 60.1 Total QBR through Week 2 ranks 13th in the league. The Bills’ Total QBR last season was 44.6, 26th in the league.

Aaron Rodgers had an 80.9 Total QBR against the Redskins, he had a 98.0 QBR when the score differential was greater than 17, compared to a 65.0 Total QBR when the game was within 16 points. He was sacked 4 times, including back-to-back plays in goal-to-go situations in a 0-0 game, and once on 3rd down.

Brandon Weeden’s 26.7 Total QBR Sunday was his 10th game with a Total QBR lower than 30.0 since the start of last season, the most in the league. His Total QBR of 20.3 this season is the 3rd-worst in the NFL.

Michael Vick’s 81.5 Total QBR was his highest in a loss since Week 4 in 2011 against the 49ers. He can blame the defense, the Eagles had a defensive EPA of -19.4, their 4th-worst in a game during the last 7 seasons.

Manning brothers are statistical opposites

September, 15, 2013
9/15/13
9:07
PM ET

Ron Antonelli/Getty ImagesPeyton Manning got the better of his younger brother, again.

Peyton Manning improved to 3-0 all-time against his younger brother Eli and the two quarterbacks have begun the season by taking their teams in opposite directions.

The Denver Broncos are 2-0 for the first time since 2009, the New York Giants 0-2 for the first time since 2007 (when they won the Super Bowl).

At game’s end on Sunday, Peyton Manning had the NFL lead in touchdowns and Eli Manning was at the top of the list in interceptions.

The best of starts for Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning has 769 passing yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions through two games.

The Elias Sports Bureau notes that is the most passing yards and most touchdown throws without an interception through two games in NFL history.

The nine touchdowns are tied for the most through the first two games of a season for any NFL quarterback, matching the mark set by Charley Johnson in 1965 and tied by Drew Brees in 2009.

Peyton Manning finished 25-of-32 for 205 yards and two touchdowns on throws 10 yards downfield or fewer. Broncos receivers gained 116 yards after the catch on those short throws, their second-straight game with more than 115 yards after catch. Broncos receivers exceeded 115 yards after catch on short throws in only three games last year.

The Broncos are the sixth team in NFL history to score at least 90 points through two games, the first since the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in 2009.

The worst of starts for Eli Manning
Eli Manning is the first player to throw at least seven interceptions in his team's first two games of a season since Daunte Culpepper for the Minnesota Vikings in 2005 and the first with at least three interceptions in each of the first two games of the season since Chris Simms in 2006.

Manning’s deep ball was a big problem, as he completed 1-of-7 passes deeper than 20 yards downfield for 51 yards and two interceptions. Manning threw two interceptions all of last year on those throws, completing 41 percent of them.

Elias notes that the Giants 10 turnovers are their most through two games in team history.

Stat your case: Better receivers, Eli/Peyton?

September, 13, 2013
9/13/13
12:10
PM ET

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesThe Mannings can both throw it, but which has the better teammates for catching it?

The Manning brothers take center stage Sunday when the Denver Broncos visit the New York Giants.

Which of the two has the better receiving corps to work with in 2013? Read our debate and cast your vote.

The case for Eli
The combination of Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, along with the emergence of Rueben Randle, gives Eli the best receiving corps in the family, and maybe the best in the NFL.

Since the start of the 2011 season, Eli Manning has thrown for the fifth-most yards in the NFL, and his ability to find Victor Cruz for big plays is a major reason for his success. Cruz has eight touchdowns of at least 50 yards in the last three seasons, two more than the next closest receiver in the league.
SportsNation

Which Manning brother has the better receiving corps in 2013?

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    37%
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    63%

Discuss (Total votes: 1,428)


While Cruz excels with big plays, his ability to put pressure on defenses from the slot position makes him a tough cover. Wes Welker is widely regarded as the best slot receiver in the NFL, but Cruz has six more touchdowns when lined up in the slot since the start of the 2011 season.

Hakeem Nicks was once Eli’s go-to-guy, but injuries have hampered him in the last few seasons. He caught 18 touchdowns between the start of the 2010 season and the end of 2011, tied for the fifth most in the league.

After catching a career-low three touchdowns in 2012, Nicks had 114 receiving yards in Week 1, his most since Week 2 of last season. His 22.8 yards per reception against the Cowboys was tied for the highest in his career, minimum five receptions.

The final reason why Eli has the better receivers is the emergence of Rueben Randle. He had one touchdown catch in his first 15 career games, but caught two in Week 16 last season and had his first career 100-yard receiving game in Week 1 this year.

Eli knows Randle can be the big-play threat to compliment Cruz and Nicks; 22 of Randle’s 38 career targets have come on throws of 10 or yards downfield.

The case for Peyton
Peyton Manning may have the best receiving corps in the league, let alone compared to Eli’s.

With the offseason acquisition of Wes Welker, Peyton has three receivers coming off of 1,000-yard seasons: Demaryius Thomas (1,434), Eric Decker (1,064) and Welker (1,354).

The last team to start a season with three receivers who had over 1,000 yards in the previous season was the 2009 Arizona Cardinals.

With his ability to rack up yards after the catch, Welker may end up being the big-play catalyst for the Broncos this season. His 4,098 yards after the catch is the most for any player since he joined the league in 2004 and he has the five highest single-season totals in yards after the catch since the beginning of 2001.

Last season, his 669 total yards after the catch were just ahead of his new teammate Thomas, who was second among receivers with 543.

Last season the Peyton-to-Demaryius combo was deadly on the deep ball. Peyton hit Thomas 11 times on balls thrown 25 yards or more downfield, tied with Drew Brees and Lance Moore for the most in the league.

Thomas was also one of three Broncos players to catch two touchdown passes from Peyton on the opening night of the season, along with Welker and Julius Thomas. According to Elias, it’s only the second time in NFL history that three teammates have each had two touchdown receptions in the same game.

There’s also Eric Decker, who has been a stalwart for the Denver receiving corps since joining the team in 2010. Decker’s 13 receiving touchdowns last season were second only to James Jones’ 14 among wide receivers, and were the most by a Broncos player in a single season since the beginning of 2001.

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