Stats & Info: Jake Locker

Manning flourishes in 2nd half of games

September, 30, 2013

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.

NFL combine: the long and short of things

February, 21, 2013

Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Trindon Holliday was the shortest player in the NFL last season (5'5"), but he came up big in the playoffs, where he picked up a pair of return touchdowns against the Ravens.
On-field workouts at the 32nd annual National Invitational Camp, also known as the NFL Combine, will begin Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

There will be plenty of talk about heights, weights, wingspans and waistlines, but what does it all mean?

Is 6'5" really SHORT by offensive line standards? (yes)

Can a pass-rusher succeed if he's less than six feet tall? Elvis Dumervil (5'11") thinks so.

Here's everything you wanted to know about the NFL Combine:

There's no more iconic drill at the combine than the 40-yard dash. But what does it mean when a guy has "4.3 speed"?

If a player truly runs the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds flat, he's in a small club. Since 2006, only six players have run a true 4.3-second 40-yard dash (or better), led by RB Chris Johnson (4.24).

While Johnson is a 3-time Pro Bowl selection, and only Adrian Peterson (7,508) has more rushing yards than Johnson over the last five seasons the rest of the names on this list have combined for zero Pro Bowl selections, and only Jacoby Ford, DeMarcus Van Dyke and Darrius Heyward-Bey are still active in the league.

Among QBs, it's no surprise that Robert Griffin III owns one of the best marks. The former Baylor track star ran a 4.41 at last year's combine, but since 2006, that's only the second-best time at his position.

Another QB from the Lone Star State, Texas A&M's Reggie McNeal, ran a 4.35 in 2006. McNeal finished his NFL career with just one rushing attempt for eight yards.

The Wonderlic is a 50-question test administered to all combine participants that measures cognitive ability. The time limit is 12 minutes.

A score of 20 is indicative of “average” intelligence and roughly equivalent to an IQ of 100. Former Bengals punter Pat McInally, who attended Harvard, is the only NFL prospect known to have scored a perfect 50 on the test.
Miguel Cabrera
Among QBs drafted over the last 2 years, Andrew Luck and Colin Kaepernick each scored 37, while Jake Locker (20) and Cam Newton (21) were less successful.

Although Wonderlic scores are not released to the public, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (another Harvard alum) is reported to have scored a 48, the highest among active players.

The combine is full of remarkable performances, positive and negative.

Last year, DT Dontari Poe boosted his draft stock when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.98 seconds after weighing in at 346 pounds. He also showed off his strength with 44 repetitions on the bench press.
Miguel Cabrera
In 2007, receiver Calvin Johnson wowed scouts with a 4.35 in the 40-yard dash...wearing borrowed shoes, as he'd originally intended not to run.

On the other hand, linebacker Vontaze Burfict shocked scouts in the wrong way last year with his time of 5.09 in the 40-yard dash.

In 2009, offensive lineman Andre Smith left the combine without informing officials. It was announced inside the stadium that his whereabouts were "unknown."

It all begins again on Saturday, when more than 300 invited prospects begin on-field workouts in Indianapolis.

Ryan off to torrid Total QBR start

September, 24, 2012
Matt Ryan
The Atlanta Falcons are one of three remaining undefeated teams in the NFL, and one look at the play of quarterback Matt Ryan this season will show you why.

Completing 30-of-40 passes for 275 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in Sunday’s 27-3 victory over the San Diego Chargers, Ryan is off to the second-best three-game start in the Total QBR era (since 2008). His 84.6 QBR was the ninth-best in Week 3, and his 91.6 QBR for the season is almost a full 10 points better than his closest competitor, the Indianapolis Colts' Andrew Luck.

Ryan has excelled on third down, posting a 97.2 QBR in those situations, which ranks second behind Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers this season. On Sunday, Ryan was 9-of-10 with seven first downs on third down, including a touchdown pass to Julio Jones with 0:58 remaining in the first half.

The five rookie starting quarterbacks have been a major story this season, but on Sunday it was the play of the sophomore passers that stole the headlines.

Second-year quarterbacks went 4-0 on Sunday, including wins over the top two picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, Luck and the Washington Redskins' Robert Griffin III. Three of the four second-year quarterbacks posted single-game career-high Total QBRs, led by the Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton’s 93.4, which was tops in the league in Week 3. Dalton completed 19-of-27 passes for 328 yards with three touchdowns and an interception at Washington.

Jake Locker shined in leading the Tennessee Titans to their first win of 2012, throwing for 378 yards and two scores against the Detroit Lions. The Minnesota Vikings' Christian Ponder had two touchdown passes and ran for another in a surprise defeat of the San Francisco 49ers. Only Blaine Gabbert of the Jacksonville Jaguars struggled, but he still threw the game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass against the Colts.

Overall, sophomore quarterbacks as a group added 21.1 more points to their teams than an average quarterback would have, while the rookie quarterbacks took away 3.2 more points from their teams than an average passer.

With the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens locked in a tight contest last night, the Ravens outscored New England 10-3 in the fourth quarter as Joe Flacco led the Ravens on two long scoring drives to take the lead. Flacco was 9-of-11 on those two drives and was more efficient than Brady in the fourth quarter overall. Flacco posted a near-maximum 99.1 QBR in the final period, while Brady clocked in with a 35.7 QBR.

Complete QBR statistics for all quarterbacks can be found here.

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
Michigan State looks to beat a third-straight ranked opponent, this week at No. 14 Nebraska.

Every Friday during college football season, we're taking fans' questions and answering them on our blog. You can send questions to our Twitter account @ESPNStatsInfo. Be sure to follow so you can tweet us your questions (facts, not opinions) and we'll answer the best of the best.

When is the last time Michigan State beat three ranked opponents consecutively?
-- asked by @Astephen214

The Michigan State Spartans have never beaten three AP-ranked opponents in consecutive weeks in a single season. They have played three AP-ranked opponents in consecutive weeks in the same season 11 previous times. The last time it happened came in 2003 (went 1-2 in that stretch).

The Spartans defeated No. 11 Michigan and No. 4 Wisconsin (both at home) the past two weeks. This week, Michigan State travels to take on No. 14 Nebraska.

Has there ever been a team with a worse defense than Kansas this year?
-- asked by @TheJeffReport

First, let’s start with a few notes on KU’s historic run of futility:

• The FBS record for most yards per game allowed in a season is 553.0 by Maryland in 1993. Kansas is currently allowing 550.9 yards per game.

• The FBS record for most points per game allowed in a season is 50.3 by Louisiana-Lafayette in 1997. They allowed 553 total points in 11 games. Kansas is currently allowing 50.4 points per game.

• The FBS record for most total points allowed in a season is 572 by East Carolina last season. Kansas is currently on pace to allow 604 points this season.

Has there ever been a CFB game in which both teams had exactly 30 minutes time of possession?
-- asked by @cg_1649

There has yet to be a game this season in which both teams had a time of possession of exactly 30 minutes, but it did happen three times in 2010.

Most recently, on November 13, 2010 when BYU defeated Colorado State, 49-10.

What university has had the most QB's drafted in the first three rounds?
-- asked by TyOBryant

In the common draft era (since 1967), the Brigham Young Cougars and Washington Huskies have each had six quarterbacks selected the first three rounds, tied for most among all schools. John Beck (2007; Second Round – Dolphins) was the last QB taken from BYU and before Jake Locker was selected eighth overall by the Tennessee Titans this spring, Marques Tuiasosopo (2001, Second Round – Raiders) had been last QB taken from Washington.
A statistical preview of the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (ESPN, 10 ET) between the No. 18 Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Washington Huskies.

Entering Nebraska’s game against Missouri on October 30, Taylor Martinez led the country with 14 rushes of 20 yards or more. However, during the first half of the Missouri game, Martinez suffered a leg injury and he has not been the same when his number is called to rush the ball.

Since that game, he has not had a 20-yard rush and his per-rush average, not including QB sneaks, is less than half of what it was before the injury.

But the Huskers can turn to running back Roy Helu Jr. for big plays on the ground. Helu has seven runs of 50 yards or more this season, all resulting in a touchdown, making him one of the most explosive rushers in the college game.

Only one other player in the country -- LaMichael James of Oregon -- has more than four such runs this season. And since 2004, only Ryan Mathews has posted at least seven 50-yard touchdown rushes in a single season.

When Washington has the ball, they’d do best to stay away from third down altogether. When the two teams met in September, Huskies quarterback Jake Locker completed just one of his seven third-down passes for six yards, and Nebraska has been tough on third down all season.

The vaunted Blackshirts defense was first in the country this season in opponents’ completion percentage on third down, and was second in opponents’ yards per attempt and pass efficiency.

There wasn’t a lot that went right for him in the September matchup, but Locker will have to be better throwing from the pocket this time around for Washington to have any chance.

Locker completed two of his 15 passes from inside the pocket when the teams met earlier this season and actually ended up with a negative pass efficiency.
1. With the top two teams in the BCS Standings (Oregon and Auburn) both being led by a head coach in his second season at that school, there's a good chance a recent trend will continue. Nine of the last 10 coaches to win the BCS National Championship were within their first four seasons with that program.

In fact, since Bobby Bowden won the 1999 BCS title in his 24th season at Florida State, the last 10 coaches to lead their teams to the championship have averaged 3.3 years of tenure.

2. When Washington travels to No. 1 Oregon this week, the 3-5 Huskies will have the odds stacked against them -- and not just because they'll be playing without starting QB Jake Locker (ribs). The top team in the AP poll hasn't lost a November home game to an opponent with a losing record since 1961 (TCU over Texas).

3. TCU and Utah hook up in a game with huge conference and national implications. Both are unbeaten and ranked in the top five of the BCS Standings.

Since the start of 2009, TCU has faced 20 FBS opponents. The Horned Frogs have held 13 of the 20 to their season-low in points (including seven of the eight FBS teams they have faced in 2010). They have also held eight of the 20 to season-lows in both points and yards, including Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl last season, TCU’s only loss over that stretch.

4. Over the last 40 years, the Alabama-LSU series has been dominated by the road team. ‘Bama is an impressive 16-3-1 in Baton Rouge during this stretch, and to make matters worse for the Tigers … two of their three wins came when Nick Saban was LSU head coach.

5. As you've probably read or heard by now, Joe Paterno is seeking his 400th win on Saturday (vs Northwestern), and all of those wins came at Penn State. Only one other active FBS coach has 200 career victories at the major-college level: Mack Brown currently sits at 212. (Note: Jim Tressel, Frank Beamer and Chris Ault have over 200 wins, but not all have come at the major-college level).
The Nebraska Cornhuskers stock is rising while Jake Locker's NFL stock may be falling.

The Cornhuskers rushed for 383 yards and netted 533 total yards as eighth-ranked Nebraska won 56-21 over the Washington Huskies. Taylor Martinez had 150 yards passing, 137 yards rushing and four total TD. The 56 points were the most by the Cornhuskers away from the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium since the 2000 Alamo Bowl.

One of the staples of past Nebraska teams was its ability to rush the football. From 1994 to 2001 Nebraska won the nation's rushing title five times, leading to three National Championships. However, the past five seasons Nebraska has finished no better than 23rd in the nation in rushing.

This year it appears the Cornhuskers are getting back to their roots. Entering Saturday, Nebraska was third in the nation in rushing at 324 rush yards per game. In their win over the Huskies, three Cornhuskers had over 100 yards rushing -- Taylor Martinez (137), Roy Helu Jr. (110) and Rex Burkhead (104). It's fourth time in school history Nebraska has had at least three players rush for more than 100 yards in the same game. The last time prior to Saturday's game was in 2001 against the Baylor Bears when they had four players accomplish the feat. The total damage inflicted by the Cornhuskers on the ground: 383 rushing yards.

Meanwhile, it was a game to forget for Heisman candidate Jake Locker, who many experts say could be the top pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and who might have been the number-one pick last year had he not stayed in school. Locker completed just four of 20 passes for 71 yards with 2 interceptions. His 20.0 completion percentage is tied for the third worst by a QB with a minimum of 20 attempts over the last six seasons.

In his college career, Locker has won just three times against ranked opponents (USC and California last year and Boise State in 2007). But he's also lost 12 times against ranked opponents as well. Saturday was also the eighth time in Locker's career at Washington in which he's thrown multiple interceptions in a game. The Huskies have never won any of those eight games.