Stats & Info: Joe Webb

Peterson held in check vs Packers

January, 6, 2013
Andrew Weber/USA TODAY SportsThe Packers held Adrian Peterson to 99 rushing yards.
One week made a huge difference for the Green Bay Packers in containing Adrian Peterson.

Based on how Peterson shredded up the Packers defense during the regular season – he had 409 rushing yards in two games, including 199 a week ago – stopping Peterson seemed like an uphill battle for the Packers.

But the Packers found a way to force the Vikings to beat them through the air. And that became an even tougher battle for Minnesota when Joe Webb was named the starting quarterback in place of Christian Ponder before the game.

Adrian Peterson

Peterson rushed for 32 yards after contact after combining for 230 yards after contact in two regular season meetings against Green Bay. The Packers defense was able to limit Peterson partly because they put more defenders in the box than in the teams’ first two games. Green Bay limited Peterson to 23 yards and 3.3 yards per carry when it put eight or more defenders in the box Saturday.

Peterson was held to 20 rushing yards outside the tackles while gaining four yards after contact on such rushes. In his first two games against the Packers this season, Peterson had 205 rushing yards outside the tackles, including four rushes of 20-plus yards in Week 17.

Joe Webb

Webb failed to complete his first nine attempts at least 15 yards downfield, with eight of nine incompletions due to off-target throws. His first completion of that distance came with 3:39 left in the game when the Packers were winning by 21 points. Webb’s 28.0 completion percentage was the worst on such throws since he entered the league in 2010 (minimum 15 attempts).

The Packers defense was able to put Webb under duress on 12 of his 38 (32 percent) dropbacks. Webb was 0-of-7 with an interception and was sacked three times when under pressure. His seven pass attempts under duress without a completion are tied for the most in a game this season (Mark Sanchez – Week 8 vs. Dolphins, Tom Brady – Week 16 vs. Jaguars).

Webb was the first player in NFL history to start a postseason game after not attempting a single pass during the regular season (according to the Elias Sports Bureau).

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers saw four or fewer pass rushers on 30 of 38 (79 percent) dropbacks, and completed 21 of 28 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown against such pressure, continuing a season-long dominance against the Vikings standard pass rush. In his three matchups against the Vikings this season, Rodgers completed nearly 80 percent of his passes against standard pressure, and fewer than half of his attempts when Minnesota sent an extra pass rusher, including 2-of-5 Saturday with three sacks.

Rodgers earned his first postseason win at Lambeau Field, becoming the first Packers quarterback not named Brett Favre to win a playoff game at Lambeau since Lynn Dickey in 1982.
With Donovan McNabb headed to the Minnesota Vikings, the hope is that he can bring stability to a position until first-round pick Christian Ponder is ready to take over as the team's starting quarterback of the future.
Donovan McNabb

The Vikings used three starters in 2010: Brett Favre (5-8), Joe Webb (1-1) and Tarvaris Jackson (0-1). Inconsistency at quarterback is why Minnesota's 67.7 passer rating in 2010 ranked 30th in the NFL. Only the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers had lower passer ratings than the Vikings.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, few teams in recent history had a larger decline in production from the quarterback position than the Vikings from 2009 to 2010. Minnesota's passer rating went from 107.3 in 2009 to 67.7 last season. That decrease of 39.6 points was the largest for any team since the 1974 Atlanta Falcons, who had a drop of 47.7 points from the previous season.

McNabb saw his completion percentage, passer rating and yards per attempt drop against added pass rush last season, but that might not be as much of an issue in Minnesota. Excluding the Vikings, NFC North defenses rushed 5+ defenders on only 28.0 percent of dropbacks, well below the league average of 33.4 percent.

McNabb's move to Minnesota can't be any worse than last year's lost season in Washington. In fact, McNabb has shown during his career that he's put up better numbers indoors than outdoors. He has a 96.3 passer rating in games played in domes, which ranks fourth among active quarterbacks who have attempted at least 400 passes indoors. What's more, the Vikings play 10 of their 16 games this season indoors: eight at home plus road games against Detroit and Atlanta.

McNabb also will have the luxury of having one of the top running backs in the game to hand the ball to in Adrian Peterson, who has rushed for at least 1,200 yards in each of his first four seasons. Since McNabb became an everyday starter in 2000, he's had a running back rush for at least 1,000 yards only three times: Duce Staley in 2002 and Brian Westbrook in 2006-07.

One more from the Elias Sports Bureau: if McNabb starts Week 1 for Minnesota at San Diego, then it will be the third different team in the last three seasons that he's started for on opening weekend. The only other quarterbacks who have done that since the merger in 1970 are Jim Harbaugh (1997 Colts, 1998 Ravens, 1999 Chargers), Kurt Warner (2003 Rams, 2004 Giants, 2005 Cardinals) and Favre (2007 Packers, 2008 Jets, 2009 Vikings).

Colts, Saints try for rare playoff appearance

December, 29, 2010
• The New Orleans Saints wrapped up a playoff berth Monday night with their win at Atlanta, meaning we are on the verge of something that hasn’t happened in quite some time. A Colts win (or Jaguars loss) Sunday means Indianapolis is also in the playoffs, marking the first time since 2000 (Rams and Titans) that both teams that reached the Super Bowl the previous season went back to the playoffs.

Joe Webb
• Tuesday night, Minnesota Vikings rookie quarterback Joe Webb was the 60th different quarterback to start a game this season, the second time in four years that the league reached that number for the season (64 in 2007).

Webb was also the eighth different rookie quarterback to start a game in 2010, and seven of them have won at least one contest.

• The Carolina Panthers have had a dismal season and would like to avoid one more negative distinction. John Fox’s club has scored a league-low 186 points and should they fail to score at least 14 points this week, it would mark the 14th time a team failed to score at least 200 points in a 16-game season. The dubious 16-game record still belongs to the 1992 Seahawks (140).

• The New England Patriots have not committed a turnover in seven straight games and have just nine turnovers all season. The league record for fewest turnovers in ANY season is 12 by the 1982 Chiefs during the nine-game strike-shortened season. The Patriots’ nine miscues are more amazing when you consider that the Buffalo Bills committed seven turnovers Sunday alone.

• The New York Jets reached the playoffs despite the loss at Chicago, but the bigger question continues to be their defense. Rex Ryan’s team has allowed 24 touchdown passes in 15 games this season, after allowing an NFL-low eight in 16 games in 2009. In fact, the Jets’ defensive unit only gave up 19 touchdowns total (fewest in the league) last season.

• The St. Louis Rams were 6-42 from 2007-09 and are 7-8 this season. The Kansas City Chiefs were 10-38 from 2007-09 and are 10-5 (and AFC West champions) in 2010.

• The Indianapolis Colts have spent much of the year with the league’s worst rushing attack, while Jacksonville and Oakland have been amongst the NFL’s best at running the ball all season. So in the last two games, Indianapolis has out-rushed the Jaguars and Raiders by a combined 346-135. The once-struggling Colts need a win over the Tennessee Titans Sunday to make their ninth straight playoff appearance, tying the NFL record set by the Dallas Cowboys (1975-83).

• The Seattle Seahawks have outscored opponents 170-88 in their six wins, while being outscored 313-124 in their nine setbacks this season. All told, win or lose, 13 of Seattle’s 15 games have been decided by double-digits.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick didn’t have any miracle finishes in him against the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday night.

We can sum up Vick’s performance in a few different ways, with the aid of our video review crew.

When Vick tried to throw the ball downfield, more often than not, he failed. Vick went 5-for-16 with an interception on passes that traveled at least 10 yards in the air.

Most of those attempts went the way of wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Vick threw the ball Jackson’s way 12 times, but completed only two passes for 32 yards. Jackson was overthrown twice and underthrown twice, and also dropped one of those pass attempts. Vick made five attempts to get Jackson the ball by throwing it 21 yards or further. None of those tries were successful.

In fact, Vick has completed just five of his last 21 attempts to the two-time Pro Bowl selection over the last two weeks.

One of the strategies that the Vikings used to keep Vick bottled up was to blitz from the secondary. Minnesota used a defensive back or safety as a blitzer 16 times, and netted as many sacks (four) as it allowed completed passes. Vick was only able to scramble away twice, managing 14 yards on those runs, but no game-breaking gains.

In contrast to Vick’s struggles, Vikings quarterback Joe Webb managed an efficient game and handled the blitz to earn his first NFL win. He was 10-for-13 for 84 yards when the Eagles sent at least five pass rushers at him.

Webb was aided by running back Adrian Peterson. The Eagles spent much of the game defending with a seven-man box and Peterson made them pay. He averaged nearly eight yards per carry against that line, an increase from the 4.5 yards he’d averaged prior to that.

The Eagles had won five straight and eight of their past nine games against the Vikings prior to Tuesday. Philladelphia also had its six-game home win streak against the Vikings snapped. The last time the Vikings won a road game in Philadelphia was December 1, 1985. Webb was born nearly a year later on November 13, 1986.
A statistical look at tonight's game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles.

• The Eagles have won five straight against the Vikings and eight of their last ten games overall. Philadelphia is 5-0 in primetime games this season (4-0 in starts by Michael Vick).

The Vikings haven’t been so lucky in primetime games. They are 0-5 in primetime games this season and 1-6 in primetime games since 2001 when kickoff temperature is below 40 degrees.

• Vick has been one of the top deep passers in the league this season, but his production has dropped off in recent weeks.

Three of Vick’s four interceptions in the last three weeks have been on passes thrown at least 15 yards downfield.

• Vick has been under a lot more pressure as of late -- the Eagles QB has been forced to scramble 40 times in the last seven games compared to just 11 in his first four.

• Brett Favre and Joe Webb combined for a 49.1 passer rating last week versus Chicago, a week after Webb and Tarvaris Jackson had a collective 45.7 rating against the Giants. The last time the Vikings had a sub-50 passer rating in each of back-to-back games was in Weeks 1 and 2 of the 2005 season, when Daunte Culpepper had a 49.2 rating with no touchdown passes and three interceptions in Week 1 against Tampa Bay and a 36.4 rating with no TD passes and five picks the following week.

The last time Minnesota had a passer rating below 50 in three straight games was in October 1980, with Tommy Kramer as their starting quarterback.

• The last NFL game that took place on a Tuesday was October 1, 1946 when the New York Giants beat the Boston Yanks 17-0 at Braves Field. That game was originally scheduled for September 30 but was postponed due to rain. While the last NFL game played on a Tuesday took place in 1946, there have been a total of 19 NFL games played on a Tuesday and Vikings-Eagles will be the 20th.
A preview of Monday Night Football between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.

The Bears travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings (ESPN, 8:30 ET) with snow in the forecast and Brett Favre upgraded to Questionable on the injury report. Because of the issues with the Metrodome, the game will be played outdoors at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.

The temperature at gametime is expected to be 19 degrees, well above the coldest NFL game on record. The Ice Bowl, which was the 1967 NFL Championship between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys, was played at 13 degrees below zero with a wind chill of negative 48.

In all primetime games since 1991 (Monday Night Football as well as Sunday/Thursday night games), Minnesota is 1-5 in December regular-season games where the kickoff temperature was under 40 degrees.

Favre used to be the king of cold weather, but he hasn’t been as strong the last several seasons when the temperature drops.

His touchdown-to-interception ratio has plummeted along with his passer rating when the temperature is below 40 degrees. Favre has also struggled lately on Monday Night Football, going just 2-8 in his past 10 MNF starts dating to 2005.

Joe Webb
If Favre can’t go again tonight, rookie Joe Webb would get his first career start against the Bears. Webb piled up more than 8,000 yards of total offense under center at UAB and was named Conference USA’s Offensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2009, but it’s a good bet he never played in front of the type of crowd or in the type of weather conditions expected Monday night in Minneapolis.

A nationally-televised game against a quality opponent might not be the ideal conditions for a quarterback making his first career start, but QBs stepping under center for the first time on Monday Night Football have fared better than you might think.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last four quarterbacks to make their first career start on Monday Night Football have all guided their team to a win, including Aaron Rodgers over these Vikings in Week 1 of 2008.

On the other sideline, Jay Cutler has won five of his past six starts after starting the season 3-3. Most of his struggles this season have come against an opposing package with five or more defensive backs on the field.

Look for the Vikings to be more effective against Cutler by limiting the use of its base 4-3 defense Monday night.

The good news for Cutler is that he may not have far to go. According to Elias, the average start for Chicago's drives this season has been its 32.7-yard line, the best in the NFL.