Stats & Info: Trent Edwards

Manning struggles with early deep balls

September, 18, 2012
Daniel Shirey/US PresswirePeyton Manning threw three first-quarter interceptions for just the second time in his career.
Peyton Manning would like to have his first quarter back.

For the first time in his career, he threw an interception on each of his first three drives. He threw interceptions on two of his first four passes, the fewest attempts he has ever needed to throw a pair of picks.

For the second time in his career, Manning threw three interceptions in the first quarter. He also did in 2007 against the San Diego Chargers.

Manning became the first player to throw three interceptions in a first quarter since Trent Edwards in 2008 for the Buffalo Bills against the Cleveland Browns.

All three of Manning’s interceptions came on deep passes. He was 3-of-7 for 51 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions on throws of 15 or more yards downfield.

The Broncos are the first team with four turnovers in a first quarter since 2002, when the Washington Redskins had four against the New Orleans Saints.

Teams with four first-quarter turnovers have now lost 30 straight games with the last win coming in 1999, when the Chicago Bears beat the Saints.

As for the winners ...


Matt Ryan is now 8-1 at home against AFC teams in his career. He now has 18 passing touchdowns and two interceptions in those games. His only home loss to an AFC team was in 2008 against the Broncos.

Ryan became the second Atlanta Falcons quarterback with 100 career passing touchdowns, joining Steve Bartkowski (154). Ryan’s TD pass to Roddy White gives the tandem 35 touchdowns, the most by any QB-WR duo since 2008.


Turnovers were certainly the key: Under Mike Smith (since 2008), the Falcons are now 30-2 when winning the turnover battle.


And while turnovers dominated the discussion, second downs played a significant role. Coming into the game, Ryan hadn’t been sacked on second down when facing five or more pass rushers since 2010.

Meanwhile, the Broncos had sent five or more pass rushers on at least 40 percent of second-down dropbacks in 12 straight regular-season games. They sent five or more on more than 50 percent of second downs each of the last two seasons and 57 percent of plays in Week 1.

But against the Falcons, the Broncos only sent five or more pass rushers on four of 16 second down dropbacks (25 percent) and Ryan extended his sackless streak on such plays to 19 games. The Broncos have now lost six straight and nine of their last 10 games when sending five or more pass rushers on less than 30 percent of their opponents' second-down dropbacks.

On second downs, Ryan was 12-of-16 for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Ryan also excelled on play-action plays, where he was 12-of-13 for 95 yards and a touchdown.
Two teams seemingly heading in opposite directions are set to face off on Monday Night Football (ESPN, 8:30 ET).

At 4-1, the Baltimore Ravens look to equal the best six-game start in franchise history. In 2000, they opened 5-1, on the way to a 12-4 finish and Super Bowl XXXV title.

Meanwhile, at 1-5, the Jacksonville Jaguars have matched their worst six-game start in team history (started 1-5 in 2003).

After defeating the Titans in Week 1, the Jaguars have lost five straight, their longest losing streak since losing 6 straight games from 2002-03. Jacksonville is facing its fourth straight opponent currently 4-2 or better.

The Ravens have dominated the series of late, having won seven of the past eight meetings. However, six of those wins came by seven points or fewer. History is also working against the Jaguars, who have lost their past six games in primetime.

While defenses now have Ray Rice and company to worry about, the Ravens’ defense remains its core strength. Baltimore is allowing an NFL-low 14.2 points per game, which would be the fewest since the 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers (13.9).

It’s vital to strike early against the Ravens, who have allowed only six points in the fourth quarter this season. That’s reminiscent of the 2000 squad, which allowed only 42 fourth-quarter points all season.

Maurice Jones-Drew is averaging a career-high 4.8 yards-per-carry, but he faces one of the NFL’s top rush defenses. Baltimore is allowing just 76.6 rushing yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry, both third best in the NFL.

That puts added pressure on rookie Blaine Gabbert, making his fifth career start. Out of 34 qualifying quarterbacks, he currently has the second-lowest Total QBR (18.8) ahead of only Kerry Collins (13.6).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, over the past 10 times a rookie quarterback has started against the team allowing the fewest points per game, his team has won just once. That came in the 2007 regular-season finale, when Matt Moore led Carolina over Tampa Bay, which was resting its starters.

Gabbert’s biggest strength has been throws inside the numbers, where he’s completed all four of his touchdowns and is averaging 7.8 yards per attempt. Compare that to outside the numbers, where he averages 3.9 per attempt and two interceptions.

Of course, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed might have something to say about that. The Ravens are allowing the lowest completion percentage inside the numbers this season (55.7 pct)

There is reason for hope in Jacksonville. According to Elias, the Ravens have won just two of the last six games in which they faced a rookie starting quarterback, including losses to Charlie Frye and Trent Edwards
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)
The Jacksonville Jaguars are playing for a division championship and playoff spot on Sunday, and will likely be without two of their biggest offensive contributors this season -- quarterback David Garrard and running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
Rashad Jennings

With Trent Edwards and running back Rashad Jennings likely filling in for their injured counterparts, how will this impact what the team does offensively against the Houston Texans? Here are three things to keep in mind:

• With Jennings in for Drew, the Jaguars may try to run to the outside more, specifically the left side. Jones-Drew led the NFL in rushes up the middle this season, but Jennings has the capability to go in other directions. In a limited sampling of 20 carries to the left side, he’s averaged 8.8 yards. Even if you take out his 74-yard run against the Raiders, he’s averaged better than five-yards per carry on such runs. The Texans rate slightly better than league average this season on left-side runs, allowing 4.6 yards per rush.

•  One area where Edwards may have an advantage over Garrard is when the Texans bring extra pressure. During the 2008 season in which he was 7-7 in 14 starts for the Bills, Edwards completed 66 percent of his 90 pass attempts against blitzes, with four touchdowns and only one interception.

Admittedly his personnel were different from that which Garrard has worked with the last couple of seasons. In the last two years, Garrard has 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions against blitzes.

• The Jaguars are going to have to find success from someone else in the red zone. Garrard has thrown 16 touchdowns, with no interceptions in the red zone this season, with the fourth-best passer rating (113.8, min. 10 attempts). Garrard and Jones-Drew have also combined for seven of the Jaguars’ eight rushing touchdowns in goal-to-go situations.
Trent Edwards

The Texans did well defending Tim Tebow inside their own 20 yard line last week (he was 0-for-5). This week, their focus will be Edwards, who is 2-for-7 with an interception inside the red zone this season, 10-for-24 with two interceptions over the last two seasons.

The unfortunate thing from a Jaguars perspective is that Garrard and Jones-Drew both have great histories against the Texans. Garrard has completed 67 percent of his throws against Houston in the last three seasons, including 30-of-43 in the fourth quarter. Jones-Drew averaged nearly 100 yards per game against them on the ground in that span.

Sunday will be a chance for a couple of new names to make history and possibly push their team into the postseason.
The Jaguars' 30-3 loss to the Titans Monday was Jacksonville's worst home loss in team history. It was the Titans' largest margin of victory on the road since a 37-point win at Detroit in 2008. Jacksonville has been outscored 96-19 in its three losses this season. After four giveaways and no takeaways Monday, the Jaguars have a -7 turnover margin, second worst in the league behind the 49ers -8.

• Both starting quarterbacks -- Vince Young and David Garrard -- left early in the game with injuries forcing Kerry Collins and Trent Edwards to get considerable playing time. Collins made the most of it completing 11 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. That gives Collins 3,307 career completions moving him past Hall of Famer Dan Fouts for 10th place all-time.

• Chris Johnson ran for 111 yards on Monday, giving him at least 100 rushing yards in each of his last eight road games, which is the second-longest such streak in NFL history. Barry Sanders had a 10-game streak over the 1996 and 1997 seasons. Entering Monday night, Johnson had been tied for the second-longest streak with Marcus Allen, who had a seven-game streak with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1985 and 1986. The last road game in which Johnson didn’t run for 100 yards was in Jacksonville last October 4.

Under Center of Attention: Matt Ryan

September, 23, 2010
As we get ready for another wild week in the NFL, which QBs are under center … of attention?

Matt Ryan had a passer rating of 117.3 in the Atlanta Falcons rout of the Arizona Cardinals in Week Two. Since coming into the league in 2008, Ryan has 10 games with a passer rating of 100.0 or better, and he's 10-0 in those games. Over that same time, Ryan is one of 14 QBs who have enjoyed at least 10 games with a rating that high, but not many of them have a perfect record.

The QBs with the most such games are Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers with 19 each. They are a combined 43-14 in those games.

• It turns out that Michael Vick WILL start Sunday for the Philadelphia Eagles against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

VickFrom the Elias Sports Bureau: Among quarterbacks with at least 50 starts since 2001 (Vick's rookie year), only David Carr has been sacked more frequently than Vick. He's been sacked once every 10.2 pass attempts, while Carr has been sacked once every 9.5 pass attempts. Vick has been sacked eight times so far this season, which ties him with Matt Moore of the Carolina Panthers for the most in the NFL.

• Vick replaces Kevin Kolb as the Eagles starter while Moore gets benched in favor of rookie Jimmy Clausen. Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable announced on Wednesday that Bruce Gradkowski will start over Jason Campbell this week against the Arizona Cardinals, and Jake Delhomme still hasn't practiced. If Seneca Wallace starts again for the Cleveland Browns, it would be the first time since 1998 that seven teams started one QB in the season opener and a different QB in the third game of the season.

• Joe Flacco tied a team record on Sunday when he threw four interceptions in the Baltimore Ravens loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. It was the third time in his career that he threw at least three interceptions in a game. He's been able to bounce back immediately after each of those horrific performances:

October 19, 2008: Flacco passes for 232 yards with a TD and no interceptions in the Ravens 27-13 road win over the Miami Dolphins.
December 13, 2009: Flacco throws for 230 yards with a TD and no interceptions in a 48-3 home blowout of the Detroit Lions.

• Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will start for the Buffalo Bills, went to school at Harvard. He's one of two players from Harvard who have thrown a pass in the NFL. The other? The immortal Pat McInally, who threw four passes in his 10 seasons as the Cincinnati Bengals punter.

• The Dolphins are 2-0 and haven't needed to rely on Chad Henne to help them win games. In the third and fourth quarters thus far, Henne has thrown for just 98 yards, the fewest of any QB with at least 20 attempts. Maybe it's a continuation of last year, when Henne ranked 21st out of 34 qualifying QBs in 2nd half passer rating at 69.5.

• Shaun Hill gets the start when the Lions visit the Minnesota Vikings, but don't expect much from Hill on the long ball. He's just 1-for-9 on passes thrown more than 20 yards downfield this season. Don't laugh Matt Cassel, you're 0-for-6 in that situation.

D-Gaps: Matthews at head of the Pack

September, 23, 2010
(Filling you in on what you may have missed on the "other" side of the ball)
No player, regardless of position, has had a better start to the season than Green Bay Packers' linebacker Clay Matthews. After recording three sacks and a crucial fourth-and-one stop of Michael Vick in the Packers' season-opening win against the Philadelphia Eagles, Matthews made things nearly impossible for Trent Edwards and the Buffalo Bills in week two, picking up three more sacks and five quarterback hits.

With six sacks through two games, Matthews enters the third week of the season with more sacks than 25 teams. The only clubs with more sacks than Matthews (other than the Packers) are the Detroit Lions (10) and Tennessee Titans (eight). Here’s the list of players with more sacks than Matthews through two games, since sacks became an official statistic in 1982: Antwan Odom (seven in 2009) and William Gay (6.5 in 1983). That’s it. With 14 games still remaining in his sophomore season, Matthews has already tied a Packers record for most sacks by a player in his first two seasons, joining Tony Bennett at the top of the list with 16.

Polamalu’s return has Steelers defense looking super
Injuries limited the Pittsburgh Steelers' Troy Polamalu to just five games in 2009. Without their star safety, the Steelers secondary was sluggish, allowing 221.6 passing yards per game in the 11 games Polamalu missed compared to 201.8 when he played. But Polamalu’s strength is not just limiting the opponents' passing yards, it’s in forcing opposing quarterbacks into mistakes. In Polamalu’s five games in 2009, the Steelers had seven interceptions (Polamalu himself had three). In 11 games with Polamalu sidelined, Pittsburgh registered a total of five picks.
With Polamalu back in the lineup, order has been restored in the Steelers secondary as Pittsburgh enters week three tied for the league lead in scoring defense and sixth in total defense. Polamalu has two interceptions in two games, giving him nine in his last 14 regular-season games dating back to 2008.

Ravens defense still the best of Baltimore
Despite the continued development of young talent in the backfield (Joe Flacco, Ray Rice) and the offseason acquisition of Anquan Boldin, it looks like the script remains the same for the Baltimore Ravens. A subpar offensive attack will again rely on its defense to keep opponents out of the end zone. And sometimes, even that won’t be enough. Through two games, the Ravens are the only team in the league yet to surrender a touchdown, but they’re 1-1 after losing to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The loss was the Ravens' fourth when not allowing an offensive touchdown since the league expanded to 32 teams in 2002, one behind the Steelers for the most such losses over that span.

Baltimore is the first team to lose one of its first two games of a season despite not allowing a touchdown in either contest since the 2006 Denver Broncos, who allowed six field goals to the St. Louis Rams in a week one loss before beating the Kansas City Chiefs 9-6. If the Ravens hold the Browns without an offensive touchdown on Sunday, they will be the first team to not allow an offensive touchdown in the first three games of a season since the 1944 New York Giants.