The QB throwdown: soaps & sitcoms

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Nov 10, 2009



By Jeremy Gottlieb
Cold, Hard Football Facts couch potato of pigskin

Like sands through the hourglass, these are the Quarterbacks of Our Lives. Whether roaming the streets of Port Charles, watching the world turn in downtown Oakdale or sunning themselves in Santa Barbara, NFL passers have one common goal – to win on Sundays.
 
Get the job done and they are as beloved as Luke & Laura on their wedding day. Throw a few picks, take a few sacks and lose the game and they feel worse than J.R Ewing after he knocked up and was then nearly knocked off by Sue Ellen's whorey sister Kristin.
 
So let's take a look at who did the job well enough to warrant a daytime Emmy in Week 9, as well as those doomed to wander the earth like Sleestaks – that is, perpetually lost.

This week's ratings winners
Kurt Warner, Arizona: Warner scripted a Second City laugher on Sunday. He rebounded from his six-turnover performance at home against Carolina last week with five TDs, 261 yards, and a 132.9 passer rating in Chicago versus the once-feared/now-fearful Bears D. Only five QBs have thrown both five TDs in one game and five INTs in another game this decade – and never in the same season. Warner did it in back-to-back weeks.
 
Just how old is Warner? His last five-touchdown game was 10 years ago, during his Super Bowl-winning season with the Rams.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh: At the high altitude of Invesco Field, Big Ben shredded the once-potent Denver defense – which saw its Defensive Passer Rating rise to 79.7 (it was 70.2 just two weeks ago). Roethlisberger completed 21 of 29 (72.4%) for 233 yards, a nice 8.0 YPA and three scores. Big Ben's not accurate? He's completed 70.61 percent of his passes this year – the best mark in the league and a pace to break Ken Anderson's record 70.55 completion percentage set in 1982.
 
And now a theme song: Ben does it again, winning 28-10. Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben.
 
OK, theme songs aren't our specialty.

Tom Brady, New England: Here's the story of a man named Brady, who's busy with three rings of his own. Tom Terrific shook off an early pick to dine on some tender Dolphin as if it were a fresh delivery from Sam the Butcher: he threw for 332 yards and a 93.5 passer rating in a 27-17 victory. Brady has produced three straight 300-yard games, is third in the league with 2,364 yards passing and sports a season-long passer rating of 99.2 (sixth). And he says he's not even playing at peak form yet. Yikes.
 
Derek Anderson, Cleveland: All the little chicks with crimson lips know that Cleveland sucks! Cleveland sucks! The bye week was a blessing for the Brownies: it saved the Cleveland offense the indignity of actually stepping on the field and humiliating itself. And any week Cleveland doesn't play is a good week for its fans and its quarterbacks. The Browns have scored just five offensive touchdowns in their last 14 games, averaging 7.8 PPG in the process. If we count their bye week as an actual game in which they were shutout, their per-game average barely drops, to 7.3 PPG. For one week, at least, Anderson can walk around town with his head held high.
 
Destined to be cancelled
Joe Flacco, Baltimore: Call Flacco's performance WKRAP in Cincinnati. Facing the vastly improved Bengals defense, Flacco flucked up. He completed 18 of 32 for 195 yards, 6.1 YPA, and 2 INT in Baltimore's 17-7 loss at Cincy, easily his worst numbers of the season (48.3 passer rating.
 
Cincinnati, for its part, is now tied for eighth with unbeaten New Orleans in our Defensive Hog Index and is a respectable 11th in Defensive Passer Rating.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit: "Show me that smile again!" ... or just show us that smile once. More Growing Pains for rookie No. 1 draft pick Stafford, who led his team to a 17-0 first quarter lead at Seattle, only to get shutdown like an Alan Thicke late-night talk show in the final three quarters.
 
The Seahawks outscored Detroit 32-3 in periods two through four, while Stafford was picked off five times, including three INTs in a horrific second half.

Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia:
Hey, a big game in Philly for the Eagles. McNabb will surely step up, right? Wrong. In a 20-16 loss to the Cowboys Sunday, the Eagles offense was more dysfunctional than the cast at Paddy's Pub. McNabb completed 16 of 30 for 227 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT and a 61.4 passer rating. He also took four sacks.
 
Philly fans have never quite warmed to McNabb and sub-par performances like this one, with first place on the line and facing a soft defense, are a big reason why (Dallas entered the game with a 90.4 Defensive Passer Rating).

Kyle Orton, Denver: The Charlie Sheen keeps on fading from Orton and his 1978-styles 'stache, this time at the hands of the improving Steelers D.
 
Orton had thrown just one pick in his first seven games. He tripled that number  in a single Monday night disaster against Pittsburgh, with three picks and just 221 yards on 38 pass attempts. The Broncos lost, 28-10, their second straight defeat after a 6-0 start.

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