Of course after the national media collectively fondled Robert Griffin on national television (metaphorically of course) after his week 1 jewel of a game (19/26 320 yards 2 TD 0 INT). I expected, and got, very little of the same after Weeden put up basically the exact same numbers last week.
I was fired when I first saw Weeden’s stats against the Bengals, not that he put up Weeden-esque numbers but that he recovered in such a huge way from week 1. Then I started thinking about how Weeden’s second game performance ranked among rookies in, say, the last 10ish years. Here’s what I found…
Since 2000 there have been 287 games in which a rookie quarterback attempted more than 10 passes in a game (this is among quarterback who qualified for a passer rating, you have to average 14 passes a game for the season to qualify).
Two weeks ago Weeden checked in with the worst passer rating out of all 287 of those games at 5.1. David Carr dropped an 8.2 his rookie year on 6/25 for 87 yards and 2 INT against San Diego. Mark Sanchez had an equally putrid 10/29 for 119 and 5 INT (!) for an 8.3 rating against the Bills his first season. Those are the only three single digit ratings out of all 287 performances.
Against Cincinnati however, Weeden put up the 21st best game by a rookie QB since 2000 with a nice 26/37 for 322 yards and 2 TD line. Good for a 114.9 QB rating.
Only eight rookie quarterbacks since 2000 have topped this mark. Roethlisberger topped it four times his rookie year (including a 14/17 for 221 and 2 TD and a 158 (!) rating against Jacksonville). Cammy Cam did it three times last year. Griffin did it in week one. Matty Ice did it five (!) times his frosh season, Flacco four. Josh Freeman, VY and Byron Leftwich one a piece.
So if you’re scoring at home, these are the rookie QBs since 2000 who have topped the 114.5 QB rating:
Matt Ryan (5)
Ben Roethlisberger (4)
Joe Flacco (4)
Cam Newton (3)
Bob Griffin (1)
Josh Freeman (1)
Byron Leftwich (1)
Vince Young (1)
Brandon Weeden (1)
Other than VY that’s a pretty decent crop of professional passers.
There was a really intriguing article on ESPN last week talking about how when you put up a 5.1 QB rating for a single game, despite the sample size, it’s pretty telling that you’re going to have a crappy career. In other words there haven’t been any great (or even good) QBs who have gone that low.
I wrote at the time that if anyone could reverse that trend, it’s B. Weeds.
Hope he keeps proving me right.