Cleveland Browns: QB Score: Week 3
Posted by disappointmentzone on 23 September 2007
Derek Anderson did not play well against the Oakland Raiders. Anderson threw the ball very poorly, often doing his best imitation of Bret Favre when Bret Favre is at his worst: firing into quadruple coverage, overthrowing receivers, and throwing the ball to the other team. Anderson was not helped by a number of dropped passes nor was he helped by a running game that was apparently didn’t board the flight to Oakland, but neither of those factors is an excuse for his play.
No, it was the baseball dirt that made all the difference.
The dirt messed up his footwork, prevented his receivers from running crisp routes, which in turn threw off his timing and caused him to fire a number of incomplete passes. Also, the dirt made him throw the ball at the Oakland defenders and the dirt made him miss his reads and the dirt cast a spell over him that prevented him from flying the winning score into the endzone. (1)
On the plus side Anderson still made a couple of very nice passes — looking off the safety on his touchdown pass was a savvy maneuver — and he did drive the team into field goal range without any timeouts, although the success of that drive should be attributed mostly to Kellen Winslow. Still, Anderson put the team in position to win on the road, which is all you can really ask of a guy making his fifth start in the NFL. Wait, no, that’s not right. You can ask him not to throw the ball to the other team. But other than that…
There is still no denying that the Browns could have won. If only the defense were able to tackle, stop the run, or stop the pass, or if the league changed the idiotic timeout rules, well, then, the game would have been ours! (2)
QB Score: 56
QB Score per play: 1.44
Anderson was below average, but not by as much as one would expect. This is clearly one of those instances when cold hard statistical analysis rubs violently against subjective, anecdotal experience.
fn 1: Seriously, though, the dirt was an undeniable factor in the game. The teams may as well have been playing on a mixture of grass and ice. How can the NFL allow any of its teams to play on such a field? It’s bush league and ugly and something less than the lofty standards of the NFL. If the NFL can force the players to wear their socks at a proscribed height then why can’t they force the city of Oakland to cough up $600,000,000 for a new stadium? I thought Roger Goddell’s powers were without limit. They’re not? Could’ve fooled me.
fn 2: The timeout rules are ridiculous and if the NFL were a fare place they’d schedule a game between the Browns and the Broncos and just give the Browns the victory on a last-second field goal. The NFL needs to seriously discuss changing the rule to something more reasonable, like no defensive timeouts when the play clock is under 10 seconds.