The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Archive for November 15th, 2007

Derek Anderson: Midseason Review

Posted by disappointmentzone on 15 November 2007

Derek Anderson has now started eight games in 2007. According to the numbers he’s had four outstanding games, one very good game, one average game, and two bad games. His cumulative QB Score in those games is 940, for a QB Score per play of 3.35. Where do these numbers fit in among his peers?

Well, Tom Brady has been the best quarterback in the league. No surprise there. He’s the prohibitive favorite for MVP and barring some extraordinary circumstances there is a very real chance he’ll lead his team to a 16-0 regular season record. There is no standard of success by which his performance this season would be considered anything less than an unholy triumph. Brady’s QB Score per play is 4.52. That’s the best in the NFL. That’s extraordinarily outstanding.

Entering Week 10 Tony Romo was second in the league in QB Score per play, at 3.73. At that point his team had suffered only one loss (which is still true) and he had just signed a huge multi-year contract extension. He’s the Cowboys’ quarterback of the future.

The third best quarterback was Peyton Manning, whose QB Score per play was 3.70 (Sunday’s game will lower this number). Entering Week 10 the Colts had also only suffered one loss and that was to the Patriots.

To recap: The top three quarterbacks in the league — Brady, Romo, Manning — had led their respective teams to a combined record of 27-2. Since the Colts played the Patriots the best possible record for these QBs was 28-1. That’s one loss less than perfect. That’s also extraordinarily outstanding.

The fourth best quarterback in the league: Derek Anderson.

Just think about that for a moment. Brady and Manning are Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Hell, they might go down as the two best quarterbacks of all time. Right now, they’re also the peers of Derek Anderson. So far this season, he’s pretty much in their class. He’s in the upper tier. He’s elite. He’s outstanding.

To wit: In the games Anderson starts the Browns’ offense averages 31 points. Only New England and Indianapolis are better. New England, Indy, Cleveland. Now there’s an unlikely trio.

Unfortunately the Browns have also given up 264 points — the worst in the league. The Browns were whooped by Pittsburgh in Week 1 and New England in Week 5, but otherwise the offense has played well enough in each game that were Browns’ defense league-average it stands to reason that the team’s record would be somewhere closer to 7-2. A league-average defense wouldn’t give up 26 points to the Raiders and a league-average defense would have allowed probably allowed fewer than 28 points to the Steelers on Sunday.

5-4 ain’t half bad. Were it not for Anderson the team might be closer to 1-8. The defense has been that bad. That their record isn’t so terrible is because Derek Anderson has been that good.

Grade: A


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