Monday, January 5, 2009

Best rookie QB

This past weekend was a pretty eventful weekend in the sports world. There were the 2008 Dolphins doing their best impersonation of the 2007 Dolphins. Also, there was the BEST COLLEGE BASKETBALL TEAM EVER shooting 9 more free throws than Boston College (home court advantage?) and still losing their first conferance game. But at least Jay Bilas still surprisngly (sarcasm) likes Tyler Hansbrough. Many other things happened (Duke holding VA Tech to a pre shot clock type 2nd half score, other NFL playoff games, Ole Miss shockingly winning, etc), but for this post I wanted to address something that the media has been focusing on lately. If you have been listening to talk radio or ESPN you might think that we have seen the two best rookie QBs in the history of the NFL are playing in the league right now. The media loves Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan for helping turn around the Ravens and Falcons and while both players do deserve some credit for playing well as a rookie I take umbrage with people who say they are the best rookie QBs ever (or more commonly they say since Marino).

In fact I will say that we have seen a better rookie QB only 4 years ago in a rookie from Miami University named Ben Roethlisberger. Let’s do a quick comparison of the 3 QBs:


  • 257 for 428 (completion % = 60%) for 2971 yards
  • 14 TDs and 12 INTs and a 80.3 QB rating.
  • Yards per attempt was 6.94 and yards per game was 185.
  • Overall team record – 11 wins 5 losses


  • 265 for 434 (completion % = 61.1%) for 3440 yards
  • 16 TDs and 11 INTs and a 87.7 QB rating.
  • Yards per attempt was 7.93 and yards per game was 215.
  • Overall team record – 11 wins 5 losses


  • 196 for 295 (completion % = 66.4%) for 2621 yards
  • 17 TDs and 11 INTs and a 98.1 QB rating.
  • Yards per attempt was 8.9 and yards per game was 187.
  • Overall team record – 13 wins 0 losses

In my mind those stats clearly show that Roethlisberger was the better QB. He had the most TDs of the bunch despite starting 3 games less than Ryan/Flacco. Also, he had a significantly better QB rating, a better completion percentage, and a better yards per attempt average. Combine those numbers with the small fact that he won every game he started and led a team that was 6-10 the year before to a 15-1 record and a spot in the conference championship and I think it is pretty clear that Roethlisberger had a better year than Ryan and Flacco.

Of course Flacco’s year is still going on, so maybe I would reconsider if he were to lead his team to the Super Bowl with his superb passing. I can say that after one game though I wasn’t that impressed and came away with the feeling that Flacco was an average QB. We will see how he does next week against Tennessee , but my guess is that both he and the Ravens will be on the losing end of that game.

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