clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Stat of the Day: JaMarcus Russell is Not Good

I know every time I bring up QB rating people feel the need to mention that it's an antiquated statistic.  I get it.  There are probably better means of identifying who the best and worst QBs in the league are, but the QB rating still works quite well. 

If we're looking at all of the QBs in the league, who would be your top 10 in 2009?  Would it look like this?

  1. Peyton Manning
  2. Aaron Rodgers
  3. Drew Brees
  4. Matt Schaub
  5. Ben Roethlisberger
  6. Brett Favre
  7. Kyle Orton
  8. Tom Brady
  9. Philip Rivers
  10. Tony Romo

That's your top 10 NFL QBs in 2009 ranked by their QB Rating.  It's not identical to my list of the best 2009 QBs (I'd probably have Rodgers down a couple of spots), but it's damn close.  That's why I continue to at least respect the QB Rating stat as a means to judge a QB's performance.

Here where it gets amazing.  There are 32 teams in the NFL and therefore 32 starting QBs.  Due to injuries and changes in the position for some teams, 35 QBs have averaged at least 14 passes per game.  Can you guess where JaMarcus Russell ranks amongst those 35 signal-callers?  34th. That means there are at least two QBs in the league who are or were considered backups that have played better.

Now here's the kicker.  The only QB that is still getting a chance to play the position with a lower QB Rating is Derek Anderson, who is probably only playing because the Browns don't want to give Brady Quinn a $11 million bonus.  He is considered a starter, and Quinn does not have enough snaps to be ranked.  That means there are three QBs that are or were considered backups with higher QB ratings than Russell.  Can you name them all? (Answer at the end of the post)



Passing Rushing Sacks
G Rating Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD INT Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Sack YdsL
2009 - JaMarcus Russell 7 47.2 74 160 46.3 891 127.3 5.6 2 8 15 38 5.4 2.5 0 18 101


Those numbers are astonishing low.  How low?  So low that even 2008 JaMarcus Russell would laugh at them....

  • His 47.2 QB Rating is the lowest of his career.  His previous lowest QB Rating was 55.9, during his rookie campaign. 
  • The 46.3% completion rate doesn't even come close to JaMarcus' previous lowest completion rate (53.8%). 
  • His career TD/INT ratio before this season was 5/4, far better than the 1/4 he's producing in 2009.
  • Although Oakland's line was supposedly improved since last season, Russell is on pace to be sacked 41 times in 2009.  That's significantly more than the 31 times he was sacked in 2008.
  • 5% of his passes in 2009 have been intercepted.  That's more than double last season, where only 2.2% of his passes were picked off.
  • 1.3% of his passes in 2009 have been touchdowns.  Not only is that less than half of his second worst season (2007 - 3.0%), but if you take away the Louis Murphy touchdown against the Chargers (where nobody covered him) that percentage goes down to 0.6%.
  • In 2008, JaMarcus used his nimble feet and big body to gain 7.5 yards per carry as a runner.  In 2009, he's gaining just 2.5 YPC.
  • In 2008, Russell proved to have a difficult time fumbling the ball, losing the pigskin 12 times in 15 games.  In 2009, he's on pace to fumble it 11.5 times over 16 games.  That's an improvement!

Trivia Answer: Technically there are five "backup" QBs with higher QB ratings than Russell.  Kevin Kolb (88.9) filled in for McNabb and Seneca Wallace (82.6) filled in for Matt Hasselbeck.  Both played significantly better than JaMarcus Russell.  Now here's where it just gets silly.....

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers benched Byron Leftwich after he posted a 71.2 QB Rating in the first few games of the season.  His replacement, Josh Johnson, was replaced after a handful of games after posting a 50.9 QB Rating.  Josh Freeman, who hasn't thrown enough passes to be ranked, played for about a quarter against the Patriots and still managed a 60.4 QB Rating.  All three QB Ratings are higher than Russell's.