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Stat of the Day: Average QBs

You can blame this post on Zach.  He of no short-term memory.  Zach still has fears that the Chargers can't cover TEs and give up huge games to average QBs.  In fact, the Chargers not playing well against "average QBs" is part of what is causing him fear heading into this Jets game.  I decided I was going to go on a statistical journey to prove to him that he's nuts, and that Ron Rivera has fixed that problem.

So here's what I did.  I took the QB rating of every QB that has played against the Chargers this season, and compared it against his QB for that game or games played against the Bolts.

Does the Chargers defense play worse against average QBs?  I'm not doubting it wasn't true in 2008 or 2007, but it's certainly not true in 2009.  To get a good scope of how they've defended "average" QBs, I'm going to eliminate any QBs that has a season QB rating of over 90 (only 12 guys accomplished such a feat).  That leaves us with the following list:

Joe Flacco

Kyle Orton

Jason Campbell

Carson Palmer

Vince Young

Chad Pennington

Chad Henne

Matt Cassel

Brady Quinn

JaMarcus Russell

Not a bad sample group, right?  Let's see how each fared against their season QB rating when playing San Diego.  In the case of Cassel, Orton and Russel, their QB ratings will be averaged.

Season Rating Game Rating +/-
Flacco 88.9 96.6 7.7
Orton 86.8 85.4 -1.4
Campbell 86.4 101.4 15
Palmer 83.6 97.3 13.7
Young 82.8 11.9 -70.9
Pennington 76 76.4 0.4
Henne 75.2 44.2 -31
Cassel 69.9 49.8 -20.1
Quinn 67.2 95.7 28.5
Russell 50 52.2 2.2


So the two biggest boosts by average QBs against the Chargers this year have been by Jason Campbell, who was going against backups, Brady Quinn and Carson Palmer.  Quinn and Palmer were allowed to throw short, underneath routes most of the day due to the zone coverages that were being played.  Cassel and Henne were blitzed more. 

I don't know which gameplan Rivera is going to go with against Mark Sanchez, but history tells us that a good game by Sanchez may say more about what the Chargers D was willing to give him than anything else.