Approaching the mid-point of the 2011 NFL Regular Season, it should come as no surprise that the teams with the most successful quarterbacks are riding high, while those with problems in the passing position are trailing the field.
Sitting atop the passer rankings after Week 8 were four QBs with ratings above 100. By no coincidence, all four play for teams at the head of their divisions.
After just three and a half seasons of signal calling for the Green Bay offense, Aaron Rogers already has cheese heads thinking “Brett who?” His passer rating going into Packers’ bye week was 125.7, including 20 touchdowns versus just three interceptions.
There’s no doubt that Rogers’ success is the reason his team has started the season 7-0 to lead the NFC East. His arm should be well rested as he travels to the left coast to see if he can keep the Pack perfect in San Diego in Week 9.
In contrast, New England’s Tom Brady is not having his best year. After seven games, he’s been intercepted eight times. In 2010, he gave up only four picks all season and ended up ranked #1 overall.
But even when he’s off, the Patriot’s quarterback is still phenomenal. With a 104.4 passer rating, Brady has tossed his team to a record of 5-2, currently tied for the lead with Buffalo in the AFC East.
Sporting a 102.1 rating, New York’s Eli Manning is ranked #3 in the league. His 5-2 Giants are comfortably ahead of the other three teams in the NFC East, none of which has a top rated aerial attack. (Tony Romo in Dallas comes closest in the low 90s.)
Still negotiating a new contract in New Orleans, Drew Brees has been showing Saints fans that he’s worth every penny he wants. His 100.6 passer rating includes 2,746 yards in the air, more than any other quarterback in the league at this stage. The 5-3 Saints are clinging to a slim lead over the Falcons and the Buccaneers in the NFC South.
On the other end of the standings are the NFL’s two winless teams, Miami (0-7) and Indianapolis (0-8). The Dolphins have choked in the air with Chad Henne (79.0) and Matt Moore (65.3). The Colts, of course, were devastated by the loss of injured Peyton Manning; his replacement, Curtis Painter, has a passer rating of just 75.1.
Ironically, having Manning off the roster simply proves why giving the Hall-of-Fame-bound QB the recent contract extension he wanted was worth $90 million. More than any other component of play, passing wins games. And that’s a stat you can bet on.
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