Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) warms up on the field before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Is New Dallas Cowboy Brandon Weeden the Worst Quarterback In The League?


Brandon Weeden is literally one of the two worst quarterbacks in the league. Of, course, the Cowboys signed him to a two-year deal.

 

Calling Weeden one of the two worst quarterbacks is debatable because the NFL still features Mark Sanchez and Blaine Gabbert, and breaking their stranglehold on the coveted “putrid two” designation is a feat in and of itself*. But Weeden has claimed the spot from Sanchez, though the race is close. Whether or not he is worse than Gabbert is also below.

Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) warms up on the field before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Sanchez didn’t even start last year (he was benched in favor of Geno Smith), but he was so awful that he grand-fathered into the putrid two with Blaine Gabbert, who we’ll get to.

QBR, ESPN’s quarterback metric and one of the closest things in football to sabermetrics, rated Weeden much worse than Sanchez. In their last two years of consistent starting, Weeden’s average final-year QBR was 26.2. Sanchez’ was a comparatively rosey 30.9. The average is 50.

Aug 24, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) and New York Giants middle linebacker Mark Herzlich (58) go after a loose ball in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via USA TODAY Sports

In most traditional metrics, they are much closer. Both Weeden and Sanchez, in the last two years they started, had completion percentages that hovered around 54-55%.

Both fumbled– a lot. Sanchez averaged a .77 fumbles per game, and Weeden trailed him at .47, though their numbers are similar if you strip out rushing fumbles.

Both threw interceptions at roughly the same rate as well. Sanchez threw 1.16 interceptions per game his last two years starting, and Weeden threw 1.13.

 

Weeden and Sanchez are about equal in how badly they play, at least statistically, but Sanchez threw more touchdowns. With this 36 interceptions his last two years came 39 touchdowns. He threw 1.08 touchdowns per interception. By the same metric, Weeden threw .88.

To boil down the evidence, Sanchez throws more touchdowns but coughs up the ball more, and the rest is mostly a wash.

It appears we have a tie, except in QBR, where Weeden takes his spot as one of the worst two quarterbacks in the league.

But is he truly the worst? He faces Blaine Gabbert for the title.

If we are consistent between the three quarterbacks, and only use the last two years they consistently started, than Gabbert is still worse. His TD/INT ratio is better than Weeden’s, but he fumbled 23 times in 25 games and threw for only ~5.6 yards per attempt, compared to Weeden’s 6.5. His other numbers are either similar of worse.

Oct 6, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) throws against the St. Louis Rams during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

 

But I must mention Gabbert’s third season, one that only lasted three games, because it was so bad that it cannot be ignored. His QBR (remember the average is 50) was 1.8, by far the worst recorded since the statistic’s inception. He threw one touchdown and 7 interceptions. Had he started the entire season, he was on pace for 5 touchdowns, 37 interceptions, and at least 11 fumbles.

Without a doubt, Gabbert is the worst quarterback in the league.

Luckily, the Cowboys gave a two year deal to only the second-worst quarterback in the league.

 

* Notably, all three are considerably better than I ever could be. In the grand scheme of things, all are great quarterbacks. By the NFL’s standards, they are not.

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  • deanhighlife

    Sanchez led his team to two consecutive AFC championship games, he’s not the worst. Stats can lie.
    I’m not sure any QB has reached their full potential by their 2nd year in the league and you need to add the line “dude it’s the Browns”.

    • Ed

      Browns? True.

    • Greyson Jones

      That’s a fair point, and I almost added some line about “potential”. But Sanchez, at least in those years, played on excellent teams. I also didn’t use those years, because I used the quarterback’s last two. I did that to try to most accurately reflect who is currently the worst. Sanchez also had his moments, but was normally anemic.

      Weeden didn’t improve, at all, between his rookie and sophomore season. His completion percentage went down like 5 points to ~52%, his TD/INT ratio was about the same (he was on pace for 18/18), and his awareness was/is just awful. The Browns must have seen the same thing. I just don’t think there is any potential there.

      Weeden played both seasons with Josh Gordon, so “dude, it’s the Browns” can only go so far. It’s not like he had zero help. But other than that, you’re right. Playing for them certainly didn’t help.

  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    Gee I am disappointed. I thought for sure there would be no question that Weeden is the worst quarterback in the league. Way to go Dallas!