Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Stafford In Peyton's Clothing

As my love hate relationship with Matthew Stafford - or more specifically his diehard fans - continues, I grit my teeth every time I hear him compared with Peyton Manning. And while my gut knows that these two quarterbacks are nothing alike, that even if Stafford has a trajectory similar to Peyton that his style and career will be totally different, I also can't ignore the simple statistical oddity that at this point in their respective careers (first ten games) they are remarkably similar.

Oh no doubt that Peyton put up slightly better numbers across the board, and no doubt that each quarterback got to this point in wildly different ways the juxtaposition of their numbers here is really fairly remarkable:

Comp Att Pct Yards TD INT Rate
209 378 55.3% 2289 15 20 64.6
201 377 53.3% 2267 13 20 61.0

So yeah, if it wasn't already obvious the top number belongs to Peyton but you really have to squint to see the differences and really the touchdown figure is the only thing that stands out even a little, and frankly that is possibly the most random number that a rookie quarterback will generate.

Other similarities?

As I said, they each got to this point in different ways so there really aren't many. Each had gone over a 90 passer rating in a game exactly once, and for each that particular rate was actually between 110 and 120 (118 for Peyton, 113 for Stafford). Stafford had a much greater deviation about his passer rating with two other games in the high 80s and five games under 50. Peyton barely creased 80 one other time but he also only had two games under 50. Stafford has had two games with more than three INT, one with four, one with five. Peyton had none*, however Peyton had 8 games with either two or three while Stafford has had fewer at six.

On other similarity? Both quarterbacks were 2-8 in their first ten starts.

While the similarity here is startling it is difficult to imagine that it is much more than coincidence. At this point of his rookie year Peyton was still riding a magnificent improvement curve while Stafford seems to have stalled a bit (for a variety of reasons) and so it is hard to expect Stafford to match Peyton's rate of improvement from his 11th game on.

But even so, the numbers are strange.

*it wouldn't be until Peyton's fourth season that he would throw as many as four interceptions in a game. To date he has done this twice, one four INT game and one six.


  1. Cool.

    So does that mean Stafford is going to throw another 13 TDs this season?

  2. I expect him to throw 13 TDs this Sunday against the Ravens.

  3. Is his arm even attached enough to throw the ball against the Ravens?

  4. From the press conference today ... I dunno. Sounds like he might play. I have mixed feelings. To me it's a terrible idea, but on the other hand if Daunte plays then he will get crushed and there will be more 'I told you sos'.

    If Stafford plays he too will get mauled. You think just maybe Ray Ray doesn't have a photo of Stafford's shoulder pinned to his mirror?

  5. I'm pretty sure after tonight Ray Lewis is going to break every mirror in his house.

  6. I think Stafford needs Marvin and Reggie and Dallas in their primes to approach Peyton. And Edge!


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