FanPost

Statistical Odds of Bradford Starting Week 1

I have been a member of TST for a couple months now and have been religiously reading the blogs, fanposts, fanshots and associated comments since then. I have even interjected a few comments.  I really appreciate VanRam for this site and appreciate all the blogs by VanRam, 3k and ram_rod. For the most part, all of the fanposts are great and really thought out giving plenty of room for discussions. I also find it really interesting we actually have a Ram (thanks Kevin) on this site. So thanks to all the fans and moderators here at TST.

Now I just decided to step in a little deeper into my thoughts so here is my first fanpost. Excuse the grammar and spelling problems as I am more of a technician than a writer. After the jump are my thoughts.

To introduce myself, I have been a Ram fan for ?? years  (let us just say I remember when the AFL first came into existence). I grew up in LA and currently live in "true" Northern California up by Redding  so I am stuck in 9er territory like a couple of our other fans on this site.  I have gone through "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat". It is really tough to lose to the 9ers especially since my wife is from this area and she and her whole family are 9er fans. The NFC championship game after the 1989 season really frustrated me more than the past three seasons have.




There has been some who have used Mike Sando’s article "Realistic expectations for Sam Bradford" for why Sam Bradford should not start week 1. If you read the article, he does not mention rookie QB’s that have started week 1, he uses number of starts their rookie season. This can easily mislead readers to think you shouldn’t start a rookie week 1 because only 5 QB’s have started all 16 games in their rookie season. Now do not get me wrong, I like Sando and his blog.

Why is this misleading? There are quite a few rookie QB’s that had started week 1 for their team. They just did not start all 16 games due to various reasons (injuries, effectiveness and length of season).

Another reason I thought this article might have been skewed a bit it is that it included all rookie QB’s and did not take into consideration just the 1st overall pick in the draft. When a team drafts a QB 1st overall that should tell us a few things about the team (very badly in need of a QB and probably a terrible won lost record the previous year) and that the QB should be the best in the class for the team. There may exceptions but for the most part, this holds true.

Before I get into the numbers of this thought, I wanted to explain a few things. First off, I wanted to compare apples to apples so I just used the QB’s picked 1st overall in the draft. All statistical information I used either came from NFL.com or pro-football-reference.com.

Here is a list of QB’s taken 1st overall from 1970 through 2009. This also shows if they played week 1 and their 1st week of start (bye weeks included).

Year

Name

Played wk 1

1st wk Start

1970

Terry Bradshaw

Yes

1

1971

Jim Plunket

Yes

1

1975

Steve Bartkowski

Yes

1

1983

John Elway

Yes

1

1987

Vinny Testaverde

No

12

1989

Troy Aikman

Yes

1

1990

Jeff George

Yes

1

1993

Drew Bledsoe

Yes

1

1998

Peyton Manning

Yes

1

1999

Tim Couch

Yes

2

2001

Michael Vick

Yes

17

2002

David Carr

Yes

1

2003

Carson Palmer

No

18

2004

Eli Manning

Yes

11

2005

Alex Smith

No

5

2007

JaMarcus Russell

No

17

2009

Matthew Stafford

Yes

1

 

Reviewing the above table, there were 17 QB’s taken 1st overall from 1970 through 2009. Of those 17, 10 started week 1, 1 started week 2 and 1 started week 5. The other 5 did not get their 1st start until after the 2nd half of the season though 2 (Vinny Testaverde & Eli Manning) did make an appearance in the 1st week. Notice, only 4 of 17 did not play their 1st week.

How did these QB’s do their 1st year. The table below shows some of the stats for each of the above QB’s with the exception of Carson Palmer as he sat out his Rookie Season.

Year

Name

Team

Starts

Games

Attempts

Comp

TD

Int

Sacked

QB Rating

1970

Terry Bradshaw

PITT

8

13

218

83

6

24

25

30.4

1971

Jim Plunkett

NE

14

14

328

158

19

16

36

68.6

1975

Steve Bartkowski

ATL

11

11

255

115

13

15

19

59.3

1983

John Elway

DEN

10

11

259

123

7

14

28

54.9

1987

Vinny Testaverde

TB

4

6

165

71

5

6

18

60.2

1989

Troy Aikman

DAL

11

11

293

155

9

18

19

55.7

1990

Jeff George

IND

12

13

334

181

16

13

37

73.8

1993

Drew Bledsoe

NE

12

13

429

214

15

15

16

65

1998

Peyton Manning

IND

16

16

575

326

26

28

22

71.2

1999

Tim Couch

CLE

14

15

399

223

15

13

56

73.2

2001

Michael Vick

ATL

2

8

113

50

2

3

21

62.7

2002

David Carr

HOU

16

16

444

233

9

15

76

62.8

2004

Eli Manning

NYG

7

9

197

95

6

9

13

55.4

2005

Alex Smith

SF

7

9

165

84

1

11

29

48

2007

JaMarcus Russell

OAK

1

4

66

36

2

4

6

55.9

2009

Matthew Stafford

DET

10

10

377

201

13

20

24

61

 

Notice, 3 of these QB’s did manage to start all their games in their rookie season. Jim Plunkett played when the season was only 14 games.

For fun, I have listed the QB’s who started their rookie year, their rookie won-lost record and team won-lost record. We must remember though, for the most part, these teams picked 1st because they were bad teams.

Year

Name

QB Record

Team Record

1970

Terry Bradshaw

3-5

5-9

1971

Jim Plunket

6-8

6-8

1975

Steve Bartkowski

4-7

4-10

1983

John Elway

4-6

9-7

1987

Vinny Testaverde

0-4

4-11

1989

Troy Aikman

0-11

1-15

1990

Jeff George

5-7

7-9

1993

Drew Bledsoe

5-7

5-11

1998

Peyton Manning

3-13

3-13

1999

Tim Couch

2-12

2-14

2001

Michael Vick

1-1

7-9

2002

David Carr

4-12

4-12

2004

Eli Manning

1-6

6-10

2005

Alex Smith

2-5

4-12

2007

JaMarcus Russell

0-1

4-12

2009

Matthew Stafford

2-8

2-14

 

So in summary what do the above tables show?

1.       Sam has a 10 in 17 chance to start week 1 @ 59%

2.       Sam has a 13 in 17 chance to appear in week 1 @ 76%

3.       We have a great chance of another losing season

4.       Sam’s stats will be average at best when he does play.

Again, I just wanted to stress this is a statistical analysis to compare what can be expected for Sam Bradford in his rookie year. This does not predicate when he will get his 1st chance for real game experience or how well he will do. I do believe Sam should not start until the coaches feel he is ready. Would I like to see him week 1, yes, but that is just what I would like, not when I think he should.

 

Thanks for taking your valuable time for reading.

 

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