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Inexperience at quarterback in the AFC West

Posted by Doug on July 19, 2007

In this thead at the footballguys message board, a poster named "Lash" points out that, because they play in a division where the other starting quarterbacks could be JaMarcus Russell, Brodie Croyle, and Jay Cutler, the San Diego Chargers figure to get lots of games this year against inexperienced quarterbacks.

That, combined with the fact that the Chargers themselves don't exactly have a ten-year vet at the helm, prompted me to see if any division has ever had such a collective lack of experience at the quarterback position. It turns out that, even if Josh McCown and/or Damon Huard start in place of Russell and/or Croyle, this will be among the greenest quarterback divisions of the last 30 years.

I looked at all divisions since 1978, defined their quarterback to the one who threw the most passes for them during that season, and then measured that quarterback's experience by counting the number of NFL passes he had thrown prior to that season. Then I averaged those figures for all teams in the division.

That sounds complicated, but it's not. Let me illustrate with the 2007 AFC West:

   QB            Career passing attempts
========================================
Rivers                   490
Cutler                   137
Croyle                     7
Russell                    0

The average is 159, which would be by far the lowest since 1978. Even if we slot Huard and McCown in there in place of Croyle and Russell, we'd get 505, which is still very low.

1985 AFC Central       233
Bernie Kosar             0
Mark Malone            380
Warren Moon            450
Boomer Esiason         102

1979 NFC Central       421
Doug Williams          194
Jeff Komlo               0
Tommy Kramer            73
Mike Phipps           1405
David Whitehurst       433

1988 NFC Central       495
Jim McMahon           1321
Wade Wilson            703
Rusty Hilger           157
Vinny Testaverde       165
Don Majkowski          127

1980 NFC Central       525
Doug Williams          591
Tommy Kramer           639
Lynn Dickey            876
Gary Danielson         451
Vince Evans             66

1989 NFC Central       533
Mike Tomczak           505
Bob Gagliano            30
Wade Wilson           1035
Don Majkowski          463
Vinny Testaverde       631

1990 NFC Central       535
Rich Gannon             21
Jim Harbaugh           286
Don Majkowski         1062
Vinny Testaverde      1111
Rodney Peete           195

1986 AFC Central       555
Bernie Kosar           248
Boomer Esiason         533
Warren Moon            827
Mark Malone            613

1986 AFC East          589
Ken O'Brien            691
Jim Kelly                0
Dan Marino            1427
Jack Trudeau             0
Tony Eason             825

2004 NFC West          594
Tim Rattay             163
Matt Hasselbeck       1282
Marc Bulger            746
Josh McCown            183

Here are the most experienced divisions full of quarterbacks:

2006 NFC North        3610
Brad Johnson          3797
Jon Kitna             2837
Rex Grossman           195
Brett Favre           7610

1995 AFC East         3473
Dan Marino            6049
Drew Bledsoe          1120
Boomer Esiason        4291
Jim Harbaugh          1961
Jim Kelly             3942

2005 NFC East         3178
Donovan McNabb        2586
Mark Brunell          3880
Drew Bledsoe          6049
Eli Manning            197

1997 AFC West         3107
Craig Whelihan           0
Warren Moon           6000
John Elway            6392
Jeff George           2712
Elvis Grbac            430

1996 AFC East         3085
Jim Harbaugh          2275
Jim Kelly             4400
Frank Reich            461
Drew Bledsoe          1756
Dan Marino            6531

2005 AFC West         3056
Kerry Collins         4517
Drew Brees            1309
Trent Green           2822
Jake Plummer          3577

1998 AFC West         3036
Rich Gannon           1404
John Elway            6894
Donald Hollas          115
Craig Whelihan         237
Warren Moon           6528

2005 NFC North        2995
Joey Harrington       1472
Kyle Orton               0
Brad Johnson          3503
Brett Favre           7003

1994 AFC East         2993
Jim Harbaugh          1759
Dan Marino            5434
Drew Bledsoe           429
Jim Kelly             3494
Boomer Esiason        3851

1998 AFC East         2974
Doug Flutie            341
Drew Bledsoe          2901
Peyton Manning           0
Vinny Testaverde      4177
Dan Marino            7452

1981 AFC Central      2868
Ken Anderson          3060
Ken Stabler           2938
Terry Bradshaw        3283
Brian Sipe            2191

1997 AFC East         2830
Drew Bledsoe          2379
Neil O'Donnell        2059
Dan Marino            6904
Todd Collins           128
Jim Harbaugh          2680

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2007 at 4:40 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.