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PI Finds: Quinn’s Futility in Victory Not Unprecedented

Posted by Neil Paine on December 11, 2009

Sorry to pick on the Notre Dame guys again, but last night Brady Quinn completed a measly 6 of 19 passes for 90 yards in Cleveland's scarcely-watchable 13-6 win over the Steelers. Was this one of the worst games by a winning QB ever? Well, the performance (4.7 yards per attempt) was abysmal, to be sure, but it actually is not without precedent. Here are the NFL passers since 1960 who, like Quinn, tossed at least 19 passes and completed as many or fewer of them than the Browns' signal-caller did last night:

Player Date Tm Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds Y/A TD Int Rate
Ken Anderson 10/19/1975 CIN OAK W 14-10 4 19 21.1% 75 4.0 0 4 3.9
Jim Kelly* 9/10/1995 BUF CAR W 31-9 4 21 19.0% 176 8.4 1 3 38.3
Bart Starr* 10/24/1965 GNB DAL W 13-3 4 19 21.1% 42 2.2 0 0 39.6
Steve Bartkowski 9/7/1986 RAM STL W 16-10 5 21 23.8% 91 4.3 0 0 45.1
John Brodie 9/30/1962 SFO MIN W 21-7 5 19 26.3% 57 3.0 1 2 17.5
Scott Brunner 12/6/1981 NYG RAM W 10-7 5 22 22.7% 67 3.1 0 0 39.8
Jack Concannon 12/1/1968 CHI NOR W 23-17 5 19 26.3% 60 3.2 2 0 75.3
Gary Cuozzo 11/8/1970 MIN WAS W 19-10 5 21 23.8% 53 2.5 0 0 39.6
Jim Harbaugh 10/27/1991 CHI NOR W 20-17 5 22 22.7% 61 2.8 1 2 16.9
Phil Simms 12/14/1986 NYG STL W 27-7 5 21 23.8% 82 3.9 0 0 43.4
Billy Wade 10/6/1963 CHI BAL W 10-3 5 21 23.8% 50 2.4 0 1 19.7
Doug Williams 9/17/1978 TAM MIN W 16-10 5 19 26.3% 63 3.3 1 0 58.4
Doug Williams 9/23/1979 TAM RAM W 21-6 5 20 25.0% 101 5.1 2 1 60.6
Todd Blackledge 9/21/1986 KAN HOU W 27-13 6 23 26.1% 160 7.0 1 0 70.6
Zeke Bratkowski 12/5/1965 GNB MIN W 24-19 6 19 31.6% 90 4.7 1 3 26.1
Dieter Brock 1/4/1986 RAM DAL W 20-0 6 22 27.3% 50 2.3 0 1 20.6
Jack Concannon 11/1/1970 CHI ATL W 23-14 6 20 30.0% 84 4.2 0 1 23.7
Steve Dils 11/3/1986 RAM CHI W 20-17 6 25 24.0% 137 5.5 1 1 46.6
Doug Flutie 11/13/1988 NWE NYJ W 14-13 6 20 30.0% 78 3.9 1 2 20.4
Roman Gabriel 9/22/1967 RAM MIN W 39-3 6 23 26.1% 128 5.6 1 0 64.8
Jeff George 11/11/1990 IND NWE W 13-10 6 24 25.0% 106 4.4 1 0 59.4
Rex Grossman 12/3/2006 CHI MIN W 23-13 6 19 31.6% 34 1.8 0 3 1.3
Terry Hanratty 11/11/1973 PIT OAK W 17-9 6 19 31.6% 86 4.5 1 1 42.9
Jim Hart 12/1/1968 STL PIT W 20-10 6 20 30.0% 65 3.3 0 2 1.0
Ron Jaworski 10/17/1976 RAM CHI W 20-12 6 19 31.6% 109 5.7 0 2 12.7
Don Meredith 9/26/1965 DAL WAS W 27-7 6 19 31.6% 167 8.8 1 0 82.6
Brady Quinn 12/10/2009 CLE PIT W 13-6 6 19 31.6% 90 4.7 0 0 48.1
Turk Schonert 12/11/1983 CIN DET W 17-9 6 19 31.6% 76 4.0 0 1 23.1
Richard Todd 10/31/1976 NYJ BUF W 19-14 6 20 30.0% 87 4.4 1 2 22.3
Tom Tupa 9/8/1991 PHO PHI W 26-10 6 19 31.6% 218 11.5 1 1 71.8
Doug Williams 9/24/1978 TAM ATL W 14-9 6 23 26.1% 74 3.2 1 0 55.0

Quinn's 90-yard performance is also far from being the fewest yards by a winning QB with at least 19 attempts:

Player Date Tm Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds Y/A TD Int Rate
Rex Grossman 12/3/2006 CHI MIN W 23-13 6 19 31.6% 34 1.8 0 3 1.3
David Woodley 9/4/1983 MIA BUF W 12-0 8 22 36.4% 40 1.8 0 0 44.9
Milt Plum 10/3/1965 DET WAS W 14-10 7 23 30.4% 42 1.8 0 4 0.4
Bart Starr* 10/24/1965 GNB DAL W 13-3 4 19 21.1% 42 2.2 0 0 39.6
Fran Tarkenton* 11/9/1975 MIN ATL W 38-0 11 22 50.0% 47 2.1 1 0 71.4
Kerry Collins 10/22/1995 CAR NOR W 20-3 8 21 38.1% 48 2.3 1 0 62.2
Dieter Brock 1/4/1986 RAM DAL W 20-0 6 22 27.3% 50 2.3 0 1 20.6
Billy Wade 10/6/1963 CHI BAL W 10-3 5 21 23.8% 50 2.4 0 1 19.7
Gary Cuozzo 11/8/1970 MIN WAS W 19-10 5 21 23.8% 53 2.5 0 0 39.6
Bill Munson 9/13/1964 RAM PIT W 26-14 8 23 34.8% 55 2.4 1 0 58.1
Jim Everett 11/23/1986 RAM NOR W 26-13 7 20 35.0% 56 2.8 0 2 4.2
John Brodie 9/30/1962 SFO MIN W 21-7 5 19 26.3% 57 3.0 1 2 17.5
Brian Sipe 10/16/1977 CLE HOU W 24-23 8 19 42.1% 58 3.1 1 1 45.5
Steve DeBerg 11/4/1990 KAN RAI W 9-7 10 21 47.6% 59 2.8 0 0 54.3
Bob Lee 11/28/1971 MIN ATL W 24-7 10 23 43.5% 59 2.6 0 2 14.6
Eli Manning 10/28/2007 NYG MIA W 13-10 8 22 36.4% 59 2.7 0 0 44.9
Jack Concannon 12/1/1968 CHI NOR W 23-17 5 19 26.3% 60 3.2 2 0 75.3
Donovan McNabb 11/14/1999 PHI WAS W 35-28 8 21 38.1% 60 2.9 0 0 46.3
Jim Harbaugh 10/27/1991 CHI NOR W 20-17 5 22 22.7% 61 2.8 1 2 16.9
Troy Aikman* 11/28/1996 DAL WAS W 21-10 9 19 47.4% 63 3.3 0 1 33.4

Obviously, I'm sure Quinn would have preferred to play better, but he and these other QBs have one thing in common: they all won the football game, and as far as the standings are concerned, that's all that matters.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 11th, 2009 at 11:08 am and is filed under PI Finds. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.