QB Performance Plots for NFL Week 7: Wow, Christian Ponder Was Awful

This is a guest post by Greg Matthews, founder of Stats In The Wild, a blog focused on sports analytics and data visualization. If you’re interested in guest posting on TeamRankings, email us your post and we’ll consider it.

Aaron Rodgers led all quarterbacks for the second week in a row with a QB rating of 132.2 in Week 7. While it was going to be difficult to match his six touchdown performance from Week 6, his encore was still impressive. He threw for 342 yards, 3 touchdowns, and zero interceptions and completed over 81% of his passes (30 for 37).

Other top quarterbacks of week 7 included Drew Brees and Josh Freeman.

(Just click on the graphic below to enlarge it…)

NFL Week 7 QB Plots

Blaine Gabbert was off to a tremendous start — his first half numbers were good for a passer rating of 123.6) — throwing for 110 yards on 8 for 12 passing before his injury forced him out of his game against Oakland.  It would have been really interesting to see what his numbers would have looked had he completed the whole game.

At the other end of the QB performance spectrum, several quarterbacks on the graphic stand out as having a terrible performance in Week 7, including Russell Wilson, Christian Ponder, and Joe Flacco. All three of these quarterbacks completed fewer than 50% of their passes, with Wilson notching a dismal completion percentage of 39.1% on 9 of 23 passing.

Even more incredible than Wilson’s terribly low completion percentage may be the fact that Ponder’s team actually won their game in spite of him. Ponder ended the game with 58 passing yards on 8 completions in 17 attempts, for an average of 3.4 yards per attempt. While he and Flacco both threw two interceptions, Flacco threw the ball more than twice as many times as Ponder. A full 11.8% of Ponder’s passing attempts last week resulted in interceptions.

Sure, it’s a small sample size, but that’s also really bad.

What is also interesting about these three poorly performing quarterbacks is that they all play on team that currently has a winning record. It will be interesting to see how these three perform moving forward because it’s going to be very difficult for their teams to continue winning with performances like the ones they put up in Week 7.