Get to know your backup QBs

We know that two backup quarterbacks will start this week, and as many as four. Here’s a look at what they’ve done in the limited playing time.

NICK FOLES, PHI (34.9 Total QBR in Week 10)

Nick Foles

FolesNick Foles went 22-of-32 with a touchdown and an interception in his NFL debut last week. Although Foles threw only one interception (which was returned for a TD), it could have been worse. Foles had two potential interceptions dropped and another interception called back due to a penalty. It was the fourth time this season that a quarterback had multiple interceptions dropped in game. It wasn’t all bad for Foles. He connected on 4-of-6 attempts more than 10 yards downfield, with two of those completions gaining 30-plus yards. Michael Vick had two 30-plus yard plays in a game only twice this season.

BYRON LEFTWICH, PIT (61.7 Total QBR in Week 10)

Completion Percentage Since 2008
By Distance Thrown Downfield

In his limited playing time since the start of 2008, Byron Leftwich has posted a 52.2 Total QBR, which means he has played at an average level. If there’s one area in particular that Leftwich has performed below average during that time, it’s on deep throws. Leftwich hasn’t completed a pass more than 20 yards downfield since Week 2 of the 2009 season when he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and has completed just 4-of-21 attempts of more than 20 yards downfield since the start of 2008. That’s the third worst completion percentage of any quarterback with at least 20 attempts.

JASON CAMPBELL, CHI (21.7 Total QBR in Week 10)

Passing vs 4 or Fewer Rushers
Last 5 Seasons

Similar to Leftwich, Jason Campbell’s 50.9 Total QBR over the last five seasons puts his performance at an average level, but he may be able to capably fill Jay Cutler’s void. The San Francisco 49ers have sent four or fewer pass rushers 78.8 percent of the time since the start of last season, that’s the second-highest rate in the NFL. Both Cutler and Campbell have posted Total QBRs over 60.0 against such pressure, with Campbell actually posting a better completion percentage.

Don’t expect Campbell to air it out too often, though. Of the 30 quarterbacks with at least 1,000 attempts in the last five seasons, Campbell’s 6.6 yard average throw distance ranks as the shortest. Cutler’s 8.2 average is tied for the ninth highest.

COLIN KAEPERNICK, SF (40.7 Total QBR in Week 10)

Colin Kaepernick

KaepernickColin Kaepernick’s biggest strength so far this season has been running the ball. Kaepernick has averaged 8.8 yards per rush on 14 designed runs. That rate is best among quarterbacks, and 3.8 yards higher than Cam Newton’s 5.0 designed yards per rush average. However, Kaepernick might be too quick to run on pass plays this season, scrambling on seven of his 38 dropbacks (18.4 percent). Not only is that the highest scramble rate in the NFL (minimum 20 dropbacks), but it’s nearly double that of the next highest quarterback (Robert Griffin III, 9.7 percent).