By Aaron Schatz
Special to Page 2

Note: Go to the bottom of the table for a more complete explanation of how Aaron's QB rating system works.

Quarterback Skinny PAR
1. Peyton Manning
24/33, 254 yards
2 TDs, 0 INT
Yes, I think Mr. Manning would like to take issue with that "co"-MVP business. 13.3
2. Chad Pennington
22/29, 258 yards
2 TDs, 0 INT
He looks great but he's taking advantage of a an easy schedule. It's just as easy after the bye, with Buffalo, Miami, and San Francisco. He could have scored even higher -- Pennington completed five of eight passes on third down, but only one of those completions made a first down. 12.6
3. Michael Vick
14/19, 179 yards
1 TD, 0 INT (109 rush)
6.1 PAR passing, 5.2 PAR rushing -- now that's the Michael Vick we know and love. Eight first downs rushing, plus a 7-yard run in the red zone on 3rd-and-8 that led to a fourth-down TD run by Warrick Dunn. 11.3
4. Jake Plummer
23/39, 250 yards
0 TDs, 0 INT
Not his fault that Quentin Griffin got stuffed three out of four times on 3rd-and-1 and fumbled away the ball in winning field-goal range. Yes, it's important not to judge running backs based on how they do against Kansas City (we're talking to you, Carolina fans). 8.1
5. Rich Gannon
19/27, 209 yards
1 TD, 0 INT
And, shockingly, not one complete pass to Jerry Rice, who didn't catch a pass for the first time since his rookie year in 1985. 7.7
6. Kurt Warner
22/32, 232 yards
1 TD, 0 INT
Boy, it really improves your performance when your receivers remember how to catch the ball. 7.3
7. Aaron Brooks
25/34, 279 yards
3 TDs, 0 INT
Results don't always match his fantasy stats, but this week he made it happen when it counted at the end. 5.7
8. Joey Harrington
18/25, 176 yards
3 TDs, 1 INT
David Carr may have the numbers, but all Harrington does is win. I'm sorry, I mistakenly typed in the usual text from after Tom Brady plays Peyton Manning. 5.0
9. Doug Flutie
7/16, 77 yards
0 TDs, 0 INT
Classic Flutie performance. Converted passes on 4th-and-10 AND 4th-and-15 to prolong the comeback, and then rushed for a 6-yard TD to give the Chargers a chance to win. 4.8
10. Byron Leftwich
8/16, 120 yards
1 TD, 0 INTs
Rating higher than you would expect because he was mostly throwing on third-and-long in bad field position, and this system compares him to other quarterbacks stuck in bad field position. Only one passing play closer than the Denver 35-yard line. How did Denver lose? Do you realize Jacksonville ran only 40 plays? Denver ran 74 plays. 4.1
11. David Carr
23/34, 313 yards
2 TDs, 1 INT
Stuck throwing on 3rd-and-more than 10 yards 8 times -- no other QB faced this situation more than five times. 4.1
12. Steve McNair
25/39, 273 yards
0 TDs, 1 INT
Apparently, should have tried more throws to wide receiver Anthony Mason, especially in that 21-0 fourth quarter. 4.0
13. Kyle Boller
10/18, 98 yards
0 TD, 0 INT
Last year's worst scrambling quarterback ran five times for 37 yards, sort of the equivalent of Angels catcher Benji Molina stealing four bases. 3.1
14. Tom Brady
15/26, 217 yards
2 TDs, 2 INT
Congratulations on not getting trapped by trap game. Plans to enjoy his week off by hanging out with Red Sox and letting Bronson Arroyo do his hair. 2.9
15. Marc Bulger
24/31, 285 yards
1 TD, 1 INT
24-for-31, 285 yards seems like a good game until you add in five sacks worth -35 yards, plus two turnovers. 2.0
16. Rex Grossman
10/18, 132 yards
1 TD, 1 INT
This is called "playing within yourself," or, as it is also known, "letting the running game and defense win for you." 1.4
17. Vinny Testaverde
23/35, 322 yards
1 TD, 3 INT
7.4 PAR in first half, -6.1 PAR in second half. If the whole reason Parcells likes Testaverde is decision-making, yesterday was Exhibit A for why Drew Henson should start warming up. Terrible decisions led to interceptions that kept Cleveland in the game. 1.3
18. Jake Delhomme
16/29, 180 yards
3 TDs, 2 INT
Set NFL record for touchdown passes thrown to guys nobody owned on their fantasy teams. 0.9
19. Ken Dorsey
18/32, 205 yards
0 TDs, 1 INT
Look, kids! Ken Dorsey made an NFL start! He's now matched Gino Toretta. 0.2
20. Brett Favre
24/42, 252 yards
1 TD, 2 INT
So much for Favre, Lord of Comebacks. The Packers had four fourth-quarter drives. They didn't a first down on the first three and the fourth managed 52 yards with two minutes but ended with intentional grounding on fourth down. Ugly. -0.1
21. Mark Brunell
10/18, 92 yards
1 TD, 1 INT
Week 1 "Washington headed for division title" storyline apparently equivalent to Iraq "Mission Accomplished" banner. -0.9
22. Ben Roethlisberger
12/20, 176 yards
2 TDs, 2 INT
Not really a bad debut considering he didn't exactly face any players like Ray Lewis in the MAC. -1.8
23. Drew Bledsoe
13/24, 198 yards
1 TD, 1 INT
Immobile Bledsoe needs quality offensive line to succeed. Oakland sacked Bledsoe seven times. You do the math. -1.8
24. Tommy Maddox
4/13, 67 yards
0 TDs, 0 INTs
Nobody has had this much trouble finding his rhythm since William Shatner recorded "Hey Mr. Tambourine Man." -2.4
25. Trent Green
17/34, 187 yards
0 TD, 1 INT
Apparently, Green did not receive the memo regarding the need to protect this house. -2.9
26. Matt Hasselbeck
12/26, 147 yards
1 TD, 1 INT
It looks like Tampa's defense is back to 2002 strength, as Seahawks recorded just nine first downs. -3.9
27. A.J. Feeley
21/39, 218 yards
1 TD, 2 INT
You can't really blame him, he's stuck behind five guys who make the Canadian border look hard to get through. They put the offensive back in "offensive line." Once Sportscenter has enough new anchors, "Dream Job" may start auditioning people for the Miami left tackle position. -4.3
28. Brad Johnson
4/7, 34 yards
0 TD, 1 INT
Last week we said he bored us. Well, you won't have Brad Johnson to kick around any more! -4.5
29. Carson Palmer
21/38, 147 yards
0 TDs, 1 INT
5-for-14 on third downs, plus three sacks. Yikes. And, seriously, what is up with the new white stripe on the Bengal uniforms? Is this a tribute to Sigfried and Roy? -5.6
30. Drew Brees
8/19, 146 yards
1 TD, 2 INTs
Do not adjust your sets. At halftime, he was 1-for-6 with an interception and a sack. -5.7
31. Chris Simms
21/32, 175 yards
0 TDs, 1 INT
It looks like Tampa's offense is back to 1976 strength. -7.5
32. Josh McCown
13/29, 160 yards
0 TD, 2 INTs
I'm sorry, are we in field-goal range? Here, let me just move backwards a bit and take a sack ... -10.0
33. Patrick Ramsey
9/18, 142 yards
1 TD, 3 INTs
Three interceptions in half a game -- and the Redskins almost came back anyway. -10.8
34. Jeff Garcia
8/27, 71 yards
0 TD, 3 INTs
This week's performance was so bad that T.O. will be berating Garcia in a press conference after Monday Night Football. -13.8

Eric Neel's rebuttal: Yo Aaron, on Pennington, just let me say this: I myself have a QB rating of 116.72 and a PAR of 10.3 against the Chargers. Just sitting on my couch. Talk to me next week, after he gets a look at the Dolphins. And you've obviously forgotten that Plummer's just one week into his three-week ban from the top 5 as punishment for the left-handed-from-his-own-end-zone fiasco last week. He's going to up great numbers against the Chargers next week, Penningtonesque numbers, but he's still capping out at Number 6, understand?

And speaking of punishment, what do you think the football gods have in store for Rich Gannon? Not just for missing Rice all afternoon, but for not even knowing the record was in play? He's going to be lucky to escape with a mid-week groin pull in practice. By my reckoning, he gets a 3-point downward adjustment in his PAR, and a mysterious, Brad Johnson-like benching next weekend, the weekend in which he plays the Wally Pipp role in the "The Marques Tuiasosopo Story."

On Flutie, you wrote 4.8, but you meant 48, as in years old, right? And can we please get Roethlisberger a nickname? I swear, with something the guys in the huddle and the girls on the sideline can actually pronounce, the kid's score will double. Well, maybe with a nickname and a little briefing on which color unis his guys are wearing and which color the other team is wearing -- nice toss to McCallister. You think Big Ben was just thinking white like white flag, or what?

You're right on Palmer -- he looked bad, throwing balls behind wide open receivers on third-and-3s -- but you're wrong on him, too. You've forgotten to take into account the yeah-I-stunk-up-the-joint-but-I-managed-a-bunch-of-key-completions-on-the-game-winning-field-goal-drive factor, which is worth 1.8 points, according to my calculations. You also forgot Pat Summerall was on the mic when it happened, which is a .275-point boost for any quarterbarck, unless of course that quarterback happens to be A.J. Feeley.

How PAR works

The success of each play is judged based on yardage gained towards both a touchdown and a first down. Then each play gets compared to the NFL average on similar plays, based on down, distance, and other variables. Quarterbacks are judged not based on how many yards they get, but on how important those yards are in the context of the game.

Once we have enough data for the season, we also adjust for the quality of the opposing defense. The quarterback's performance is then translated into an approximate number of actual points that such success (or failure) is worth when compared to a "replacement level" quarterback (defined as any quarterback named "Billy Joe").

When all offensive, defensive, and special teams plays are added together for one team, the result comes very close to the actual difference between points scored and allowed.

Among the advantages of this system:

1. Gives value for first downs, which are not really included in any other QB rating system but are hugely important.

2. Does not punish quarterbacks who are always in bad field position because of a poor defense, nor does it punish quarterbacks who are always stuck in third-and-long because of a poor running game.

3. Later in the season, when we have enough data to begin including defensive adjustment, quarterbacks receive bonuses when they play well against good defenses, and they don't get rated as world-beaters when they shred the Cardinals.

4. Includes both passing and rushing plays, which obviously helps a QB like Michael Vick.

5. PAR punishes quarterbacks for turnovers but also for fumbles that his own team recovers. Different kind of fumbles have different penalties depending on how often defense recovers for a turnover. Sacks are punished as well.

6. 5-yard scramble on 3rd-and-10? Worthless!

7. Actual points! Easy to understand!

An even longer explanation of these numbers can be found here.

Aaron Schatz is editor-in-chief of