Geno vs. Other Rookie QBs

What a rollercoaster, huh? A 40 year Jets record for 40 yard passes in week 3 and a horrendous 4 Turnover performance in week 4. Ready to the pull the plug on Geno? I would say no. I know its going to be difficult, but have some patience. There will be more Turnovers. There will be more losses, some that look awful like yesterday.

But keep in mind that almost all rookie QBs struggle early, and Geno's performances to date are in many ways completely normal. Let's take a look at the first four games of the 12 QBs that have started right away since 2009 (Gabbert's stats are games 3-6):

Attempts Comp's Comp% Yds/Game YPA TD INT
Smith 34.0 19.5 57.4% 272.5 8.01 1.0 2.0
Sanchez 27.5 15.8 57.3% 186.0 6.76 1.0 1.3
Stafford 34.8 19.8 56.8% 223.5 6.43 0.8 1.5
Bradford 39.5 23.0 58.2% 236.0 5.97 1.5 1.5
Newton 40.8 24.3 59.5% 346.5 8.50 1.3 1.3
Gabbert 29.3 13.5 46.2% 166.3 5.68 1.0 0.5
Dalton 31.0 18.0 58.1% 217.0 7.00 1.0 1.0
Luck 44.3 24.0 54.2% 302.0 6.82 1.8 1.3
Griffin 31.0 21.5 69.4% 267.5 8.63 1.0 0.3
Tannehill 35.8 20.0 55.9% 261.5 7.31 0.5 1.5
Weeden 41.8 22.5 53.9% 249.3 5.97 0.8 1.8
Wilson 25.0 15.0 60.0% 148.5 5.94 1.0 1.0
Manuel 32.5 18.5 56.9% 214.0 6.58 1.3 0.8
Average 34.4 19.6 57.1% 234.8 6.82 1.1 1.1

Some points of discussion on the above:

Disclaimer: 4 games is just the start of getting any kind of meaningful data, but its still a very small sample size and any conclusions should be taken with a large grain of salt. Its interesting that the sample shows mostly a pretty tight range for rookie QBs. The big outlier was RG3, who had a phenomenal rookie year right from the get-go.

1) The majority of QBs in the sample were picked ahead of Geno, including 4 no. 1 picks overall. So Geno is being compared here to players rated significantly higher coming out of college.

2) Geno's Attempts and Completion % are all almost exactly average for this peer group. This shows that Geno's accuracy and the level of reliance the team puts on him are up there with anybody.

3) His Yards Per Attempt is 3rd highest in the group, showing that he is not afraid to take shots and he is capable of big plays.

4) Obviously, the huge problem is Turnovers. His INTs through 4 games are highest in the group, and although fumbles are not included, they have been a major issue as well.

Conclusion. There's a lot to like about Geno. I think he has proven that he has NFL talent. He can make all the throws, he is mobile, and he's got guts. He needs to cut down on the turnovers. Period. For that he's going to have to learn to read defenses and make quicker and better decisions. Can he do this? Maybe, maybe not. But its way too early to say yet. Rookie QBs almost always get years to prove they have what it takes. I doubt Geno gets pulled this season, barring some disaster.

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