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A Brief Statistical Encounter with Mark Sanchez and Matthew Stafford

Opponent adjustment is perhaps the hardest part of scouting, but it's essential to achieving a meaningful portrait of a player. For now and maybe forever, stats are necessary for understanding a player's competition. Here's a quick look at how Mark Sanchez and Matthew Stafford compare against similar quality defenses.

Note: FEI is a drive based stat and does not separate for run and pass.

Mark Sanchez

Average Opponent Defensive FEI: 50.1

Overall AY/A*: 8.46

Top 20 Opponents: 2

AVG Rank: 16

AY/A: 7.46

Top 30 Opponents: 3

AVG Rank: 19.7

AY/A: 9.54

Matthew Stafford

Average Opponent Defensive FEI**: 37.5

Overall AY/A: 8.19

Top 20 Opponents: 3

AVG Rank: 11

AY/A: 5.25

Without Florida:

AVG Rank: 16

AY/A: 5.90

Top 30 Opponents: 7

AVG Rank: 19.70

AY/A: 6.87

Without Florida:

AVG Rank: 22.83

AV/A: 7.39

Sanchez performed better overall against top competition. Stafford played against much better competition overall. Sanchez is haunted by a single, but substantial and pervasive red flag: Small sample size. He performed light years better against Penn State than he did in any other game, recording a 12.94 adjusted yards per attempt. Both quarterbacks suffered one truly humiliating contest. Stafford's came against the top overall defense in college football: Florida. He averaged only 3.94 A/YA. Sanchez's came against 45th ranked defense Arizona State. He averaged only 2.1 AY/A.

This is a very shallow look, but it is worth noting Stafford played alongside an inferior defense, against better competition, and with much worse overall starting field position.

* Sacks omitted.

** Stats against Georgia Southern omitted.