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ESPN’s QBR taking further hits with placement of Brock Osweiler above Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, others

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NFL: Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve held the opinion since the beginning of Brock Osweiler’s free agency that he was going to be a terrible free agent signing for someone, and that certainly did not change when the Houston Texans gave him a $72 million deal for doing almost nothing in seven career games with the Denver Broncos. So let it be known that if Osweiler does poorly, then it only makes me look more right. I’ll admit that right off the top.

To open the season, I do think Osweiler is only making me look more right. He’s thrown six interceptions in four games (at least one interception against all four defenses he’s faced) and hasn’t posted a passer rating above 90 in any contest. He’s currently 28th in passer rating. The Texans are 3-1 but they’ve won against some bad teams (Bears, Chiefs, Titans) and lost 27-0 to Jacoby Brissett and the New England Patriots.

So what is the explanation for Osweiler being ranked 18th in ESPN’s QBR rating, ahead of Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Andy Dalton, and others?

Osweiler has thrown five touchdowns, six interceptions, and has a Y/A of 6.5.

Brees has thrown 10 TD, three INT, and has a Y/A of 7.2

Wilson has thrown 5 TD, one INT, and has a Y/A of 8.0.

Even the poor seasons that Cam Newton and Carson Palmer are having seem to be superior to the year being had by Osweiler.

If it is situational, then how is it situational? Because in Week 1, Osweiler did throw a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter against Chicago, but it was early in the fourth quarter when they trailed by one point and then really Houston’s defense went to work on several important drives/stops. In Week 2, Osweiler threw a touchdown in the first quarter and then both teams combined to kick eight field goals. There were no more touchdowns. In Week 3, the Texans never scored. In Week 4, Houston had a close game against the 1-3 Titans, and then won it late in the game on a Will Fuller punt return touchdown.

Which of those drives were nearly as good as Wilson’s game-winning drive against the Miami Dolphins? Which performance showed the dominance that Wilson did in Week 3 and in Week 4, on the road, against a defense with three potential Pro Bowl players on the defensive line?

Or what game is better than Brees leading a 13-point comeback win on the road against the San Diego Chargers with two touchdown drives? Or Brees doing everything he could in throwing four touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders in Week 1, only to lose 35-34 after the Saints defense surrendered 22 fourth quarter points?

Keep in mind that not only should these quarterbacks not be close to Osweiler in any such metric, they should be a good few miles ahead of him. Osweiler is playing poorly and he’s almost always played poorly. Wilson and Brees have played well and have almost always played well.

If you thought ESPN’s QBR was going to be better this year because of some adjustments, you thought wrong.