Several years ago, we came up with a line of demarcation for determining the difference between “good” and “bad” quarterbacks, based on the career passer rating of Kordell Stewart.
Stewart, a one-time Pro Bowler, seemed to be the ideal candidate for distinguishing “good” from “bad,” because he had good years, and he had bad years. (Thankfully, this job requires no advanced degrees. Or any degrees at all.)
Plus, his name fit well with the our twist on the Mendoza line, a term long used in baseball to separate competent from incompetent hitters. Shortstop Mario Mendoza had a career batting average of .215, but the Mendoza line generally is considered to be .200.
From time to time during the football season, we take a look at the quarterbacks who have fallen below the Kordoza line — Stewart’s career passer rating of 70.7. (We probably should pay further homage to the Mendoza line and drop it to 70.0. Actually, we will.)
So who falls under the freshly-revised Kordoza line of 70.0? Let’s have a look at the guys who qualify for the official stats, based on averaging 14 attempts per game.
Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson comes closest to the boundary, with a 66.8. Next up is 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, who has generated a 64.9.
Shaun Hill of the Lions, who once competed for playing time with Smith in San Fran, in 0.1 behind, at 64.8.
Sam Bradford of the Rams has a 63.5. Jason Campbell’s benching in Oakland likely was influenced by his 61.9.
Jake Delhomme’s lone start in Cleveland fell three points short on the scoreboard, but more than 10 points short on the Kordoza ledger. Delhomme’s at 59.2.
Trent Edwards of the Bills will have to rest on his 58.3 until Ryan Fitzpatrick is benched for Brian Brohm, and then until Brohm is benched for Edwards.
Brett Favre makes a surprising appearance on the list, with a passer rating of 56.1. (Favre’s worst season was still above the Kordoza line; in 2005, he generated a 70.9.)
Matt Cassel stands at a blah 55.8, despite playing for the undefeated Chiefs.
Matt Moore of the Panthers landed on the bench with a 41.8; Joe Flacco of the Ravens still has a job despite a 41.2.
In all, that’s 10 quarterbacks who are on the wrong side of the line. We’ll keep an eye on the list each week. Or at least 70.0 percent of the time.