Return of the Kordoza line

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.

14 responses to “Return of the Kordoza line

  1. well it’s only been two games, so one bad game could really skew things, like flacco throwing 4 picks last week. for all the crap vince young gets, he is not on this list. just saying….

  2. I’m only offended that Florio knew anything at all about baseball, even worse that it was something so specific and nuanced. Baseball sucks. Don’t infect anything on this site with baseball.

  3. Interesting standard of measurement for poor QB play. Can we assume you’ll keep posting this weekly?
    How about something similar for WR’s showing how many dropped balls they have. you could call it the Braylon line.

  4. Kordell’s good years weren’t really good. The reason you consider them good is because you are a steelers homer. Kordell threw 14 touchdown passes during his pro bowl season. What an accomplishment!

  5. 48-34 record as a starter, 120 total touchdowns, 18,278 yards as a passer/runner/receiver, led his team to 2 AFC Title games, led a scoring drive in the Super Bowl. Five straight wins in five straight years in Baltimore against the Ravens during their defensive glory years. Second most running TD’s all-time by a qb to Steve Young.
    Not bad for a guy who was drafted to be a wide receiver.
    I think that well more than half the qb’s starting today will fall below the career numbers and success of that wide receiver when their career average of 4.42 seasons are mercifully over.

  6. How about renaming the “Turd Watch” the “Haynesworth Watch”? It’s like the same thing but more so. Bigger, Smellier, Dumber.

  7. “Not bad for a guy who was drafted to be a wide receiver.”
    Kordell was NOT drafted to play WR. He wound up playing WR/RB/QB because he had too much athletic ability to keep on the bench. He agreed to it because playing was better than not playing and he wanted to help the team.

  8. JVult, check your stats. in ’97 slash set the single season franchise record for total TDs with 32, 21 passing and 11 rushing. That qualifies as a good season. You’ve got a real problem with the steelers, so I can only assume your from Cleveland, Baltimore, or some other town we crush year after year.
    Hey Florio, bring back the podcasts with Dante. They were way better than the monotone scripts you’re parroting these days.

  9. @contract – quite the opposite – the Steelers made it clear to him after he was drafted that they planned for him to use his superior speed to be a deep route WR in Chan Gailey’s new 5-wideout system. It was Kordell himself who demanded the chance to compete for qb reps in his 2nd training camp, and finally made it onto the field in his 3rd year. That was the year he became the first first-year starter at qb to lead his team to the AFC title game.
    It was an interesting choice, because he showed in his rookie year he was quite capable of learning to play Pro Bowl level wide receiver. He basically gave up the reality of being a fixture at WR for the Steelers for years to chase his dream of playing qb. Funny that he has taken so much crap for his relatively successful qb play when he was not drafted to play that position in the first place.

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