Monday, December 24, 2007

Class Bias: Derek Anderson Gets Coal for Christmas

I am annoyed by how yesterday's Browns loss is being spun by several writers to suggest that Brady Quinn should be starting instead of Derek Anderson, or that Brady Quinn is the QB of the future. Derek came from Oregon State as a low draft pick. Brady came from Notre Dame as a high draft pick. Thus, it seems to me that writers will always support Brady first. It's class bias; the blue-collar guy will always come up short compared to the big name from a big school.

The article that most annoyed me is the normally very well-informedMichael David Smith from the Fanhouse. He starts the article by stating
In the Browns' first nine games, quarterback Derek Anderson had 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions. In the last six games, Anderson has eight touchdowns and nine interceptions.

There's no question that Derek Anderson, like many first-year starters, has gotten a little less effective as the league got used to him. But the numbers that MDS presents are biased. Before the Bengals' game, if you took Derek Anderson's numbers from the last 6 games, Derek had 9 TD's and 5 interceptions. Those are not the numbers of a struggling QB! But toss in Derek's awful game from yesterday, and now MDS can write a post about how Derek is struggling and how the Browns should look at Brady Quinn. This is only possible because of MDS's cherry-picking statistics.

And what about that terrible loss to the Bengals' yesterday? Lost in all the boo-hoo-ing about Derek Anderson was the performance of Carson Palmer. Buried deep in the recap, here's what Carson Palmer had to say:

Like Anderson, Carson Palmer also struggled with the gusting wind, going 11-of-21 for 115 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown.

"I never really got a good sense of which way it was blowing," Palmer said. "It was really swirling. It was an ugly game, and a tough one to play in if you're trying to throw the football."

Where was that quote in stories about DA's poor performance? How about mentioning that the conditions were so bad that a Pro Bowler like Carson Palmer, playing with a lead the whole game, couldn't complete 50% of his passes on the same field? (For the record, Derek Anderson completed 60% of his passes on Sunday). How about mentioning that Carson Palmer turned in a QB rating of 44.8, the second-worst of his career according to And that he put up these poor numbers against a suspect Browns defense? No, that shouldn't be mentioned in stories about Derek Anderson; that might give the stories context! That would take away opportunities to post pictures of Brady Quinn!

All right, I know it's Christmas Eve, and I should go easy on my blogger brethren. MDS is usually an excellent blogger, and he certainly isn't the only one to take the "Derek sucks" approach to the story. took a similar angle, as did the ESPN write-up and Mary Cabot Lodge of the PD in a radio interview. And yes, Derek did have a terrible game. But I hate the implications that the last 14 weeks, in which Derek played well, are worthless just because of one bad game. Here's the stat that matters to me about Derek Anderson. In the second half of games this year, he has thrown for 13 TD's and 4 INT's. And that includes yesterday's game! Think about that, Browns fans and sports writers, before you start calling for Brady Quinn.


  1. the thing is my young friend...

    Derek Anderson has not proven himself to be legit yet. Sure, he's put up gaudy numbers but when you have 3 #1 draft picks at your disposal on offense, you should put up numbers if the o-line keeps you upright. Edwards, Winslow and Lewis have all had great years, and if you add Jurevicious, Anderson has plenty of weapons to use. Brady would succeed in this lineup as well.

  2. You have a good point, Boney, about Brady also being able to run the offense. In the preseason, Brady was the only Browns QB to show he could run Chudzinski's (sp?) offense properly, and that was with 2nd/3rd stringers. But I just don't like how writers are using one bad game from Derek Anderson to call for his head. A QB who can throw 3x as many TD's as INT's in the second half has a bright future in this league. Sure, I expect a huge competition between them in 2008, but sheesh, let Derek enjoy his impressive 2007 campaign.