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Bengals Quarterbacks And Throwing In The Fourth Quarter

During the NFL's lockout, people are generally opening the conversation to points of theoretical debate and statistical analysis. Case in point, released a listing the league's "top seven" quarterbacks and how they performed during the fourth quarter last season. Guys like Tom Brady, Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger played well in the fourth quarter.

The obvious, while not really having to be said, brings us to a comparison that relates closer to home. Basic as it might be.

Soon to be former Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer posted an 82.4 passer rating in 2010. Breaking it down by quarters, Palmer recorded a 79.2 passer rating in the first two quarters, a 96.5 passer rating in the third quarter and a a 77.7 rating in the final quarter of the game, posting eight interceptions and completing only 59.3% of his passes. The truth is, Palmer hasn't been a great fourth quarter passer throughout his entire career, posting 40 touchdowns and 34 interceptions. During three of his seven playing seasons, he posted a passer rating below 80 and only during one season did he post a passer rating above 90 (2006).

Season 4th Quarter Rating TDs INTs
2010 77.7 9 8
2009 81.0 5 4
2008 81.2 2 2
2007 65.3 5 6
2006 105.2 10 3
2005 85.5 5 5
2004 65.5 4 6
    40 34

If you convert his college statistics using the NFL formula, soon to be starting Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton posted a 115.9 passer rating in the fourth quarter during his senior season.

Does any of this have anything to do with anything? Does this present a deep hidden message on the meaning of life? No. Is there more to the story than what's being presented? Sure. Losing during the fourth quarter means opposing defenses are more likely to drop seven, if not eight, into pass coverage, making throwing the football that much harder. And sometimes in Bob Bratkowski's case, throw late in the fourth quarter with a lead (uh hum, Tampa Bay Buccaneers). But generally speaking, it does spark our interest.