QB Controversy:

Warner’s stats

PASSING STATS
YEAR TEAM G CMP ATT PCT YDS AVG TD LNG INT RA
1999 STL 16 325 499 65.1 4353 8.7 41 75 13 109.2
2000 STL 11 235 347 67.7 3429 9.9 21 85 18 98.3
2001 STL 16 375 546 68.7 4830 8.8 36 65 22 101.4

In 2002 Warner apparently fell apart. He was intercepted 7 times in the first 3 games (all of which the Rams lost). Some would say “See, Warner was playing horribly!” Now I would agree those stats are ugly and it was tough to watch, however, I don’t think this was Kurt falling back to earth and losing his talent as a QB. Far from it! I place the blame for these stats squarely at the feet of Mike Martz. Why you ask? I’ll let the evidence do the talking.

Warner’s game by game stats for 2002:

  -- PASSING -- -- RUSHING --
WEEK OPP RESULT   CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT ATT YDS AVG LNG TD
1 @DEN L23-16 32 41 315 78.0 7.68 43 0 1 3 88.5 1 8 8.0 8 0
2 NYG L26-21 26 39 266 66.7 6.82 34 1 2 1 73.2 2 5 2.5 5 0
3 @TB L26-14 30 45 301 66.7 6.69 25 0 4 5 48.5 3 19 6.3 9 0
4 DAL L13-10 1 2 17 50.0 8.50 17 0 1 0 39.6 0 0 0.0 0 0
5 @SF L37-13 Did Not Play
6 OAK W28-13 Did Not Play
7 SEA W37-20 Did Not Play
8 Bye
9 @ARI W27-14 Did Not Play
10 SD W28-24 Did Not Play
11 CHI W21-16 1 2 13 50.0 6.50 13 0 0 1 70.8 0 0 0.0 0 0
12 @WAS L20-17 34 49 301 69.4 6.14 30 2 1 3 90.6 1 0 0.0 0 0
13 @PHI L10-3 20 42 218 47.6 5.19 28 0 2 8 43.5 1 1 1.0 1 0
14 @KC L49-10 Did Not Play
15 ARI W30-28 Did Not Play
16 @SEA L30-10 Did Not Play
17 SF W31-20 Did Not Play

Now take a look at Marc Bulger’s 2002 game by game stats:

  -- PASSING -- -- RUSHING --
WEEK OPP RESULT   CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT ATT YDS AVG LNG TD
1 @DEN L23-16 Did Not Play
2 NYG L26-21 Did Not Play
3 @TB L26-14 Did Not Play
4 DAL L13-10 Did Not Play
5 @SF L37-13 Did Not Play
6 OAK W28-13 14 21 186 66.7 8.86 50 3 0 3 134.1 4 -1 -0.3 1 1
7 SEA W37-20 22 40 265 55.0 6.63 52 1 1 1 73.4 3 -5 -1.7 -1 0
8 Bye
9 @ARI W27-14 20 29 245 69.0 8.45 48 2 2 2 89.0 2 -4 -2.0 -2 0
10 SD W28-24 36 48 453 75.0 9.44 39 4 0 0 131.7 1 -1 -1.0 -1 0
11 CHI W21-16 21 35 347 60.0 9.91 52 2 1 3 100.5 1 -1 -1.0 -1 0
12 @WAS L20-17 Did Not Play
13 @PHI L10-3 Did Not Play
14 @KC L49-10 Did Not Play
15 ARI W30-28 24 40 319 60.0 7.98 58 2 2 2 81.1 1 -1 -1.0 -1 0
16 @SEA L30-10 1 1 11 100.0 11.00 11 0 0 1 112.5 0 0 0.0 0 0
17 SF W31-20 Did Not Play

Now many of you might be thinking “Exactly! Look how much better Bulger did than Warner!” It definitely true, Bulger has better stats. However, I would like to point out one specific stat in this list. During 7 games played (more like 6 really) Warner was sacked a total of 21 times. In 7 games Bulger played, he was sacked 12. It took Bulger 5 games before he was sacked 8 times total. Warner was sacked 8 times in ONE GAME! Now maybe you want to give Bulger the benefit of the doubt and say that he was simply better at avoiding pass rushers than Warner was. While I disagree I will say that it is possible. The sack totals are not enough to prove anything. So, let me introduce to you the stats that I think will really explain the difference in performance between the two QB’s.

These are Marshal Faulk’s 2002 game by game stats:

  -- RUSHING -- -- RECEIVING --
WEEK OPP RESULT   ATT YDS AVG LNG TD REC YDS AVG LNG TD
1 @DEN L23-16 10 19 1.9 15 1 14 91 6.5 10 0
2 NYG L26-21 14 87 6.2 44 2 7 36 5.1 14 0
3 @TB L26-14 6 9 1.5 6 1 2 27 13.5 23 0
4 DAL L13-10 18 73 4.1 15 0 8 67 8.4 17 0
5 @SF L37-13 18 73 4.1 24 0 7 37 5.3 18 0
6 OAK W28-13 26 158 6.1 40 0 4 22 5.5 11 1
7 SEA W37-20 32 183 5.7 40 3 7 52 7.4 13 1
8 Bye
9 @ARI W27-14 27 178 6.6 14 1 5 58 11.6 40 0
10 SD W28-24 13 36 2.8 11 0 6 36 6.0 13 0
11 CHI W21-16 Did Not Play
12 @WAS L20-17 Did Not Play
13 @PHI L10-3 9 29 3.2 8 0 4 22 5.5 10 0
14 @KC L49-10 10 13 1.3 6 0 4 35 8.8 19 0
15 ARI W30-28 9 39 4.3 9 0 2 7 3.5 4 0
16 @SEA L30-10 9 13 1.4 11 0 4 17 4.3 11 0
17 SF W31-20 11 43 3.9 10 0 6 30 5.0 20 0

Now in examining these stats a trend is beginning to emerge. In the first three games, games which Warner started and the Rams lost, Faulk had 30 carries total. In week 6, Bulger’s first start, Faulk carried the ball 26 times for 158 yards. The Rams won. The next week he improved on those numbers, carrying the ball 32 times (in ONE GAME) for 183 yards and 3 TD’s. Week 12 was Warner’s return to the starting lineup. The Rams were without Faulk who was out for the second game in a row with an injury. Martz called for 49 passing plays. The next week Warner attempted 42 passes and was sacked 8 times against a hard as nails Eagles defense. Now in fairness, Bulger did throw 40 passes the next week, however it was against the Arizona Cardinals who had one of the worst defenses in the league. What was the difference? Martz handled the game differently. For perhaps the only time in his tenure here, Martz ran the ball with Bulger starting. That stopped opposition defenses from loading up on the pass and also allowed Bulger better protection in the pocket. Don’t get me wrong, Bulger is a terrific quarterback, but so was Warner. He was a 2 time NFL MVP and had just had three of the most amazing years by any quarterback in the history of the game. Martz just left hung him out to dry and allowed the opposition to use Warner as a tackling dummy. The 2002 season effectively ended Warner’s tenure as a Ram and the beating he took due to Martz’s horrendous play calling put his career in jeopardy.

 
©2005 Benjamin Cook email: admin@firemartz.com