Fuel for the Fire: Jake Delhomme

We've been talking a lot lately about what's Jake's future with the team. With his large hit on the salary cap next year, something has to give. But I'm not here to discuss what WILL happen but to review what HAS happened. In other words, what got us to this point. (I'm beginning the post without any goal in mind and will let the stats speak for themselves as I go over them.)

I'm going to skip over how Jake joined them team, except to say that his entrance and immediate thrust into the starter position may have been the beginning of the end. When he was replaced the benched Rodney Peete in the first game of the 2003 season he couldn't have set the bar to any higher standard. Then leading the team to the Superbowl only added to the expectations.

Over five season as the regular starter with the Panthers , he's put up incredibly consistent season stats. No big up years and no big downs

Comp Att Comp % Yard TD Int Y/G QB Rate Sacks
2003 266 449 59.2 3,219 19 16 201.2 80.6 23
2004 310 533 58.2 3,886 29 15 242.9 87.3 33
2005 262 435 60.2 3,421 24 16 213.8 88.1 28
2006 263 431 61.0 2,805 17 11 215.8 82.6 22
2008 246 414 59.4 3,288 16 12 205.5 84.7 20

Totals

1347 2262 - 16,619 104 70 - - 126

Season Average

269.4 452 59.6 3324 21 14 215.8 84.7 25.2
High/Low Diff 64 119 2.8 1081 13 5 41.7 7.5 13
Per Game 17 29 - 216 - - - - 2

Yet I still find a few interesting stats. In each season he's within 64 completions of each other and not more than a difference of 29 attempted passes, with this season the lowest in both categories. Percentage wise this was the lowest pass to rush ratio for the Panthers of his five seasons at 45.1% of plays.

Plays Rush % Rush Pass % Pass
2003 982 522 53.2 % 460 46.8 %
2004 958 422 44.1 % 536 55.9 %
2005 936 487 52.0 % 449 48.0 %
2006 962 423 44.0 % 539 56.0 %
2008 918 504 54.9 % 414 45.1 %

It is also interesting that in 2004, with Steve Smith missing the season, he had his highest pass to rush ratio. That was also his highest year for total TD but his lowest in completion percentage of his career. If you remember though, this was the season we lost Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster to injuries and Nick Goings was our leading rusher (it may also shed some light on why Kerry Colbert did so well his first year).

He usually steps up his game from the first half of the season to the second half. His passer rating improves 5.9 points between the two halves.

Total Games W W% Ave Comp Ave Att Ave Y/A Ave Comp % Ave Rating
Games 1-8 35 21 60.0 18.0 30.4 7.0 59.3 83.8
Games 9-16 49 32 65.3 16.8 27.9 7.9 61.7 89.7

As I said earlier, over the whole season he's been pretty consistant, but that can be misleading. This season he's posted three of his lowest six passer ratings (including playoffs), his lowest overall against Oakland at 12.3, his 38.6 against the Bucs, and 39.1 against Arizona in the playoffs. Yet he also posted 4 of his top 10 games this season as well, the most of any season (Wk 7 - 122.3 against NO, wk 8 - 122.3 against ARI, wk 4 - 124.8 against ATL, and wk 17 - 129.2 against NO).

In the end all this really does is reinforce what we already know about Delhomme. He's not over the top great, but usually is not bottom of the barrel either. Yet this season may have been his most inconsistant year according to his passer rating.

With Julius Peppers leaving, large questions on defense, and Delhomme's future in question there's lots of questions this off season. With all of this in mind, I would say I can definately give Jake one more year. He's been consistant enough to pull this team though another season.He's is not getting younger but has been a good fit for the team. I would prefer if he would rework his contract though. But the front office, no matter what they think of Delhomme, better be looking toward the future in this position because he's not a long term solution.

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