Before we begin to compare 2 of the most talked about quarterbacks in recent Louisville football history, let’s begin with a word of caution: These two phenomenal players are completely different types of quarterbacks, were in two completely different types of offenses, and therefore we must be careful not to cast judgement from these numbers. This comparison serves more as a statement as to how 2 different quarterbacks had great freshman years than anything else. With that being said, let’s take a look at how they did compare against each other.It is the general consensus that Teddy was the better passing quarterback than Lamar Jackson. I think in some instances this definitely holds true, but in others it is surprising just how close the numbers are. The clear separation lies in completion percentage. Teddy Bridgewater held almost a 10% completion advantage over Lamar Jackson and this was done with almost 50 more passing attempts. Another interesting number to be examined here is the slight yards per attempt advantage Lamar Jackson had. I think in general this is caused because of Teddy’s willingness to check down to the open receiver, something he was very good at.
This category is owned completely by Lamar Jackson. Teddy scrambled when he absolutely had to, Lamar scrambled when the defense gave him the opportunity. I think the most definitive statement that can be made when comparing the two quarterbacks is that Lamar is/was a better athlete. His ability to plant his foot and accelerate is one of a kind.
Both Jackson and Bridgewater had very good overall 3rd down ratings, but one that stood out more than anything was Bridgewater’s redzone passer rating. When Teddy was inside the opponents 20, he was smart, efficient, and decisive. This can be seen by the 231.52 passer rating. I did find Jackson’s passer rating when losing by 1-7 points to be very interesting as well. In general, the more that UofL was losing by, the better Teddy did whereas Lamar did better in much tighter games.
Total offense is the best way to compare the overall success of both quarterbacks freshman campaigns. While it is not really fair to decisively say that one quarterback was more efficient than the other, it appears from looking at the total offense that Lamar Jackson had a more productive freshman campaign. Yes, the quarterback who had taken virtually no snaps under center ended up producing more raw stats than the Louisville great himself, Teddy Bridgewater.
I felt this final category needed to be included to demonstrate that the 2011 and 2015 teams were not equal. The 2015 Louisville football team was rated better in every single computer ranking.. The tough part here is trying to figure out how much say did Bridgewater and Jackson have in dictating the team as a whole. If the 2015 team were truly a better overall team, minus the QB position, (which I believe they were) then it would give Lamar Jackson a little extra help in operating the offense.
What conclusion can we make from this data? We can try to extract bits and pieces here and there to try and determine which was the better quarterback, player, and freshman. Speaking in generalities Teddy Bridgewater seemed to be the more efficient passer while Lamar Jackson the better runner. Regardless, what you are left with is a quarterback that gave us 3 amazing years, a BCS bowl victory, and is representing the school well at the highest level of the sport. We also have a quarterback that is evolving before our eyes, where the sky is the limit. In 2 to 3 years maybe we can look back and actually determine who was the better quarterback at the University of Louisville, but perhaps we may not even want to. In the end they are 2 completely different people and 2 completely different players. I mean, isn’t it nice to be in such a great position that we are comparing 2 of the most exciting athletes to ever take the field in a Louisville uniform and they both happen to be in the past 5 years?
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