Brandon Weeden vs. Colin Kaepernick: A Statistical Comparison

The Tennessee Titans sent shockwaves through the NFL world when they signed Brandon Weeden to join their group of quarterbacks while their starting quarterback, Marcus Mariota, recovers from an injury. The move is another example of Colin Kaepernick being blackballed by the league for his national anthem protests, given Weeden’s perceived lack of success when compared to Kaepernick. But is that suspicion confirmed when you look at the statistics for both players?

Brandon Weeden has appeared in 34 games in his NFL career, starting in 25 of those games. Of those 25 games, Weeden has won only 6 of them, losing the remaining 19. That is a winning percentage of just 24%, a number that is definitely skewed by his time with the Cleveland Browns, a franchise that no quarterback has success with. Weeden’s career completion percentage is 57.9%, with 31 touchdowns to 30 interceptions for his career, as well as 201 career rushing yards and 1 career rushing touchdown. Thanks to his time with mostly bad teams, Weeden has never appeared in a playoff game.

As for Kaepernick, he has won 28 of his 58 career starts, for a winning percentage just short of 50%, despite a large chunk of those starts coming on a 2016 San Francisco 49ers team that went 2-14 with multiple starting quarterbacks throughout the season. Kaepernick, often bashed for his completion percentage, has completed 59.8% of his passes, just better than Weeden’s mark, with 72 passing touchdowns to go with 30 interceptions. That interception total is the same as Weeden’s, despite Kaepernick throwing over 700 more passes in his career. Kaepernick also has 2,000 more rushing yards and 12 more rushing touchdowns than Weeden for his career. Kaepernick is also 4-2 in his career during the NFL Playoffs, reaching a Super Bowl during his time with the 49ers.

Needless to say, Colin Kaepernick has a much stronger statistical portfolio than Brandon Weeden, as well as many other quarterbacks who currently have jobs in the NFL while Kaepernick sits on the proverbial sidelines, but not the actual sidelines. When you compare the performances of these players, it is easy to see that there is a lot more at play than on-field performance when it comes to why a player like Kaepernick has not yet been signed by an NFL team.

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