Nov 16, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett (15) talks with Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) after the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Houston Texans at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Texans beat the Browns 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
For starters, let’s take a look at both QBs, specifically how each has performed over the past year. Both guys were backups to Tom Brady for a good amount of time, and as such, last year was the only year that we have been able to see them in action.
Brian Hoyer started for the Cleveland Browns two years ago, and was off to a good start, when he tore his ACL after throwing only two completions in the third game. But in 2014, Hoyer would see the first significant playing time of his career. He would finish the season with 238 yards per game, a 55.3% completion percentage, and a 12-13 TD-INT ratio.
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On the other hand, Ryan Mallett got to start two games last season before also going down with an injury. This was the first real playing time for Mallett, as he had only seen limited action during his time with the Patriots. He finished the season with 200 yards per game, a 54.7% completion percentage, and a 2-2 TD-INT ratio.
Both quarterbacks had similar statistics, with neither one really showing an advantage. It should be noted, though, that 8 of Hoyer’s interceptions came in the last 4 games, when the Browns started having a meltdown. Also noted is the fact that Mallett (according to sources) played through an injury to his pectoral in his second game, almost certainly affecting his performance.
While the numbers are similar, there are a few differences that could predict how each player will perform this year. Hoyer averaged 7.59 yards per attempt, while Mallett averaged 5.33. This would suggest that Hoyer was more inclined to throw the ball deeper, while Mallett preferred to check down.
Unfortunately, these numbers aren’t entirely useful, as the situations around each quarterback varied extremely, whether there were differences in health, play calling, team members, and the strength of each opponent faced. But while there may be flaws in looking at just the numbers, they give us a good idea that both Hoyer and Mallett are on similar levels of playing ability, and that the battle between the two was pretty even.