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ESPN ranks C.J Beathard in the bottom three for total QBR

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The dark times have returned.

There was a lot of skepticism for when C.J. Beathard made his start on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. After all, this is a guy who had a 54.9 completion percentage. When the San Francisco 49ers left the field with a loss, there was plenty of blame to go around, but Beathard didn’t deserve any of it.

That didn’t stop ESPN from ranking him in the bottom three of QBR.

Keep in mind, QBR is a bit of a strange ranking. It’s only used by ESPN on the regular, and it isn’t to be brought up in place of passer rating. It’s the same rating that Tim Tebow got better numbers than Aaron Rodgers — so, that may be all you need to know. Beathard finished with a QBR of 21.9 (very bad) and a passer rating of 82.9. Only two quarterbacks ranked worse: Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills (5.1) and Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins (4.5)

Here’s what ESPN’s Hank Gargiulo had to say about Beathard:

Making his first start of the season for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, Beathard picked up right where Garoppolo left off. Unfortunately for the 49ers, that means an inefficient performance and a close loss. Only the Bills have a lower team Total QBR through four weeks than San Francisco.

Beathard also was the recipient of some unfortunate luck. To start the second quarter, he seemingly was tripped by one of his own offensive lineman and couldn’t make a clean handoff to Matt Breida. Beathard was charged with the fumble.

Beathard’s first interception also wasn’t completely on him (QBR takes that into account but doesn’t completely absolve him), as Garrett Celek had a pass hit him in the hands before it popped up into the air for Los Angeles to intercept. Late in the fourth quarter and trailing by two points, Beathard was hit while throwing, and the ball found its way into a defensive lineman’s hands for a second interception at a crucial juncture -- again not all on him but not something QBR will completely ignore.

He’s definitely doesn’t belong in the 90s, not even the 70s, but Beathard played much better than a 21.9 rating. We can all agree the first interception was not at all his fault and the second one was less on him and more on other surrounding circumstances.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who got benched in the first half after three points and an interception on six possessions, didn’t even make the bottom three with his 27.9 QBR listed in the article. So there’s that.

Or is it? Because his game log on ESPN.com has him with a 14.9 QBR.

This ranking confuses me.