You're better with numbers than that; I'd be surprised if everyone didn't. That said, doesn't #2 have the better vertical game? He's got better 20s and 40s, a better YPA, better TD-INT, a better . . .. Why #1?
You're not factoring in attempts. Guy #1 (Brees now that I've looked it up) has 86 20+ yard plays in 900 attempts, while Guy #2 (Ryan) has 87 in 1137. Based off the percentages (and percentages are really all that matter with QBs), over the course of a "normalized" 550-attempt season, Guy #1 would have about 10 more 20+ yard plays than Guy #2. Obviously, that difference could be between having Mike Wallace as your #2 instead of Andre Roberts, but since I'm assuming we're supposed to be judging in a vacuum, not going to assume that.
So let me get this straight... Guy 1 has a big year in his 3rd year and then drops off again in the 4th year, but he's going to be more like that 3rd year from now on... but Guy 2 has a good 4th year and it's an anomaly? You guys crack me up.
Guy 1 was cut from his team for his drop off in year 4.
The drop-off that Guy #1 (Brees) had in Year 4 is really inconsequential. His drop-off is the normal amount of drop-off that can be expected in a given year. You have to remember that his INT%, TD%, YPA are well above average. The whole "regress to the mean" is the likeliest culprit rather than he started to suck. The fact is any time someone has an INT% below 3%, TD% above 5.5%, and a YPA around 8+, those aren't "normal" numbers.
And Guy #1 didn't get cut because of his drop-off. He got cut because his team stupidly drafting another QB #1 after Year 2 (due to that drop-off from Year 1), and because he injured his shoulder and the fear that he would be the new Chad Pennington (2nd shoulder injury in 2 yrs.). It was the perfect opportunity (in their eyes) to move on.
That's one thing people don't quite understand. Production fluctuates from year to year. Just look at Brett Favre's career stats to see normal fluctuation: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/p ... vrBr00.htm
The myth out there is that Guy #2's numbers went up because of one high profile rookie WR, but the reality is potentially that his numbers would have seen a similar increase if not simply for a change in play-calling. And the forgotten factor is that Guy #2's numbers only really changed in one area (YPA). And what evidence do I have to back up this asinine notion? Just look at Guy #2's numbers when his high profile rookie WR was out of the lineup:
82 for 133 (61.7%) for 988 yards (7.43 YPA), 5 TDs, 5 INTs
Obviously, from the TDs, this high profile rookie had some impact, but not nearly as much as many might claim.