I had a few ideas of how to make a point about what makes a good quarterback and RG3’s injury just fell into my lap. There is no question that RG3 is a good quarterback, but he will never be a great quarterback. His first year in the NFL just finished and he is already getting surgery on his knee. His style is one of mobility and having the defense defend that part of his game. It is what separates him from the good but will keep him away from ever reaching the elite. Not to mention that fact that his career is going to end before it even starts. Mobile QB’s take more hits and endure more punishment throughout a season. I’m going to point out some obvious stats of what separates good Quarterbacks in the league.
The first thing elite Quarterbacks don’t do is fumble. One of the biggest turning points in football games are turnovers. When you are in your own zone and fumble the ball, you not only give your opponent field position, but they get a huge amount of the indescribable element of momentum. The best quarterbacks don’t fumble the ball because they avoid getting hit. After sorting this category of fumbles and fumbles lost amongst QB’s, I wasn’t surprised with the results. For QB’s who played 16 games, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady were 1 & 2, both fumbling only twice throughout the season. Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton, and Matt Schaub were the next 3 (all playoff QBs). Now let’s look at who fumbles the most and how their teams fared and my impressions of them as a QB. Rivers, Sanchez, and RG3 topped the list (to RG3’s credit, he only lost 2). Vick, Freeman, Luck, Cam and Kapernick followed. It’s not surprising that these are all mobile quarterbacks who like to run when given the chance. This simple stat should not be overlooked but certainly isn’t the end as all these QB’s, aside from Sanchez & Rivers, have unlimited potential.
Getting hit becomes another crucial component of judging quarterbacks. Who were the least sacked QB’s in the league this year, yapp, Eli and Peyton. I was shocked to see Aaron Rodgers topping the list but I guess that game against Seattle where he had like 9 first half sackesdidn’t help. Andy Dalton is up there too which surprises me because I’d guess he’d be fumbling more often since he’s taking this many sacks. I believe that another key to being a good quarterback is not getting hurt. You can’t help your team if you don’t play. I’m certainly not suggesting being a pussy but I do think that the future is an important aspect of a quarterback. Good quarterbacks avoid getting hit.
My next thought about what separates the Quarterback position is mobility. Who led the league in rush yards a game this year from the Quarterback position? Griffin, Cam, Vick, Kapernick, and Wilson. 3 playoff teams QB’s are mobile but at what expense? This is a handy ability to have but is it powerful enough to lead to a championship? Football is won through the air. Who led the league this year in pass yards a game? Brees, Stafford, Romo, Brady, Ryan, Manning, Luck, Rodgers. The first guy is a Super Bowl Champion, the next two are statistical entries, and then the cream of the crop. Am I off base here?
Time to look at who has won the Superbowl and what type of QB wins. Here is the list of the last ten years and who the QB was:
2012: Giants – Eli Manning
2011: Packers – Aaron Rodgers
2010: Saints – Drew Brees
2009: Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger
2008: Giants – Eli Manning
2007: Colts – Peyton Manning
2006: Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger
2005: Patriots – Tom Brady
2004: Patriots – Tom Brady
2003: Buccaneers – Brad Johnson
2002: Patriots – Tom Brady
Is ten years of history enough to make the claim that your team needs a pocket passing, white Quarterback to win the Superbowl? I’m going to argue no. Reason being is because I think that football is a team game. I think being balanced on both sides of the ball is way more important than what type of quarterback plays for your team. HOWEVER, there is a certain trait that all the above mentioned quarterbacks have and that’s leadership. I don’t care how you play the game as long as you have everyone on your team believing that your the guy to make it happen. It’s experience and this new styled QB has not been proven that it wins championships. I think if the right person comes along though, that can certainly change. I particularly like the Seahawks this year and Russel Wilson’s attitude towards the game. This blog will document that with 8 teams left, I like the Seahawks to win the SuperBowl and for Russell Wilson to break the white, pocket passing QB trend.