Evaluating each NFL team’s quarterback situation


SB Nation
Chuck Mills
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Simply put, how stable is each team under center?

In Good Hands

Simply put, these teams are where they are because of their passers. They’re content to have them even in the bad times, and these teams would be much worse off without them.

Atlanta Falcons

Sure, they haven’t done so well, but it’s not like Matt Ryan can draft, play corner, or rush the passer.

Baltimore Ravens

January Joe Flacco. Nuff said.

Carolina Panthers

Sure, they haven’t been the winningest team in the NFL. But Cam Newton has taken them to back-to-back NFC South titles, and he’s one of the few quality offensive skill position players on their team, along with Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin. Heck, he’s probably the best rushing attack the team has too.

Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo gets the stigma of being a choker plenty. But the fact of the matter couldn’t be less true as he’s had the best passer rating in the fourth quarter since 2006 and has broken Roger Staubach’s franchise record for most fourth quarter comebacks with 27 of his own. The one concern with Romo is how long his back holds up. And his contract that has to get restructured annually.

Green Bay Packers

It’s actually unfair how this team goes from one Hall of Fame passer (Brett Favre) to another (Aaron Rodgers).

Indianapolis Colts

In a couple of years, when Andrew Luck becomes the best QB in the NFL, read the above line.

New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees won the Super Bowl for the Saints and the franchise’s peak years have pretty much been a result of him being around. Now the Saints have to try and field a winning team while his window is still open.

New England Patriots

Tom Brady had a bounce-back season and he just won the Super Bowl for the fourth time. It’s safe to say that the Patriots are secure with Brady, who isn’t showing signs of slowing down.

New York Giants

Despite the Giants going 6-10, Eli Manning had the best statistical season of his career. Getting Victor Cruz back alongside Odell Beckham Jr. and some more guys on the defense could make the Giants contenders again.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger has broken most, if not all, of Terry Bradshaw’s records. Steelers fans just hope that he can retire with as many Super Bowl wins as Bradshaw.

San Diego Chargers

Considering that the team had injuries at offensive line and with their pass catchers, a mediocre defense, and the league’s worst running game, it’s safe to say that a revitalized Philip Rivers is most likely the reason for his team’s success.

Seattle Seahawks

Sure, his pick lost the Seahawks the Super Bowl. But give him an offensive line and Russell Wilson is a top QB. Also, the Seahawks don’t even make it there with T-Jax or Flynn the Bandit.


Could these teams find someone better? Sure. Could they also find someone much worse? Sure.

Arizona Cardinals

Carson Palmer is the best quarterback on the Cardinals roster. He is also 35 and suffered his second ACL tear.

Chicago Bears

Is Jay Cutler elite? No. Is he the best statistical passer in Bears history? Yes. Is it his fault the Bears are mediocre? That’s up to you. Was making him the richest QB in NFL history considering his lack of achievement dumb? Probably.

Cincinnati Bengals

Sure, Andy Dalton chokes in prime time and in the playoffs. But he’s better than some of the Three Headed Monsters some other teams have at QB.

Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford makes some really, really dumb decisions with the ball sometimes. He’s also the best statistical passer in Lions history.

Kansas City Chiefs

Alex Smith is never going to match his fellow AFC West passers in arm strength (he’s maybe better than Peyton Manning) and is never going to generate a high flying stat machine. But he’s the best option for Kansas City and it’s not like they’re any good at drafting quarterbacks.

Assessing the situation

These teams have a young QB who isn’t the sure thing and they don’t know what they have in him yet.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Yes, Blake Bortles had his struggles this season. Maybe it might help him if the Jaguars got him an offensive line pronto.

Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill had the best season of any Dolphins quarterback since Dan Marino left and has gotten better every year. He’s probably worth keeping in Miami.

Minnesota Vikings

Teddy Bridgewater showed some encouraging signs for the Vikings this season and could show more with an improved cast around him.

Oakland Raiders

Derek Carr had the best season of any rookie quarterback and looked pretty good for Oakland this season. If they got him a quality running game and some wide receivers that can actually start on another team, he might be golden.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles need to see two things from Nick Foles. 1) Can he play 16 games? 2) Which Nick Foles was the real Nick Foles?

Precarious situations

These teams might have a guy, but now they have questions surrounding him.

Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning still hasn’t decided whether to come back in 2015 and if even if he does come back, there’s a chance he might be done.

San Francisco 49ers

A bad season, new coach, and a contract that gives the team the ability to cut you with little dead money is rarely a good combination for a QB.

Washington Redskins

RG3 is entering the final year of his contract (unless he gets the fifth year option) and unless he returns to his 2012 form, it’s probably over for him in Washington as all of his seasons have featured poor performances from him, benchings, and injuries.

Up the proverbial creek

No questions here, these teams don’t have a QB at all.

Buffalo Bills

E.J. Manuel got benched in favor of the now retired Kyle Orton and the Bills don’t have a first round pick to draft a QB with.

Cleveland Browns

Brian Hoyer is entering free agency, Johnny Manziel is in rehab, and Connor Shaw played poorly against Baltimore. To add to the turmoil, there are rumors of trading up for Marcus Mariota.

Houston Texans

The Texans had four QBs play this season and because of J.J. Watt being awesome and willing the team to nine wins, the Texans are too low in the draft to get Winston or Mariota, but too high for guys like Connor Cook, Brett Hundley, or Bryce Petty.

New York Jets

Geno Smith looked good in the season finale. It’s the other 15 games that are the problem.

St. Louis Rams

George Blanda played until he was 52. I think Kurt Warner’s still got some game left in him.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Teams with quality QBs usually aren’t picking first in the draft.

Tennessee Titans

Jake Locker is inconsistent, injury prone, and a free agent. Clipboard Jesus should stay on the bench. Zach Mettenberger probably isn’t the second coming of Tom Brady.


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18 Responses to “Evaluating each NFL team’s quarterback situation”

  1. Sage says:

    I’m not saying this just because I’m a Tebow fan; rather, I’m a Tebow fan because I believe this to be true: The primary mark of a great QB is the ability to get the ball across the goal-line or into field-goal range during the last two minutes of the 2d or 4th quarters, particularly in big games. Sure, other things are important. But it’s at these times that preceding events are set in stone and the QB’s ability can determine the outcome.

    Most men choke in these conditions. It’s either succeed, “nice try,” or abjectly fail. Only one of these results has value. Too many players and fans are satisfied with “nice try,” because they deceive themselves.

    Tebow has never deceived himself in this way. Only a few are in his company, to include Brady and Wilson.

    • brandi says:

      Statistics are Sports’ version of Everyone Gets a Trophy.

      Baseball went through this stupid “Moneyball” phase where the StatNerds tried to tell everyone that Numbers are everything and Winning doesn’t count. Except, of course, in their justification that their numbers are what constitutes building a Winning Team.

      The second Baseball realized 2 things, 1) it takes 3 years of Statistics to even get a large enough sample size to even say how “well” a Player did before and those numbers are useless in predicting future success (By the StatMeisters own admission) AND that you can’t use them to actually build a Winning Team with any more record of success than a ouiji board, Baseball pretty much abandoned it and started using Statistics for what they’re good for…scouting tools to identify places to fine-tune a Player’s Game.

      Football will find out the exact same thing Baseball did. Then maybe the StatNazis will stop ruling the Game. Maybe.

      • ck says:

        Brandi: The so called “StatNazis” are adept at manipulating the number’s game and no doubt probably took lessons from used car salesmen in the “FINANCE DEPT”! Guess you can call it creative financing…hmmmm!
        At least we know who can prove their stats b/c it is on tape and that doesn’t lie…GO TEBOW!!!

        • David says:

          Lately, I’ve been using the yards per completion stat to show that Tebow was averaging 15.3 yards per completion and that most QBs are averaging 9-12 yards per completion. This difference is huge. The NFL uses average yards per attempt but they don’t actually show you how far the QBS are throwing the ball. This is deceptive. Yards per completion is a pure statistic while yards per attempt is skewed by the completion percentage. A QB can throw 7 yards with 3 yards after the catch with a 70% completion percentage and have 7 yards per attempt. Tebow threw 15.3 yards per completion with a 47.3% completion percentage and averaged 7.2 yards per attempt. Tebow will score more often per attempt, much more often per completion and will throw fewer interceptions because he is throwing it over the heads of the defense and not into traffic. A 15 year old boy could throw a ball 7 yards about 70% of the time to a receiver that takes a step and falls forward for 2 more yards. It takes talent and strength to average over 15 yards per catch and to throw three 50 yards completions in a playoff game against the best pass defense in the NFL. Here are some examples of why yards per completion is more important than completion percentage:
          In their first 16 games of play:
          Tebow threw 19 TDs in 374 attempts with 47.3% 9 ints averaging a TD every 19.6 attempts 15.3 yards per completion scoring every 9.3 completions
          Luck threw 23 TDs in 627 attempts with 54% 18 ints averaging a TD every 27.26 attempts 12.9 yards per completion scoring every 14.73 completions
          Bradford threw 18 TDs in 590 attempts with 60% 15 ints averaging a TD every 32.77 attempts 9.98 yards per completion scoring every 19.66 completions
          Brady threw 18 TDs in 483 attempts with 63.9% 13 ints averaging a TD every 26.83 attempts 10.98 yards per completion scoing every 17.11 completions
          It took the other QBs 8-14 more throws than Tebow for every score and because they threw more interceptions it also required more possessions.
          Tebow threw more TDs per attempt than all of them in at least 109 fewer pass attempts and fewer interceptions. He was scoring 35% to 115% more often per completion. It didn’t matter how high their completion percentages were because Tebow was throwing 3-5 yards more per catch and scoring often.

          • ck says:

            David: Can’t argue w/those STATS!!! 100% and you are probably a CPA!:)

          • brandi says:

            Here’s the thing about statistics, ALL statistics. As useless as they generally are unless you are dealing with a huge sample size, they become meaningless unless unless absolutely everything is the same for each one. Which in Sports of course, never occurs. That’s what in Baseball, the numbers mecca of Sports, stats have always been talked about and always lightly so. I know it seems like we make a bigger deal out of them, MVP Awards and all. But the deciding factor has always been, who really did more for their Team than anyone else. And stats have always been only one factor.

            That all blew up when Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young and StatNerds were calling the end of the “Flat Earthers”. Well, it lasted one year and Baseball had enough. And went back to the primary factor being who helped their Team Win Games.

            In Tim Tebow’s case everything is skewed because the only thing we really have is a Season spent patching together a Roster every week because of injuries, including Receivers. Tim never had the same Receivers on the Field two weeks in a row. The Defense was even worse with injuries. But the other big thing is they switched Offenses. But they only went to a partial switch and never integrated the Passing Options of Option Offenses. So Defenses who knew anything about Option Offenses knew right off if it was a Pass Play or a Run. AND, their Passing Offense was a make-shift. They abandoned their old Offense but never really had time to put together a new one.

            We absolutely have no idea how good Tim Tebow could be as an NFL QB if he actually had one stable situation. Because he never had one. In any way his entire NFL “Career”.

      • Sage says:

        Long before he ran Tebow out of Denver, Elway coined the phrase, “Stats suck.”

        That was when he was on the way to his first or second Super Bowl. The team was still surviving on his competitiveness instead of on any crisp passing performances.

        Interesting about moneyball.

        • brandi says:

          Being a Rays Fan, I’ve always found it amusing. Desperate to “prove” their point, Statizens continued to call the Rays a Moneyball Team. (Another almost universals feature of Stat Officionados and definitely of StatNazis, “Proving” is HUGE in their book. Being of the humans don’t know enough about anything to ever be able to actually be able to prove anything…because there will always be something happening we don;t know about…it’s one of my favorite smirkies.)

          Anyway, Joe Maddon and Andy Friedman…the supposed Moneyballing Masters…would always laugh and say Ummm, No. The Rays are absolutely NOT Moneyballers. They have been pretty much what Statistics are good for, finding weaknesses in a Player’s or Team’s Game and focusing extra attention of plugging up those weaknesses. But definitely NOT any magic formulas for success. Just useful in Training, Development and occasionally Game Planning. Stats can be used to tweak. Not much else.

          • ck says:

            Actually went to a Ray’s Game and didn’t not like the atmosphere and the kids didn’t either!:(

          • ck says:

            oops…meant to say that I “DID NOT” like the place period and that is probably why! Profits above everything else, including people!

        • ck says:

          Sage: Didn’t know that, but it fits Elrot! Thanks for the info.

  2. ck says:

    Looks like the usual teams are in dire need of a “PRO QB” and am hoping the “RIGHT” team is lined up for T2 instead of the “WRONG” ones that are more than obvious impo. That being said, have to agree wholeheartedly w/Sage!

  3. Bigfan says:

    The silence is deafening! Either Timmy is on Holiday, at his new hospital OR preparing for the free agent combine next month?????

    • ck says:

      Bigfan: Think it is a lot of the latter plus a little of the former, lol!
      Not to worry, definitely a plan is in place; i.e., divine providence!

  4. TheMascotArmy says:

    I think this veteran’s combine may be Tebow’s last best shot at playing. One of the biggest obstacles to his return are the talking heads’ egos. They proclaimed him unworthy before he ever took the field, and they were in a pickle when he had success. They managed to convince enough loudmouth sheep that their initial evaluation was still accurate (and more importantly, their ability to evaluate talent).
    This combine will give enough “experts” the opportunity to save face while endorsing Tebow, saying that he finally fixed the problems they were so right about all along. They won’t want to put themselves in the positron they were in in 2011, fighting against people’s lying eyes. They can all be Trent Dilfer now.
    Plus, he is actually probably better now, and his understanding of the game is tougher to criticize since his debut as a commentator.
    Fingers crossed

  5. TheMascotArmy says:

    Also, I appreciate Brandi’s critique of statistics, but it only partially applies to the Tebow debate. Only a few superficial and irrelevant statistical metrics deny Tebow’s place in the NFL. Those statistics that actually correlate with winning and success show him as those who’ve watched him play know him.
    Still, it’s an uphill battle getting the simpleminded to understand anything even one layer deeper than completion percentage.

    • brandi says:

      The worst aspect of the Completion % issue is how skewed it is for Tim because of how John Fox had him handle the Ball. Despite Tim’s running ability, Foxy didn’t really want him Running nearly as much as there were opportunities for him to do so.

      But it was Foxy’s instruction to “Beach” the Ball that has hurt Tim so badly. Fox tried to make it clear it was him NOT Tim. But nobody cares. So not only does Tim take a hit in the numbers, far worse, he takes a HUGE hit in appearance.

      It can’t be helped and part of me thinks it shouldn’t. It’s the flipside of the Winning coin. Those who say Tim’s not QB material say “C’mon. I SAW all of those Passes in the dirt.” The reasons why don’t matter. Just as the 95% or so who say Tim got a raw deal hear all of the excuses and say “Hey, We saw the Wins.”

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