Monday, January 2, 2012

Rating QBs ... from Tebow to Rodgers to Romo to Hanie

Nobody says "The check's in the mail" any more. For one thing, nobody under the age of 80 writes checks. And pretty much nobody mails anything other than junk.

Another saying that should go into permanent hiatus: "The quarterback gets too much credit when you win and too much blame when you lose."

QB is the single most important position in team sports. (You might say hockey goalie, but let's stick to sports that people actually watch.) A team with a great quarterback has a chance to excel and a team that lacks even a good quarterback has little chance at all. Of course, there have been a few exceptions over the years in the NFL. Very few.

The QB handles the football on every play, makes dozens upon dozens of critical in-game decisions and must execute every play properly -- be it a handoff, pitch or pass -- for an offense to function. When a close game comes down to crunch time, the ability and demeanor of the quarterback usually is the one deciding factor.

Fact is, the QB never can get too much credit or blame.

I still don't think Tim Tebow can be a winning QB in the NFL over time, but he deserves credit for the Broncos' surprising success during the eight-week stretch that put them in position to back into the playoffs. And Tebow deserves at least as much blame for the team's complete collapse during the final three weeks.

If he and his passionate-bordering-on-bonkers fans don't think such scrutiny is fair, Tebow should become a linebacker or tight end.

Which, by the way, would be better positions for him.

But enough about Tim Tebow for today. There are plenty of other QBs to talk about now that the regular season has ended:

TOM BRADY: It's hard to imagine choosing another quarterback if you have to win one game.

DREW BREES: Unless it's this guy, who is almost impossibly accurate. He and the Saints are too much fun to watch.

AARON RODGERS: Then again, maybe it's this guy, the shoo-in for league MVP. If there's a Mount Rushmore of today's ridiculously good quarterbacks, Rodgers, Brees and Brady are the equivalent of Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln.

PEYTON MANNING: The perfect example of the importance of having a great QB. But he isn't healthy, so right now Teddy Roosevelt would have to be ...

BEN ROETHLISBERGER: I'm fairly sure he's a jerk, and he rarely looks pretty on the field. But he has won two Super Bowls and he's got a decent chance for a third. He plays tough, he plays hurt and he usually plays really well.

ELI MANNING: Were I a Giants fan, I'd love to hate this guy. For big chunks of every game, he plays ugly. But he absolutely carried the team this year and he has a knack for pulling games out at the end. In that way, he's similar to Tebow. Except Eli's actually a QB.

MARK SANCHEZ: By far, New Jersey's worst pro QB.

CAM NEWTON: A young Steve Young, but already as polished a passer as Young became well into his career. I actually looked forward to Panthers games every week just to watch this guy.

PHILIP RIVERS: Just good enough to be not quite great enough for a Chargers team that never has quite enough.

CARSON PALMER: Still waiting to see what all the hype is about.

MIKE VICK: The rest of the NFC is glad Vick and his Philly teammates didn't realize the lockout had ended until the season was 12 weeks old.

TONY ROMO: You know this guy is talented, but there's just something missing. He's sort of Eli Manning's opposite because he far too often finds a way to lose.

REX GROSSMAN: A very, very, very poor man's Romo.

KYLE ORTON: After coming off the scrap heap to lead the Chiefs to victory over the Packers, and then helping knock off Tebow in the season finale, Orton probably earned a very nice paycheck for himself next season. And speaking of guys who earned a big payday ...

MATT FLYNN: Aaron Who? Brett Who?

MATTHEW STAFFORD: Looks like he can be pretty special, at least as long as he can stay healthy -- and as long as Calvin Johnson is on the field with him.

MATT SCHAUB: A shame he got hurt just as the Texans were starting to get good.

ALEX SMITH: Finally came into his own in San Fran under Jim Harbaugh. I'm looking forward to seeing how he does under playoff pressure.

ANDY DALTON: Obviously skilled ... but will he be more than Carson Palmer?

SAM BRADFORD: Not enough information to know if he's a superstar in the making or an injury-prone bust in the making.

CHRISTIAN PONDER: A great big "We'll see."

JOE FLACCO: Eli Manning Lite.

JAY CUTLER: Another Romo-type who can make all the plays but often doesn't. Still, Chicago fans learned the hard way this year that there are a lot worse QBs than Cutler. Such as ...

CALEB HANIE: Sure, I'll have fries with that.


  1. what a lot of work you put in...nice...

  2. Thanks Doug. Sometimes, I'm bored enough to say, "Ah, what the hell. Let me give tens of readers a thrill."