Scott Garceau: The Straws That Stir The Drink
They dominate sports talk shows, newspaper headlines, message boards and conversation at the corner bar. They are the biggest stars in the most watched show in America. I’m talking about the men with the golden arms who scream hut-hut for a living. If you don’t have a real good NFL quarterback this time of the year you’re probably out of luck and I don’t mean Andrew.
Consider the quarterbacks who’ve won the last 10 Super Bowl’s and I’d say 8 of the 10 are Hall of Fame caliber. Here are your most recent QB’s with rings. Rodgers, Brees, Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Roethlisberger, Brady, Brady, Brad Johnson, and Brady.
You can’t spell elite without “Eli” Manning, I didn’t include him as Hall of Fame caliber but he’s proved he’s capable of winning the Super Bowl and could work his way onto the HOF caliber list. Brad Johnson is the exception but the rest of this bunch will likely have their day in Canton.
Lets go back 20 years and it’s more of the same with names like Kurt Warner, Brett Favre, John Elway, Troy Aikman and Steve Young winning rings. The Ravens Trent Dilfer joins Brad Johnson as exceptions to the “Golden Arm” rule.
Lets take a look at the 12 quarterbacks still standing as we get ready for the post-season. Five of these guys have won 7 of the last 8 Super Bowls, the 8th was won by Peyton Manning who’d likely be here giving defenses a pain in the neck if he didn’t have pain in his neck.
Three of this years playoff teams have first year starters, recent history tells us T.J. Yates, Tim Tebow and Andy Dalton won’t get to Indianapolis. Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Alex Smith and Matt Stafford are more experienced but none have played in the Super Bowl. Smith and Stafford have zero playoff experience, Ryan is O for 2 and Flacco leads this pack with 4 wins in 7 playoff road games.
Then come the ring-bearers Rodgers (1), Brees (1), Roethlisberger (2), Eli (1) and Brady (3).
The last 20 years tell us that there’s about a 80-90% chance that this years Lombardi trophy will be hoisted by 1 of the guys listed above. Doesn’t mean the second seeded Ravens can’t win it all, maybe the 49ers defense can make Alex Smith a champion and Matthew Stafford is as hot as any QB in the NFL.
All I know, there’s never been a better time to pass the football and those that do it the very best are champions.
Here’s how I rank the playoff quarterbacks. This is based only on performance for the 2011 season and not lifetime achievement.
TD/Int QB Rating
1. Rodgers GB 45/6 122.5 7. Ryan ATL 29/12 92.2.
2. Brees NO 46-14 110.6 8. Smith SF 17/5 90.7
3. Brady NE 39/12 105.6 9. Flacco BAL 20/12 80.9
4. Stafford DET 41/16 97.2 10. Dalton CIN 20/13 80.4
5. Manning NYG 29/16 92.9 11. Tebow DEN 12/6 72.9
6. Roethlis. PIT 21/14 90.1 12. Yates HOU 3/3 79.1
Quarterbacks have never been more prolific. Three threw for over 5,000 yards this year (Brees, Brady and Stafford) 3 more threw for over 4,600 and 10 topped 4,000. Brees set records for yards thrown and completion percentage and Rogers established a new QB rating record.
Let the air-show begin!!