Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Starting QBs: Who is worthy?

Because of my obvious expertise in rating quarterbacks (I once thought Ty Detmer would make a good starter) I was putting together a list of guys who I thought should and shouldn't be starting at QB in the NFL. Then I came across Don Banks' article about starting QBs on It was a good article but I had my own take so I decided to post anyway. If the starter is the best guy available but he really shouldn't be a starter in the NFL then I'll classify him as somebody who should be a backup. Anyway, this is my grouping (in no particular order within the group)of many of the guys who have started at the quarterback position this year.

The Cream of the Cream

Payton Manning/Colts
He's got Kenny Loggins blasting in his car while he's lip syncing (not a pretty sight) and he’s incredibly annoying at the line of scrimmage. He also is damn good at the quarterback position.

-Tom Brady/Patriots
still played well enough this year to keep a decimated defensive team atop their division (yes the other teams in his division really suck but without Brady the Pats might be fighting the Jets for the rights to Reggie Bush next year)

Starring at Quarterback...

-Carson Palmer/Bengals
It’s amazing how he has vaulted into this group in the span of a year and half. It’s early in his career to be considered this good but the Bengal offense is the 2nd best in the NFL. Palmer is a big reason why. Next year against a tougher schedule will tell us if he stays in this group.

-Drew Brees/Chargers
The last few games of this year (and playoffs if they make it) should reveal more of what Brees is made of but I like what I’ve seen for two years now.

-Donovan McNabb/Eagles
He was terrible this year, but he was really banged up. If he’s healthy he belongs here.

-Michael Vick/Falcons
Some people are so polarized on this guy. They either think he’s the best thing since disposable diapers or that he’s as overrated as Anna Kournikova. It’s probably a little bit of both. He’s shown enough to be a legitimate starter and the fact that he is the main weapon that teams game plan for means he has star status in my book. He doesn't like to hear it but his passing does need to improve. When the running isn't working he needs to be able to win games with his arm. That's iffy right now. Even so, he scares defenses. Not every QB can make that claim.

Solid starter but…

-Marc Bulger/Rams
He is dependent on protection because he has zero mobility. When he has time he can pick apart a defense. When he doesn’t, he’s on the injured list.

-Byron Leftwich/Jaguars
Needs to avoid injury bug and do a better job in the red-zone.

-Ben Roethlisberger/Steelers
When the Steelers are ahead he’s been good. When they’re behind, he has struggled. Needs to avoid inury...and dramatizing them.

-Jake Plummer/Broncos
his last couple of games have me seeing Jake the Snake again. In case you didn’t know, the “Snake” sucked. He needs a good running game and to play with the lead. Still his play this year puts him in this group.

-Trent Green/Chiefs
He's been pretty good for a few years now but I don't see him getting any better than he's been.

-Brian Griese/Buccaneers
has shown me enough with Tampa to make me believe that with the right system and protection he can be an effective starter. You might say that is true with any QB but there have been plenty of guys that have shown us that’s not reality. Tommy Maddox is exhibit A. You still have to have the skills and instincts to play well even with a good team around you.

-Jake Delhomme/Panthers
Throws too many stupid interceptions for me to label him a star QB yet. Still, he has played some great games and deserves to start.

-Eli Manning/Giants
I think he has played well enough to cement starter status. His completion percentage and decision making still needs much improvement.

-Matt Hasselbeck/Seahawks
The last couple of years I was expecting him to have a breakout season. It hasn’t happened and I don’t think its going to now. It might not be too long before he drops out of this group. If the Seahawks are going anywhere in the playoffs he’ll have to play better.

-Dante Culpepper/Vikings
he had two standout seasons prior to this year so even though he started off terrible before the injury, I’m not ready to write him off yet. I still believe he’s a starter for the Vikes and even with out Moss he could be great again. We’ll see.

-Brett Favre/Packers
Of course he's a Hall of famer but his team is bad and so are some of his decisions.

Steve McNair/Titans
Could his career have been a Hall of Fame one had he not been injured seemingly every game?

Survey says?...Backup!

-Brad Jonhson/Vikings
Has proved the last few years that he can win games. I still think he is better now in the relief role.

-Mark Brunell/Redskins
is playing better this year than last but that he’s still not what he was a few years back with the Jags.

-Kurt Warner/Cardinals
can throw for 300 yards a game. Can also throw 4 picks and have 2 fumbles in the same game. Yeah he fit the Ram system perfectly for a couple of years. But starting the year he had the thumb injury with the Rams, he’s been a different guy.

-Drew Bledsoe/Cowboys
He’s has a solid year so why isn’t he in my “solid starter” group? I have some immobile and poor decision making QB’s in that group it’s true, but some of his interceptions or fumbles come at the worst possible time for the Cowboys. I see implosion written all over the next few games for him.

-Kyle Boller/Ravens
With the defense he’s had it’s not like he’s trying to come back against impossible odds each game.

-David Carr/Texans
many say that he needs a better line before we judge him too harshly. Sorry, 45 Tds and 51 Ints in 4 years is enough for me.

-Kerry Collins/Raiders
he has enough good games to tempt you into thinking he could be a decent starter someday. Someday isn’t coming.

-Joey Harrington/Lions
see David Carr

-Jeff Garcia/Lions
had a playboy model girlfriend get involved in a catfight with his other ex-girlfriend. That's the only highlight of his worth talking about in the past few years. He’s never again going to be the guy that made the Pro-Bowl with the 49ers.

-Aaron Brooks/Saints
See Kerry Collins

-Trent Dilfer/Browns
good backup. Nothing more.

-Kelly Holcomb/Bills
Had a chance to impress this season. Didn't happen.

-Gus Frerotte, Anthony Wright, & Jay Fiedler/Dolphins/Ravens/Jets
Just re-read their names. It'll come to you.

Too early to judge..but it's ugly so far

Kyle Orton/Bears
Alex Smith/49ers

Too early to judge...but some signs of life
J.P Losman
Chris Simms/Bucs
Charlie Frye/Browns
Rex Grossman/Bears
David Garrard/Jags
Matt Schaubb/Falcons

Agree or disagree with these? Have others I didn't mention?


Sports Litter said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dolphinfan said...

I'm not ready to give up on Carr just yet. He is in a bad situation in Houston. The Texans do need to get him some help on the field but they also need to get him a coach.

The Zoner said...

I think you should swap Vick and Delhomme. Delhomme has still had a great year after losing Muhammad and he has taken them to a Super Bowl. Vick is difficult to call. Obviously the most gifted athlete at the position but he still isn't a true QB.

When Culpepper is healthy he has to go into the start category too.

Greg said...

Vick is so confusing. Some days he looks unstoppable. Other days, well, whatever the opposite of that is. (which would be stoppable, I guess. Hmm.) I mean, after that Pats game he missed, he's come back and been one of the top QB's in the league. I would be interested to see what he could do with a reciever who was, you know, good. I mean Finneran is no slouch. But he's not a #1.

I'd like to see what Matt Schaub could do as a starter on a team like, oh I don't know, the Bears.

Ian C. said...

Nice job - a very solid tiering of the NFL quarterbacks. If I wanted to nitpick, I'd say Palmer belongs in that first tier, but I agree that his body of work isn't as large as Manning's or Brady's yet. McNabb might belong there, too.

And hey, don't feel too bad about thinking Ty Detmer could be a starter. Here in Detroit, Matt Millen and Marty Mornhinweg did the same thing.

buster said...

I agree that Drew Bledsoe is realy good and has had a sollid season but he holds the ball to long. Nice site Armchair Qaurter Back.

Cutthroat Pirates said...

Nice job on Qb tiers. Now I think you must pull Griese out and put Simms in. I think Simms might (I said might) turn out to be a good QB.

Sports Litter said...

Leftwich should not be above C-Pepper or Hasselbeck or Favre or McNair

The Armchair Quarterback said...

I haven't ranked the quarterbacks within the group. So Leftwich, Culpepper, Hasselbeck etc. are all lumped into my "solid starters" list in no particular ranking.

Todd said...

I don't know about the Vick thing, man. I believed the media and the NFL has hyped him so much that we just agree that he is a great quarterback. Sadly, he is not. He is about three years away from being Kordell Stewart. Sorry. Hey, I'm back by the way. Hurray!!

Cutthroat Pirates said...

I have to agree with Todd about Vick. He is a scary player because of his ability to run the ball, but as QB, his skills lack. Now saying that, I think his pass rating this year is high? But I think he is overrated, and will not last long in the NFL.

Armchair thanks for the comments about my site. What I like about your site is that it is informative about all team, unlike mine.

Zachary Geballe said...

If we're talking about actual football (and not fantasy), then no way does Vick belong in the Star group. Yeah, he's famous, but don't confuse celebrity with ability. He kills the Falcons almost as frequently as he wins them games, and he still has no idea how to play in the pocket. Plus, there's always the injury concern.

Other gripes:

-Leftwich hasn't proven anything to me. I loved him in college, and he's gritty, but considering all the talent he has, his production has been mediocre.
-Plummer, Bledsoe, and Green all belong in their own group. They'll kill you as frequently as they win you games.

Finally, as a Seahawk fan, I'm pissed you dissed Hasselbeck so badly. The last three years he's thrown for over 3000 yards and will get there again this year. Since 2002, he's throw 78 TDs and 48 INTs, pretty damn good numbers. Is he a top five QB? No, but he's easily Brees' equal. Remember, this is the first year in a while where he's had a receiving corps which actually catches the football.

The Armchair Quarterback said...

I don't feel I've really dissed Hasselbeck. I said he was a solid starter but that I've expected more out of him. He's got a great team and maybe yesterday's game against the 49ers is showing us that he's on his way. As far as Brees goes, there is no way Hasselbeck was his equal last season (83 rating compared to 104)and up until yesterday I would still have given the nod to Brees for this season (their numbers are pretty comparable this year). That's just me, I'm not a Seahawk fan and although the Chargers are one of the AFC teams I root for, I'm not a homer for them. If you asked fans and team managements outside of San Diego and Seattle who they would take at quarterback right now, I bet 90% of them would take Brees. Still, Hasselbeck is only 30 and your right about his recievers. Maybe he will prove me wrong.

Zachary Geballe said...

But the thing about Brees is that while he was great last year (and is again having a good season) that's still less than two years...and remember, Matt Hass has only been a full-time starter since 2002.

The Armchair Quarterback said...

Bottom line is the only quarterbacks that are "A-list quarterbacks" in the league (numbers, wins, ability to do it over several years..etc) is Manning and Brady. If Favre & McNabb were having good seasons you would put them in this group also. But since they aren't, I won't. Other than that, Brees, Hasselbeck, even Carson Palmer (media glamor boy right now) are still wannabees until they prove they can play well consistantly over time.