Best QB in the NFL this year.

Discussion in 'American Football Talk' started by Christoph, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Christoph

    Christoph Member

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    Who was the best QB in the NFL this year? Rodgers? Manning? Brady? Brees? Or perhaps even a guy like RGIII or Matt Ryan?

    I have a big long argument formulated in my head on this, but I'm too tired to make it at the moment, so for now I'm going to pass it off to you guys (and then come back and tell you why you're all wrong... or right if you happen to be smart enough to agree with me. ;) :p )
     
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  2. deuvl

    deuvl Moderator
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    Dang. I'm having hard Luck guessing who it might be.
     
  3. Bronko

    Bronko Member

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    Right now, its gotta boil down to Russell Peters or Peyton Manning.

    They've completely elevated their teams.

    Even though he got his team a bye, Tom Brady's squad slipped a bit this year, mostly due to the weak defense Bellichik trotted out most of the year.

    We all know who won't be the Top QB - lots of prospects (Romo, Sancheez, Ponder, Big Ben, Rivers, Jason Campbell, Cutler, even Eli Manning had an off year)
     
  4. iso_55

    iso_55 Member

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    Peyton Manning for sure. Drew Brees, Brady & Aaron Rodgers as well. I think Matt Ryan is underrated. Russel Wilson (nee Peters) plays in a system that allows him to be successful despite his lack of size. He couldn't play in a standard NFL passing offense like the others could. I don't think Wilson's the best qb in the NFL. I don't think he ever will be. But he fits Seattles system to a tee.
    BTW, watch out for Andrew Luck. As the Colts build their offense, get better receivers, a running game, shore up the OL & Luck gains experience he will be the besty qb in the NFL in 5 years. Count on it happening.
    RG3 is finished. That knee injury is extremely bad. Take away his mobility as well as running ability & he's just an average qb. Truthfully his toolbox is short a few tools that Luck already posseses in his.
    What happened to RG3 could happen to Wilson. On that compressed NFL field with their bigger defensive players the zone read will be a graveyard for qbs.
     
  5. Christoph

    Christoph Member

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    To me this year it came down to Rodgers and Manning, both of whom ironically were outperformed yesterday by lesser QBs who seemed to catch lightning in a bottle, especially Flacco. So this post is going to reflect what I saw having watched every single game the two of them played this year.

    Rodgers had an up and down season. At times I actually found myself frustrated watching him play because of his tendency to pat the football if perfect throwing lanes weren't initially there. It's strange because there are plays where he shows off what may be the quickest release in football and the ball is snapped and then in the receivers hands before you can even blink. Most games though he almost looked like he was playing tentative trying to avoid turning the ball over, but instead of throwing the ball away when nothing was there he swallowed the football far too often. As a result he got sacked constantly. Granted his protection was iffy most of the season, but I saw many a sack where the protection was more than adequate but he simply hung onto the football way too long.

    The plus side of extending the play is that with his athletic ability he is often able to buy time for guys to get open down field for big plays. Last season that happened frequently. This season, not so much. Maybe it was injuries at the receiver position, I don't know, but I didn't see the same willingness to let the ball fly this season that I saw a year ago.

    That may have sounded like a negative assessment of Rodgers, but he did still lead the league yet again in QB rating and really caught fire down the stretch piling up TD passes.

    Manning is in many ways a polar opposite to Rodgers in terms of style. He's often described as lead footed and you'll rarely see him take off in an effort to extend the play. His game is based around rhythm and timing with his receivers and he's smart enough that often he's already dissected the defense and figured out how to counter what they're doing before the ball is even snapped. This means that despite limited mobility he's very difficult to hit much less sack. Nobody took fewer sacks year in and year out behind what often were very average offensive lines in Indy.

    This year Manning benefitted greatly from having two big wide receivers playing on the outside for the first time in his pro career. Suddenly he had some leeway to chuck the ball up down field and let his guy go up and get it. The offense in Denver was still based around precision route running and timing throws, but now it had an added dimension. Manning has always loved to go deep but he never really had the ideal weapons to do so on a regular basis before. This lead lead to numerous big plays and helped him to lead the league in yards per attempt all while maintaining his league best 68.6% completion percentage

    His weakness is that he sometimes predetermines where he's going with the football which means that if the defense successfully manages to disguise what they're doing (easier said than done vs. Manning) he will occasionally throw the ball right to them. This happened less and less as the season progressed and he got more comfortable with his teammates and allowed the play to unfold organically rather than robotically.

    Manning and Rodgers had seasons that were remarkably similar in terms of numbers but there were two key differences. 1) Rodgers can scramble for key yardage with his legs. Manning on the other hand, well, after a decade I think you know. 2) Despite his lead feet, he has a knack for the subtle little moves in the pocket that buy him that extra second needed to find a receiver and avoid the sack. Rodgers on the other hand takes a lot of sacks, ironically in large part because of his faith in his ability to extend the play with his legs.

    In this case is that from what I saw, that tendency lead to more negative plays this year than in his MVP season. It cost them field position and points, making field goals more difficult than they needed to be especially for a team with a kicker who was struggling as much as Mason Crosby was. That is the tie breaker. And that is why Manning was the best QB in the league this year. (AP will still win MVP though.)

    Now I know that most people probably don't have NFL gamepass and aren't able to watch every snap of all the major games every week without it taking several days, so you'll just have to take my word on this assessment. :p

    Or will you? Luckily the stat gurus at ESPN developed a metric called Total QBR a few years ago that takes into account virtually every aspect of playing the QB position and not merely basic passing stats. Adding validation to the advanced statistic it has since been adopted by the scary smart stat geeks at footballoutsiders.com. Here's the gist of what it factors in:

    You can see everyone's numbers by clicking the link above, but suffice it to say they confirm my assessment as Manning leads the league by a convincing margin with an 84.1 rating vs. Rodgers' fifth best 72.5 rating.
     
  6. Christoph

    Christoph Member

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    Kaepernick plays a very similar style, the difference is superior size. He's quite lanky so I guess it remains to be seen whether than will be a blessing or a curse, but there's no denying how difficult these guys make things for defenses vs. a traditional drop back passer.

    Say what you will about the option reads this new breed of athletic QBs, but to me it's baffling that the NFL's collectively closed minds long held the belief that these plays wouldn't work against the superior athletes that populate NFL defenses, but really, when you think about it, isn't that all the more reason to find ways to beat them that don't rely exclusively on out-athleting (to invent an awesome but fake term) them. Why line up and try to beat them one on one when you can isolate defenders and put them in no win situations?

    Just look at how much more open things seemed to be for Kaepernick than Manning. He had much wider margin for error on his passes than Manning and there's reason for that. Granted Green Bay's defense is not what Manning faced lining up against an inspired Ray Lewis lead Ravens unit, but that was only part of the story.
     
  7. Bronko

    Bronko Member

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    Just based on this weekend's NFL quarter-finals I'm actually liking Flacco and how he's brought those gassed Ravens back from dead.

    Brady is still the most reliable and consistent soldier out there. He rarely puts in putrid performances and his passing is pretty darn accurate.

    Kaepernick is the man you gotta watch in the next couple years.

    I agree with Al about RG3.....he'll start yapping in 3 months about how his leg is like new but we all know this is the 2nd surgery on the knee. Its complete reconstruction. Peterson got away lucky, don't know if RG can do same, especially playing a reckless style.

    Luck is the wildcard. With a year of solid experience behind him he's no longer a rookie.

    I hope the Vikings can reach into the pool and pull out someone who's bettter than Ponder. Rivers, Brees, Kirk Cousens, Alex Smith, who knows. Everyone rules out Tim Tebow - I'd love to see the big kid come up north, specifically to the Bombers.
     
  8. iso_55

    iso_55 Member

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    Once DC's in the NFL figure out the Zone Read & inevitably they will, I think you'll see these running athletic qbs fall to the wayside. Things go in cycles & this is a cycle. Guys like Wilson & Kaepernick will eventually get hurt.
     
  9. iso_55

    iso_55 Member

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    Tebow in the CFL, Nate? OMG, what a joke that would be. Tebow can't throw on the smaller NFL field. Imagine how bad he would do chucking the rock up here on the bigger CFL field.
     
  10. Christoph

    Christoph Member

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    I'd love that too as it would mean one less team for the Stampeders to worry about beating. :p
     
  11. Christoph

    Christoph Member

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    Exactly! He might make a decent full back who could keep defenses guessing on direct snaps though. ;)
     

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