At the Season's Middle Point
Bills fans through a Dildo on the field on Sunday. The ref didn't pick it up, he just kicked it off the field. This is the NFL in 2016, dildos on the field being kicked around. Take that how you want it. Also in that same game Tom Brady showed he's still the NFL's best QB. He's 39. He's also one of the nicest guys in the league. If you still don't like Tom Brady, you need to get over yourself, it will be a while before you see another player in the NFL as great as he is.
Speaking of Tom Brady, he's clearly the NFL's best QB. I'd say he's the leader of the top tier guys. But how do other guys stack up? Let's take a look.
Tier 1: Elite QB's
Tom Brady: I don't know how many other ways it can be said. There's no one better right now. He plays in a timing offense that requires pin point accuracy and that's what he plays with. He also operates a different style offense from week to week. It's hard to watch 2-3 Patriots games and see the same "staple" play you do with other teams. That's because Tom Brady is the NFL's smartest QB and doesn't need "staple plays."
Aaron Rodgers: R-E-L-A-X. Over the last two weeks Rodgers showed everyone he's still the best QB in the league not named Brady. His supporting cast isn't very good. Doesn't matter. His team has lost 3 games this season. Still don't care. He's still the most dangerous player in the NFC. Eventually his GM and coach will give him weapons. If he didn't play in a bad division for so many years, he'd be wasted like Phillip Rivers.
Phillip Rivers: It amazes me how often he's over looked. Many want to put Cam Newton or Russell Wilson above him, and they aren't even close. What Phillip does week in and week out with WR's no one has really ever heard of is beyond me. Yesterday he threw 3 interceptions, 2 weren't his fault. He also got the Chargers to the 2 Yard line with a chance to tie, but what does the coach do? He threw 4 times despite Melvin Gordon's dominance at the goal line this year. He also made them go for 2 from the 7 yard line after a River's TD a drive earlier. Making it an 8 point game instead of a 7 point game. What I'm pointing out here is that Phillip over comes ineptitude from his coach while elevating the games of average players. Put Rivers on the Raiders and they are 8-0. Put him on the Seahawks, same thing. Panthers, would lead their division. Phillip is a Hall of Famer, and has been playing like this for years.
Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben throws players open further down the field than any QB I can remember. He's also the hardest player in the league to sack. His accuracy on deep throws is the best I've ever seen. If his defense were any good, they would have won the Super Bowl last year.
Drew Brees: As the Saints have come down from a perennial playoff contender, people have forgotten how good this QB is. Part of that is because the NFL is trying to force the young guns down our throat, and part of that is he plays on a bad team. But you don't lead the league in passing yards year in and year out without being an elite QB. Brees is the short QB everyone claims Wilson is. He manages to throw from the pocket with the presence of a bigger guy, and it's being generous to call him 6'0 tall. His play isn't the level it was at 4-5 years ago, but it's still better than a lot of guys. Luckily the Saints got him a Super Bowl ring before the bottom fell out or he'd never have won one. His team is terrible, and they can't fix it. Luckily for them Brees is good for 6-7 wins a year on his own so he will always compete.
Tony Romo: Very few QB's can make all the throws that Romo can. Very few QB's could have gotten the Cowboys teams to 8 wins that Romo did over the years. Romo, if he's healthy is better than Dak. Romo if healthy is better than most QB's. The Narrative against Romo is wrong, and it's bullshit people fall for it. But that's the way it goes in today's NFL. The players with the most commercials are the "most popular" and looked at as better. This was only true with Peyton. Romo is elite, if you don't see it you're wrong.
Tier two. Some Over/Under Rated Guys
Matt Stafford: He's criminally under rated. Playing in Detroit doesn't do him any favors. Playing with Calvin Johnson people said "It's because of Megatron," well what do they say now that he's having his best year ever? Nothing. It's just going over-looked. A few national guys mentioned it last week, but that going to slow down as he played the Texans and then the Vikings next. He will give his team a shot but won't put up video game numbers, and that's the issue people only see stats when evaluating NFL players. Probably under rated.
Andrew Luck: In his career, Andrew Luck has had a 100 yard rusher ONCE. Just once. This came recently from the 33 year old Frank Gore. In 2014, Luck defeated the Bengals and then the Broncos in the playoffs to make the AFC title game. He lost to the Patriots, and the Colts were on the cusp of the Super Bowl, and what did they do to make the team better? Sign 31 year old Frank Gore and now retired Andrew Johnson. No team does less for there young Stud QB then the Colts. Remember the big move they made was trading a First for Trent Richardson. Luck is definitely under rated. He's on pace to throw for 4,500 yards 32 TD's and run for over 400 yards with a supporting cast that can't even be called average. Somehow, he's become under rated.
Matt Ryan: I thought Ryan was going to be cut this next off-season after he had an average year this year, and I was wrong. He's leading the league in passing yards, and winning games. If not for a missed pass interference call against Seattle he would have beat that defense (looked as the best) on the road, in the rain. Matt Ryan still needs a signature road win though. Doesn't have it, and dome QB's usually aren't as good outside the dome. Probably under rated
Cam Newton: Makes all the throws. Makes them from the pocket or on the run. Deep Ball accuracy. Short and intermediate accuracy. Doesn't run as much on passing plays as people think. He just hasn't been as good consistently this year. He also missed a game because he didn't just run into the end zone, and he wanted to showboat. That cost his team the game against Tampa Bay. Probably that Atlanta game too. Elite QB's don't make that mistake. Probably rated correctly because it's a mixed bag.
Russell Wilson: He's definitely injured right now. But I've seen Big Ben play effectively with the same injury, so fuck that excuse. What his injury is really showing us is that he isn't comfortable from the pocket. That's been his Achilles heel his entire NFL career. If you can contain him in the pocket, he's only an above average QB. If you can contain him in the pocket and cover for 3 seconds, you stop the entire offense because his oline can't hold that point for longer. Wilson is a good QB, but he's not close to Elite. He's won just a single game in his career where the defense gave up more than 24 points. In his fifth year now, he will definitely grow still, but he was prematurely crowned. Probably Over-rated.
Tier 3: Tale of Two QB's
Joe Flacco: Here's a QB who is great when he has a reliable deep threat, a pass catching TE, and a WR who will body Defensive back to get the ball. He no longer has that. He has Mike Wallace as his deep threat, no real TE, and Steve Smith is too old to really body anyone consistently. Drops and lack of a creative play caller hurt him, but Flacco is hot or cold. He's probably a little under rated because no one wants to admit he can actually play, but he's definitely fallen off since 2014.
Derek Carr: Thing about Derek Carr is he can make all of the throws. He just doesn't far too often. On one drive yesterday he threw a dropped interception, and missed a wide open Amari Cooper for a would be TD. In the same game he threw for over 500 yards. He also played a below average defense. He's played poorly against better defenses (Titans and Chiefs) and has one of the all-time average games against Atlanta. The MVP and Elite talk are premature. If he throws for 250+ and beats the Broncos next week, he'll be Tier 2, but knowing Rivers and Rodgers would do more with his offense, he's not Elite. He's not better than any QB in the above Tier's either. He's probably a little over rated right now, but he is good and will just keep getting better. Just too much praise for a guy who has had all his best games against bad defenses, and bad games against good defenses. His team is a few plays from 4-4 or 3-5.
Alex Smith: Game manager deluxe. He won't lose you games, and in a pinch he can win you a few. He still can't throw the deep ball with consistent accuracy, and sails it too much. But he's accurate on short throws, and runs Andy Reid's offense very well. Not under or over rated by any means. he is what he is.
Carson Palmer: Elite level arm talent. But he's regressed to the turnover prone QB. He can sling it with the best of them, but last year was a career year and he's back to his self. Palmer could have been an all-time great if not for injuries early in his career, but he's a QB that can play you in or out of a game. He's probably a little over rated if only because last year is still in people's minds.
Week 8 Notes
I said it to a friend earlier in the week, but Richard Sherman should start transitioning to safety after this year. He's lost a step, and isn't covering quite as well. A week after giving up 4 catches on 7 targets for 86 yards against the Cardinals he gave up 4 catches on 5 targets for 74 yards against the Saints. Sherman has never been able to cover the slot. Teams aren't asking him too, but they are shortening the WR splits on his side to attack him in a more slot style. Add this too Brandon Marshall and Julio Jones torching him, and he's not nearly the player he was last year when he was the best player in that secondary, by a lot. Teams are no longer avoiding him. Bigger corners play at elite level's for shorter times, this might be the start of his decline.
The Patriots are the NFL's only good team. They are 7-1, and are destroying everything in their way.
The best coach on the Jaguars staff is coaching their oline. Doug Marrone. They just fired their OC and rather than promote him, they promoted the QB coach who is allowing Bortles to play with bad mechanics. This team is a special kind of stupid. If the owner doesn't fire the head coach this off-season fans should revolt.
The Browns have a legit shot at going 0-16. They couldn't beat the Jets.
The Texans should trade DeAndre Hopkins for a 1st and 3rd round picks right now. He's not being used after they spent a ton of money on a bad QB, whom the owner said "He's basically a rookie" about. They are 5-3, but it's not the passing game.
Dak showed last night why Tony Romo needs to be the starter. Yes the Cowboys won, but he made multiple red zone mistakes. Luckily the Eagles are an average (at best) team and the Cowboys won, but if you're still singing the praises of Dak, you're wrong.
Carson Wentz has been pretty bad. He's managing games, but not winning them. That team is winning (when they do win) beacause the defense coordinator. Someone explain to me how he attempted 43 passes and barely broke 200 yards. A 4.69 Yards/Attempt doesn't get it done in the NFL. That's 3 yards less than what's considered average. Not saying he won't be good, but the hype train was full-steam ahead and it was pre-mature.
Let's check in with Jared Goff...still sucks.
The Colts need to fire their Head Coach and the GM. They lucked into Andrew and have done nothing to help him since. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it won't be long until he's the Phillip Rivers of his generation. Under rated and under appreciated because of dumb ownership and management.
Thanks for reading.