FanPost

Top QBs & winning (consistently)

Mind as well get right into it: I feel (and have felt for some time now) that QB play is so important in the NFL recently, that an organization with a top-notch QB has a huge advantage over those that do not. In fact, this belief of mine has such a strangle-hold on my brain that it has caused me to become almost disinterested in my own Buffalo Bills, due to the fact that I do not believe they can ever win a Super Bowl with their current roster of quarterbacks. And you’ll just have to trust me when I say that I usually never deal in absolutes like this ("absolutes" meaning my belief that the Bills can never win a Super Bowl with their current QBs). So, I wanted to look at some stats and try to find some patterns, possibly even some conclusions. Below is some of what I’ve found. (I apologize in advance for the length of this post…but I wanted to provide all the data I feel is needed. PLEASE NOTE: I did not credit a season to any QB if they played less than 11 games in that season.)

Let’s start with the two most obvious; sure-fire HOFers: Tom Brady & Peyton Manning

Tom Brady (New England Patriots, 2000 – current):

Acquired: 6th round (pick #199) of 2000 draft

Seasons/Results: 2001: Played 15, 11-5 record, Won Super Bowl.

2002: Played 16, 9-7 record, missed playoffs.

2003: Played 16, 14-2 record, Won Super Bowl.

2004: Played 16, 14-2 record, Won Super Bowl.

2005: Played 16, 10-6 record, Lost Divisional game.

2006: Played 16, 12-4 record, Lost Conf Finals.

2007: Played 16, 16-0 record, Lost Super Bowl.

2009: Played 16, 10-6 record, Lost Wild Card.

2010: Played 16, 14-2, Lost Divisional game.

2011: Played 16, 13-3, Lost Super Bowl.

Seasons that don’t qualify:

2000: Played 1 game (rookie year), team went 5-11, missed playoffs.

2008: Played 1 game (injured for season), team went 11-5, missed playoffs.

Summary - In 10 seasons (of starting at least 15+ games): 1.) Team missed playoffs 1 time and 2.) Team NEVER had a losing record.

Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts, 1998 – 2011):

Acquired: #1 overall draft pick, 1998 draft.

Seasons/Results: 1998: Played 16, 3-13 record, missed playoffs.

1999: Played 16, 13-3 record, Lost Divisional game.

2000: Played 16, 10-6, Lost Wild Card.

2001: Played 16, 6-10 record, missed playoffs.

2002: Played 16, 10-6 record, Lost Wild Card.

2003: Played 16, 12-4 record, Won Conf Finals.

2004: Played 16, 12-4 record, Lost Divisional game.

2005: Played 16, 14-2 record, Lost Divisional game.

2006: Played 16, 12-4 record, Won Super Bowl.

2007: Played 16, 13-3 record, Lost Divisional game.

2008: Played 16, 12-4, Lost Wild Card.

2009: Played 16, 14-2 record, Lost Super Bowl.

2010: Played 16, 10-6, Lost Wild Card.

Seasons that don’t qualify:

2011: Played 0 games (injured for season), team went 2-14, missed playoffs.

Summary - In 13 seasons (of starting 16 games): 1.) Team missed playoffs 2 times and 2.) Team had a losing record 2 times – in 1998 (Manning’s rookie year) & in 2001 (Manning’s 4th season).

Just below these two comes the new record holder for most passing yards in a season: Drew Brees

Drew Brees (San Diego Chargers, 2001 – 2005 & New Orleans Saints, 2006 - current):

Acquired: 2nd round (#32 overall), 2001 draft.

Seasons/Results: 2002: Played 16, 8-8 record, missed playoffs.

2003: Played 11, 4-12 record, missed playoffs.

2004: Played 15, 11-4, Lost Wild Card.

2005: Played 16, 9-7 record, missed playoffs.

2006: Played 16, 10-6 record, Lost Conf Finals.

2007: Played 16, 7-9 record, missed playoffs.

2008: Played 16, 8-8 record, missed playoffs.

2009: Played 15, 13-3 record, Won Super Bowl.

2010: Played 16, 11-5 record, Lost Wild Card.

2011: Played 16, 13-3 record, Lost Divisional game.

Seasons that don’t qualify:

2001: Played 1 game (rookie year), team went 5-11, missed playoffs.

Summary - In 10 seasons (of starting at least 11+ games): 1.) Team missed playoffs 5 times and 2.) Team had a losing record 2 times – in 2003 (Brees’ 2nd season starting QB) & in 2007 (Brees’ 2nd season in New Orleans).

This next guy just may be on track to (someday) join the elite guys above: Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers, 2005 – current):

Acquired: 1st round (#24 overall), 2005 draft.

Seasons/Results: 2008: Played 16, 6-10 record, missed playoffs.

2009: Played 16, 11-5 record, Lost Wild Card.

2010: Played 15, 10-6 record, Won Super Bowl.

2011: Played 15, 15-1 record, Lost Divisional game.

Seasons that don’t qualify:

2005 – 2007: Backup to Brett Favre, saw snaps in 7 games first 3 years.

Summary - In 4 seasons (of starting at least 15+ games): 1.) Team missed playoffs 1 time and 2.) Team had a losing record 1 time – in 2008 (Rodgers 1st season as starting QB).

Then we have the Big Three QBs from the 2004 draft: Eli Manning, Phil Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger

Eli Manning (New York Giants, 2004 – current):

Acquired: #1 overall draft pick, 2004 draft.

Seasons/Results: 2005: Played 16, 11-5 record, Lost Wild Card.

2006: Played 16, 8-8 record, Lost Wild Card.

2007: Played 16, 10-6 record, Won Super Bowl.

2008: Played 16, 12-4 record, Lost Divisional game.

2009: Played 16, 8-8 record, missed playoffs.

2010: Played 16, 10-6 record, missed playoffs.

2011: Played 16, 9-7 record, Won Super Bowl.

Seasons that don’t qualify:

2004: Played 7 games (rookie year), team went 6-10, missed playoffs.

Summary - In 7 seasons (of starting 16 games): 1.) Team missed playoffs 2 times and 2.) Team NEVER had a losing record.

Phil Rivers (San Diego Chargers, 2004 – current):

Acquired: 1st round (#4 overall), 2004 draft.

Seasons/Results: 2006: Played 16, 14-2 record, Lost Divisional game.

2007: Played 16, 11-5 record, Lost Conf Finals.

2008: Played 16, 8-8 record, Lost Divisional game.

2009: Played 16, 13-3 record, Lost Divisional game.

2010: Played 16, 9-7 record, missed playoffs.

2011: Played 16, 8-8 record, missed playoffs.

Seasons that don’t qualify:

2004 & 2005: Backup to Drew Brees, saw snaps in 4 games in first 2 years.

Summary - In 6 seasons (of starting 16 games): 1.) Team missed playoffs 2 times and 2.) Team NEVER had a losing record.

Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers, 2004 – current):

Acquired: 1st round (#11 overall), 2004 draft.

Seasons/Results: 2004: Played 13, 15-1 record, Lost Conf Finals.

2005: Played 12, 11-5 record, Won Super Bowl.

2006: Played 15, 8-8 record, missed playoffs.

2007: Played 15, 10-6 record, Lost Wild Card.

2008: Played 16, 12-4 record, Won Super Bowl.

2009: Played 15, 9-7 record, missed playoffs.

2010: Played 12, 12-4 record, Lost Super Bowl.

2011: Played 15, 12-4 record, Lost Wild Card.

Seasons that don’t qualify: N/A

Summary - In 8 seasons (of starting at least 12+ games): 1.) Team missed playoffs 2 times and 2.) Team NEVER had a losing record.

And finally, two QBs that (in my opinion) are ready to take the next step in their development in their 5th years: Matt Ryan & Joe Flacco

Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons, 2008 – current):

Acquired: 1st round (#3 overall), 2008 draft.

Seasons/Results: 2008: Played 16, 11-5 record, Lost Wild Card.

2009: Played 14, 9-7 record, missed playoffs.

2010: Played 16, 13-3 record, Lost Divisional game.

2011: Played 16, 10-6 record, Lost Wild Card.

Seasons that don’t qualify: N/A

Summary - In 4 seasons (of starting at least 14+ games): 1.) Team missed playoffs 1 time and 2.) Team NEVER had a losing record.

Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens, 2008 – current):

Acquired: 1st round (#18 overall), 2008 draft.

Seasons/Results: 2008: Played 16, 11-5 record, Lost Conf Finals.

2009: Played 16, 9-7 record, Lost Divisional game.

2010: Played 16, 12-4 record, Lost Divisional game.

2011: Played 16, 12-4 record, Lost Conf Finals.

Seasons that don’t qualify: N/A

Summary - In 4 seasons (of starting 16 games): 1.) Team has NEVER missed the playoffs and 2.) Team NEVER had a losing record.

Nine of the top Quarterbacks in the NFL. Combined, they have 66 seasons of NFL Football between them (QB must have played in at least 11 or more games for season to qualify). And here are the final stats:

Out of 66 seasons, teams quarterbacked by one of these 9 have missed the playoffs only 16 times. (Meaning their teams make the playoffs 76% of the time.)

Out of 66 seasons, teams quarterbacked by one of these 9 have finished with a losing season (a record of 7-9 or worse) only 5 times. 5 times out of 66! (Meaning their teams finished with an 8-8 record or better 92% of the time!)

Now, it can be difficult to really separate which QBs are truly elite (based on their play alone) or if they are thought of as elite because they may have a talent advantage around them (that may lead people to believe they are better than they actually are)…but I simply can’t imagine that in all these cases that some other advantage is producing the results we see (elite defenses, head coaches, organizations, etc)…the examples provided above are much too varied in scope(large & small market teams, defensive & offensive teams, various levels of experienced QBs, etc) to all have similar, but completely random, results that point to the talent level of the QB as being such a huge factor in determining wins and losses (and incredible consistency of winning records/playoff spots). I think that what is illustrated is just how important it is to have a top-notch, play-making QB in your organization in today’s NFL. I really can’t imagine that another position anywhere on the football field has such a strong correlation to consistent winning. Year in and year out teams quarterbacked by these 9 gentlemen have consistently won, despite whatever other changes may have been occurring during those time periods. (If you ask me, the fact that the New Orleans Saints…the team whose fan base invented wearing a paper bag over their heads because the team was so bad for so long…those Saints are now perennial playoff contenders and have even won a Super Bowl due to finally, mercifully even, finding their own superstar signal caller in Drew Brees. I don’t think that gets enough attention. And I also think they are winning consistently despite having a defense that’s not really that great, in my opinion.)

And thus, I’m not sure there is a price I wouldn’t at least consider in an effort to move up to acquire someone with the potential to become one of these top QBs. I welcome your thoughts. (unless you disagree with me, of course. Haha! Just kidding.)

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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