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Football Outsiders Ranks Top 5 Bills Quarterbacks

The folks at Football Outsiders are running a series examining the top five quarterbacks in the history of each NFL franchise. Yesterday, they wrapped up the rankings in the AFC East, and naturally, that included five Buffalo Bills quarterbacks of yesteryear.

You don't need me to tell you that Mike Tanier ranked Jim Kelly first, because, well, no kidding. Joe Ferguson, Jack Kemp, Drew Bledsoe and Doug Flutie followed.

Tanier makes some interesting and valid points about comparing quarterbacks statistically across generations, noting that the K-Gun attack Kelly operated would appear somewhat tame today, likening it to Indianapolis' attack, "but with more running."

The part I found most interesting, however, was in discussing Bledsoe and Flutie, where Tanier essentially ripped Flutie as a teammate, and preceded that by talking about the perceptions of both players. The gist is that the ultra-talented Bledsoe was picked apart in the face of high expectations, while fans overlooked Flutie's flaws to embrace his scrappy everyman mystique. I think Tanier is spot on there.