What Makes Your Quarterback Good? What Makes a Good Quarterback? There is a difference.

By: Will Stevenson

Now usually I could care less about quarterback grades and rankings. That’s a great way to start off a blog right? There’s more that goes into quarterback play in the NFL. If every team ran similar offenses like in Madden 17 (either let us create our on plays again or give us more plays!!) then all grades would seem more equal. Each team has their own style, different skilled positions can do more than others. The coaching staff that designs these offenses plays a big part in what these quarterbacks can or cannot do. Is it the quarterback? Is it the system? Can it be both? Does it even matter? How much blame does a quarterback accept when the team’s defense is horrible? What about these quarterbacks that average less than 7.5 yards per attempt? If Kirk Cousins, master of the check down, played in the Steelers offense with Todd Haley, could he do what Ben Roethlisberger does? Alex Smith had Todd Haley in Kansas City, but Alex Smith has never been able to consistently get the ball down the field. He does what he does best, which is throw to tight ends and running backs. Do you want a Jay Cutler or Derek Carr who will make those great throws and also throw interceptions?

What makes a quarterback good? We see that Aaron Rodgers has been struggling by his standards for almost two seasons. Andrew Luck resembles Jeff George more than Peyton Manning. Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers are 35+, both can’t get back to the playoffs because of their bad defenses, but are still lighting up opposing defenses ever single week. By NFL standards, I view quarterbacks as:

Elite (E)

Almost Elite (AE)

Average (A)

Competent (C)

Winners (W)

Game-Managers (GM)

Franchise Quarterback (FQ) 

Bad (B)

I will be referencing the NFL Total Quarterback Rating from ESPN, so I only going by their QBR rating.  http://www.espn.com/nfl/qbr

  1. Matt Ryan:  Franchise Quarterback (FQ) Almost Elite (AE) Winners (W)                           Matt Ryan has been in the league long enough to know he is capable of winning a championship. We also know he has Julio Jones which magnifies his value. Having Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in the backfield makes his life easier. Never really seen the Falcons have any type of dominating defense, but that has really nothing to do with him being great.

2. Dak Prescott:  Average (A),  Competent (C), Game-Managers (GM)

Ezekiel Elliott, the offensive line, and the Cowboys defensive have been more impressive than I originally thought before the season. Prescott has one interception, minimal turnovers, and hasn’t put the Cowboys in many stressful situations. He makes the throws he’s supposed to, and is accurate as a rookie can be. He’s average, competent at his position, and manages the game well. Hopefully he can adjust if defenses use the turnover blueprint the Packers were able to apply last week.

3. Phillip Rivers: Elite (E) Franchise Quarterback (FQ) Winners (W)

At the end of his career, we’re going to look bad at Phillip Rivers as the Dan Marino of this era. As a quarterback alone, he’s better than Eli Manning, of course. When he had Ladanian Tomlinson and a blitzing defense, there were chances at winning a Super Bowl, but the Chargers were never favorites in those situations. He’s had Antonio Gates, but really hasn’t had the dominate offensive weapons, nor healthy stars to continue playoff runs. The coaches he’s had haven’t always put the team in the best position to win late in games. Two minutes to go, down by four, one timeout, and Phillip must take the Chargers the length of the field. This should definitely be a Madden ’18 “Game Situation”.

4. Ben Roethlisberger: Elite (E) Winners (W) Winners (W)

Who would’ve that after that abysmal performance against the Seahawks in the Superbowl would propel Big Ben to become one of the best quarterbacks in this era? He throws the deep ball with awesome precision, he usually has a premium running back, and his receivers always seem to be open, every single time. The Steelers followed Bill Cowher by hiring Mike Tomlin, and hiring Todd Haley which seemed troubling early, but has really paid off. Big Ben gets injured as much as Mike Vick and Jay Cutler, but the team around him is much better than his counterparts. Although Ben has a better overall team and organization than Phillip Rivers and Eli Manning, don’t be fooled into thinking Ben is less of a quarterback than the two. Big Ben has made Emanuel Sanders, Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown rich.

5. Sam Bradford: Average (A) Competent (C)

Look at Sam Bradford. This is what it’s like to be on a team with a dominant defense. This year, Sam has been above the game manager we thought he would be as he was traded to the Vikings after Teddy Bridgewater went down. He’s making the throws, not turning the ball over, and isn’t on injured reserve yet. I forget he and Adrian Peterson were teammates. I’m so old.

6. Aaron Rodgers: Elite (E) Franchise Quarterback (FQ) Almost Elite (AE)

I was watching the Packers versus Bears last night, and as I was watching the replay of an incomplete pass from Rodgers, I literally saw five receivers on routes with defenders being step for step. I looked like I was watching gameplay of Madden ’94 the way the Packers receivers weren’t getting any separation. I didn’t know it was that bad for the offense. They also haven’t had many healthy bodies on the offensive line, defense, running back and receiver, nor have they had an explosive tight end. Rodgers continues to decline since their Super Bowl win over the Steelers, and until they upgrade their talent and explosiveness, Rodgers will continue to be, average.

7. Matthew Stafford: Franchise Quarterback (FQ) Almost Elite (AE)

I thought Matthew Stafford would


2016 Regular Season NFL Leaders for QBR

1 Matt Ryan, ATL 30.4 33.8 4.5 0.6 46.3 249 84.9 85.1
2 Dak Prescott, DAL 26.0 29.2 5.8 0.7 39.5 221 84.1 82.5
3 Philip Rivers, SD 20.6 28.9 0.3 1.2 34.5 235 77.6 74.2
4 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT 18.6 23.5 1.7 0.6 30.3 252 73.9 73.5
5 Sam Bradford, MIN 10.7 14.1 -0.1 0.8 19.6 149 73.4 73.3
6 Aaron Rodgers, GB 20.3 25.3 5.6 5.8 40.2 286 73.2 72.2
7 Matthew Stafford, DET 16.0 22.4 6.2 1.5 35.2 267 70.0 69.9
8 Andrew Luck, IND 18.9 20.3 8.6 2.2 42.0 313 70.1 67.5
9 Tyrod Taylor, BUF 12.0 12.7 9.6 0.4 26.8 216 68.7 67.4
10 Drew Brees, NO 13.7 27.5 -0.5 0.6 31.3 249 68.5 65.9
11 Andy Dalton, CIN 8.9 15.5 3.3 1.7 26.5 281 61.0 63.9
12 Derek Carr, OAK 10.3 26.6 0.6 2.1 31.4 273 63.1 62.8
13 Blaine Gabbert, SF 6.6 7.6 6.7 0.5 17.6 206 61.2 62.4
14 Brian Hoyer, CHI 9.9 22.9 -0.4 -0.2 23.9 224 65.2 60.6
15 Eli Manning, NYG 8.2 23.8 -0.8 1.2 27.9 259 61.0 59.6
16 Jameis Winston, TB 6.9 13.3 3.8 1.9 23.5 253 59.6 59.2
17 Russell Wilson, SEA 6.6 21.4 -2.8 0.8 22.8 209 61.0 59.0
18 Kirk Cousins, WSH 6.0 20.2 -0.7 3.2 26.7 269 57.8 57.5
19 Joe Flacco, BAL 9.5 25.0 1.9 1.7 34.2 306 60.8 56.1
20 Cody Kessler, CLE 1.3 9.7 -1.7 0.2 12.3 155 53.1 55.6
21 Cam Newton, CAR 3.3 8.4 3.4 1.7 19.9 236 54.9 55.6
22 Trevor Siemian, DEN 2.9 9.4 0.9 2.0 16.6 188 55.5 54.6
23 Carson Palmer, ARI 4.0 12.2 -0.1 1.8 18.6 218 56.5 54.0
24 Marcus Mariota, TEN 3.1 14.1 2.5 1.8 22.3 246 54.5 53.7
25 Carson Wentz, PHI 5.5 16.2 -1.1 -0.3 20.1 195 59.9 52.9
26 Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ -2.3 8.8 2.7 2.6 17.3 264 46.9 51.8
27 Alex Smith, KC -1.6 9.3 -2.0 0.5 12.5 228 47.5 51.3
28 Blake Bortles, JAX 1.9 9.9 2.0 1.4 18.4 241 52.8 50.5
29 Brock Osweiler, HOU -0.8 7.5 2.7 1.2 16.5 254 48.9 49.9
30 Case Keenum, LA -2.1 8.0 0.7 1.3 16.0 229 46.8 47.7
31 Ryan Tannehill, MIA -4.2 5.1 1.0 0.3 12.1 226 43.5 43.4
  • * Season Leaders: On pace for 250 action plays.
  • * All-time data reflects 2006 onwards.
  • PTS ADDED: Number of points contributed by a quarterback over the season, accounting for QBR and how much he plays, above the level of an average quarterback.
  • PASS: Clutch-weighted expected points added on plays with pass attempts.
  • RUN: Clutch-weighted expected points added through rushes.
  • PENALTY: Clutch-weighted expected points added on penalties.
  • TOTAL EPA: Total clutch-weighted expected points added.
  • QB PLAYS: Plays on which the QB has a non-zero expected points contribution. Includes most plays that are not handoffs.
  • RAW QBR: Total Quarterback Rating, which values quarterback on all play types on a 0-to-100 scale.
  • TOTAL QBR: Opponent adjusted QBR.

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If you are looking for deep insight with big words and well put together sentences, you are looking in the wrong place. I think as i am typing. There are misspelled words, fragmented sentences, improper punctuation, and incomplete thoughts. Nothing is in order, so just becuase I have a title, doesn't mean that's what it is about. I usually write my titles after the fact. I plan nothing. I just write what I am thinking at the moment, and then I just stop. I don't wrap things up, or have a conclusion and intro, just a whole bunch of words coming from a brain that should have been analyzed as a child, but now has 30 years of misguided wisdom. So there you have it.

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