NFL Football: The 5 Worst Starting Quarterbacks
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Quarterback is without question the most important position on the field in the National Football League. And while New Orleans' Drew Brees, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and New England's Tom Brady produced jaw-dropping statistical seasons in 2011, there are quarterbacks in the league who were just as jaw-dropping bad.
Tim Tebow may have possessed a lot of fourth quarter magic and led the Broncos into the playoffs, but his statistics indicate that he was a terrible quarterback. Tebow, who was traded to the Jets in March, threw for an average of just 123.5 yards a game while completing less then 50 percent of his passes. Sure, he led the Broncos to that thrilling win over Pittsburgh in the playoffs, but who can forget his pathetic performance in a 45-10 loss to the Detroit Lions, which was just one of many games he struggled in.
So here we go. In no particular order, here are the five worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
He's Not the Real McCoy
Colt McCoy had a hard time leading the Browns into the end zone in 2011
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Colt McCoy led one of the most inept offenses in the NFL. His supporters will tell you that he was hurt by a receiving corps that dropped passes at a startling rate, had no running game to support him, played behind a beat up offensive line and was handcuffed by 1940s offensive game planning.
But the sentiment is that McCoy lacks arm strength, panics under pressure and is not a franchise quarterback. Browns president Mike Holmgren admitted the team tried everything to move up in the draft to get Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Browns have said in recent weeks that McCoy will be the starter, but rumors persist the Browns may take a quarterback with the No. 4 pick in the draft later this month.
Cleveland finished 30th in the league in scoring, averaging just 13.6 points per game on offense. He threw for more than 300 yards just once this season and was held bellow 200 yards in five of his 13 starts. His record as a starter was just 4-9.
Blaine and Simple, He Doesn't Have It
Blaine Gabbert suffered through a rough rookie year
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Blaine Gabbert wasn't just bad. He was the worst. At least statistically speaking. Jacksonville's No. 1 pick out of Missouri finished dead last in the NFL in passing yards, though he did complete more than 50 percent of his passes and threw more touchdowns (12) than interceptions (11). The Jaguars have brought in Chad Henne to challenge Gabbert for the starting job and tried to trade for Tim Tebow.
Gabbert admitted that he was hampered last year by an injured toe. That might help explain why he threw for more than 200 yards in just three of his 14 starts. His win-loss record was a woeful 4-10. He'll have to make rapid improvement to justify being taken No. 10 overall in the 2011 draft.
Vikings Pondering If They Made the Right Decision
Christian Ponder struggled during his rookie year in Minnesota
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Like Blaine Gabbert, Minnesota's Christian Ponder experienced some growing pain as a rookie starter. It didn't help when he lost running back Adrian Peterson. But you have to question if the Vikings still consider Ponder their quarterback of the future. After all, they burned a No 12 overall pick on him.
Ponder ranked 30th in yards (1,853) and quarterback rating (70.1), and threw for just 12 touchdowns to go along with 12 picks. Ponders' yardage stats are skewed because he only played in 10 games, but he was just 2-8 in those starts.
The Vikings appear likely to let Ponder start at least one more year, but general manager Rick Speilman left the door open when he was quoted as saying (via CBS Sports): "But if one of those quarterbacks is too good to pass up, you also have to weigh that in too."
Grossman No Longer the Man
Redskins fans can celebrate that Robert Griffin III will likely take over the starting quarterback spot from Rex Grossman
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It is never a good thing when a quarterback throws more interceptions than touchdowns. That's exactly what Rex Grossman did in 2011. The Redskins quarterback managed to throw 20 picks while throwing just 16 touchdowns, inexcusable for a quarterback who was in his ninth season in the league. His 72.4 passing rating was nothing to write home about either. To to top it off, the Redskins finished 5-8 in the games he started.
Grossman wasn't the only starter to throw more picks than TDs. Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman threw 22 picks and 16 touchdowns, while Curtis Painter, who took over as the Colts QB for much of the season after Peyton Manning's injury, threw six touchdowns and nine picks. Arizona's John Skelton also threw 11 touchdowns and 14 picks while Oakland's Carson Palmer threw 13 touchdowns and 16 picks.
Tim Tebow won some games, but experts still don't know how
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Tim Tebow won some games last year when he was inserted in as the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos, but not because of his quarterback play. Experts gave more credit to Denver's staunch defense and clutch kicking game than Tebow's ability as a signal caller. Oh, and then there was that whole Divine Intervention angle.
But when you strip away all the hype, Tebow was truly a terrible quarterback. Oh sure, he made some plays with his legs and occasionally could beat a team with a sudden passing strike (see the AFC wild-card win over Pittsburgh), but you can't rely on a starting quarterback who completes less than 50 percent of his passes and averages 123.5 yards a game while displaying no hope of ever developing any touch on his passes. Not to mention his throwing mechanics are so bad he could market a video to youngsters on how not to throw a football.
So now it's on to New York where coach Rex Ryan has promised that Tebow will get reps in the Wildcat package. How that will work out is anyone's guess. But it should be interesting and you can bet Tebow will again be one of the most talked about players in the league.
And Don't Forget...
Kevin Kolb is one of many quarterback who should also be mentioned amongst the league's worst
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There is sure to be controversy brought on by this list. With that said, let's also keep in mind that there are several quarterbacks who could have easily been featured. Among those is Arizona's Kevin Kolb (1,995 passing yards) and his teammate Johh Skelton (68.9 rating), Indianapolis' Curtis Painter and St. Louis' Sam Bradford (six passing touchdowns, really?).