10 Quarterbacks Keeping Their Teams from Success
Some NFL quarterbacks are catalysts for success and give their teams the best possible chance to win.
We are here to talk about the other guys. The 10 QBs most at fault for holding their respective teams back from success. Players like Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez that consistently make fans want to scream at the television and play armchair QB.
This is their story and it is not a pretty one. There are quarterbacks that have talent around them and yet fail to do their part, and in 2012 this epidemic has been rampant.
Let's start in Kansas City, where not just one, but two signal-callers have failed to get the job done.
Dishonorable Mention: Brandon Weeden
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Brandon Weeden would certainly be on this list if it weren't for the fact that the Cleveland Browns are not losing because of him.
The poor play of the Browns is a collective effort, and while Weeden's seven touchdowns and nine interceptions are not setting the world on fire, Cleveland would not be in a great position anyway.
There are pieces in place and potential for this franchise, but to blame Weeden for all of the Browns 2012 struggles would be wrong.
10. Matt Cassel/Brady Quinn
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Winning games in the NFL is hard enough without trying to have to work around the deficiencies of your signal-caller, but that is the position the Chiefs have been forced into.
And while booing a Cassel concussion was wrong of the Kansas City faithful, his nine interceptions and 66.2 passer rating before the injury are downright pathetic numbers.
Turning the ball over to Quinn does not exactly spark optimism, either.
9. Carson Palmer
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Carson Palmer has not been terrible statistically. In fact, through five games he has more than 1,400 yards passing and six touchdowns.
However, his Oakland Raiders stand at just 1-4 on the season and he never seems to make the big play to give the Raiders offense a needed boost. He is solid, yes, but never exceptional.
There are far greater problems in Oakland than the play of Palmer, but his lack of that "clutch" gene should be noted and criticized.
Oakland should be in the AFC West race and yet is, instead, far from it. Part of that blame has to be placed on the QB.
8. Michael Vick
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Michael Vick has not been the Michael Vick we all know and expect so far this season. He has fluctuated between being a pocket passer and a constant rushing threat.
The Eagles record sits at an average 3-3, and perhaps that is the best way to sum up Vick's performance thus far: average.
He has 1,632 yards passing, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions through six games. The former Virginia Tech Hokie has only rushed for 205 yards and has found the end zone once on the ground.
Philadelphia has lost its last two games by only five points combined, and although Vick has shown flashes of brilliance, they have been largely overshadowed by mediocre play.
7. Kevin Kolb
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Imagine for a second the Arizona Cardinals with an elite quarterback. A player that actually contributed to the team's success instead of being a poor excuse for a "game manager."
Kevin Kolb is not that player. In his defense, neither is backup John Skelton. However, the Cardinals stand at 4-1 on the season and it has largely been despite the mediocre play of Kolb.
He has not turned the ball over except for two interceptions, which is good, but his failures have come when Arizona actually asked him to make large contributions to the offense.
In a Week 5 loss to the St. Louis Rams, Kolb completed 28 of 50 passes for 289 yards and zero touchdowns. The running game was in disarray and the reigns were handed to Kolb. He was mediocre at best.
The Cardinals defense is good enough that this team can compete all season in the NFC West, but they could be a legitimate Super Bowl contender with a better player at QB.
6. Josh Freeman
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Josh Freeman has all the physical tools needed to succeed at the professional level.
For some reason the 6'6" 240-pound Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback simply has not burst onto the scene in the way he is capable of.
Freeman's struggles are nowhere near the level of last season, but he is not excelling, either. Freeman's Buccaneers have lost three games by a touchdown or less. Winning those close games is an essential trait of a great quarterback.
The former Kansas State Wildcat has eight touchdowns and five interceptions on the season. Not terrible numbers, but when combined with a 2-3 record, they don't exactly stand out, either.
5. Matthew Stafford
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Remember everything that was just said about Michael Vick? Well, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has suffered from similar troubles.
Not rushing of course, Stafford has never been a threat on the ground, but something seems off with his game this season.
From a side-arm delivery, to hesitance in the pocket, to the almost unthinkable zero touchdown passes to Calvin Johnson, Stafford is off his game.
At 2-3 there is still time to salvage the season, but Stafford needs to put together full four quarter performances. Trying to create magic in the final 15 minutes can only work so many times.
4. Blaine Gabbert
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Blaine Gabbert is not the only problem with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but with each passing week he looks less like a part of the solution.
Gabbert had an impressive preseason. He stood tall in the pocket, delivered accurate throws and looked comfortable reading blitzes and coverages.
Those traits have suffered to start the 2012 season. Gabbert has just 796 yards passing and five touchdowns through five games. Jacksonville has just one win on the year and has looked sluggish at best offensively.
The defense has not been tremendous, but increased quarterback production would undoubtedly keep the Jaguars in more games.
3. Tony Romo
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Tony Romo is a tough quarterback to figure out. He can be either great or pathetic, but there is rarely a middle ground.
That kind of erratic play rarely benefits a franchise, and such has been the problem for the Dallas Cowboys this year and in prior seasons.
One week he is throwing for 300 yards and three scores against the defending Super Bowl champions, and the next he is making fans scratch their heads against the Seattle Seahawks.
Romo is a talented player that could use more support from both his receivers and the Cowboys running game, but that does not excuse his play thus far.
Dallas has too much skill to be sitting at 2-3 right now.
2. Cameron Newton
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Cameron Newton is the epitome of going through a "sophomore slump."
The Carolina Panthers quarterback has not been the rookie sensation that took the league by storm and made college experience look like an afterthought.
Instead, he is a shell of his "Ace Boogie" persona, making bad decisions, under-throwing open receivers, and turning to his mobility far too often.
There is still a quality QB inside of Newton that can be a catalyst for Panthers success, but right now a player with four touchdowns, five interceptions and less than 1,200 yards passing stands in his place.
1. Mark Sanchez
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Is there anything that can be said about Mark Sanchez that hasn't already been plastered over every news outlet and blog in the galaxy?
Sanchez has regressed since his rookie year in almost every statistical category. He rarely puts the New York Jets offense in position to score points, and aside from the occasional good performance, he can be counted on for a below average output every week.
Does this mean Tim Tebow is the answer at QB?
No, but it does mean that having Sanchez under center has clearly hampered the Jets offense in recent years.
And he is a prime example of a QB holding his team back from success.