If postseason performance is the true measuring stick for quarterbacking excellence, how can we ignore the significance of Colin Kaepernick defeating both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan in back-to-back weeks?
It's illogical to overvalue the postseason so much so that we dismiss the superiority of better quarterbacks, yet pundits might be forced to answer "yes" to the question posed in this headline in light of recent events.
During last year's postseason:
- Tim Tebow defeated Ben Roethlisberger.
- Alex Smith defeated Drew Brees.
- Eli Manning defeated both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
Again, the trend has continued this postseason:
- Joe Flacco defeated both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
- Colin Kaepernick defeated both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan.
Nonsensical rhetoric has preached for years that "the regular season don't mean nothin' if ya can't get the job done when it's all on the line."
Quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan continue to fail during the "only time that matters." Meanwhile, suspect quarterbacks who continue to appear unable to produce during the entirety of the season (you know, those 16 games that we so quickly discount) "will their teams to victory."
The playoffs can be a confusing time.
Sometimes quarterbacks we know are superior (e.g., Tom Brady) get out-performed by their inferior counterparts (e.g., Joe Flacco) and still win.
In last year's AFC Championship Game, Brady went 22-of-36 for 239 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions to post a 57.5 passer rating.
"Well, I sucked pretty bad today but our defense saved us," Brady said.
So-called "expert analysts" continue to emphasize the value of "intangibles" that are impossible to quantify.
Yet, this doesn't seem to concern most people.
For these intangibles to be so valued, can we conclude Kaepernick to be a superior leader to Aaron Rodgers with a higher football IQ and greater "willingness to win"?
Wouldn't he have to?
Or are we severely overvaluing the importance of the postseason while failing to acknowledge that the television ratings-friendly "one and done" concept often eliminates superior teams and superior quarterbacks—resulting in the senseless minimization of the importance of NFL seasons in totality?
Because if January is truly the "only time that matters" and if the greatest quarterbacks "get it done in the postseason," then don't we have to at least begin to consider the superiority of a Colin Kaepernick over the likes of Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan as well as quarterbacks who couldn't even reach the postseason such as Drew Brees and Eli Manning?
Postseason success > "meaningless regular season"?
I beg to differ.
But it doesn't change the fact that Colin Kaepernick moves on while Manning, Rodgers and Ryan will sit at home on their sofas this coming Super Bowl Sunday.
That's the NFL in January for you.
Ryan Michael is a Senior Writer for Bleacher Report. Any questions, comments or professional inquiries can be directed to his email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/#!/theryanmichael