Ahhhh, the blessed and the cursed.
Some NFL QBs are fortunate to be surrounded by such class and talent that even after their worst performance, they can still chalk one up in the victory column.
Other quarterbacks, no matter how great they play, find themselves dealt the Sisyphean task of winning with defense, receivers, or offensive line weaker than a wet tissue.
Today, rather than delving into the “Archie Manning Dilemma,” let's talk about the playoff QBs who most likely would not make the playoffs if they played someplace else.
Quarterbacks were chosen only from the 12 playoff-qualifying teams of 2008.
Based on each QB's 2008 performance, which quarterbacks would most likely miss the postseason if playing on a team with a mediocre supporting cast?
Here we go...
Eli Manning just sighed in relief after reading through the list and finding his name was nowhere to be seen.
Jake, on the other hand, lands soundly at No. 5.
One thing Delhomme has in common with the other quarterbacks on this list is that his numbers rank predominantly in the bottom half of the league.
Delhomme’s QB rating is 18th, his completion percentage is 22nd, and his interception rate is the 13th highest in the league (the 13 changes to about a nine when only considering one QB per team).
Delhomme has had a roller-coaster career. He played in Europe, backed up Aaron Brooks in New Orleans, and continued his up-and-down career playing for the equally volatile Carolina Panthers.
Don’t get me wrong, Jake is an okay quarterback, but one blessed with perhaps the best running game in the league and a smothering, attacking, "in your face" defense.
Even with all those tools, does he really belong on this list?
After considering his abysmal playoff performance last year, when he threw a career-worst five interceptions in front of the home crowd, maybe he should be a little closer to No. 1.
I know, I know...you’re thinking it’s a little too soon to have a rookie on the list. But look at it this way: If he played on a team just a little short on talent last year, he would have found himself just a little short of the postseason.
Fourteen TDs, 12 INTs, and only 185 yards passing per game—is Baltimore running the Wildcat offense or something?
Numbers like those are a clear sign it wasn’t his talent that propelled the Ravens to the playoffs, but rather defense, defense, and a dash of Ed Reed.
He was a rookie, so I'll cut him a little slack. Here’s hoping those numbers of his aren’t so ugly over the next few years.
Collins, no doubt better than anybody, knows the value of playing with stalwart teammates. He played on the Raiders for two seasons and went 7-21, and he most recently played on the Titans, who finished 13-3.
Collins has played on a total of five teams and qualified for the postseason with three of those teams (Panthers, Giants, Titans).
That’s a remarkable feat when considering his 55 percent career completion percentage, career QB rating of 73, and the fact he set a record for the most fumbles in a single season.
In fact, if you don’t realize how bad some of his seasons were, follow this link, and you’ll see seasons where his QB rating dips to outrageous lows of 42, 54, and 55!
So how did Collins make it to the 2008 AFC Championship game? That ticket was punched courtesy of the NFL’s No. 1 ranked defense.
Hmmm...I'm starting to get the impression that stout defense is more important than sound quarterbacking.
Ben Roethlisberger is one of the league’s most controversial talents and the beholder of a name that belongs in a spelling bee. Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls since joining the NFL in 2004 and has been a lightning rod for both praise and skepticism.
Although Roethlisberger statistically has had several very good seasons, 2008 knocks his career average way off.
From a passing standpoint, it was his second-worst season ever, as he earned the NFL’s 24th-lowest QB rating (lower than Delhomme, Flacco, and Collins). He threw nearly the same number of interceptions as touchdowns and was sacked a league-high 46 times. Ouch!
I believe Roethlisberger will elevate his game in 2009, but if he played the way he did in 2008 for one of the mediocre teams of the league, he probably would have been benched.
Frerotte, the man who's played for a total of seven different teams, was by far the easiest choice on the list. He’s the only QB on the list to throw more interceptions than touchdowns, resulting in one of the league’s lowest QB ratings at 73.7.
Frerotte made it to the postseason in 2008, but sadly won’t be back for an encore performance. The Minnesota Vikings released Frerotte in February 2009.
The fanbase isn’t worried, though. They know who to thank for their 2008 division championship: the No.1 rated rush defense and juggernaut, Adrian Peterson.