10 Quarterbacks Who Are Lucky To Be Starters in the NFL
Super Bowl XLIV may have been the greatest celebration of quarterback play in the history of the NFL.
Drew Brees and Peyton Manning were asked to sling the pigskin around 84 times. They completed 62 passes, which equates to a mind-numbing 73.8 completion percentage.
They threw for a combined 614 yards, three touchdowns, and one lousy pick.
I’m not a big fan of either quarterback, but I had to step back, tip my cap, and acknowledge that I witnessed greatness.
Too bad that could not be said for the rest of the slop that comprises the quarterbacks in the NFL.
There were at least a dozen times I saw stat lines from games that made me wonder how certain quarterbacks had a job in this league, let alone how they were starters.
The worst effort of the season may have actually come in a win.
Way back on October 11, 2009 Derek Anderson threw 17 passes and completed two in a 6-3 win against the Buffalo Bills.
That’s right, Anderson completed one pass, summoned the courage to do it again, and then stopped.
Those two bombs racked up 22 yards.
Oh and did I mention he threw a pick as well?
By the end of the day he had a quarterback rating of 15.1.
Somehow Anderson out-dueled Trent Edwards who threw for 152 yards on 16 of 31 passing and one pick.
The game eventually led to a friend creating the Derek Anderson Award, which honored the worst performance by a quarterback during the week that was in the NFL.
Here is a look at the week Jay Cutler won the award: http://3putt.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/flyers-cant-outscore-cutler-picks/ (The caption is classic).
So all of this got me thinking, who are the 10 quarterbacks that are either currently named the starter or who have the inside track to be the starter next year that have absolutely no business taking on that role.
Some of these guys will lose their jobs in training camp, others will simply delay the inevitability, yet others will prove me wrong and rise to great heights in 2011.
As a note, when I say a player has “the inside” track to being the starter, I am basing that on the current depth charts provided by our good friends over at cbssports.com.
They have a fantasy football section that lists depth charts by position, so bark at them if you don’t like it.
No.10: Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford has no business being a starting quarterback in the league at this moment, and he probably has no business carrying such a title until half way through the season.
Look, I like Sammy boy, but when you only threw 69 passes last year in college and only finished one game thanks to a shoulder injury, I think it would be wise to have some serious doubt about this kid right out of the gate.
Fortunately for Bradford, and unfortunately for the Rams, AJ Feeley is the backup, so that pretty much sums up why you should expect Bradford to get the nod, even though he does not deserve it right now.
No.9: Matt Leinart
Matt, do you really need that eye black while sitting on the bench?
Talk about a guy who is likely to fall ass-backwards into a starting position this year.
Matt Leinart has been nothing short of a bust since being drafted with the 10th overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2006 draft.
He carries a 7-10 record with 20 picks against 18 touchdowns and a 70.8 quarterback rating.
Leinart can thank the Lord Baby Jesus for the Cardinals bringing in Derek Anderson as the backup.
Because even when Leinart screws things up, you can almost guarantee that Anderson will screw it up worse and give the job back to Leinart.
But I guess you can't be surprised at his luck, considering how fortunate he was to be surrounded by such incredible talent at USC, both on and off the field.
Jealousy aside, the guy is an awful, awful quarterback right now and does not deserve to be considered a starter in the NFL.
No.8 Matt Hasselbeck
Matt Hasselbeck led the Seahawks to the Super Bowl in 2005 and finished the regular season with a 13-3 record.
Since then the Seahawks have one playoff victory and a 23-26 regular season record under the aging quarterback.
I’m not quite sure what he brings to the table anymore.
The last two seasons he has only played in 21 games and has thrown 22 picks against 27 touchdowns.
The guy was once a great leader and player. But doesn’t it seem like his time is up now?
The Seahawks signed Charlie Whitehurst in the offseason, and if things fall right for Whitehurst, he may have a shot to take the position from Hasselbeck before the season gets started.
I highly doubt that’s how Pete Carroll wants to begin the campaign in Seattle, but it should not shock you.
To recap: He gets hurt a lot and he turns the ball over too much.
Deadly combo for a guy clinging onto the end of his career.
No.7: Jason Campbell
Jason Campbell must feel dizzy after seeing so many head coaches and offensive coordinators come and go.
To make matters worse, he is not exactly going into a stable situation in Oakland either.
I actually kind of like this guy a little bit, but at the end of the day, he still stinks and I need to come to terms with it.
For those who are all about wins determining a quarterback’s worth, look no further than Campbell’s 20-32 record as a starter if you want a reason to bash the guy.
To make matters worse, he’s never finished a season with a winning record as a starter.
Campbell doesn’t make a ton of mistakes, as he has never thrown as many or more picks than touchdowns in a season. His career 61.2 completion percentage is very respectable as well.
But at the end of the day, he doesn’t do enough to win.
He seems like the type of quarterback that needs a great defense and running game to support him.
Think Trent Dilfer with the 2000 Baltimore Ravens.
Considering that combination is not likely to appear in Oakland this season, or any season in the near future, Bruce Gradkowski had better be ready to take over the position relatively quickly.
No.6: Matt Cassel
If it wasn’t for a miracle season in 2008 with the New England Patriots, this guy would still be signaling in plays and drinking hot cocoa on the sidelines.
I really don’t understand why this guy got so much hype.
It is only a matter of time before the Chiefs rattle off three or four losses in the first five games and Brodie Coyle comes in to take Cassel’s job.
I don’t care that Cassel’s touchdowns went down and his interceptions went up when he came from New England. I can understand that. And honestly, those numbers were not incredibly alarming one way or the other.
The number that scares me is his completion percentage. He went from completing 63.4 percent of his passes in New England to 55 percent in Kansas City.
I’m sorry, but you can’t have that big of a disparity, no matter how much of a loss in talent you suffer from one team to the next. The quarterback still has to make plays, and the bottom line is that he has to complete passes.
Even worse is the fact that he took 47 sacks in New England and then followed that up with 42 sacks in Kansas City. For a guy who suffered a knee injury during his career, the last thing you want to do is take hits.
No.5: Matt Moore
The casual sports fan would never guess what sport this guy plays, let alone the team, or the position.
So it should come as no surprise that Matt Moore is on this list.
He had a nice little close to the season with the Carolina Panthers last year, as the team went 4-1 with him at the helm.
But I would be painting the wrong picture if I failed to point out that one win came against a terrible Tampa Bay team, another came against a New York Giants team that completely mailed it in at the end of the season, and a third win came against the New Orleans Saints’ scrubs.
But he did manage to beat the Minnesota Vikings, so I give him props for that.
I would also be hiding the facts if I failed to mention he only threw for 150 yards per game.
People may have thought this kid was the second coming of Joe Montana, but that’s thanks to the god-awful play of Jake Delhomme.
And if the Carolina front office thought Moore was a good solution, then why did they acquire Jimmy Clausen and draft Tony Pike?
I say Moore makes five starts maximum this season.
No.4 Jay Cutler
Odds are pretty good that Cutler was getting ready to throw another interception in the picture above.
Simply stated, Cutler guy is a mutt among men.
Chicago finally thought they landed a big time quarterback, and it honestly seemed like the Bears were set to make a run at the Super Bowl last year.
They had a great young running back in Matt Forte, the defense was solid as usual, and now they had a real quarterback.
Well at least they thought they did.
Cutler threw it to the other team 26 times last year. That’s more than 1.5 picks per game.
If it wasn’t for the fact that Chicago gave away two first round picks and a third round pick, Cutler would be running plays with the scout team.
I know they gave up Kyle Orton too, but the draft picks are what made the trade so valuable.
How this guy goes to sleep at night, knowing he is robbing the Chicago Bears, blows my mind.
And what has he proven in the NFL so far?
He’s 24-29 as a starter.
He’s never had a winning record.
Cutler has never been to the playoffs, and he may best be known for a terrible collapse to end the Broncos’ 2008 season and Mike Shanahan’s career in Denver.
Would the Bears even think about cutting him if he plays poorly again in 2011?
No.3: Trent Edwards
If Ryan Fitzpatrick were higher on the depth chart, then he would have been on the list. But as it stands, Trent Edwards comes in at No. 3 on the list.
As a warning, the next three players on this list are lucky to ever be considered a starting quarterback now or at any point for the rest of their pathetic careers.
Here is a stone cold guarantee: Edwards starts no more than three games before he has his butt parked up next to one of those giant flame throwing heaters.
The fact that he is even competing for a starting job is a crime. He threw six touchdowns last year in seven games started and actually came out of the gate as a gunslinger.
In his first two games, he had four touchdowns. Too bad he went on to throw zero touchdowns in the four other games he started and lost.
Outside of those first two starts, he threw six picks against two touchdowns and failed to win any games as the starting quarterback.
If there is a kid out there who was told he could never make it to the NFL, just look to Trent Edwards and tell yourself, “If that stiff found a way to do it, anything is possible.”
No.2: Kyle Orton
If Kyle Orton starts more than five games this year, the Denver Broncos will be the worst team in the NFL.
Do you want to know why people were shocked by Denver’s 6-0 start last year?
It was mainly because Kyle Orton was the starting quarterback.
This guy had a career year in passing yards, completion percentage, touchdowns, interceptions, completions, attempts, and yards per game, among the many passing statistics recorded by the NFL.
And yet, despite all of that, Orton managed to win only eight games.
Was it all his fault?
But does he get any sympathy from me?
You can’t possibly be serious about winning and trot Orton out there. He’s lost out in quarterback battles with Rex Grossman and Brian Griese. He didn’t even step onto the field in 2006 when he was with the Bears.
And don’t take my word for it when it comes to Orton’s ineptitude. Take a look at what the Broncos did in the offseason when it came to the quarterback position.
They acquired Brady Quinn, who stinks. And they also drafted Tim Tebow, considered by many to be better suited as an H-back instead of a quarterback.
If Orton was a winner, a guy who can get things done, and yadda, yadda, yadda, then why did they make those moves?
I’d say it’s because they know Orton is lucky to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
No.1 Jake Delhomme
Uh Jake, Is that sign language for, "I suck?"
Okay, let's play a game.
When I say Jake Delhomme, you say:
Stiff, Interception, Horrid, Epic Failure, Confused, Bad, Incompetent, Really Bad, Atrocious.
The list could go on for days.
Very little actually needs to be said about a player who has thrown 30 picks in his last 27 games, and coughed up the ball 11 times.
In the seven games he started and lost, the offense scored an abysmal 12 points per game.
The best part about the tail end of Delhomme’s career is the fact that he is now with the Cleveland Browns.
Has there been a worse organization when it comes to evaluating quarterback talent?
I doubt it.
What I don’t doubt is that Seneca Wallace will have more starts than Delhomme by year’s end.
And when Seneca Wallace is taking starts from you, it safe to say you that are incredibly lucky to be in the league, let alone a starter.