Looking over the last few Super Bowl participants: Colts, Saints, Cardinals, Steelers, Giants and Patriots. There is no need to keep going back. The quarterbacks of these teams are well known and have some of the best resumes in history.
Let's fast forward to this past weekend and take a look at some Week 5 performances:
Phillip Rivers—431 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions—Lost
Kyle Orton—314 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions—Lost
Tony Romo—406 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions—Lost
Alex Smith—309 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions—Lost
Aaron Rogers—293 yards, one touchdown and one interception—Lost
I realize that you could probably go through every one of the games and pick apart reasons why they lost. You could find reasons why it's not the quarterbacks fault. I'll certainly give you Phillip Rivers without even looking.
What I'm trying to do, however, is look at a bigger picture. The only quarterback this past weekend that threw for over 300 yards and won was Donovan McNabb and that was an overtime game.
Peyton Manning had his worst statistical game this year. For the first time this year, he failed to throw for 300 yards or throw a touchdown pass. He also threw an interception, only his second of the season.
The Colts won the game. Two of his best statistical games of the year, the Colts lost.
Now let's look at some other week five performances:
Joe Flacco—196 yards passing, no touchdowns, no interceptions—Won
Jason Campbell—159 yards passing, one touchdown and no interceptions—Won
Matt Ryan—187 yard passing, one touchdown and no interceptions—Won
Matt Hall—168 yards passing, no touchdown and one interception—Won
Maybe the greatest passing line I've ever seen:
Todd Collins—32 yards passing, no touchdowns and four interceptions—Won!
On the opposite ends of this dissection we have Phillip Rivers and Todd Collins. I'll be the first to admit they're both anomalies. Exaggerated examples are always valid in proving points, as long as there are many others that fill the middle.
You could spend countless hours supporting or opposing my theory, which is simple.
I do not believe it is a "Quarterbacks league". Even in looking over past Super Bowls you'll see that it is a "Team league". Often those spectacular quarterbacks that I listed above don't win the game.
Tom Brady is one of the most statistically overwhelming quarterback of all time. Looking back, however, at the three Super Bowls he won, he was not the type of quarterback we associate him with today. The Patriots were also a much different type team.
Peyton Manning is probably the most statistically accomplished quarterback of all time. He has won the Super Bowl one time and has lost one. When the Colts beat the Bears in Super Bowl XLI, Peyton Manning was a very pedestrian 25/38, 239 yard, one touchdown and one interception.
I could go one and continue to validate this point, but it would be time consuming and redundant to read. Plus, I hate statistics and think they are useless. They are a lot like biblical quotes. Anyone can take any of them and turn them into whatever they need to support their own agenda.
I do believe that any great NFL team needs a great quarterback to have continued success. What defines a "great" quarterback, in my opinion is in the process of changing.
I think the game of 350 yards and four touchdowns will become much less important than careful management and no turnovers.
Do you care if the quarterback of the team you root for only throws for 175 yards and 1 touchdown, but they win they game?
Which fans do you think ended up happier this weekend? The fans of the first group of quarterbacks I listed, or the second?