Let me start off with this: The quarterback position is the most overrated and over-credited position in team sports. With that being said, it is still the single most important component to a football team.
A quarterback’s impact on his team is similar to the heart’s impact on the human body. Think about it: a heart must have a constant rhythm to maintain a stable pattern. If a quarterback loses his rhythm, the team will end up looking like JaMarcus Russell’s Raiders did on Monday night.
It is also vital for the QB to get the ball to his teammates; much like a heart must feed the components of the body. Otherwise, well, the body dies. Symbolic? Finally, as the heart can generate electrical impulses, a quarterback must generate excitability both on the field, and in the club house.
The above information is the perfect formula for an unstoppable quarterback. However, unlike the heart, with just one of the above attributes, any decent QB can not only survive, but can lead his team to the promise land.
There is always one position in team sports that can be classified as “most important”; the one position that, with just one slip-up, could cost the team the contest.
With baseball, you have the pitchers. It doesn’t matter if you have Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Ty Cobb hitting behind you. If a pitcher is unable to retire a batter, you’ll lose. Soccer, Hockey, and Lacrosse all have the same concept; can’t defend a goal, be defeated.
Quarterbacks seem to reap all the benefits from their team’s hard work. When the offensive line is able to read their defenders, pick up blitzes, remember their counts, and BLOCK, the ‘quarterback’ ran the offense masterfully.
When the defense shuts down the opposing team time after time, the ‘quarterback’ ruled the time of possession. And finally, when the field goal kicker knocks in a beauty, the ‘quarterback’ got him in that position in the first place.
Point is, although quarterbacks are essential to winning, they do take up a lot of the spotlight, and probably do not solely deserve the last 22 of 42 Super Bowl MVP awards received.
The loss of Tom Brady on Sunday is a devastating loss for the New England Patriots, if they let it be. The New England Patriots still have a solid defense and an outstanding offense even with the loss of Brady. With Laurence Maroney, Moss, O-line and a quarterback to manage the team, and they will succeed.
I am not saying that they will blow out opponents and go undefeated through the regular season, but they have enough talent to bounce back from a blow like this. Expect victories to be more like the 17-10 W vs. the Chiefs.
There is only one way the former Super Bowl favorites will not succeed this season. That’s if their greatest key to success truly is out for the season, their confidence. A quarterback does not need to win for their team; they need to not lose for their team.
My crystal ball is not working today, but my prediction for the Super Bowl victors of 2008-09 is: the team with the best defense, most consistent offense, and keenest play-calling.