Tom Brady and 7 NFL QBs Who Can't Overcome Shoddy Defenses

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Tom Brady and 7 NFL QBs Who Can't Overcome Shoddy Defenses
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
I have to go how many yards?

At first blush, my answer to the question, “How many NFL quarterbacks can’t overcome a substandard defense?” is—32.  

However, that’s not a very entertaining point of view. So, let’s consider the question in terms of degree.

I don’t honestly believe that any quarterback can rise to the championship level without a better than average D. Much less the marginal signal callers.

So let’s not waste more than a byte of cyberspace pointing out that Kolb, McCoy, Gabbert, Cassel, Ponder, Newton, Smith, Jackson/Whitehurst,  Bradford (and whoever the heck suits up in DC, Denver, Miami, Oakland, Tennessee or Indy) don’t have a prayer of a winning season without a top five defense. And, to be brutally honest, probably not with one.


Then there are the good quarterbacks who might break .500 but won’t go anywhere in the postseason unless their defense can shoulder at least 50 percent of the load:  Fitzpatrick, Flacco (maybe), Sanchez, Dalton, Schaub, Romo, Stafford and Cutler. Although we can debate the point in another article, most of these passers are franchise QBs. But they don’t have the tools or the protection to overcome even a suspect defense, much less a “shoddy” one.

But how about those quarterbacks that we all like to label as “elite?” Out of 32 teams, even the best signal callers aren’t prepared to prevail in a “defense optional” environment.

And, yes, No. 12 is one of them.

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