NFL 2009: Nine Things We've Learned About QBs Thus Far This Season

Pro Football NYCSenior Writer INovember 18, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 15: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates his teams 35-34 victory over the New England Patriots after the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 15, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Here are the top five things that we have learned about quarterdecks in the first 10 weeks of the 2009 NFL season...

9. Vince Young is saving the Titans' season.

Hard to believe.

When the team lost their first six games (the worst was a 59-0 whitewash in New England), Jeff Fisher turned to Young—a player who had once doubted if he had what it takes to be an NFL QB—to help change the team's fortunes.

So far, it's worked. Young is 3-0 as starter and is playing with a ton of confidence.

8. Matt Schaub has arrived.

Taken in the third round by Atlanta in the 2004 draft, Schaub was an afterthought to the Eli-Rivers-Ben windfall that took place in the first round.

The Houston Texans are benefiting from a healthy Schaub these days, not the Falcons. He is currently third in the NFL in passing, wedged in-between Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees.

7. Kurt Warner is going to Canton.

The Cards' 38-year-old QB was on the Hall-of-Fame bubble even after having a monster season and almost winning the Super Bowl with the games' most losing-est franchise.

This year, he is following that up with a beauty of a season. After nine games, Warner is on pace to throw 32 TDs and 4400 yards.

Get that bust ready.

6. JaMarcus Russell is officially a bust.

Yes, we understand that he's had little support from the coaches and the nefarious Oakland infrastructure they report to, so it's not all his fault.

In his third season, Russell is ranked 31st among NFL starters. His passer rating is an abysmal 47.7 with only two touchdown passes and nine interceptions.  He's been sacked 24 times and has lost five fumbles.

Time to look elsewhere for a franchise QB, Al.

5. Rookies should not be expected to win immediately .

It's true. Last year, Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan led their teams to the playoffs in their freshman campaigns.  They both won playoff games and Flacco came withing one win of the Super Bowl.

This was an anomaly. This was a freak occurrence that had never happened in the history of the sport and may not happen again. This season, both are struggling as their teams have taken a step backwards.

This season's rookie class of Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman have showed promise, but are years away from being successful players. In fact, because of the success of Flacco and Ryan had last season, these players have been burdened with heightened expectations.

4. Brett Favre is having his greatest season ever.

Love him or hate him, the guy is a phenomenal specimen. At 40, Favre is flourishing on what just may be the most talented team in football.  Many thought by returning to the league he would further tarnish his legacy. Instead, he is reforging it.

After nine games, Favre has 17 TDs and only three interceptions.  That is very un-Favre-like. He usually takes too many chances with the football and blows 2-3 games by trying to win them all by himself.

With the Vikings, he does not have to do that.  He is utilizing the weapons at his disposal in a smart and efficient manner, not to mention he's had some luck to boot.

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

3. Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson? How 'bout neither.

The Cleveland Browns' offense is as bad a unit as I have ever seen (and that's saying something). Head coach Eric Mangini did neither Quinn nor Anderson any favors by not naming a starter until the last possible moment.

Mangini is alienating everyone in Cleveland from the players to the fans to the media, and the team apparently has not responded to his ridiculous ultra-strict methods.

That being said, how can a young quarterback grow as a player under those conditions?

They can't...but it doesn't really matter because these guys would stink no matter what team they were on.

2. Peyton Manning is the best player in the NFL.

The argument of who is better—Peyton Manning or Tom Brady—should no longer be the heated chicken-or-the-egg one it has been in the past.

Manning has surpassed Brady this season with an MVP performance.  What other player in the NFL means more to his team?

Just think. The Colts are 9-0, but without Manning, they could be 0-9. Last year, the Patriots went 11-5 without Papa Tom.

Yes, I know their statistics this season are almost identical. I can read.

Manning wins no matter who is around him. Brady is great, but Peyton is proving to be greater.

1. Michael Vick has had zero impact on the NFL season.

After all the hullabaloo of whether he'll ever play again and where he will play, Michael Vick has done something this season he hasn't been able to do in years:

Stay out of the headlines.

The Eagles signed Vick with the hopes that he could add another dimension to their offense (aka wildcat). It hasn't happened. He is buried on the Eagles bench with no plans to develop the dimension Andy Reid had alluded to earlier in the year.

It's becoming apparent that the long absence from the game may have hurt Vick more than anyone imagined.

When Donovan McNabb missed two games with injury, Reid turned to Kevin Kolb, not Vick to lead the offense. Vick was left to sit and watch Kolb light up the skies with footballs, whose performance pushed Vick even further down the depth chart.


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