Clive Dunn wrote:
Neither Ben or Eli are mediocre QB's. Dilfer had the best defense in the history of the game.
Just go through the SB winning QB's of the last 20 years, you'll get a couple of strange ones ( Brad Johnson, Trent Dilfer ) but the rest are all top quality.
Winning in the NFL starts at Quarterback.
It is tough to win it all with an average QB but the examples I stated before are good examples you can do well and go deep in the playoffs with a superior running game and an average QB. You see it every year, Bengals last year as well.
Actually IMO it starts with the lines. If you cant stop the run and protect your quarterback you're not going to do anything. Stick P Manning at the Browns and he will win them 8 games, but there not going to the playoffs.
I think my point is that teams without really solid QB play can get to the playoffs, but they can't do it regularly. The Jets got lucky last year, relatively soft schedule, great line and the most aggressive defense in the league led by a CB having probably the best year you'll ever see from a DB. Good for them, but if Sanchez doesn't improve ( and he will, I rated him highly both in college and his play got a lot better down the stretch ) they'll slip back into the pack.
Offensive line play seems to me to actually be much more related to the QB than is obvious. Brady, Manning, Brees all make those lineman look a lot better than they are. Average QB's do the opposite, often holding the ball and taking the hit rather than making the correct read.
Sure, you can quote individual teams who have got to the playoffs with a strong running game and good defense. Yes it happens. However I'll point to elite QB's taking their teams to the playoffs over numerous years, and going a lot deeper on average.
I don't have the time to do the stats, but I'd estimate 75% of the playoff teams over the last years have 3,500 yard passers going in.
I'm not sure using the Bungals as an example of average QB taking his team in is a good one. Carson Palmer is a very good QB indeed, and once that knee is 100% he'll be a top 10 player at his position.