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View Full Version : Young blood, Old Bones, QB's Take The Lead



BroncoAV06
12-11-2008, 08:48 PM
A 1-15 season, the first overall pick in the draft, a QB on his way to jail and a franchise in turmoil. Those were the stories of the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons respectively last year. As a fan of either franchise you have to be thinking you are in for a nice rebuilding process, a few tough years of football as your team tries to get back on track. But who would have thought that two QB's could accelerate that process to the point were the playoffs are a possibility a year after a top 5 pick? Not many, that's for sure.

The 3rd overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft QB Matt Ryan, the accurate and composed signal caller out of Boston College. His job would be to fill the shoes of Mick Vick in Atlanta, a not so easy one with the controversy and the amount of fans the QB had. The rookie has far surpassed any expectations for a first year QB. After a tough week 2 game against Tampa in which he threw 3 INT's the Falcons signal caller has guided the second best turn around in the league, yes that's what kind of year it has been when a rookie QB leading his team to an 8-5 record and is in the thick of the Wild Card race is second. Ryan is currently 9th in the NFL in passer rating at 92.0, ahead of the likes of P and E Manning, Brett Farve, and Jay Cutler. Matty Ice has not just dink-ed and dunked he has developed a chemistry with the most underrated WR in the league Roddy White throwing for 2,940 yards, 14 TD's and just 7 INT, while completing 62% of his passes. It certainly helps that Michael Turner has 14 TD's of his own but there is no doubt the QB position is what can make or break a team. The Falcons certainly have found their man for not only the present but the future. The NFC South is sure to be interesting for years to come as Atlanta has a Pro Bowl QB in the making and a foundation to build upon.

The biggest story of the off season Brett Farve a Packer or not, where will he go, OK he's a Jet thank god its over. But where does that leave Chad Pennington? Well out of a job but not for long. The veteran QB quickly found a home in Miami a team that was in need of a leader behind center. Known more for his lack of an arm then anything else Chad Pennington certainly had plenty to prove this year. After a 1-15 season, the Dolphins would have been happy with a 5-6 win season, at the moment they are 8-5 and in a three way tie for first place in the AFC East. Chad has brought a stable presence to the Dolphins offense and has been a great compliment to Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. He is doing what he does, completing 66.4% of his passes and not turning the ball over, 6 INT's. A game manager some might call him, that's fine with the Dolphin fans. Greg Camarillo was having a break out season which earned him a three year contract extension, sadly a knee injury ended his season, Ted Ginn has emerged in the offense, and even undrafted wide out Devon Bess has been making play the last few weeks. All due to the quality play of Chad Pennington enabling the Dolphins not to have to have a John Beck under center, or be in a rebuilding year with Chad Henne who at some point is viewed as the QB of the future. But at the moment Chad and his 3,062 yards, 12 TD's, and 6th best 93.7 passer rating hold the keys in Miami.

Now what can't be overlooked is great coaching and front office moves by both franchise's to put them in position to grab these two QB's, have a solid draft and free agent class, and put their teams ahead of schedule. The Tuna (Bill Parcels) and Tony Sprano in Miami, and Mike Smith and company in Atlanta. As a fan of a team with a top pick this year these teams have to provide you for some hope for the future, unless your team is the Raiders or Lions, in that case compare how many underachieving top draft picks you have on your rosters.

Honorable Mentions:
Joe Flacco
The 2nd QB selected in the 2008 draft, 18th overall by the Ravens has flown a bit under the radar. While not having as impressive offensive numbers as his fellow rookie Matt Ryan, Flacco has certainly grown through out the year and has the Ravens in contention for a playoff spot. A steeler defense is in his corner as well. His numbers 2,410 yards, 13 TD's, 10 INT's, and completing 60.2% of his throws. Ravens are 9-4 and have a huge game against the Steelers this weekend with division quit possibly on the line!

Kerry Collins
The savoy vet has stepped in for the electric Vince Young and lead the Titans to the best record in the NFL. The ultimate game manager, Collins has Smash and Dash behind him to take off plenty of pressure. But that does not mean he has not paid dividends for the Titans, against Chicago it was Collins arm that brought the Titans back for the win and he is throwing to a very average group of wide outs. He is not putting Tennessee in bad positions, only 6 INT's, and doing what is needed to win games. His numbers do not stand (81.4 passer rating) out but 12-1, AFC South title, and sure 1st round bye are enough the please any NFL fan.

Matt Cassel
You have to throw Cassel in here as well. When you lose a QB that threw 50 TD's and is on his way to the HOF it looks all down hill after that. He has had his bumps in the road just like the other honorable mentions but Cassel has the Patriots in that three way tie for the AFC East lead at 8-5. What stands out his is back to back 400 yard games a few weeks back, for a QB that did not start since H.S. that is quit the accomplishment. 85.3 passer rating, 3,052 yards, 14 TD's, 10 INT's, and 64% completion rate are huge for New England. Unfortunately Matt lost his father this week which I know how hard that is myself so he has a lot on his mind at the moment. He did return to practice and the Raiders in Oakland are up next this weekend, I am sure that this game will be dedicated to his father and could be something special.

Mike
12-11-2008, 08:59 PM
Nice article. :beer:

frenchfan
12-12-2008, 02:11 AM
Good article...

A though though about Matt Cassel...
I agree he does a very good job.
Now, does that put Brady's performance under perspective or not? I mean, does the system help the QB or does the QB help the system?
(may be an idea for an article?).

I'm really impressed by Matt Ryan. This kid is good.

I'm also impressed by Favre... I thought he would have troubles with Jets system, but he does a great job. Some great QB failed when they change the system.

:salute:

Medford Bronco
12-12-2008, 08:40 AM
Good article...

A though though about Matt Cassel...
I agree he does a very good job.
Now, does that put Brady's performance under perspective or not? I mean, does the system help the QB or does the QB help the system?
(may be an idea for an article?).

I'm really impressed by Matt Ryan. This kid is good.

I'm also impressed by Favre... I thought he would have troubles with Jets system, but he does a great job. Some great QB failed when they change the system.

:salute:

Even though Cassel has had a fine season, their game against Pit epitmized what Brady is all about. Brady would not have turned the ball over a bunch of times. Brady is the best in the NFL when healthy and he is one of the best of our generation.

Cassel has earned himself a nice payraise for next season somewhere but he is no Tom Brady. Wes Welker and Moss help any
QB as well and Cassel has them both.

Good thoughts though. :salute:

LRtagger
12-12-2008, 08:42 AM
Nice article...although I think too much credit has been given to Matt Ryan this year. I think Michael Turner has made the biggest impact in turning that team around (no pun intended).

About half their roster is new, plus a new head coach...Matt Ryan has played great, but he has not single handedly turned this team around as some like to believe. Far from it IMO.

frenchfan
12-15-2008, 01:17 AM
Even though Cassel has had a fine season, their game against Pit epitmized what Brady is all about. Brady would not have turned the ball over a bunch of times. Brady is the best in the NFL when healthy and he is one of the best of our generation.

Cassel has earned himself a nice payraise for next season somewhere but he is no Tom Brady. Wes Welker and Moss help any
QB as well and Cassel has them both.

Good thoughts though. :salute:I agree...

Cassel & NE's system has done a good job without Brady... But Brady is also an amazing QB. I'd have liked to see him with a Broncos jersey instead than with a Patriot's one :D

Sure, there is no doubt in my mind I'll go with Brady rather than Cassel... Anyway, it's weird to see that NE could win another SB with a backup QB :laugh:

My thought was to point out how O system and QB level are often tied. And the fact it is really hard to compare QBs. You can't compare Favre and Brady... But both belong to the legend of the game... A good talk that remains me of all the Elway-Montana-Marino's comparaisons... :D

:beer: :salute:

frenchfan
12-15-2008, 01:29 AM
Nice article...although I think too much credit has been given to Matt Ryan this year. I think Michael Turner has made the biggest impact in turning that team around (no pun intended).

About half their roster is new, plus a new head coach...Matt Ryan has played great, but he has not single handedly turned this team around as some like to believe. Far from it IMO.I see your point and you're right that it's not Ryan alone that turned this team around...

Anyway, being a rookie QB and doing the job he's doing deserves credit.
Of course, I don't underestimate what Clady or Royal have done for us too.

But in a game where one man, the QB, has so much importance, and is so much analysed, I guess Matt Ryan deserves this too much credit.

But you're right a good D and a good running game have helped him a lot. And a good kicker too ;)
The Bucs game proved what you were saying.
The kid makes rookie's mistakes. But overall, his season is really good. I'll keep an eye on him the next seasons to see how he'll grow up ;)

:beer:

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