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NFL: 2011 Quarterback’s - Youth vs. Experience

September 12th, 2011 · No Comments

As everyone in the Sports world knows - Pro Bowl, Superbowl winning and four time league MVP Quarterback Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts missed his very first NFL start in 14-seasons this past Sunday, snapping his league leading Consecutive Starts record at 227-games, (including Playoffs) or 208 regular season starts. As ironically Peyton’s younger brother Eli now becomes the National football League’s current Quarterback’s consecutive starts holder at 104/111 total. (Regular season games; Playoffs included respectively…)


But with Peyton having just had his third neck surgery in 19-months, this time having cervical fusion - opting for the more painful choice of having a piece of his own hip bone use to fuse his C2-C3 vertebra at age 35 I was wondering what the average durability of an NFL Quarterback was? Not to mention their average ages - which reportedly the trend has been spiraling downwards in recent years - with the average being 28.3 for 2009-10, which was down from 29.1 in 2008.


And now that the baton for consecutive starts has been passed from Peyton (N0. 2) to Eli; (N0. 6) the younger Manning should theoretically succeed the current No. 3 “JAWS” (Ron Jaworski ) streak of 116/123 this year, upon passing the number four Tom Brady’s 111/128 tally, along with the totally forgotten Buffalo Bills Joe Ferguson’s 107/110 mark. But don’t expect anybody to break Brett Favre’s Ironman streak of 297/321 mark anytime soon.


NOTE: Dan Marino’s 145 regular season consecutive starts are not acknowledged due to his sitting out during the last NFL Strike when replacement players were used…



NFC West

Team, Starting QB, Age, Yr’s*

Arizona Cardinals, Kevin Kolb, 27, 5

San Francisco 49ers, Alex Smith, 27, 7

Seattle Seahawks, Tarvaris Jackson, 28, 6

St Louis Rams, Sam Bradford, 23, 2

(Yr’s* = Seasons in NFL)



Although I suppose I should know more about my Home Division - nevertheless, I’m pretty unknowledgeable on this Quartet of QB’s. As I’ve never heard of Kevin Kolb who the Cardinals acquired from Philadelphia after making Michael Vick their Franchise QB with a $100m contract extension. Kolb made his NFL debut for the Eagles in 2009 - playing two games as Donovan McNabb’s substitute when McNabb was injured. He was then named the Eagles starter the following year but suffered a concussion in Game-1, being replaced by Michael Vick before once again substituting a further four games before Vick took over the starting role permanently.


San Fran’s Alex Smith is a bit of an enigma - having been drafted as the number one overall pick of the 49ers in 2005. Yet it seems Smith has been injured often and hopes to jump start his flagging career as rookie NFL Head Coach Jim Harbaugh tries to resuscitate the once mighty “FourtyWhiner’s” fortunes that just last season were expected to win the Division behind fired Head Coach Mike Singletary, who’s now become the Defensive line (linebacker’s) coach for Minnesota.


And ironically, I was totally unaware that smith was born in Seattle, Washington - as the Seattle Seahawks dumped their longtime signal caller Matt Hassleback once Free Agency resumed - as prior to the Lockout, “Mister Excitement,” aka Pete Carroll had publicly proclaimed re-signing Hassleback was a Seahawks priority!


Thus, with Hassleback’s backup Charlie Whitehurst the De-facto No. 2 QB, albeit not having shown too much promise to date, the Hawks chose to poach Minnesota Vikings perennial Brett “Will He, Won’t He Play?” Favre backup Tarvaris Jackson, as the University of Alabama star made his National Football League debut in week-13 for the oft jeered Brad Johnson in the third quarter of a game largely out-of-reach, where Jackson was given a standing Ovation upon his insertion. Jackson once again saw backup duties two weeks later before ironically being named to his inaugural start against you guessed it! Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers at a frigid Lambeau Field…


Tarvaris was then made the ‘Vik’s permanent starter for the ’07 season - which brought mixed results and the following year, was benched in favour of Gus Frerotte after Minnesota lost its first two games by close margins. Yet Jackson would see late season duty when Frerotte became injured - ultimately leading Minnesota to win the NFC North Division crown before losing in the Wildcard playoffs. Then the rest is all history as 2009-10 was the Favre ActIII era before ultimately retiring after sending adoring female admirers pictures of his New Shoes.


Meanwhile Minnesota decided not to tenure Tarvaris a contract extension in March - making him a Restricted Free Agent who the Seahawks snapped up immediately this July. And while I’m guessing Seahawks Arm-chair critics will be quick to jump upon Jackson losing his debut with Seattle - C’mon, you really didn’t expect the Seachickens to win on the road did Yuh?


Yet for me - St. Louis’s Sam Bradford is the STUD of these four QB’s - as the Rams, a la San Fran also exercised their No. 1 Overall Draft pick in 2010 on the 22yr old Heisman Trophy winning Oklahoman, who enroute to setting an NFL record for pass completions was named the Offensive Rookie of The Year. And although I still call ‘em the Lam’s - the sky’s the limit for this Franchise who can only improve in the coming seasons…



AFC West

Team, Starting QB, Age, Yr’s

Denver Broncos, Kyle Orton, 28, 7

Kansas City Chief,s Matt Cassel, 29, 7

Oakland Raiders, Jason Campbell, 29, 7

San Diego Chargers, Phillip Rivers, 29, 8



I know absolutely nothing about Denver’s Kyle Orton - other then he’s apparently the departed Jay Cutler’s protégé? As it seems that Tim Tebow gets way more media hype then Orton does.


Ditto for the Oakland Raiders Jason Campbell - whose likely feeling the storied pressure of Owner Al Davis’s “Just Win Baby!” Mantra - which just leaves the Chargers QB Phillip Rivers as the apparent Stud of this group, albeit San Diego has failed to go anywhere meaningful in the Playoffs recently.


OOPS! Actually tried forgetting Kansas City’s Matt “Kastle,” (Cassel) whose claim to fame was filling in as Tom Brady’s substitute at New England the year Brady was placed on Injured Reserve…


NFC East

Team, Starting QB, Age, Yr’s

Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo, 31, 9

New York Giants, Eli Manning, 30, 8

Philadelphia Eagles, Michael Vick, 31, 10

Washington Redskins, Rex Grossman, 31, 9



Haveda say my personal knock upon Rex Grossman is his lingering affiliation with the Chicago Bears - having once been grilled to pieces by a (Green Bay) ‘Cheeshead that “Duh Bears Suck!” Yet perhaps he’ll right Washington’s ship and should at least be an upgrade age wise over his elder and departed Donovan McNabb.


Nothing good to say ‘bout Michael “WOOF WOOF” Vick - who’s probably laughing all the way to the bank now with his $100m cheque… While I consider Dallas’s Tony Romo to be the Stud of this quartet; although New York’s Eli Manning would probably disagree, especially since he’s the only one of these four with a Superbowl and MVP ring…



AFC East

Team, Starting QB, Age, Yr’s

Buffalo Bills, Ryan Fitzpatrick, 28, 7

Miami Dolphins, Chad Henne, 26, 4

New England Patriots Tom Brady 34 12

New York Jets, Mark Sanchez, 24, 3



Once again, know very little about Buffalo’s Ryan Fitzpatrick - who was born in Gilbert, AZ - other then he’s now playing for his third perennial loser, i.e.; St. Louis, Cincinnati and buffalo.


Miami’s Henne is another QB who doesn’t jump out for Mwah, as the Dolphins seem to be overly erratic, winning one week and losing the next. Which just leaves us with the two stars of this grouping: Tom Brady and Mark Sanchez. As New England’s Brady is not only the elder statesman of this Quartet - he’s also got the most impeccable record with his multiple Superbowl victories, while New York’s Sanchez appears to be the heir apparent to Brady’s mantle?



NFC North

Team, Starting QB, Age, Yr’s

Chicago Bears, Jay Cutler, 28, 6

Detroit Lions, Mathew Stafford, 23, 3

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rogers, 27, 7

Minnesota Vikings, Donovan McNabb, 34, 13



All I know is that Chicago’s Jay Cutler refused to play for his new Denver Broncos coach - ultimately being traded to ‘Duh Bears who defeated the upstart (7-9) NFC West Division Champs - as the Seattle Seahawks, the only Franchise to win a Division with a losing record had defeated the reigning Superbowl Champion New Orleans Saints in a shocker at then Qwest Field. Yet apparently Chicago fans are still giving Cutler grief over his “Mysterious” Playoff ending injury last year.


And Detroit’s Mathew Stafford, who the Lions used their No. 1 Overall Draft pick in 2009 certainly seems like a star of the future - as the once lowly Lions have now won 5 in-a-row. (At least that’s what I thought I heard somewheres)


While what can I say about the Packers Aaron Rogers? Has to be the Stud of this group, as I’m certain Green Bay is quite happy with having let go of ‘Ol No. 4, eh? While Minnesota’s McNabb probably feels like the odd man out of these star studded QB Musketeers…



AFC North

Team, Starting QB, Age, Yr’s

Baltimore Ravens, Joe Flacco, 26, 4

Cincinnati Bengals, R-Andy Dalton, 23, 0

Cleveland Browns, Colt McCoy, 25, 2

Pittsburg Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger, 29, 8



Obviously the two Stud’s of this Division are ‘big Ben (Roethlisberger) and Joe Flacco; as I DON’T like the first but hugely respect the latter - which I guess makes NO sense that I chose Pittsburg over Baltimore for Week-1, right?


Meanwhile the Cincinnati Bengals rookie QB won his debutant game even after only playing one half, having injured his wrist just prior to the end of the first half before his backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski caught the Browns napping and threw a quick 41-yard TD strike on third and eleven to demoralize the Browns - whose Colt (McCoy) apparently got lassoed, as the Browns continue losing…



NFC South

Team, Starting QB, Age, Yr’s

Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan, 26, 4

Carolina Panthers, R-Cam Newton, 22, 0

New Orleans Saints, Drew Brees, 32, 11

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Josh Freeman, 23, 3



Have purposely not paid any attention to the current number one Overall pick of the Carolina Panthers Cam Newton, as the current Heisman Trophy winner has seemingly had all of the accolades lauded upon him - but can he turn the Panthers into winners? As Newton and Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman seem in pretty lofty company with New Orleans and “Hot-lanta’s” (Atlanta) Studs Drew “They Call Me The” Brees… and Matt Ryan, albeit Saints QB Brees is the only one of these four starters with a Superbowl ring…



AFC South

Team, Starting QB, Age, Yr’s

Houston Texans, Matt Schaub, 30, 8

Indianapolis Colts, Kerry Collins, 38, 17

Jacksonville Jaguars, R-Luke McCown, 30, 8

Tennessee Titans, Matt Hassleback, 35, 13



At age 35, newly acquired Titans QB Matt Hassleback - the past face of the Seattle Seahawks is currently the second oldest signal caller in the NFL, behind only the elder statesman Kerry Collins - while Tom Brady and Donovan McNabb are both 34.


And thus it’ll be interesting to see if Hassleback can give the team the veteran leadership needed to return back to the playoffs - with Tennessee’s 2011 No. 1 pick (QB) Jake Locker waiting in the wings to replace him.


And ironically Hassleback’s predecessor - Kerry Collins initially retired from the Titans earlier this year when his services were no longer desired in the NFL, yet the Indianapolis Colts quickly brought him out of retirement initially as an insurance policy towards the slow healing future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, who most likely will be out the entire year.

Thus, it would appear that Houston Texans Quarterback Matt Schaub is in the driver’s seat for Division Champs, albeit Running Back Adrian Foster will need to stay healthy to help Houston make its first ever Playoff Game this season.


Meanwhile I know nothing about the just chosen Jacksonville Jaguars starter Luke McCown, who Head Coach Jack Del Rio chose over incumbent QB David Garrard, who Del rio had said all Pre-season was his man - before the Jags cut him at the end of Pre-season, somewhat in order to ditch his $9m contract, as McCown will therefore begin his tenure at the helm with his Head Coach’s job apparently riding on the line.


And there you have it - pretty good for somebody who only watched a scant 15mins total of Seattle Seahawks Pre-season football, along with tuning into the Cowboys-Jets game for may be 10mins when I thought I heard ‘Ol Al Michaels claim that Dallas was ahead by 14. As I have NO idea how the remaining four Quarterback’s will do during their Monday Night NFL season opening Doubleheader…

Tags: NFL Football

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