One QB for a Season, Game, and Play
I have to start by saying that I borrowed this idea from a GREAT article written my Daniel Jeremiah of of NFL.com, an article that has had me thinking hard for the last few days. The concept is based on QBs, past and present, and who you would take for a season, a single game, and a single play. Here is who I would go with:
This is probably the easiest category to choose (and believe me, it wasn’t that easy) among the active guys. Rodgers has been as consistent as anyone since taking over for Brett Favre in 2008. Even in his inaugural campaign, a 6-10 season for the Packers, Rodgers was the lone bright spot. As he enters his 5th year as a starter, can you imagine if his best is yet to come? Scary!
Other possibilities would be Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady; players who teams should be in the post season as long as they are healthy.
There is a bias with this choice, I am not going to lie. Dan Marino is my all-time favorite athlete, any sport. But as Aaron Rodgers has been the model of consistency of late in the NFL, Marino was for his entire career. Miami had average teams (sometimes worse) over the Marino years, but as long as he was playing and healthy, the Dolphins had a chance. If Marino played in today’s NFL with some of the offenses that have been built, 6,000 yards would be a possibility.
Other possibilities would be Brett Favre, Jim Kelly, and Troy Aikman; again, players who teams should be in the post season as long as they are healthy.
I know the backlash that is about to storm in from this choice based on how Brady suddenly became “overrated” after his team lost the Super Bowl this past season. Among active signal callers, who has played in more “big games” than the pretty boy? Exactly. IF Brady didn’tt see Eli Manning beat him twice in the final minutes, and if his defense would have come up with a stop in either of those games, we would be looking at another 4-time Super Bowl Champion. I like Brady here.
Other possibilities would be Eli Manning, Drew Brees, and Ben Roethlisberger; other “Big Game” players!
Do I need to say much more? Montana was the pinnacle of the position right about the time I started following the game in the late 80s (I am 30 years-old to give you some perspective). His 4-rings speak for themselves as do the countless highlights, plays and stories that surround his name. Not only does he take this category for me, I think Montana would be the ULTIMATE QB that you can take in any of these categories and not get any backlash.
Other possibilities would be Bart Starr, John Elway, and Johnny Unitas. I never saw Starr and Unitas, so those are based on stories and history but Elway definitely was a big game guy also.
I have wavered on this one more than any other category. There are so many directions you can go with defining a “one play” guy. Eli won it out because in the last 5-years, he has made more Big-Game-Big-Time plays than anyone else in football. Yes, Super Bowls rule all in the NFL so that is why Eli gets my nod. Of course, there could be different situations and scenarios that could sway this answer in other directions. I guess if I said “one play that caps off a game winning drive” Eli could be more understandable.
Other possibilities would be Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Vick and Tim Tebow. Yup, Tebow. Last year did any other QB make more game winning plays in game winning situations? Vick is exciting and Big Ben is Eli’s 1a.
Like Montana for the one game, I think John Elway is the picture in Webster’s Dictionary in this category. The drives that put the Broncos past the Browns put him on the map. He then achieved another level by upsetting the heavily favored Packers for his first Super Bowl to cap off the 1997 season. Elway was the ultimate one-drive, two-minute drill QB in his time and that was enough for me to choose him.
Other possibilities would be Joe Montana, Randall Cunningham and Fran Tarkenton. Montana’s blurb above speaks for itself while Cunningham is a lot like Vick and what I said before. Tarkenton is the interesting one. I brought this up on my show yesterday and he was brought up to the delight of many. I will put him on the list for my loyal listeners!
OK, time to tell me why I am wrong!