Tom Brady, Cam Newton, and other QBs have had stunning seasons so far. Will it last?
Reuters, AP Images
Every week, our panel of sports fans discusses a topic of the moment. For today's conversation, Emma Carmichael (writer, Deadspin), Jake Simpson, (writer, The Atlantic), Patrick Hruby (writer, ESPN and The Atlantic), and Hampton Stevens (writer, ESPN and The Atlantic) talk about this football season's stunning offensive accomplishments.
You may have heard by now that it is The Year Of The Quarterback (TYOTQ). The Worldwide Leader has branded it so, and they even came up with a friendly abbreviation (YQB) and self-produced statistic (the Total QB Rating, or QBR). The QBR will help us track the YQB, you see.
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I'm not yet convinced that the QBR will revolutionize the way we quantify football skills, but I will say that the first two weeks of the young season have been almost endlessly entertaining because of superb quarterback performances. In Week One, we saw two passing records broken : Cam Newton threw for 422 yards in his first pro game, the best debut for a rookie QB in NFL history, and then Tom Brady became the first QB to throw for more than 500 yards in a season opener. Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Matthew Stafford have all had pretty stellar debuts, as well. (There's also, though, the traumatic prospect of a season without Michael Vick and Peyton Manning--but I'll stick to the optimistic stuff for now.)
TYOTQ has just been really fun to watch—although I should admit that I say that as a non-Fantasy player who doesn't get enraged every time Rodgers loses three yards on a drop-back. Casual fans of the game love to see quarterbacks thrive. There's no obvious joy in watching five-yard rushing plays as a team slowly marches up the field. We want to see our QBs go long, and they have been (and sometimes, they just get kinda lucky). It almost makes us forget that we're watching and celebrating a deadly game!
I think TYOTQ has lived up to the (branded) expectations, but that's in part because I'm an unabashed Patriots fan, and so far Brady can do no wrong. What about you, Jake?