by Tommy Gimler
In what is becoming almost as big of a trend in the NFL as driving while intoxicated, slightly above-average quarterbacks are telling the football world that they are much better than that, even going as far as calling themselves elite, and then proving they actually are with a Super Bowl victory. Last year it was Eli Manning. This year, Joe Flacco. So, who’s next? Here’s a hint: Since we’re talking about slightly above-average quarterbacks, it’s not Mark Sanchez because he is just terrible.
Just how elite was Joe Flacco this postseason?
No quarterback in the last 11 postseasons has put up the numbers he did this year. 11 touchdowns, zero interceptions, 1,140 yards and a 117.2 rating. Better than both Eli Manning’s impressive run last year (9 TD, 1 INT, 1,219 yds, 103.3 rating) and Aaron Rodgers’ triumph two years ago (9 TD, 2 INT, 1,094 yds, 109.8 rating). And what makes Flacco’s performance even more ridiculous is the caliber of the defensive units he lit up. Denver and San Francisco ranked third and fourth against the pass during the regular season, and New England ranked ninth in regards to fewest points allowed.
While it’s highly unlikely, like my wife allowing me to plow her sister unlikely, that any of the guys on this list will put up numbers as impressive as Flacco’s 2012-13 postseason totals, here’s who we think could be the next “not super shitty but not top of the heap either” quarterback to make the preposterous claim that he’s elite, then play the entire regular season very “averagely” while we mock him, but then throw it in our ass with a spectacular postseason culminating in a Super Bowl victory:
Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan might have the one of worst nicknames in the NFL, but he is on the cusp of becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Matty Ice. That’s almost as bad as Goldie Hawn without makeup:
Jesus. She looks like fucking Yoda on the left.
Seriously, “Matty Ice” doesn’t make any sense, so we took a closer look at where this nickname came from. According to Wikipedia, it comes from a website he started while attending Boston College (MattyIce.com). When an athlete gives himself a nickname, it’s a given that he thinks he’s elite, and it’s only a matter of time before he tells the media as much. And like Flacco this past year, Ryan will be playing through a contract year this fall, meaning that questions about where he ranks among the NFL’s elite and how he feels he should be paid in comparison will no doubt be spewing from reporters’ mouths the minute training camp begins. And while Ryan’s regular season numbers suggest that he is nearing the status of an elite quarterback, his lack of postseason success would suggest otherwise. But of all the guys on this list, given where the Falcons are as a franchise and Matt Ryan is in his career, he has to be considered the odds-on-favorite, I’d say 2-to-1, to become the next Joe Flacco.
Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys
Believe it or not, between some of those multiple-turnover games, Tony Romo has shown flashes of brilliance. Unfortunately for him and Cowboys fans, as long as owner/GM/turd Jerry Jones is at the helm in Dallas, the Cowboys odds of competing for the Lombardi Trophy are pretty slim. Taylor Swift might be labeled “talent” before the Cowboys are crowned NFL champions. Romo’s offensive line is non-existent, his receivers can’t run correct routes, and his coach is a fucking idiot. But the Cowboys play in the NFC East, and they always seem to hang around until the final game of the year before being eliminated. And like Matt Ryan, Romo is in a contract year, and the questions about how he feels he ranks among the game’s best will certainly be thrown his way. So, the conditions are perfect in Big D for Tony Romo to say that he is an elite quarterback, and maybe for the Cowboys to get lucky as all hell, and I mean luckier than whoever is nailing Mila Kunis these days. Huh, speaking of lack of talent, I think it’s Ashton Kutcher. I don’t know. The only thing that matters is it isn’t me. Anyway, if that happened, Tony Romo would become the next Joe Flacco.
Matt Schaub – Houston Texans
Unlike the previous two guys, Matt Schaub isn’t in a contract year. But that doesn’t mean questions won’t or don’t already exist about whether or not he can play at an elite level. If head coach Gary Kubiak had to answer questions about his quarterback less than a day after the Texans lost to the Patriots this year, you can bet your ass that more questions are going to follow when training camp gets underway. The Texans already have 14/1 odds to win next year’s big game, sixth best for any team, so the possibility of getting to the Super Bowl isn’t a stretch. But as the last few sentences prove, any story involving Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans is about as sexy as Goldie Hawn without her makeup: