Why Having an Erratic Quarterback is Not Necessarily a Bad Thing
By: The Football Girl | Posted: October 03, 2012
er.rat.tic – Not even in pattern or movement; unpredictable
The domain names, erraticquarterback.com and erraticqb.com are available, which is a little surprising considering how often quarterbacks get labeled with this Jekyll-and-Hyde term.
Monday’s night’s Cowboys-Bears matchup featured two of the most erratic quarterbacks, not only currently in the league, but in its history.
A quick look at Jay Cutler’s season - Week 1’s passer rating: 98.9 Week 2: 28.2 Week 3: 58.9 Week 4: 140.1 – and erratic is probably the among the first words to come to mind. (Because we’re talking Cutler, other words may creep in there too.) Tony Romo’s passer rating dropped from 129.5 to 74.1 during the season’s first two weeks, making him unpredictable, and yes, erratic.
Erratic quarterbacks tend to make mistakes. They sometimes cause losses. They can be unimaginably frustrating. They also tend to franchise quarterbacks.
Whether you love or hate them Cutler and Romo are certified franchise guys. And look at other franchise quarterbacks this season. Most of them are also erratic; the degree of which determines their ultimate success. Before last week against the Saints, Aaron Rodgers had been overthrowing the ball like crazy. Drew Brees has made all kinds of poor throws into coverage, resulting in five interceptions in four games. Matthew Stafford has been off target. And indecisiveness Eli Manning’s hasn’t found much success with his deep throws. Peyton Manning has had hiccups adjusting to this new body and diminished arm strength. Mike Vick’s issues can be through into a super-sized cocktail. All of things lead to the same storyline: talented, mostly elite quarterbacks who are making mistakes.
But give me that erratic quarterback any day of the week because, by definition, if he’s erratic it means he’s met success. And not just a tiny bit of success. Some of the above-mentioned erratics have won Super Bowls, broken passing records, and had strings of error-free precision passing. But in their simplest form, these guys can read defenses and make throws that non-erratics can’t. That is the line between franchise and non-franchise.
When the erratic guys chuck the mistakes, whether it be for a week or the playoffs, the results are oftentimes magical.
You know who’s not erratic? Mark Sanchez. His string of abysmal performances has swelled to the point that its easy to forget this is the guy who has won playoff games. He’s just bad now. Also not erratic? Matt Cassel and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Like Sanchez, their proportion of bad play is overpowering. And while Russell Wilson, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Tannehill have shown signs of hope, there is not enough of a breadth of positive work to move them into the erratic category. With all of these guys, their positive traits simply aren’t strong enough to overcome their liabilities.
If you can’t have Tom Brady (who is pretty much in his own category), an “erratic” guy is not a bad backup. And while Cowboys fans may not feel this way at the moment, it’s much better than the alternative.
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