“NFL-QB League-But Not This Weekend”
It’s a highlife weekend of the NFL schedule, showdown Sunday, the AFC and NFC Championship games, with the winners headed to the Super Bowl.
It’s usually a weekend of electricity. The biggest names on the stage, really good teams, and quarterbacks who would put the fear of God on defenses.
Used to be, but not that way, at least this season.
Tom Brady is the marquee name in lights this Sunday for New England. That’s the way it usually is.
But the other 3-quarterbacks are pedestrian or journeyman. Their teams have gotten to this weekend because of great defense.
Brady is (18-3) in postseason games at home, and (108-18) in his career at home. He and Bill Belicheck are attempting to get a 6th Super Bowl ring.
Nick Foles, once upon a time, had a 27TD-2 interception season for the Eagles, but that was years back. Since then he is nothing more than a journeyman, and no longer a sure thing, Sunday to Sunday. In fact, since he replaced Carson Wentz, gone with an injury, the Eagles have just 4-touchdowns in 9-quarters of football covering three games.
In Minnesota, no Teddy Bridgewater, then no Sam Bradford, and now Case Keenum. Yes the Vikings are (14-3) but it has more to do with that Purple defense than anything else. Keenum was an after thought on NFL rosters, but has become a great game manager in Minnesota.
In Jacksonville, so much was expected of Blake Bortels, but he has not delivered, at least not consistently in terms of wins. He has put up big passing numbers, but his teams have not won.
This year, with a better run game, and an amazing defense, he has gotten the Jags deep into the playoffs, even though he runs hot and cold. A playoff quarterback throwing for 87 and running for 88-yards in a win. Not what we normally expect this time of the year.
But it has been defense that has been the different. The Jaguars numbers are overwhelming, 55-sacks, 33-takeaways.
The Vikings and Eagles are 1-2 in the rankings on defense, with some awe inspiring stats, like 25% conversion rates on third downs, and minimal points allowed.
It might not be pretty this weekend. Tom Brady has lots of firepower that might just wear out the Jags defense.
That Philly-Minny game may be more about Fletcher Cox and his Eagles friends and Ev Griffin and the Vikings gang.
Tom Brady takes the field on Sunday with a QB rating of 102. Keenum is at 98.3. Bottles at a poor 84. Folks plays this weekend with a league low 79.5. Don’t think we have seen numbers this bad at a position so important, on a big-big NFL weekend.
In a league known for quarterbacks, this looks like the strangest weekend we have ever seen.