Friday, October 11, 2013

Forgot About that $#!+ Friday: When Joe and Eli Were "Elite"

Joe: Hey man, remember when people thought we were good? Eli: Dude, that was like last month.
By Joe Parello  @HerewegoJoe

I know it seems like a hundred years ago, but believe it or not, many thought Joe Flacco and Eli Manning were "elite" quarterbacks in August.

The two inconsistent signal callers had led their respective teams to the last two Super Bowl championships, outplayed Tom Brady in their last four combined meaningful match ups with the future Hall of Famer, and put together three of the more memorable postseason runs in NFL history.

What has happened since then? Reality has kicked in.

Joe and Eli, at their best, are two of the best quarterbacks in the league. Flacco's arm strength and Manning's accuracy, especially under duress, make both of them formidable opponents when things are going right. When things aren't? You get results like both of their last two games.

Joe in his last two games: 2 TDs, 6 INTs on 54% passing.

Eli in his last two games: 3 TDs, 6 INTS on 49% passing.

On the season, Flacco is doing slightly better, with a 5/8 TD to INT ratio, but Eli just can't stop the bleeding, throwing 9 TDs with 15 INTs (In one additional game). The Ravens are still winning, sitting at 3-2, for the same reason Baltimore has always won with Flacco at the helm: They play good defense and special teams.

The Giants aren't winning because, well, their quarterback has thrown 15 interceptions in six games. You don't win too many games when your QB is pretty much a guarantee to throw multiple picks each time out.

So, while they're great at their best, the fact that both of these guys can be just so damn bad has dropped them from the pantheon of "elite" quarterbacks, if you truly thought they belonged there. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger, another guy you could argue is "elite," isn't exactly doing himself any favors with the Steelers sitting on zero wins. But, unlike these two, he's been the lone bright spot on his team.

Another stat to consider: Since ESPN began tracking total QBR in 2006, Flacco and Manning have combined for eight games below a 10 QBR. As a reminder, QBR runs from 1-100, so posting a 10 or below is TERRIBLE. Flacco owns five of those performances, including a game that I'm pretty sure Roethlisberger has exceeded with his BAC, 0.3.

Flacco has another game to his name in which he didn't even record a full point on the QBR scale, a 0.8 stinker against Denver last year. That makes the Ravens QB the only player in league history to notch two sub-one point QBR games. Heck, just recording one game below a full point puts you in the "elite" company of names like Painter, Dilfer, Sanchez, Carr, Gradkowski, Grossman and Skelton.

Hard to say two guys that can play some of the worst games of the last decade are "elite."

No comments :