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Is Andy Dalton the real QB yard stick?

It is often theorized that Andy Dalton is the definitive measurement of QB mediocrity; Mr Average. Anyone rated above Dalton are long term franchise QBs whilst anyone below are labelled as poor – but is this a fair assessment?

At The Redshirt Freshman we believe there are other candidates for this measurement. Here are our favorite candidates for the “QB yard stick”.

Jay Cutler

A common opinion about Andy Dalton is that he holds the Bengals back. They are so often a “one-and-done” team in the playoffs and the blame is usually placed on the shoulders of the QB.

Well at least the Bengals reach the Playoffs – the Chicago Bears haven’t featured in them since 2010. Ok, so the Bears defence takes a lot of the flack, particularly in a tough division, but Jay Cutler doesn’t exactly inspire a legitimately stacked offence, yet he’s not in any real danger of losing his job.

Jay Cutler gives the Bears a serious problem. He’s not a complete disaster, so simply cutting him is not an option but they’d probably bite the arm off any team or draft pick that could be provide an upgrade.

Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan – a very good Quarterback. However it’s not often mentioned that he too has a lot of “one and done” appearances in the Playoffs.

Ryan has a little edge over Dalton with a few better performing years under his belt. Playing with a team, that in recent years has appeared weaker in a few key areas, he has proved himself as consistent and reliable. He would surely have a higher position than Dalton in any QB rankings and any Head Coach would likely give up multiple draft picks to have Ryan as their franchise leader.

Alex Smith

Smith – he’s not going to throw a lot of interceptions but he’s not likely to win you a game with his arm either. Some might actually argue that Smith is underrated, as a guy who doesn’t get enough credit for running a decent offence exactly as he asked too.

But really…is Alex Smith the guy you want leading your franchise? The Chiefs have developed a decent defence, lean heavily on Jamaal Charles and finally have a legitimate #1 receiver in Jeremy Maclin. Is this the year for Alex Smith to blow us away? As right now he feels like a good QB in a good setup – another guy who could easily be replaced if a more “dynamic option” comes along, which was the case when Colin Kaepernick impressed in his opportunity at the 49ers, leading to Smiths exit. Although is that really working out for the 49ers….

Andy Dalton

Yes, I know, you thought we were arguing against making Andy Dalton the yard stick. But how can you ignore his disappointing performance in all his post-season games; making us wonder if he really is a “great” QB.

The Bengals have a solid roster on both sides of the ball but never feel like a legitimate contender for a divisional title, let alone a Superbowl appearance. Even with solid options at Running Back and Wide Receiver it seems that the game plan to beating an Andy Dalton led offence is to make sure the game is on prime time TV – the QB has a horrible record when it comes to televised outings. Can Andy Dalton ever be taken seriously or is he just a “best we can hope for right now” option – making him a serious candidate for the QB Yard Stick measuring scale.

Our conclusion

The simple answer is there is no definitive yard stick for a QB. As long as people have different opinions as to who is better than who there cannot be a clear measurement. We know who the Elite QBs are and we know are the duds are but the large group making up the middle are hard to rank until they make a step up or down in success.

Although the concept of a QB Yard stick is all fun and games there is an important point to take away from this. There are 7 Billion people on the planet and that number is growing; how are there only a handful of truly great QBs in the NFL? That folks is something to Ponder about another time.



No Ponder … not now

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