August 22, 2018 | Posted in: Publishing

Recently, I had some Twitter action, which is rare, regarding NFL Hall of Fame Quarterbacks and when they took over their respective teams and became franchise quarterbacks long before being deemed Hall of Fame Quarterbacks.

One of the problems with the Hall of Fame Quarterbacks and analysis is the number of future Hall of Fame QBs currently playing, or retired recently; it muddles the conversation.  Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers (he eventually gets in based on longevity) and … Aaron Rodgers.

The group listed above has produced eight titles.  All but Rodgers started in their rookie year, taking over their teams as the franchise in their rookie seasons.  The NFL is a tough go for first-year QBs who start immediately.  DeShaun Watson destroyed the model’s expectations in six electrifying games in 2017.  He got injured.  Will he return to the same statistically impossible QB we saw in 2017 for 16 games?  Playing behind the worst offensive line in the NFL because of the Watson trade and not having a pick until the third round in the 2018 draft.

Green Bay has back to back Hall of Fame QBs

Brett Favre entered the hall in 2016 on the first ballot.  Aaron Rodgers will enter the Hall of Fame on the first ballot five years after he retires.  For 26 years, Green Bay has had a Hall of Fame QB.  Do you know how much EASIER the NFL is when a Hall of Famer is quarterbacking your team?  Green Bay has been competitive for the playoffs going on three decades.  Favre’s streak of consecutive games speaks monuments, and while Rodges has an injury history, he’s played 142 of 149 possible games since taking over for Green Bay, awkwardly, in 2008 when he entered his fourth season.  It may seem a statistical improbability, but it has happened … Joe Montana and Steve Young for the San Francisco 49ers during their heyday of five titles between 1981 and 1995.  Young was Montana’s back-up for four seasons yet saw chunks of action over those seasons before taking over in 1991 and forcing Montana to be traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993.  Young won the title in 1995 and entered the Hall in 2005.

Correlation between playing behind a Hall of Famer?

Rodgers sat three seasons behind Favre.  Young sat three seasons behind Montana.  Two instances in twenty-six years of NFL free agency.  We could have another possible example as Jimmy Garroppolo sat three seasons behind Tom Brady and looked every bit the part of a franchise QB in San Francisco, although his statistical sample is small.  Complete, injury-free 16 game seasons.  One of the most exciting things to measure during the 2018 NFL season is Jimmy Garoppolo’s performance.  Hall of Famers mask holes on the teams, holes filled through free agency, trades, and the draft.  26 seasons of Hall of Fame play at the NFL’s most important position and Just two titles?  Who’s making personnel decisions in Green Bay, maybe they should take a look at something analytical every once in a while?  Peyton Manning, two rings?  Tom Brady has more titles than Favre, Rodgers, and Peyton Manning.  Luckily the better Manning QB, Eli, and his two rings tip the scales in favor of Tom Brady haters.  Garoppolo looks every bit the part to be a franchise QB, the occurrence before becoming a Hall of Famer.  Math is hard.

The Baker Mayfield dilemma

Did the Browns draft a Hall of Fame QB this past April when they selected Baker Mayfield #1 overall?  Did the Browns draft the next Drew Brees?  Let’s wait to find out; it makes no sense whatsoever.  Ready?  Mayfield is already cited as the future and the franchise but let’s wait to measure his performance in a regular season game.  Given=Tyrod Taylor is not a Hall of Fame QB.  Why even make the trade for Taylor when you know you’re selecting a QB #1 overall in the upcoming draft?  Don’t muddle the situation by signing a “bridge” QB, what the fuck does that even mean?  A “bridge” QB?  Draft your guy #1 overall, he’s the starter and let’s try to make things easier on him by protecting him, running the ball, and playing good defense.  Cleveland is playing for one win in 2018.  What do they have to lose by starting Mayfield Week 1 against Pittsburgh?  Expectations are tempered because Mayfield is a rookie QB.  Use the Houston Texans and DeShaun Watson as your example from last season.  It took 30 minutes of football before Watson took over for six amazing weeks before being injured.  If Hue Jackson wants to keep his job past Week 1, I expect a similar decision in Cleveland.  If the Browns go into halftime Week 1, at home, against Pittsburgh down 28-10 because Antonio Brown torched the rookie Ward, Le’Veon Bell was an absolute nightmare, and while Cleveland got pressure on Roethlisberger, it wasn’t enough or at the right times and Baker Mayfield doesn’t take over, well, can you fire your head coach at half-time?