Sure, you can sniff the playoff's by running the ball and playing good defense but when push comes to shove, all 32 teams are looking to their quarterback's to get them over the hump. Aint that right John Harbaugh? If last year's Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens don't tell you all you need to know about where Football has transformed into, I don't know what will.
For the past decade the Ravens has predicated themselves on playing defense and not turning the ball over. Sure that won them a Super Bowl in 2000, but for 10+ years after that, they found themselves going home on Championship weekend multiple times. That is until Joe Flacco shared some of Ray Lewis' deer antler spray and transformed from Average Joe to Superman and went an unbelievable 11 TD to 0 INT last postseason.
Take yesterday's slate of games for example. Chip Kelly, the new mad scientist in the NFL and his Philadelphia Eagles (who all of a sudden went from a team who couldn't get out of their own way, into some type Tecmo Super Bowl offense) welcomed in the San Diego Chargers. Mike Vick and Phillip Rivers. Two turnover prone, perennial disappointment quarterbacks right? Well they both, along with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, broke an NFL record. , On Sunday. Philip Rivers, Michael Vick and Aaron Rodgers each threw for 400 yards and didn’t throw an interception, which is the first time that has happened in NFL history.
As a matter of fact, this season there have been five 400-yard, no INT performances through Week 2 and the record for a full season is six. Dan Marino’s record of 15 400-yard passing games might not be around for too long, as Drew Brees sits behind him with 12.
One of those guys is Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Peyton went a measly 30-of-43 for 307 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-23 win over the New York Giants. Manning's performance gave him nine touchdowns on the year following his seven-touchdown showing in Week one.
According to the Broncos, Manning is now the first player in NFL history that has thrown for nine touchdowns and no interceptions through the first two games of a season. Manning also continued his fifteen-game streak of having a passer rating of 90.0 or better. Peyton has 769 yards through two games this season and is on pace to throw for 6,152 yards and 72 touchdowns this season. (Sure, it's only two games but my goodness!)
The NFL looks a lot like the Arena Football League through the first two weeks. You can chalk it up to the league babying these quarterback's and making it damn near impossible to play defensive back and to register a clean sack without hitting the guy too low or too high. Or moving your head at an illegal 92.3 degree angle with intent to injure (it's all garbage) or you can just chalk it up to these college quarterback's being better than ever. Let's face it, there are about 5 teams who have tossed the 2013 season aside with hopes of #TankingForTeddy. That would be Louisville Cardinals start quarterback and expected number one pick Teddy Bridgewater. Take a look at some of these quarterback's to come into the NFL and make Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell even worse. Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, even Cam Newton and Ryan Tannehill can ball out.
WR's have become almost unstoppable. Take a look at guys like Julio Jones, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal .... what? Eddie Royal? Yes, Eddie Royal. Eddie's got himself 110 yards and FIVE TOUCHDOWNS through two weeks, tying his career high, set in his rookie season.
Bet you're trying to think who leads the league in rushing yards through two weeks right? It's not Adrian Peterson. Before I tell you, just know that teams finished with the fewest rushing yards in the opening week of a season since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002.
During week one, Lesean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles and Shane Vereen of the New England Patriots were the only running backs to surpass 100 rushing yards, with Vereen just one yard over. A record six quarterbacks had more than 350 passing yards in opening games FYI.
You said it Gil! During the decade of the 1970s, five quarterbacks threw for more than 400 yards in a game.
“It’s the style of the game now,” Gil Brandt, a former vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys and now an NFL.com analyst, said in a telephone interview. “It’s a passing league now and it starts in high school. Then they go to college and that’s become a pass-oriented game.”
“All you have to do is look and see how the running game is treated in the draft now,” Brandt said.
This year's NFL Draft marked the first time since 1963 that no running backs were taken in the opening round.
We bounced back a bit in week two with six backs topping the 100 yard mark. Only LeSean McCoy and Doug Martin have averaged 100 yards per game in the first two weeks.
It seems that if you don't have a franchise quarterback, you are out of luck. If you can't find one, make sure you don't try to persuade yourself that you have one and pay him as if he is one. You will bury yourself even more than you already are.