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  1. #1

    Durability - An Under-recognized QB Element



    With the Roethlisberger Ribgate coming to a head now seems like a good time to praise Joe Flacco (and hopefully not jinx him by posting this) for sticking through each game and staying healthy and to bring attention to what I believe is an under-recognized component of a great QB.

    Joe is currently 3rd in active game streaks for a QB behind Eli Manning and Philip Rivers and only two games away from tying for 20th all time. For a historical perspective, he would move to 17th at the end of the season and all the way to 7th if he finishes next year without missing a game as well.

    It doesn't matter if you're Joe Montana - if you're not on the field you're not winning games. This is an element that doesn't get brought up (except in my mind) when I see pundits and the like composing their Top QB lists. I'm a realist - I know Joe isn't Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or Drew Brees. But a lot of times you'll see names like Vick, Romo, or Schaub ahead of the name Flacco.

    Michael Vick hasn't played a full season since 2006. Schaub very well may have cost his team a Superbowl trip given the handful they were in the 2011 playoffs and how good they look this year.

    Even if a QB has played in 97% of his games, such as in the case of Matt Ryan, missing a game can cost your team big. Ryan has been the starter in all but two games, but one of which resulted in a Redman-led loss to the Eagles. The impact on the season? Had Ryan played and defeated the Eagles they would have made the playoffs instead of Philadelphia.

    That's what makes Joe's consistency special and it's not for lack of Joe getting hit either. Unlike some teams where it seems the QB has enough protection he could throw from a lawn chair in the backfield, the Ravens have been in the top half of teams suffering sacks for all but one of Joe's seasons.

    It's not all chance. Certain QBs are consistently hurt and others like Favre and the Mannings can string together decade long streaks. It's a combination of genetics, toughness, play style, and a little bit of luck. Whatever the make-up of those elements is for Joe it's working.




  2. #2

    Re: Durability - An Under-recognized QB Element

    I was saying this just the other day about the Bears and Cutler.




  3. #3

    Re: Durability - An Under-recognized QB Element

    Cutler slipped my mind but is a perfect example. In 2010 he got knocked out in the playoffs against GB and Hanie came up just short. The following year the Bears start out 7-3, Cutler gets injured and without him the team finishes 1-5. They could be on the same ride again this year.




  4. #4
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    Re: Durability - An Under-recognized QB Element

    Agree with the kudos to Flacco. He has played banged up but, to his credit, never even mentioned the injuries (thus not getting credited with being a "tough bastard" like his Steelers counterpart. Joe's injuries were revealed by the team after the season.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Durability - An Under-recognized QB Element

    Brett Favre is the one who really needs to be praised if you are talking about durability. His streak is more than 4 times as long a Flacco's. You can't compare someone who stated 77 straight games to players who have started hundreds.
    He Who Dares.....Wins




  6. #6

    Re: Durability - An Under-recognized QB Element

    Quote Originally Posted by GOTA View Post
    Brett Favre is the one who really needs to be praised if you are talking about durability. His streak is more than 4 times as long a Flacco's. You can't compare someone who stated 77 straight games to players who have started hundreds.
    Uhh...actually Favre has missed starts whereas Flacco has played 100% of his games.

    Just kidding, I agree with what you've said.

    The point I'm trying to make is that a QB should only be graded against how his contribution brings the team Lombardi trophies. This includes a QB's accuracy, not turning the ball over, and playing in the clutch. It also includes being on the field and being able to contribute in the first place. This last characteristic I think is overlooked given how often I see QB's recognized ahead of Joe who end their team's success for the year due to injury.

    The fact that Joe could move to 7th all-time next year on that list is a testament to how we've been able to compete 5 years in a row.




  7. #7
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    Re: Durability - An Under-recognized QB Element

    I agree Shambla. Staying healthy is key. Many of the great QBs like Peyton, Brady and Marino only missed games from serious injuries that kept them out for significant time. Starting so many games is clearly a factor in why they are considered to be great players.

    The other player who has to be mentioned is Walter Payton who holds the record for Running Backs at 178 games. To start that many consecutive games at a position where you get hit 30 times a game is absolutely incredible.
    He Who Dares.....Wins




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