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The GOAT is the Deep Ball King, 2020!

This blog by Marc Lande is in response to the NFL Insiders Nick Shook article (read on nfl.com) headlined:

Next Gen Stats’ top 10 deep passers of 2020: Aaron Rodgers lands at No. 4

Published: May 24, 2021 at 05:21 PM

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Nick Shook

Around The NFL Writer

By Marc Lande

Now give all the credit to Nick Shook in his recent article for nfl.com for doing time consuming research of NFL NextGen stats…and formulating a statisical  analysis to determine the top NFL deep threat QBs.

Shook’s article is attempting to figure out who the best deep threat passer in the league are; coincidentally, something this blogger has been consumed with getting an answer to for many a season to help WFT win a Lombradi again, somehow!.

From a WFT perspective, the best passer we had this century belongs to that of Kirk Cousins. But according to Jay Gruden, Cousins did not have all the throws to run Gruden’s playbook. Alex Smith, Dwayne Haskins, and Taylor Heinicke hardly threw a ball over 35 yards in the air. Obviously, Cousins could but we have not had a consistent deep threat passing game since Cousins and WR DeSean Jackson left WFT.  Who knows if we will see 1 (a pure passer for WFT) emerge this season or decade, I hope so!

I understand that Nick Shook just like so many of these NFL insiders are simply looking to make a livelihood and putting out interesting, fun, prevocative pieces.

However, that being said, I think such an article goes more to prove that numbers lie. Now this blog of mine is probably 100,000 times worse than Nick Shooks because there is absolutely no scientific evidence or numbers or talking with NFL Insiders.  My data, my layman’s remembrance of QBs I watched last season and recollection that these are the quarterbacks who  seem to have the ability to deliver the ball downfield.   These QBs had the ‘bomb’ last season.

On field performance I raved about last season through tv watching and highlights:

#1– Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, GOAT in number Championships and intangibles. 

Now I believe that Tom Brady is the GOAT when it comes to intangibles for any modern-day NFL quarterback. But I have always argued in terms of a pure passer Brady would not even make the top 10 for NFL quarterbacks or even the top 5 for this century.  Definitely all time, pure passing greats include Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Warren Moon, Peyton Manning, Dan Fouts and Drew Brees… But it seemed that as the season went on this year with Tampa Bay, Brady developed more of a deep threat passing game than in prior years.

The Washington Football Team had trouble defending Brady 30 to 35 yard in the air over the shoulder down and out or post pattern passes.   He picked apart WFTs secondary  eventually putting away WFT in what this blogger calls ‘the capital riot game (because WFT fans, players and coaches were in obvious shell shock mode just days after our house was violated).’

In the championship game with only seconds left on the first half clock in probably one of the most difficult place to play football the frozen tundra of Green Bay, Brady hit his receiver in stride 50 yards downfield virtually locking up the championship for Tampa Bay. It was that throw alone—the best throw all post season by any quarterback 2020 that I give Mr. Intangibles or Mr. GOAT, #1 slot for deep passer coming into 2021.

#2: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, Quarterback. Russell Wilson had one of his best passing seasons as a quarterback numbers wise in 2020. Becoming more of a veteran passer than a run and pass magician, Russell Wilson seems to be able at times to throw a beautiful downfield spiral. There was a game during the regular season where Wilson placed a ball perfectly into the outstretched hands of D.J. Metcalf in stride 50 yards downfield for a td.  By far one of the best throws of the season for any quarterback that is why he winds up #2 on my list.

#3: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers, Quarterback. Rothlisberger is known for lofting beautiful spirals down field. When it comes time to game plan against Rothlisberger, a defense needs to consider that Rothlisberger has the deep passing arsenal in his pocket almost every play. WFT was able to shut down Rothlisberger however remember coming into the game in November Pittsburgh which were heavy favorites, we’re also undefeated mostly led by Roethlisberger’s arm.

#4: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs, Quarterback. Mahomes is another player who seems to be able to throw an incredibly accurate deep pass.

What I mean by deep pass is a pass that threats the deep zones.  A pass that is over 35 yards in the air and dropped or placed in the hands of that QBs receiver. Mahomes displays incredible downfield accuracy kind of like being able to throw a ball through a tire hoop 50 yards downfield. I am waiting to see who would win that contest in the NFL.

#5: DeSean Watson, Houston Texans, Quarterback.  Watson in a ton of off the field problems still on the field has an incredible golden boy of an arm.  Yet to see which direction his career will take to some reminscence of a younger Doug Williams. 

#6: Carson Wentz  then Philadelphia Eagles (now Indianapolis Colts, 2021). Carson Wentz seems like the most erratic passer in the league and. Is just steps away from either becoming a career back up or even be out of the league. Indianapolis could be Wentz last stop in a bad way or a good way for Wentz.  But for one who really examines Wentz’s game, the former top pick seems to have all the throws.  His mindset is another story.  

In week 4 Prime time win, Wentz hit a throw many NFL Qbs seem to be lacking. Tight spiral, in stride, the correct shoulder, away from the opponents….more and more teams seem scare of attempting balls that need to be accurate.  That is why Wentz made the list.   The week 4 completion was the kind of throw that so many quarterbacks can’t seem to even complete once no matter. 

Conclusion (in the early part of a new decade): No matter the numbers these days from articles like Shook, most of the quarterbacks in the NFL have major problems with deep pass accuracy.  The pure passing game is hurting for the most part even though both Brady and Mahomes displayed deep passing arsenals the 1st 2 seasons this decade.

Two more which I feel are on the cusp of breaking through as terribly accurate downfield passes, Jeff Goff (now with DET)  and the LaMar Jackson. Both had very good game against WFT in blowout wins for the LA Rams and Baltimore Ravens. But both players also missed on deep passes.  Both quarterback appear close.

The players on Nick Shook list from what I watch are not very good passers include:

 Duke’s own Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals and his OU arm.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns and his OU arm.

Finally, one QB I think is the GOAT—of being overrated that is.   Lynn Dickey, maybe?  Brett Favre, ok. But Aaron Rodgers is living offf of the Packers pedigree!   Yes, Aaron Rodgers is the most overrated passer in the history of the NFL.  You watch, he misses high and low left and right!

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers. Yes every time I watch Aaron Rodgers it seems as though he fills his stats sheet but he does not impress me as a pure passer…more so the talent assembled around him (and often it is referred to as the lack of talent) is able to break wide open, has the ability of his players to run after the catch and make Rodgers into a larger than life figure. 

I believe Aaron Rodgers is the most overrated quarterback in the history of the NFL, ever. Maybe Jordan Love can place dimes downfield…Ah, Love probably has about the same skills as Rodgers coming from Green Bay as Dickey!

Two players I wasn’t able to watch or did not see this year except highlights who WFT play against later this season if the game were held today:  Derek Carr and Justin Herbert.  Both the Raiders (now of Las Vegas) and the Chargers now of Los Angeles both normally have traditions a very good quarterbacking and very good pure passers.  ASK WFT about Jim Pluckett and Gibbs about Dan Fouts. 

So, even though this blogger did not see Herbert play in a live game for the LA Chargers last season as of May 24th, it appears week 1 WFT vs LA Chargers  the game should be offensive showdown pitting…Herbert against Ryan Fitzpatrick!


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