Seattle Sports Hell NFL Power Rankings, Vol. 9

Steve Young comparisons.  You know I love ’em!

Actually, no, no I don’t.  See, Steve Young is, for some reason, considered The Greatest Running Quarterback of All Time.  Not necessarily because he was the greatest RUNNER, but because he was the greatest QUARTERBACK who also happened to run a lot.  He’s the quarterback all these other guys – Cam Newton, RGIII, Vince Young, Michael Vick, Russell Wilson – are compared to.  And it’s all fucking bogus.

It’s idiotic to call Steve Young a running quarterback, first of all, because he wasn’t.  He was a quarterback, first and foremost.  He’s 25th all time in passing yards with 33,124.  You generally don’t pass for those kinds of yards if your primary weapon is your legs; it just doesn’t happen.

What I think is a better indicator of a quarterback’s abilities is Completion Percentage.  Steve Young ranks 7th all time, with 64.3% of his passes completed.  He led the league in completion percentage in 5 of his 15 years!  He had the 4th highest all time single-season completion percentage back in 1994 with 70.3%.  He has two of the top ten single-game performances with regard to completion percentage.

You wouldn’t call Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger or Brett Favre “running quarterbacks”.  Yet, this is the company Steve Young keeps.  Among the all time greats up and down the list of stats for quarterbacks.  You name it, he’s up there.

As far as his running is concerned, he only had one season where he ran for over 500 yards.  That season (1992) only ranks 22nd on the all time list for quarterbacks.  He averaged less than 300 rushing yards per season.  Maybe compared to some stiffs like Dan Marino or Peyton Manning that sounds like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things, 300 yards in a season isn’t something you’re basing an offense around.  Other teams weren’t game-planning around stopping Steve Young the rusher.  They wanted to see if there was some way to slow down his ability to hit open receivers in stride!

I assure you, his offensive coordinators weren’t developing running plays for Steve Young to carry the load.  Not like they’ve done for Vick or Newton or RGIII.  My hunch is, most of Young’s yards came when a play broke down and he had a wide-open running lane.  In that sense, yeah, it’s nice to have a Steve Young back there:  a guy who will throw for over 30,000 yards in his career, but also someone who can run for the occasional first down if need be.

That doesn’t make him a running quarterback, though!  Not by the definition these other running quarterbacks are defined.  No one is calling John Elway a “running quarterback”, when in reality he ran for less than 1,000 yards LESS than Steve Young over his career.  Tell me those two guys aren’t similar in a lot of ways.

Do I want Russell Wilson to be the next Steve Young?  Hell yes!  But, not because I think his 300 rushing yards per year will be all that spectacular.  I want him to be the next Steve Young in the sense that I want him to throw for between 30,000 and 40,000 yards and make the Hall of Fame!  I don’t need a guy who can run the Read Option.  I need a guy who can throw a 25-yard seam route.

  1. Houston Texans (8-1):  That’s a very good Chicago team they just beat.  The NFC might have gotten more muddied this past weekend, but the AFC appears to be a 1-horse race as long as certain quarterbacks and running backs stay healthy.  (Last Week:  2)
  2. Atlanta Falcons (8-1):  They lost, on the road, to a divisional opponent, against a Hall of Fame quarterback still in his prime.  And they BARELY lost at that.  The Falcons are still the class of the NFC so far, but registration is filling up fast.  (Last Week:  1)
  3. Chicago Bears (7-2):  The Bears lose, but they stay the 3rd best team in the NFL.  Their stock should plummet, however, if Cutler is forced to miss time.  (Last Week:  3)
  4. San Francisco 49ers (6-2-1):  Yikes.  A loss at home to the Rams could’ve opened up the floodgates.  As it stands, a tie puts a crimp in their chances for a First Round BYE.  I like this team to right the ship, but if Alex Smith is forced to miss significant time, that opens the door wide open for the Seahawks.  Who saw that sentence coming before last season?  (Last Week:  4)
  5. Green Bay Packers (6-3):  Four of their last seven games are on the road.  All of those games are against tough opponents (Det, NYG, Chi, Min).  They’ll likely need to win out at home with one more road win to nab a playoff spot.  I don’t see why they couldn’t do that.  (Last Week:  6)
  6. Baltimore Ravens (7-2):  Oh, you killed the Oakland Raiders?  That must make you a rough-and-tumble band of misfits.  I am SO not buying the Ravens to do anything better than 2nd seed in the playoffs followed by a quick exit.  (Last Week:  7)
  7. New England Patriots (6-3):  This defense is really pathetic.  I mean REALLY pathetic!  They were supposed to destroy Buffalo and they barely squeaked out of there.  This team will continue to win as long as it can score 35+ points a game, but does anyone see this team being able to do that every week in the playoffs?  (Last Week:  8)
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3):  Quarterbacks dropping like flies this weekend!  Enjoy your Top 10 ranking while you can, Steelers, because as long as Big Ben is out, you can kiss that and playoff certainty goodbye.  (Last Week:  9)
  9. Denver Broncos (6-3):  Is there any doubt about why Manning chose Denver over seemingly every other suitor?  Look at the second half of this schedule!!!  The final 8 games:  @Car, SD, @KC, Tam, @Oak, @Bal, Cle, KC.  Is there anyway Denver DOESN’T go 7-1 in those games?  Holy crap will the hype machine be on overdrive come playoff time.  (Last Week:  10)
  10. New York Giants (6-4):  That’s right, it’s all going according to plan.  Start out red hot, lose two games going into the BYE week, have everyone killing themselves as they jump off the bandwagon, tread water by going 2-2 out of the BYE, then turn it on the final two weeks to end up 10-6 and practically assured you never have to step foot in your home stadium come playoff time after the Wild Card round.  Excellent … (Last Week:  5)
  11. Seattle Seahawks (6-4):  We could be as good as 9-1 (having blown those games against Arizona, St. Louis, and Detroit), or we could be as bad as 3-7 (had things shaken out differently against Carolina, New England, and Green Bay).  Personally, I couldn’t be happier with our 6-4 start.  We’re a half game behind Green Bay for the 5-seed and we’re not that far off the division lead.  I really like our chances for making the playoffs.  (Last Week:  11)
  12. Indianapolis Colts (6-3):  Look, this isn’t a good team, all right?  This is an OK team that is currently on a 4-game winning streak because they’ve played four consecutive shitty teams (Cle, Ten, Mia, Jax).  Obviously, you can’t discount them entirely, because they did beat Green Bay.  Due to their good fortune of being in a cupcake division (minus Houston, obvs), it’s highly likely they’ll at least contend for that final playoff spot.  Considering they don’t play Houston until week 15, with a rematch in week 17, you have to wonder:  will Houston be playing for ANYTHING at that point?  Something to consider as you pencil in your playoff predictions.  (Last Week:  12)
  13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4):  Boy, would I like to see this team play New England this season!  They might surpass 100 points combined and break the sound barrier doing so.  (Last Week:  14)
  14. Minnesota Vikings (6-4):  How jealous do you think Vikings fans are of Seahawks fans right now?  We’ve only got one front-running team in our division.  The Vikings have two AND they’ve lost head-to-head matchups against Seattle & Tampa.  This could be the most meaningless 6-4 team you’ve ever seen unless they figure out a way to win their final six games.  (Last Week:  16)
  15. Dallas Cowboys (4-5):  Welp, they won a game they had to win, and killed the Eagles franchise in the process.  Pretty good week to be a Cowboys fan.  (Last Week:  17)
  16. Cincinnati Bengals (4-5):  Welp, they won a game they had to win, and knocked the Giants back a peg or two.  Pretty good week to be a Cowboys fan.  (Last Week:  19)
  17. New Orleans (4-5):  Welp, they won a game they had to win, and removed Atlanta from the ranks of the unbeatens.  Pretty good week to be a 1972 Dolphins fan.  (Last Week:  23)
  18. Miami Dolphins (4-5):  A red-hot, 4-3 Dolphins team has lost two straight, most recently to a VERY inept Titans team.  Looks like the Dolphins might be who we thought they were, it just took a little longer to recognize that fact.  (Last Week:  13)
  19. Detroit Lions (4-5):  Dribbling that game against the Vikings away after their 2-game winning streak has all-but-destroyed their playoff chances.  With their brutal schedule going forward (2 against GB, Hou, Atl, Chi), consider the Lions frisky but done.  (Last Week:  15)
  20. Washington Redskins (3-6):  I have absolutely nothing to say about the Redskins.  (Last Week:  18)
  21. San Diego Chargers (4-5):  Remember when Philip Rivers was awesome and Chargers fans were convinced they’d won that trade with the Giants?  And then remember how Eli won two Super Bowls and Philip Rivers became a turnover machine?  (Last Week:  20)
  22. St. Louis Rams (3-5-1):  You had so many chances to win that game!  SO MANY CHANCES!  Now you’ve got a tie that will all but guarantee you last place in the NFC West.  Congrats.  (Last Week:  21)
  23. Tennessee Titans (4-6):  Yeah, you beat the Dolphins, BFD.  (Last Week:  27)
  24. Arizona Cardinals (4-5):  Four of their final seven are on the road.  They might have the toughest remaining schedule in the league (Atl, StL, Jets, Sea, Det, Chi, SF).  It’s POSSIBLE they become the first team in history to win their first four games and go on to lose their final 12.  (Last Week:  22)
  25. Oakland Raiders (3-6):  Just a mess.  Just an absolute mess.  (Last Week:  24)
  26. Philadelphia Eagles (3-6):  Ditto.  (Last Week:  25)
  27. Buffalo Bills (3-6):   Ditto again.  (Last Week:  28)
  28. Cleveland Browns (27):  Ditto once more.  (Last Week:  26)
  29. New York Jets (3-6):  Ye gods!  (Last Week:  29)
  30. Carolina Panthers (2-7):  What happened???  (Last Week:  30)
  31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8):  One pitiful performance on Thursday night.  I would watch the MLS full time before I became a fan of this team.  (Last Week:  31)
  32. Kansas City Chiefs (1-8):  Well, you came ever-so-close to beating the Steelers last night.  Then again, you knocked out Big Ben and couldn’t figure out a way to beat Byron Leftwich?  You deserve your ranking.  (Last Week:  32)

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