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RazorStar

Historical QB Rankings

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102. Archie Manning (New Orleans Saints 1971-1982, Houston Oilers 1982-1983, Minnesota Vikings 1983-1984)
7th Place Saints Quarterback
Career Record: 33-97-2 (25.76%) 102nd out of 102 


Record in Games with Good Defense: 27-22-1 (55.00%) 102nd out of 102
Record in Games with Bad Defense: 6-75-1 (7.93%) 102nd out of 102
Percentage of Games with Good Defense: 50/132 (37.88%) 96th out of 102


Wins above Average Starter in a 16 Game Season (-2.886)

 

20120726_mse_se1_261.0.jpg

 

Bringing up the rear in our historic list is a QB who never managed to have a winning record as a QB. While people do like to blame the misfortunes on the poor team around him, Archie was not a stalwart by any measure. As a QB he's never had a winning season, he's never made the postseason, and he's never been an hallmark of efficiency either. It honestly makes one wonder how he was able to start so many games for the Saints before finally being replaced. In addition to having the worst record out of all QB's in the study, he also has the worst record when his defense plays well, at just a few hairs above .500, and the worst record when the defense doesn't show up, winning just 6 games and snatching 1 tie in 82 outings. Archie's Wins above Average are so bad that the next player has a larger gap between him and Archie, than he does between him and the player in 67th. These are the kind of numbers you'd expect from a Nathan Peterman, or a DeShone Kizer... not a QB who played for 14 years in the league. If you're pointing towards good genes making his sons successful, it's probably all on their mother's side.

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101. Chris Miller (Atlanta Falcons 1987-1993, Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams 1994-1995, Denver Broncos 1999)
7th Place Falcons Quarterback and 5th Place Rams Quarterback
Career Record: 34-59-0 (36.56%) 100th out of 102


Record in Games with Good Defense: 24-15-0 (61.54%) 99th(T) out of 102
Record in Games with Bad Defense: 10-44-0 (18.52%) 94th out of 102
Percentage of Games with Good Defense: 39/93 (41.94%) 86th(T) out of 102


Wins above Average Starter in a 16 Game Season (-1.335)

Image result for chris miller falcons

 

Chris Miller is one of those QB's you will easily forget about given time. He just barely made this list with 93 starts, and suffered a lot of concussions over his career. Despite a lot of mediocrity in his career, he did manage to make a playoff appearance, and the Falcons even won a playoff game before getting ousted by the eventual super bowl champion Redskins in 1991. He spent two years with the Rams combining with another Chris to make the most injury prone QB duo in the league for a couple of years. He tried to revive his career in Denver after a lengthy retirement but another concussion three games in ruined that plan. He wasn't a very effective winner, and had a high propensity for turning the ball over. He's another QB who you really wonder how the Falcons couldn't do better. Maybe they just got complacent because they couldn't lure free agents over back in that era.

Edited by RazorStar
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100. Jeff George (Indianapolis Colts 1990-1993, Atlanta Falcons 1994-1996, Oakland Raiders 1997-1998, Minnesota Vikings 1999, Washington Redskins 2000-2001)
4th Place Colts Quarterback, 6th Place Falcons Quarterback and 8th Place Raiders Quarterback
Career Record 43-78-0 (35.54%) 101st out of 102


Record in Games with Good Defense 32-14-0 (69.57%) 79th out of 102
Record in Games with Bad Defense 11-64-0 (14.67%) 99th out of 102
Percentage of Games with Good Defense 46/121 (38.02%) 95th out of 102


Wins above Average Starter in a 16 Game Season (-1.162)

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Ah, Jeff George. This is probably a name you were expecting early. Well wait no longer, the original Sex Cannon has arrived. From being the first overall pick in Indianapolis, he flamed out quickly after his first contract, ended up in Atlanta doing the same thing before bouncing around to a few teams before finally retiring in 2006. Although he hadn't even sniffed the field since 2001. The big highlight of his career was that he led the league in passing yards in 1997 and... that's it. Historically he's a statue with a big giant arm so while you might get a lot of yards, you also get a lot of sacks, interceptions and terrible terrible throws. He had a lot of character issues, blew up with a lot of his coaches, and is just one of those classic busts. Still, he managed to make 121 starts over his career, which is a lot more than a lot of first round QB's can say. 

Edited by RazorStar
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Not Jeff George, say it ain't so.. If he's at 100, the quality of player has to only be going down. Kappa.

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99. Ryan Fitzpatrick (St. Louis Rams 2005-2006, Cincinnati Bengals 2007-2008, Buffalo Bills 2009-2012, Tennessee Titans 2013, Houston Texans 2014, New York Jets 2015-2016, Tampa Bay Bucs 2017-Current)
4th Place Bills Quarterback and 7th Place Jets Quarterback
Career Record 51-72-1 (41.53%) 93rd out of 102


Record in Games with Good Defense: 43-17-1 (71.31%) 76th out of 102
Record in Games with Bad Defense 8-55-0 (12.70%) 100th out of 102
Percentage of Games with Good Defense 61/124 (49.19%) 66th out of 102


Wins above Average Starter in a 16 Game Season (-1.123) (-1.136 with 2018 data)

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I should tell you that my numbers are only up to 2017, so it is possible that Ryan Fitzpatrick may have improved slightly over the past season (or not, who can say), but for whatever it's worth, sir Ryan here definitely deserves to be on the bottom of these kinds of lists. As a journeyman he's become sort of a legend around the league for supplant teams QB's with decent but not spectacular play, and then crapping the bed once he gained a starting role. Despite being on 7 teams in his career, he never started more than 16 games for any other teams besides the Bills and the Jets, but still managed to put out 124 games played (and counting) in his illustrious career. However despite teams constantly taking chances on him, he's proven to be below average in getting his teams over the hump, even when his teams put out good defensive performances. He's one of the better examples of performing well below what his defense gives him, at least most of the other guys around him have had hideous defenses to work with, Fitzpatrick's have been only slightly below average, and that scoring defense is hindered further by Fitzpatrick's propensity to throw interceptions. It's sort of a miracle that teams need to keep going to the Fitzpatrick well, but he just keeps finding a way to get in there.

Edited by RazorStar
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98. Steve DeBerg (San Francisco 49ers 1978-1980, Denver Broncos 1981-1983, Tampa Bay Bucs 1984-1987, 1992-1993, Kansas City Chiefs 1988-1991, Miami Dolphins 1993, Atlanta Falcons 1998)
7th Place 49ers Quarterback, 7th place Bucs Quarterback and 7th Place Chiefs Quarterback
Career Record 58-96-2 (37.82%) 98th out of 102


Record in Games with Good Defense 37-24-2 (60.32%) 101st out of 102
Record in Games with Bad Defense 21-72 (22.58%) 80th out of 102
Percentage of Games with Good Defense 63/156 (40.38%) 90th out of 102 (-8)


Wins above Average Starter in a 16 Game Season (-1.055)

steve-deberg.jpg?w=405

Steve DeBerg is probably better known for sticking around the league so damn long that he ended up being the oldest QB to play in a super bowl at 44 years old with the Falcons (he didn't play that game, but still). He originally retired in 1993 before coming back for one last shot of glory and came very close to actually getting a super bowl ring. However, DeBerg's career is marred by being replaced by some of the legends of the game. He was originally slated to start in Bill Walsh's West Coast Offense before the 49ers drafted Joe Montana because DeBerg could not win games. He stayed on as Montana's backup before being traded to Denver, who managed to snag John Elway from the Colts. After backing him up for a while he ended up in Tampa where they drafted Steve Young. However the Young experiment didn't exactly work out for Tampa, and neither did DeBerg who did an admirable job at losing close games for them. He eventually got traded to the Chiefs in the late 80's and led them to a couple of playoff berths before bouncing around as a backup and eventually retiring. DeBerg has had one of the more interesting QB trajectories in the league and provides a neat parallel to Ryan Fitzpatrick above him. Fitzpatrick gets called in to steal the jobs of young rookies with loads of potential, DeBerg gets his job stolen by young rookies with loads of potential that they realized. As an aside, I could not find a picture of this guy that did not make him look like he was shitting his pants, or about to shit his pants. That's probably why he ends up so low on this list.

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97. Norm Snead* (Philadelphia Eagles 1966-1970, Minnesota Vikings 1971, New York Giants 1972-1974, 1976, San Francisco 49ers 1974-1975)
(Loses the first 5 years of his career due to era cutoff) 
5th place Eagles Quarterback and 6th Place Giants Quarterback
Career Record* 35-60-4 (37.37%) 99th out of 102


Record in Games with Good Defense 23-13-1 (63.51%) 97th out of 102
Record in Games with Bad Defense 12-47-3 (21.77%) 85th out of 102
Percentage of Games with Good Defense 37/99 (37.37%) 97th out of 102 (0)


Wins above Average Starter in a 16 Game Season (-1.028)

image.jpeg

 

Apologies for the thumbnail sized image, finding images of the old guys are hard to come by. Norman Snead is not very well regarded by many, and a large part of it has to do with the fact that he was on some abysmal Eagles teams for his career. The signature mark of his career isn't anything he did, but the circumstances that brought him to Philadelphia in the first place. He was part of a trade with the Redskins for hall of famer Sonny Jurgensen, and you can tell who won that trade. He also happened to be the QB on the field when the Eagles fans booed Santa, so you know, another perk. Snead often lead the league in interceptions, and was one of those guys who tried to put too much on his own shoulders. He doesn't end up at the bottom, but he was never the player that the Eagles needed him to be. He bounced around the league with a few other teams after his Eagles stint, including his only winning season as a Giants QB in 1972, but never really made an impact on the league the way his contemporaries did.

Edited by RazorStar

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96. Jon Kitna (Seattle Seahawks 1997-2000, Cincinnati Bengals 2001-2005, Detroit Lions 2006-2008, Dallas Cowboys 2010-2011)
7th Place Seahawks QB, 6th Place Bengals QB and 3rd Place Lions QB
Career Record 50-82-0 (37.88%) 97th out of 102


Record in Games with Good Defense 33-19 (63.46%) 98th out of 102
Record in Games with Bad Defense 17-63 (21.25%) 90th out of 102
Percentage of Games with Good Defense 52/132 (39.39%) 93rd out of 102 (-3)


Wins above Average Starter in a 16 Game Season (-0.865)

Image result for jon kitna

 

Play the pipes Jonny Boy, we have our first QB in the Journeyman tier, and whoo boy is Jon Kitna a journeyman. Mostly known for his work backing up above average quarterbacks, Kitna had a long career and played for a lot of mediocre to downright bad teams in his career. Perhaps the highlight of his career is coming in for Carson Palmer in the postseason after Kimo Van Oelhoffen broke his leg, and playing... well miserably. He's been to the playoffs twice and been inconsequential both times, he has one of the worst records of any QB in this study, and he was one of the Lions QB's during the 0-16 season. If you need a capable backup, Kitna was about as reliable as it gets... but if you needed him to start a serious game? You were in trouble. Still, he's not bad for a guy who looks like a thumb.

Edited by RazorStar
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Damn you said Archie Was low but holy shit. Can you imagine if NFL Network got a hold of this? They'd lose it lol.

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95. Ron Jaworski (Los Angeles Rams 1974-1976, Philadelphia Eagles 1977-1986, Miami Dolphins 1988, Kansas City Chiefs 1989)
4th Place Eagles Quarterback
Career Record 79-74-1 (51.62%) 57th out of 102


Record in Games with Good Defense 73-28-0 (72.28%) 71st out of 102
Record in Games with Bad Defense 6-46-1 (12.26%) 101st out of 102
Percentage of Games with Good Defense 101/154 (65.58%) 7th out of 102 (-88)


Wins above Average Starter in a 16 Game Season (-0.841)

Jaworski led the Philadelphia Eagles to their first Super Bowl; he was still an Eagle when he bought his first golf course.

 

Ron Jaworski, or Jaws as he was colloquially known, is the next player to grace this list, and whew boy, is he an interesting character to dissect. Among all of the QB's thus far, he is the first to walk in with a winning record, which usually means you should be a lot higher than 95th. Well, as it turns out, Ron Jaworski had the 7th best defense out of all the QB's I looked at in this sample. Terry Bradshaw, Jim McMahon, Russell Wilson, Roger Staubauch, Ben Roethlisberger, and Donovan McNabb (another Eagle), were the only QB's to have better defenses than him, and 5 of those 6 won a super bowl, while the 6th was on a perennial contender year in and year out. Jaws had a strong three year prime from 1979-1981, but the rest of his Philly tenure was filled with tough losses before being replaced in 1985 by the phenom Randall Cunningham, and wiling out the rest of his career as a decent backup for some fairly good teams. He did have the longest starting streak for a QB at 116 games, but that streak has long since been surpassed by other QBs thanks to all of the new rule changes. With the teams the Eagles had around him, you would have expected a lot better than a loss in the super bowl and a few early playoff exits, the Eagles of the 80's had the defense to compete for a title every year. But Ron Jaworski was not even average at taking those opportunities his defense gave him, and he was pitiable in the few games where they didn't show up, having the second worst record among all QB's studied in games where his defense gave up 21+ points. 

Edited by RazorStar
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Oh yeah, the NFL Network would lose their heads if they found out their patron saint Archie Manning was just that bad. Like, yes the Saints teams were hot dog shit in his time, but he was not helping the cause, and he wasn't the only good player in a bad situation. He was just as trash as the rest of that team.

and Ron Jaworski is the greatest case of a QB's underperforming based on what their defense did for them. I have a lot of underachievers coming up, but his is the widest gap by a fair bit.

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Ah, I was wondering where Jaws would be on this list. Now we're on #McNabbWatch.

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I'm sure Cunningham has to be pretty high up there on being on the receiving end of some great defensive performances. The Eagles are such a weird franchise. That's a lot of choking lol.

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I'm sure Razor's mathematical approach means we are going to see some huge names at surprisingly low positions on the list. Anyone want to take some guesses?

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Eli has never really been that good has he? lol. Wouldn't be too surprised about that one. 

I will say Aaron and Tom are lower than we'd expect. Big Ben too. Brees probably gonna be decently high.

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94. Vinny Testaverde (Tampa Bay Bucs 1987-1992, Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens 1993-1997, New York Jets 1998-2003, 2005, Dallas Cowboys 2004, New England Patriots 2006, Carolina Panthers 2007)
6th place Bucs QB and 3rd Place Browns QB and 6th Place Jets QB
Career Record 94-118-1 (44.37%) 89th out of 102


Record in Games with Good Defense 75-34-1 (68.64%) 83rd out of 102
Record in Games with Bad Defense 19-84 (18.45%) 95th out of 102
Percentage of Games with Good Defense 110/213 (51.64%) 53rd out of 102 (-41)


Wins above Average Starter in a 16 Game Season (-0.807)

GettyImages-360680.0.jpg

 

Well it sure didn't take long to find ourselves another first overall pick on this list, and it didn't take long for us to grab Steve DeBerg's succcessor in Tampa Bay. Vinny Testaverde was the Bucs first overall pick in 1987, and had one hell of a career path as he played until his late 40's for 7 different teams. When you put all of his starts together, his teams defenses end up being right around the middle of the pack, terrible early in his career, good to great in the middle, and then awful in Dallas before he went on his pre-retirement tour of New York, New England and Carolina. He was a former Heisman trophy winner and expected to be the saviour of the woeful Tampa franchise like Doug Williams and Steve Young before him. However, he wasn't able to reverse the curse and the Bucs moved on after 6 straight losing seasons. He went to the Browns next, and after winning the QB spot from Bernie Kosar, got his first winning season under Bill Belichick's tutelage. He kept the starting role even through the move to Baltimore in 1996 where he finally showed why he was drafted first overall. The peak of his career was probably 1998 where in his first season with the Jets he was able to take them all the way to the AFC Championship game, before being beat out by the Broncos. He stuck around for a long time after that, but his abilities were never quite the same as age finally caught up with him. Still, he was able to play at an acceptable level until his 40's which was pretty rare back in the day. I mean it still is, but we've been spoiled by some modern QB's who we will see later. Vinny was an interesting guy, that's for sure, but he could never overcome the poor Tampa franchise, and he may have hung on to the pads a little too long to see his rank stay a little bit higher.

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93. Jim Harbaugh (Chicago Bears 1987-1993, Indianapolis Colts 1994-1997, Baltimore Ravens 1998, San Diego Chargers 1999-2000)
3rd Place Bears Quarterback and 3rd Place Colts Quarterback and 5th Place Chargers Quarterback
Career Record 68-73-0 (48.23%) 73rd out of 102


Record in Games with Good Defense 55-29-0 (65.48%) 94th out of 102
Record in Games with Bad Defense 12-45-0 (21.05%) 91st out of 102
Percentage of Games with Good Defense 84/141 (59.57%) 22nd out of 102 (-81)


Wins above Average Starter in a 16 Game Season (-0.790)
Image result for jim harbaugh bears

 

Oh dear sweet Jim Harbaugh. So before I get into any detail about this ranking... Mel Kiper was right. When all you have is a Jim Harbaugh, you have to take a Trent Dilfer. The numbers don't lie. 😛 Ok, now let's get to the meat and potatoes of this whole thing. If Ron Jaworski is the biggest underacheiving QB with great defenses, Jim Harbaugh here is second. the 90's Bears will were still good defenses even if they weren't as dominant as they were in the mid 80's, but Jim wasn't very effective at turning strong defensive performances into wins. He wasn't much better at shootouts either, his early career was marred with interceptions and just general game manager statlines. The Bears needed a little bit more than a guy who could just hand off, and they never really got much more than that from Harbs there. If it wasn't for 1995, Harbaugh would have just had another uneventful career bouncing around for a few teams. But for some reason there was a fire lit under his ass, and he pushed a mediocre Colts team to the wild card round. Then he put up 35 on the Chargers who had made the super bowl the year prior, survived a tough game in Arrowhead before finally getting ousted by a hungry Pittsburgh squad. He never did anything close to that ever again, but that is a lone bright spot for a guy who was never an all star. Harbs obviously did much better as a coach, making it to the playoffs in 3 out of his 4 years, turning Alex Smith into a capable starter, turning Colin Kaepernick into a leaguewide phenom for a couple of seasons, and coming a Joe Flacco away from winning a super bowl.

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92. Ken O'Brien (New York Jets 1983-1992, Philadelphia Eagles 1993)
5th Place Jets Quarterback
Career Record 53-63-1 (45.73%) 87th out of 102


Record in Games with Good Defense 39-22-1 (63.71%) 96th out of 102
Record in Games with Bad Defense 14-41-0 (25.45%) 62nd out 102
Percentage of Games with Good Defense 62/117 (52.99%) 45th out of 102 (-47)


Wins above Average Starter in a 16 Game Season (-0.743)

 

Image result for ken o'brien

 

Ken O'Brien was part of the legendary 83 Draft class. Problem was, he was always just the other guy in that discussion. Elway, Marino and Jim Kelly are all going to have long discussions on why they were among the greatest to ever play the game, Ken O'Brien will mostly just be remembered as a mediocre Jets QB in a long line of those. At the very least, he wasn't a colossal bust like Todd Blackledge (who only started 29 games in his career, most of those in backup duty), but Jets fans should be bitter on what they missed out on, because Dan Marino was taken just three picks later. That's not to say that Ken didn't have his share of success, the Jets were legitimately talented in the 80's, as can be seen by his better than average defensive rating. The Jets went to the playoffs three times in his career, each time being a quick one and done exit. The Jets drafted his replaced in 92, and after starting the season 0-3, he never played for the Jets again, finishing his career with the Eagles as a backup to Randall Cunningham and Bubby Brister. O'Brien was one of those guys who you couldn't count on reliably to win you games where the defense did it's work, and that's why he's so low despite an above average win percentage in games where his defense let up a lot of points, and that's why he's so low on this list.

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91. Kerry Collins (Carolina Panthers 1995-1998, New Orleans Saints 1998, New York Giants 1999-2003, Oakland Raiders 2004-2005, Tennessee Titans 2006-2010, Indianapolis Colts 2011)
4th place Panthers QB and 5th Place Giants QB and 7th Place Raiders QB and 6th Place Oilers/Titans QB
Career Record 87-102-0 (46.03%) 86th out of 102


Record in Games with Good Defense 72-30-0 (70.59%) 77th out of 102
Record in Games with Bad Defense 15-72-0 (17.24%) 97th out of 102
Percentage of Games with Good Defense 102/189 (53.97%) 40th out of 102 (-51)


Wins above Average Starter in a 16 Game Season (-0.713)

Image result for kerry collins

 

I often talk about how QB's have interesting careers, and sometimes... players just don't. They get so many chances because they were picked early and they never do anything with those chances. Enter a man who made his career on fleecing teams, the original Sam Bradford, one Kerry Collins for sale. So let's get the obvious out of the way, Collins has had a smaterring of good defenses over his career, primarily with the Panthers and Giants, but he got some good performances out of those Titans squads as well. Collins was blessed with a long career, a decent arm, and that sweet sweet pedigree that let him bounce from team to team with nary a batted eye. He's in the top 20 in both career passing yards and completions, which says a lot about just how long he hung around. He started out as the answer to the Expansion Panthers' prayers, taken 5th overall by Sub Capers. He lasted three and a bit seasons there, going to an NFC championship in 97 before quitting on the team after a poor start in his 4th season and a wee bit of alcoholism. The Saints snatched him off waivers, got nothing out of him, and he found his way to New York the very next season. He threw for a lot of yards, made a lot of completions, but also fumbled like a madman, threw a lot of interceptions, and had one of the worst performances in the super bowl by any QB in history. He continued to drink and dunk his way onto the Raiders, Titans and Colts before finally hanging up the cleats, and ridding us all of the Jeff Fisher of QB's.

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Kerry Collins was surprisingly good in 2008 when the Titans needed him to be, and for that I'll always love him.

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Was that the year the Titans started 10-0 or something? I remember them and the Giants were both undefeated and TGP had some HEATED discussions about which team should be #1 in the power rankings. :lol:

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Literally nothing about that 08 Titans team makes any goddamn sense. 

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