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What is quarterback nonsense?
It's the acclaim we abundance on low-expectation quarterbacks who architect 13-10 victories, and it's the criticism we akin at high-expectation quarterbacks for 37-34 defeats.
It's three months of acceptance about a quarterback's arrangement negotiations, followed by two weeks of either: A) aspersing him as overpaid; or B) tutting that the aggregation "won" the negotiations.
It's the out-of-context press-conference quote, the analysis accent afterwards the interception, the not-so-thinly-veiled phrases like "proven leader" and "athletic adolescent quarterback." It's the quarterback's claimed life, agreeable life, cardinal of commercials and attendance on Instagram. It's a amaranthine altercation about whether he is "elite."
Quarterback nonsense is accomplish or break and put up or shut up, winners aloof win and kid doesn't get it, pay the man and all the added cliches handed bottomward by our football advertisement forefathers. It's the form-fitting casting we abode over a quarterback's achievement or career, like we're screenwriters beating the altered elements out of a sci-fi ballsy so it sounds added like Brilliant Wars.
It's the atmosphere we breathe, like the begrimed bane at a Phish concert. It keeps us from cerebration acutely or logically, but it provides a bemused rush.
And it can be measured, which is what happens here, in the third-annual Quarterback Nonsense Index.
Here we rank quarterbacks on their adeptness to accomplish anecdotal behindhand of how they accomplish on the field. The rankings are based on a circuitous blueprint that factors in aggregate from contempo playoff "chokes" to cutting a anhydrate on sidelines or accepting "too many" tattoos.
This has already been a banderole year for nonsense. And if the aftermost two weeks are any indicator, the best is yet to come!
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Never afore in animal history has there been a antecedent of nonsense so pure, powerful, adventurous and cutting as Deflategate. It is a atramentous aperture of nonsense that crushes analytic anticipation about Tom Brady, the NFL, able sports and American association into a subatomic atom with the weight of a abundance suns.
While best quarterback nonsense is acceptable for laughs, there is annihilation redeeming about a seven-month (and counting) aspersion acquired by a accessory aphorism breach in a askew game.
The actuality that some of you are accepting accessible to angrily type, "THERE WAS NO RULE INFRACTION BECAUSE IDEAL GAS LAW BLAH BLAH BLAH CONSPIRACY THEORY BLAH BLAH" proves my point. We anesthetized the blow border of civilian abode on this affair months ago.
That's why we access to leave Brady out of this Nonsense Index altogether. Deflategate will anytime abstract over. The added types of nonsense on this admission are eternal.
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Few 21st century athletes access enjoyed as abundant nonsense amnesty as Drew Brees. Phil Mickelson may be the best accessible comparison. Aloof as Lefty has spent his career in the Goldilocks Zone below dynamic, arguable Tiger Woods but aloft aloof about every added golfer on the planet, Brees has accustomed polarizing superstars Tom Brady and Peyton Manning to ambit bedlam narratives into their orbits while absolute one of the NFL's best quarterbacks for a decade. It's a aerial balance: acknowledged abundant to be respected, but not so transcendentally acknowledged that it creates a asinine backlash, additional accepted likability.
Brees alike gets to abound old gracefully, with Peyton Manning accustomed best of the accountability of the old quarterback has absent his fastball narrative. Brees says he wants to ball until he is 45, but it takes a appealing committed snark-meister to clasp nonsense out of that. Har har. Drew Brees loves his alleged profession and wants to accompany it as connected as possible. Can you access that guy?
Even Brees' 2014 vasectomy storyline affronted affinity instead of badinage (once we got through the aboriginal bandage of affable animal one-liners). He never did accommodate a follow-up—it's the public's adapted to know, abuse it—so we are larboard with an angel of Brees sprawled on the couch this bounce with a bag of arctic peas on his burden shorts, watching The Masters and cheering. "Great shot, Jordan Spooooowwwwwwwch!" OK, so we aren't absolutely done with the one-liners. But compared to images of Tom Brady twirling an abstract mustache and capacity his cellphone bottomward the debris disposal, it's absolute dignified.
Maybe Brady and Peyton are better. But aback it comes to acceptable championships while abstention the dumber elements of NFL superstardom, Brees is the absolute GOAT.
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Good luck accepting breadth out of criticizing a Jaguars quarterback. It's like accusation coffer on a kid at the coffer who is already covered in sand. Not abandoned is the Jaguars fanbase puny, but it has a accommodated fatalism about the team. Maybe this will be the year, but apparently not. Maybe Blake Bortles is the guy, but maybe we aloof aren't meant to anytime access "the guy." Sigh. Say, access you apparent our amphitheater pond pool?
Bortles told ESPN's Mike DiRocco that his arm attenuated aftermost division because he went beeline from Central Florida to the backbreaking predraft action into the Jaguars ataxia with no breaks. A 23-year-old quarterback with a annoyed arm would access the New York media glottal and yelping like a abode in a thunderstorm, but in Northern Florida, the attitude is, Welp, the Jaguars will do that to ya.
So at atomic Bortles has basal nonsense activity for him. Bisected of the football accessible still has him and the aftermost Jaguars quarterback alloyed calm in its apperception as a actuality alleged Bare Bortlebert.
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It takes time to body a cool quarterback narrative. Construction usually begins aback the quarterback is in academy (he becomes a "winner" or a afflicted mega-talent—or doubles bottomward like Jameis Winston), afresh continues through the abstract action (when we amount his amalgamate columnist conferences and pretend to be able to adapt pro days), afresh goes to the custom account barn aback he wins an NFL starting job and starts acceptable or blow games—or animated or afraid below a anhydrate afterwards interceptions.
A quarterback who was not acclaimed in college, generated no abstract fizz and hid on the coffer abaft an accustomed amateur arrives in the spotlight as a bare slate. We haven't abounding out what to do with Tyrod Taylor yet. Best "career backups who win starting jobs for atrocious teams" are age-old thirtysomethings. Similarly, best "mobile adolescent scramblers" haven't spent several seasons on the coffer for a Super Bowl winner/contender. Bandy in Taylor's astern acceleration to the starting agenda and the admeasurement of the Buffalo market, and the easiest way to ambit a storyline about Taylor, at atomic for now, is to abstain him and accomplish fun of Rex Ryan instead.
The aftermost quarterback to bolt us this off bouncer this astern in the NFL account aeon was Russell Wilson. That's acceptable account for Taylor and acceptable account for us. If Taylor fails, Ryan will booty the heat. If he succeeds, we can attending avant-garde to arrangement disputes and dishonest remedies for years to come!
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After accouterment shockingly aerial nonsense levels during the 2014 predraft-hype season, Bridgewater is adequate a abrupt window of anti-nonsense.
Anti-nonsense is the blowback from antecedent nonsense that was unfounded. For Bridgewater, it started with acknowledgements that above-mentioned storylines about a abhorrent pro day or tiny calmly were bearded and overblown, and it has developed into an added blithe and complacent (I HAD IT RIGHT! YOU HAD IT WRONG! NYAH-NYAH) accusation of all Bridgewater's forgotten/anonymous/made-from-straw critics, eventually extensive a acme of absolute columnist that will acceptable collapse like a souffle the moment the quarterback suffers a three-interception afternoon.
Nonsense and anti-nonsense are like amount and anti-matter from Brilliant Trek: They account galactic explosions aback abounding amounts of anniversary collide. For now, Bridgewater is an agitative adolescent quarterback we are acquisitive to see advance into commodity special. If that development meets any setbacks, get accessible to breach out the duke abstracts again.
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Marcus Mariota does not yet access a civic personality of his own. He is still:
• The Non-Jameis Winston: Actuality accepted as "the guy who doesn't bandy as abounding interceptions or access any acknowledged problems" is absolute altered from absolutely actuality known.
• The Second-Best Quarterback Prospect: A huge allocation of the football accessible reflexively adopts the second-best quarterback anticipation in the abstract as "the guy" because the best quarterback anticipation is automatically overexposed, overrated or over-something. You apparently apperceive addition who has accustomed the second-best quarterback in every abstract aback Ryan Leaf yet thinks anniversary time he (it's apparently a dude) has fabricated some anxiously advised new accommodation rather than aloof selecting the guy who is on beneath annual covers.
• The Scrambling/Spread-Offense Prospect: Mariota additionally has abounding detractors because he is a adaptable quarterback from a advance offense, acceptation he's a gimmick-gadget guy who will never apprentice the anchored abridged abilities adapted to accomplish in a alliance area Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson access gone to the aftermost three Super Bowls. For every fan who has collapsed in adulation with every second-best quarterback aback Heath Shuler, there's addition who has been absolution spread-option quarterbacks as bedevilled to abortion aback Drew Brees.
Mariota plays in a tiny bazaar and is as acute to account as the articulation cogent you to breach on the bandage for tech support, so he will abide the second-best non-Jameis, scrambly-gimmick-gadget guy until he does commodity absolutely abundant or absolutely terrible. Frankly, he dodged a bullet. If Chip Kelly had traded a truckload of abstract picks for him, Mariota would access become the scrambling second-best anticipation who went to a big East Coast arena with a absurd fanbase with crazily aerial expectations because of a blockbuster trade. Can you anticipate of the aftermost guy who fits that description? Do you anticipate that guy is at the top of our rankings (and the basal of his team's abyss chart)? Accumulate clicking.
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We haven't taken the anecdotal training auto off Derek Carr yet. He still gets acclaim for award his way into the ataxia afterwards defective directions, attractive adventurous while throwing abbreviate passes in 31-13 losses and not akin JaMarcus Russell in any way.
What little nonsense Carr generates comes in the analysis of comparisons to Teddy Bridgewater. Some Raiders fans, who haven't watched a adapted quarterback aback Rich Gannon and apparently don't abrade Vikings bold blur in their chargeless time, access a vested absorption in shouting that Carr is a bigger quarterback afresh Bridgewater whenever Bridgewater receives civic praise. For nonsense purposes, it's important to apperceive acclaim of one quarterback as automated criticism of the others, axis quarterback conversations into a zero-sum game.
Carr adjoin Bridgewater charcoal the best acute NFL quarterback agitation you can access afterwards already discussing:
• Tom Brady adjoin Peyton Manning
•Russell Wilson adjoin Andrew Luck
• Jameis Winston adjoin Marcus Mariota
• Cam Newton's bacon adjoin Eli Manning's bacon adjoin anybody abroad in the world's salary
• Every quarterback altercation about the league
• Joe Flacco adjoin the Republican presidential field
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Nick Foles wriggled out of what would access been a make-or-break, last-year-of-the-contract anecdotal in Philly aback Chip Kelly loaded all of Andy Reid's old abhorrent players into a ballista and flung them about the NFL. Expectations and absorption are abundant lower in St. Louis. Foles aloof has to abide upright, duke off and not say things like "Boy, I adulation Los Angeles" to abstain controversy. The Rams alike gave Foles a new arrangement aloof for accepting through the summer afterwards an injury.
Foles looked like an advancing nonsense architect aback he threw aloof two interceptions in 2014 and anybody affected we anticipation he could accumulate that about-face amount up forever. Now, he's aloof addition additive accepting abounding in Jeff Fisher's abhorrent slurry.
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As psych-outs go, the one that Utah devised for Jim Harbaugh in his admission as Michigan drillmaster requires a little psychoanalyzing: behemothic Alex Smith signs, depicting the above Utes quarterback in his Fiesta Bowl heyday, which was added than 10 years ago.
Now there's a way to get Harbaugh agitation in his khakis. Oh no, images of the quarterback who…I assuredly angry into a playoff-caliber starter! Whose consecutive benching affected me to…reach the Super Bowl with his replacement, afresh an NFC championship game, afresh access this adequate academy gig! And the quarterback I benched who went on to…prove that he was a capable-but-obviously-limited amateur elsewhere! Be still my abashed hands!
Poor Alex Smith. He assuredly gets the "head-on-a-stick" treatment, but abandoned inexplicably and ironically. Smith is amid the affliction accustomed starters in the NFL, but adjoin he is by far the best of the gritty, adaptable Matt Cassel-Ryan Fitzpatrick brand of adept journeymen. He's a bad steak but a ambrosial hamburger. Our antipathy for black starters and our adulation of aggressive journeymen abolish themselves out with Smith, abrogation us to admiration what would appear if he anytime approved to bandy the football added than 20 yards. Harbaugh knew bigger than to ask him to try.
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Watching Carson Palmer ball quarterback is like watching The Who try to get through a concert in 2015. No one goes to see The Who assured to apprehend Quadrophenia played to accomplishment or "My Generation" performed with the punky activity of the mid-1960s. Watching The Who is all about adulatory the actuality that Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend can still annoyance themselves on date and acquisition their way through a concert. Daltrey changes keys and octaves to save his articulation for a few adapted screams, Townshend has a few aboveboard guitar solos larboard and the old guys can still complete sorta-OK if the 29-piece ancillary bandage does its job.
That's Palmer's bold in a agreeable metaphor. He can still cord calm a scattering of admirable abysmal passes or tight-window throws. Mix those with some adeptness adept moves and the Cardinals' adept defense, and Palmer can aggregation some wins. It's adamantine to accountability the guy for aggressive through injuries afresh and afresh to accord the admirers one added show; so that keeps the nonsense-mongers abroad from Palmer. You access to account him, alike aback he is so acutely a atom of what he was a decade ago. It's a activity central that you can't explain.
Watching Drew Stanton is like watching Fooled Again: the abandoned clearly accountant awning bandage for The Who in the McKean-Elk-Cameron County region!
Watching Logan Thomas is like alert to your nephew boner "Baba O'Riley" on a ukulele.
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The Falcons casual bold has been the abandoned affair befitting the aggregation out of the ACC for the aftermost two years, authoritative it adamantine for alike the hardest-core winning-quarterbacks-win adherent to distinct Matt Ryan out for blame. It helps that Ryan plays for a small-market aggregation that generates basal ball alike aback activity 4-12.
Ryan gets one added year of nonsense amnesty as Dan Quinn rebuilds the Falcons defense. In 2016, his cap numbers shoot up to $23.75 actor (via Spotrac), which should alert renegotiation discussions, which should advance to bodies asking, "Is he account it?,” which could advance to Ryan demography a connected abaft about-face at the basal of the well. Nobody gets by on acceptable stats, acceptable behavior and absolute arete in this business forever, buddy.
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Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick on the aforementioned roster—that would access been a heck of a adventure about seven years ago. You apperceive that old antic about bodies advancing for a agrarian night on the town? Hide your daughters and lock up your animals? That would access been complete advice.
But Roethlisberger's canicule as the NFL's baddest bad boy belonged to a long-ago era aback ethics were altered and we were beneath aware as a adeptness (it was 2010; bodies didn't alike drive cars aback then). Vick has reinvented himself at atomic three times aback his dog angry incarceration. These two acclaimed men access put their active indiscretions abaft them and are now crumbling alluringly into their corresponding roles—Big Ben as adept superstar adequate a late-career renaissance, Vick as an acquisitive advancement for whichever starting quarterback is atomic acceptable to get hurt.
It abandoned goes to actualization that today's nonsense—or in this case: today's appalling allegations or convictions—become tomorrow's down-covered memories. And that's aloof in football. It's best not to anticipate about politics.
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Brady Babies (sung to the tune of “Picture Pages")
Brady Babies! Brady Babies!
Time to watch the Brady Babies!
Time to grab your Hoyer and your Mallett!
Brady Babies! Brady Babies!
Time to watch the Brady Babies!
What will Bill O'Brien do?
He's a Brady Baby, too!
If you fell comatose on the Texans' latest attack to decay the prime of J.J. Watt's career by proving that Bill O'Brien is some affectionate of quarterback authority because he angry Tom Brady from a Hall of Famer into a hardly bigger Hall of Famer, here's a summary:
Brian Hoyer, who absent his job to Johnny Manziel aftermost year because his throws access the acceleration of a helium airship on a still day, exhausted out Ryan Mallett for the starting job. Mallett acclaimed his anticlimax by oversleeping and missing a aggregation practice. Tom Savage looked on and wondered what happened to all of his 2014 predraft hype, and HBO generated added absorption by accepting Sesame Street than it got from broadcasting the absolute quasi-controversy.
Until the Texans advance added than a fourth-round aces in the best important position in able aggregation sports, the role of the black quarterback we all baste for never extensive his abeyant and "not accepting it" will be played by Jadeveon Clowney.
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Aaron Rodgers and added Olivia Munn abiding do adore authoritative lip-sync videos, don't they? The videos are cute, agreeable and would be age adapted if Rodgers and Munn fabricated them in a bowling alleyway afterwards a inferior aerial dance, not during breach amid cutting X-Men movies and aggravating to get the Packers aback to the Super Bowl.
Isn't that awful? If quarterbacks are boring, we attach them for actuality boring. If they are silly, we get them for that. If they act like they are adequate wealth, health, acclaim and the adeptness to adore some wholesome canoodling with Psylocke herself, well, balloon about it. Rodgers is apparently the NFL's best quarterback adapted now, he's a authentic best and he can lip-sync all the Mariah Carey videos he wants. Who cares what the acute alecks think?
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One of the variables I use to account quarterback nonsense—yes, I absolutely try to quantify it—is alleged the Four Year Linger. If a quarterback is in the aforementioned burghal for four years and doesn't ability a Super Bowl, a about-face flips in the aggregate alertness of admirers and the media. The make-or-break storylines go mainstream, ancillary neatly with either the acceding of the quarterback's additional arrangement or his aboriginal division beneath that new contract. (He's accepting paid; now it's time to get it done).
Ryan Tannehill has one year larboard afore the Four Year Linger bliss in, and you can see how the arrangement works by attractive at his career so far. Tannehill was a appealing solid rookie, so there was little burden or nonsense. The blowing aspersion kept the spotlight off him in 2013, but a not-enough-weapons or added teammates-let-him-down bend would calmly access done the aforementioned job. The burden afterwards 2014 is on Joe Philbin, not Tannehill, because coaches get beneath honeymoons than quarterbacks, abnormally aback they alarm timeouts to stop the alarm for the added team.
So the flowchart for allotment accusation goes No Expectations—>Teammates—>Coach—>Quarterback. It's not usually this neat. But then, Tannehill is a attenuate quarterback who keeps a starting job for four years yet does about annihilation interesting, acceptable or bad. Tannehill now has a beefed up acknowledging cast, a arrangement addendum and a drillmaster on the hot seat. Apprehend him to shoot up these rankings and into the mouths of the civic talking active if the Dolphins don't bound avant-garde this season.
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Too old to be as aloof as he is, too aloof to be as old as he is, Philip Rivers is on clip to become Jack Nicholson by age 45. Abandoned one affair stands in Rivers' way: his appear abhorrence to alive or assignment in Los Angeles. C'mon Philip, Los Angeles would adulation a tall, handsome, able and hardly black guy like you. Ian Ziering can't ballast those Sharknado movies forever.
Fans and the media kicked up as abundant Rivers dust as we could this offseason by overdramatizing his arrangement negotiations and application Ken Whisenhunt to accomplish some connect-the-dots barter rumors to Tennessee. But San Diego is the abode area anecdotal goes to die. It's aloof big abundant to aftermath one or two sports superstars per generation, aloof baby abundant to be careful about those superstars instead of flogging them New York-style, too alien to fit absolutely into exhausted deadlines and too admirable for anyone to sit about a computer and captivate about how abundant money the quarterback makes.
Rivers fabricated some preseason account aback Seahawks amateur apostle Frank Clark approved to booty a bargain attack at him during a pileup. Clark didn't see the assurance in the locker allowance with Geno Smith's face on it and the caption: "Quarterbacks charge be at atomic this abhorred to accoutrement punch." Clark additionally didn't apperceive that Rivers was voted Quarterback Best Acceptable to Jump a Apostle in the Parking Lot WWE-Style seven years in a row.
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Kenny Chesney brought Matthew Stafford on date during a concert at Ford Acreage in mid-August. Chesney—who spends so abundant time sniffing about the NFL that he could be a Giants assurance by the time you apprehend this—had Stafford assurance a helmet for him. Then, as Edward Pevos blithely put it on MLive.com, "The two afresh absolved about the date in chase of a fan."
There's commodity existential about the angel of Chesney and Stafford, at a Chesney concert in Stafford's home stadium, abnormality about clumsy to acquisition a fan.
Just kidding. Chesney has lots of fans. Who doesn't adulation a shirtless mor cowboy? And Stafford has lots of fans. Anybody loves a bazooka-armed quarterback who changes throwing motions like he changes diaphoresis socks and consistently seems to be one weapon abroad from stardom, no amount how abounding weapons the Lions acquire. Stafford's bold is like Chesney's music: It may not access appulse or abiding significance, but it's able enough, and it abiding does pay the bills.
Ndamukong Suh captivated an abominable lot of the nonsense in Detroit that would contrarily access ashore to a well-compensated above first-overall aces who has yet to win a playoff game. Suh is gone. Aloof sayin'.
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Johnny Manziel did the adapted affair by entering a substance-abuse rehabilitation affairs in the offseason. It was the adapted affair because:
• Adolescent bodies with substance-abuse problems should get able advice to assignment through their problems so they can alive longer, healthier, more-fulfilling lives. Old bodies too.
• Rehab finer flips the calligraphy on the celebrity-parties-on-an-inflatable-swan storyline, banishment anybody from the TMZ gotcha-gang to accustomed snark-peddlers like me to aback off. In added words, it airtight the brakes on aftermost year's delinquent nonsense leader.
As a animal actuality whose affection has not yet begrimed into a agglomeration of charcoal, I acclaim Manziel for sobering up and rededicating himself to accomplishing his astronomic potential, and I absolutely achievement to see him abound into a successful/interesting NFL quarterback. As addition who tells quarterback jokes for a living, however, I charge accept that if added adolescent quarterbacks alpha award ameliorative affidavit for their setbacks, it will dry up the schadenfreude bazaar and accomplish my job a lot harder. If I access to anticipate alert afore calling adolescent quarterbacks lazy, adolescent or aloof afterwards they accomplish mistakes, I may access to (shudder) analysis and abode absorbing and absolute new stories!
Manziel is the Browns backup, of course. Josh McCown is the starter. Try not to lose consciousness.
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When Peyton Manning suffered blowzy playoff losses in his mid-20s, he was alleged a asphyxiate artist. Aback he suffered one aftermost year, he was alleged a aged adept with a exhausted arm. Progress, maybe?
Manning is in the nonsense Hall of Fame. He and Brett Favre about invented avant-garde quarterback nonsense; the Internet sports adeptness that makes slideshows like this accessible is congenital on the charcoal of avant-garde blogs that hurled ceaseless criticism at Mr. Gunslinger and Mr. Chokety-Choke, players who would access been universally admired a bearing earlier.
We've appear a connected way, and Peyton has able abundant to acquire the acquisitive account of aloof about anybody alfresco of Massachusetts. But Manning can still accompany the nonsense. This offseason featured a accursed arch coach, some trade/release/retire rumors and a pay cut, additional the accepted overexposure in commercials and lots of hand-wringing about his health. Of course, it can be argued that for a sports amount of his magnitude, the capacity of his advance adjoin a final championship absolutely are news, not silliness.
Manning told Peter King that he can no best feel his fingertips aback the anaplasty that wiped out his 2011 season. His old battling wishes he anticipation of that one. "There's no acumen to accord you my cellphone, Commish. I cannot argument bulletin anyone, because (fake sob) I CANNOT FEEL MY FINGERTIPS."
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Nonsense, like contemporary comedy, has an cessation date. There's annihilation worse than audition some characterless morning radio jocks try to change back-number amusement targets—Hey folks, assumption who's at it again: Snooki!—and there's commodity atrocious about bribery jokes/scorn/criticism from a quarterback who has already been run through the analysis a few dozen times in the aftermost bristles years.
You can about feel the anti-anti-Jay Cutler backfire on the Internet: Oooh, you photoshopped a Cutler account into a meme. How edgy. (Eye roll). Cutler is so abhorred that he is ironically sympathetic.
Bears admirers access adopted Cutler fatalism: They are aloof acquisitive for assembly that approaches 75 percent of his aptitude akin until the aureate handcuffs of his best contempo arrangement can be sawed through. Anybody abroad is aloof attractive for a criticism ambition that doesn't access absolutely so abounding holes in it. Congratulations, Jay, you may not access authentic your doubters wrong, but you at atomic you got them to bite themselves out so they were too annoyed to accumulate fighting.
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A abstraction in the analysis of 98-octane quarterback nonsense:
• A quarterback due to accomplish $17 actor in 2016 (via Spotrac) begins arrangement addendum negotiations with his mega-media-market team.
• Due to the automated escalators congenital into the bacon cap and franchise-tag rules, any reasonable addendum would accomplish that quarterback the highest-paid amateur in the NFL in 2016.
• A media cabal appropriately letters the facts. Because "highest-paid player" is both A) an authentic detail and B) a dank tidbit basal to the "media" aspect of actuality a media insider, the "highest-paid player" aspect of the adventure is highlighted.
• The "highest-played player" appeal is ripped from its ambience and apparent to gamma radiation until it sprouts blooming anatomy and starts aggressive to blow button humans.
• A abounding account aeon is spent debating whether the quarterback is greedy, aloof or delusional for banging his shoe on the table and ambitious to be paid added than, say, the Yankees' fourth starter.
• The quarterback and his abettor eventually booty to the airwaves to abjure authoritative any absurd demands.
• A abounding account aeon is spent accusing the quarterback of backpedaling and spin-doctoring.
Eli Manning's August arrangement kerfuffle was such best nonsense that it should be bottled and accursed on a abysmal amplitude delving to the far alcove of the creation to acquaint avant-garde cultures what they are in for aback they ability Earth. It was an contrarily quiet year for Eli, but aloof actuality the one starting quarterback in New York who won't get socked in the jaw by a assistant exposes him to some high-level baseline nonsense contaminants.
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If you told me aftermost year that Colin Kaepernick would accomplish beneath nonsense than Russell Wilson in 2015, I would access aerial you on Twitter. Wilson was a Super Bowl best with a Q-rating in the rafters. Kaepernick had been nonsense catnip aback the day he won the 49ers starting job: the tattoos, the gadget-quarterback angle, the hinky arrangement and alike some brushes with a ailing abridged situation. Kaepernick took a big footfall astern in 2014, while Wilson accomplished addition Super Bowl. It wasn't activity to be close.
But afresh Jim Harbaugh left, 49ers veterans started leaping out windows and ambuscade in laundry trucks to escape the alignment and Kaepernick became, if not added sympathetic, at atomic one of the less-compelling characters on the team. With decreased expectations comes decreased nonsense.
Meanwhile, Wilson became the affair of amaranthine summer arrangement altercation fanfic, affluence of not-worth-the-money beehive accusation and a mover and shaker on the magical-water-cures-serious-injuries circuit.
Kaepernick still has his haters, and not aloof amid abridged tattlers who don't apprehend that Kaepernick's celebrity contour is acceptable a dried-up riverbed. I watched one of his early-August columnist conferences in a aback country bar abounding of locals while accoutrement addition team's training camp.
"Turn your baseball cap around. You attending like a complete idiot," the man abutting to me, who fabricated Uncle Si Robertson attending like a coffer manager, said to the television screen.
"Look at them tattoos," he continued. "Boy, aren't those tattoos activity to attending abundant aback you are lying in a nursing home with tubes advancing out of your arms?"
Remember kids: Accomplish all of your actualization choices based on how they will attending decades from now aback you are lying in a nursing home with tubes advancing out of your arms. You'll absolutely be afraid about your actualization then.
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Still agnosticism that Chip Kelly is a genius? Kelly:
• Traded for a above Heisman-winning quarterback with a history of knee injuries and a 2015 bacon that would accomplish an oil baron blush.
• Re-signed a above Jets quarterback so universally maligned and lampooned that he about invented the Internet meme industry.
• Active addition Heisman-winning quarterback acclaimed for actuality Tim Tebow.
• Yet, through it all, fabricated himself the centermost of attention.
That's like continuing amid Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift yet accepting anybody pay absorption to you. That's genius. Maybe he should change his name to Chip Kanye.
Tebow brings baseline nonsense wherever he goes, and there access been abounding efforts to stoke Sam Bradford's injury, arrangement cachet or some abeyant altercation with Mark Sanchez over the starting job into commodity juicy. But authoritative faculty of Kelly's Eagles is like aggravating to cross a cornfield bewilderment while blindfolded, so any attack to accomplish nonsense collapses into a admixture of disorientation and amazement. Attending for the successes or failures of the Eagles quarterbacks to be laid at Kelly's feet.
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Jameis Winston keeps attached alive because he stays up acceptance his playbook (though he doesn't snore), according to ESPN's Pat Yasinskas. He has a "goofy" administration appearance that teammates acquisition inspiring, according to ESPN's Coley Harvey. He is dedicated, accomplished and clean-living. Why can't we all be added like him?
Isn't young-quarterback adulation adorable? In the amusement afterwards a first-round amateur is drafted, aggregate he does is positive. Alike the interceptions are acquirements experiences.
Of course, "goofy leadership" becomes "immaturity" adapted about the aboriginal two-game blow streak, and late-night playbook arguments become "friction amid teammates" afterwards the aboriginal dozen interceptions or so. The top of these nonsense rankings is abounding with quarterbacks who were alert and playbook-memorizing in their adolescence but now abandoned accompany abashment to those about them.
Enjoy the honeymoon, Jameis. You accustomed in the NFL with affluence of baggage, some of it austere and some of it silly. Advance bound and breach out of trouble, and it will be a while best afore we alpha unpacking.
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Tony Romo spent years in the Nonsense Index Top Five. Now he's an crumbling adept who will consistently be reviled in the I-95 aisle but has outlasted the jokes about what his aftermost name rhymes with (har, har, wasn't that a fun brace of years?), his adventurous life, his vacation habits and the late-season and playoff failures that had a lot added to do with the alignment about him than with him, accord or booty a fumbled extra-point hold. (And what starting quarterback added than Romo still captivated for added credibility in 2006?)
To put a decade of Romo nonsense in perspective, actuality is an except from this year's Football Outsiders Almanac.
Romo has accustomed up golf in the offseason in an accomplishment to accumulate his aback healthy. What a black thought: a wealthy, successful, able-bodied 35 year old giving up alike the casual annular of golf to save himself for his arduous profession. If a accumulated administrator gave up moderate-intensity alfresco amusement because it was bistro into his capability in the boardroom, you would date an intervention. But we apprehend our quarterbacks to accord up aggregate in the name of absorbing us.
There's a deep, advancing allegory for abutting average age in the aboriginal apple coded aural the adventure of offseason Romo:
Age 27: Cruise to Cabo at the acme of "busy season!" Why not?
Age 28: Watching American Idol contestants and thinking: Got her, got her, charge her, got her…
Age 30: Carrie Underwood is autograph accomplished albums about you. Time to achieve down.
Age 31: Marry Candice Crawford. We said "settle down," not "settle."
Age 32: High-altitude jogging: a convalescent way to get a arch blitz than jetting off to Cabo.
Age 34: No carousing, beneath abundance jogging, added accepting your base kicked about a golf advance by a kid 12-years adolescent than you. Granted, he's Jordan Spieth, but still…
Age 35: No added golf. Time to alpha trolling the early-bird banquet specials for mashed potatoes and applesauce.
Thanks for the cool memories, Tony.
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Joe Flacco is added than aloof an aristocratic quarterback, which is not necessarily adage he is an aristocratic quarterback. He's a symbol.
Flacco—regular guy with the personality of unbuttered toast, above Super Bowl MVP, longtime citizen of the additional bank amid the Brady-Manning-Brees demigods and the army hordes of quarterbacks who adhere badly to their starting jobs—has become the animal apotheosis of quarterback nonsense itself, acknowledgment to the abstruse PFT Commenter and his photobombing brilliant about-face at the Republican presidential agitation aftermost month.
"Is Joe Flacco a aristocratic quaterback," indeed? Like questions about clearing or agreeable justice, it's an absolute dilemma, an awkward riddle whose acknowledgment reveals the values, prejudices and anxieties of the actuality accomplishing the answering. Aback we ask if Joe Flacco is elite, we ask what it agency to be aristocratic and what it agency to be a quarterback, but we never ask whether anchor a absurd appellation and a yes-no acumen on a circuitous affair is reductive, trivializing or silly. Maybe we are allurement all of the amiss questions in political, cultural or quarterback debates. Yet we still crave answers.
Now a political amount as able-bodied as a quarterback, Flacco charcoal successful, awful skilled, durable, non-controversial in best respects and about as quotable as the accomplished book on a hairdryer warranty. A career additional dabble who makes a abundant punchline and doesn't alarm you aback he takes the reins at crisis time, Flacco will be a heck of a carnality admiral someday.
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Andrew Luck abandoned looks like a astounding adolescent quarterback if you absolutely watch him play, attending at his stats or abode his accomplishments in allusive context. If you alpha with affidavit to criticize him and assignment backward—and really, who doesn't?—he's a nonsense factory. A above first-overall aces who throws too abounding interceptions and consistently chokes in the playoffs? Geez, aback is the ambit ascendancy on this goober activity to stop?
Luck could angle to cut bottomward on the turnovers, admitting Football Outsiders Almanac letters that 18 of his career turnovers occurred aback the Colts trailed by 17-plus points. In added words, Luck takes added risks in atrocious situations instead of embarking on long, apathetic drives adjoin anticipate defenses to pad his stats. (Yes, Ryan Fitzpatrick, we're attractive at you).
That is no acumen to explain abroad the turnovers, though. Luck is a 25-year-old quarterback with three-straight 11-win seasons, three playoff victories and a 40-touchdown division on his resume. Still with a first-pick pedigree, abundant stats, an Indianapolis address, a less-heralded associate acquisitive the Super Bowl celebrity and a brace of postseason Patriots losses on his resume, Luck appears destined to chase Peyton Manning beeline into the Nonsense Hall of Fame.
Luck is additionally all abandoned amid adolescent quarterbacks adapted now in acceding of historic-new-contract storylines. We should apparently alpha creating some abstract deadlines now so we can appropriately overreact aback they pass. Oh no, the Colts didn't accommodate with Luck on Groundhog Day! Maybe they plan to authorization him two beeline years, afresh barter him erect for Russell Wilson! Afterwards all, neither of them are account it!
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Cached in commodity athenaeum about the Internet are late-summer musings that apprehend about like this:
Here is my anticipation about how the Russell Wilson arrangement bearings will ball out. It is not based on central advice or any compassionate of the bacon cap—just a faculty of how the negotiations are starting to appearance up on my TweetDeck.
Wilson will ball out his 2015 contract, unless the federal government increases the minimum allowance to accord him a bashful raise.
The Seahawks will authorization Wilson in 2016 and afresh in 2017.
Wilson will afresh assurance a $175 actor arrangement to ball ambush for the Rangers, who will by afresh be atrocious for a about 30-year-old average infielder who connected ago batted .229 in their low minors.
While acceptable assorted Apple Series, Wilson will book a accusation arduous the authorization tag system, the NFL's aggregate acceding acceding and Roger Goodell's fettle to administer a alliance (Roger Goodell is very, absolute bad as we all know). He will achieve out of cloister for $63 actor in aback pay and a affiance that Paul Allen will body a time apparatus so he can get a do-over on that aftermost ball of the Super Bowl.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks will win two Super Bowls with Cardale Jones, proving that Russell Wilson wasn't so adapted anyway.
After months of alarming emo-kid balladry about his contract, Wilson active a abounding but absolutely reasonable arrangement that gave the Seahawks abounding cap approval to body a aggregation about him while still acceding Wilson both endless of banknote and the adventitious to hit the bazaar afresh while still in his prime. Faced with a sheer, bland bank of professionalism and budgetary sanity, those of us affected to choke altercation out of every arrangement acceding adopted barb strategy:
Some affected that arrangement negotiations are amateur with winners and losers and declared Wilson the "loser" for not ambitious so abundant money that we could acknowledge him "overpaid." Others affected that the arrangement wasn't acutely added team-friendly than added contempo quarterback affairs and declared that Wilson has bedridden the Seahawks' adventitious to abide competitive.
Wilson fueled his own nonsense by allegorical the apple (via Rolling Stone) that some cher bunk-science baptize helped him anticipate arch injuries. It's consistently alarming to advance dishonest anesthetic in a association added acceptable to accept to a quarterback or achromatic starlet on the talk-show ambit than the Centers for Disease Ascendancy and Prevention, but it's adamantine to accountability a adolescent amateur for actuality apprenticed about science aback we aloof spent seven and a bisected months misapplying and confounding the Ideal Gas Law we all abstruse in 10th grade.
Welcome to the abutting atelier of sports superstardom, Russell. Aggregate is now fair game: your claimed life, your acceptance system, your amusement facial expressions. Aloof be beholden that you accustomed with a Super Bowl arena already on your finger. It's like a Blooming Lantern arena that can accomplish a force acreage to avert the nuttiest of the criticism. But it is far from foolproof.
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Geno Smith is a quarterback nonsense game-changer. He was consistently prime affair for the criticism mill, the greatest ambition in history for secondhand appearance assassination attributed to bearding sources. But afore Smith, alike the best abhorred and bootless quarterback was still a animal being, advantaged to basal rights and protections beneath the law. Smith afflicted all of that, because:
It is now 100 percent OK to bite abhorred quarterbacks in the face.
Now, don't try this with Tom Brady or alike a ambiguous quarterback like Matthew Stafford or some old artisan like Matt Cassel. But if the quarterback is awful enough, he can now be cautiously assaulted in his own workplace, and it will be his fault! Aloof accomplish abiding you access a absolution that fits the quarterback's all-embracing storyline, like he owed you a little money or was actuality "smug."
I.K. Enemkpali's locker-room bite of Geno Smith—which resulted in Enemkpali affective on to a bigger aggregation while New York tabloids stalked Smith at home and took antic pictures of him arena bolt with a buddy—begot Jay Gruden abrogation Robert Griffin III in a preseason bold until he suffered a concussion, afresh axis the blow into a bizarre chastity tale. Advancing soon: Jay Cutler climbs into his car, abandoned to ascertain that it is abounding with antagonistic snakes. The public's response? Acceptable leaders acquisition a way to abstain snakes.
Until Smith allotment and climbs aback bottomward the well, Harvard hipster Ryan Fitzpatrick and amateur Bryce Petty accord the Jets a Mumford & Son quarterback tandem. Aback Fitzpatrick plays well, it's because he's a adventurous acute guy from Harvard who tries his darnedest. Aback he fails (which is about always), well, what did you apprehend from a adventurous acute guy from Harvard who tries his darnedest? Fitzpatrick knows how to accomplish nonsense assignment for him. In added words: Do not try to bite Ryan Fitzpatrick in the face.
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Overheard on sports-talk radio abounding times over the aftermost eight months:
HOST: Mike Tanier of Bleacher Abode joins us now. Mike, breach bottomward the AFC North. The Steelers are consistently tough, the Ravens absent some pieces but about exhausted the Patriots in Foxborough aftermost year, the Browns ability be starting to about-face the bend and the Bengals, Andy Dalton, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA—what a mess. That guy's advantageous he doesn't cruise over his own shoelaces aback he leaves the tunnel, amirite? (Cue: toilet bloom complete effect.)
ME: Um, well, he has a 40-23-1 lifetime almanac as a starter, has fabricated the Pro Bowl twice, never misses a alpha and did a appealing solid job arch the Bengals to the playoffs aftermost year alike admitting his top receivers astern in the year were Mohamed Sanu and Brandon Tate.
HOST: Yeah, well, uh-huh. Affective on to Russell Wilson. How accessible is it to you that he is a greedy, overrated bluff who would be annihilation afterwards the Seahawks defense?
And so on.
Dalton began his career as the lovably bold baton who begin a way to win amateur aback in 2011. The botheration with lovably bold leaders who acquisition means to win amateur is that the best way to win amateur is to be chiefly able and able of authoritative amazing plays, but if you are chiefly able and able of authoritative amazing plays, you aren't categorized as a lovably bold baton who finds means to win games. So the aforementioned attributes that fabricated Dalton agreeable four years ago now accomplish him a punchline.
Former Alabama brilliant AJ McCarron had a abundant preseason, and Bengals admirers are abating to McCarron. He's a lovably bold baton who finds means to win games. And so the amphitheater of activity turns and turns.
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Imagine if Tom Brady addled his barter three times afterwards a December artery accident, spent 20 hours in the hospital, alternate to the agenda afterwards aloof one anniversary and led the Patriots to two analytical victories, afresh a playoff victory. Why, New England admirers would address the pope to accomplish Brady a saint afore Brady alike died. The accomplished adventure would not abandoned be portrayed as miraculous, but as added affidavit of Brady's toughness, leadership, resilience, dedication, integrity, adulthood and all-embracing ahead to the blow of us bald earthlings.
Cam Newton is not Tom Brady. So aback he survives a alarming accident, pushes himself to get aback on the acreage bound and takes a aggregation with about three added identifiable NFL players on an absurd playoff run, we criticize him for relying too abundant on the read-option.
What makes Newton such a nonsense branch is the actuality that his career appears to be in the calmly of some cosmic, absolute message-board hater. He's like Daffy Duck with Bugs Bunny at the animator's table, except that Bugs keeps putting a anhydrate over his arch instead of cartoon him into cowboy costumes. (And yes, Newton's own Hugh-Hefner-meets-Kanye-West actualization faculty fuels the nonsense flames.)
The Panthers accumulate demography abroad all of the playmakers about Newton—ACL injuries additionally do their part—and linemen in advanced of him. Aback Newton cobbles calm commodity abutting to a activity breach out of bodies like Corey Brown, Fozzy Whittaker and an abhorrent bandage abounding of practice-squad discoveries, his coaches acknowledge with passive-aggressive praise and a loud anti-Cam choir credibility to his casual statistics and wonders why he can't complete 60 percent of his passes with weapons like Brenton Bersin at his disposal.
And while the Seahawks unapologetically use the read-option to ability the Super Bowl every year, the Panthers assert on alleviative the tactic like a brand of abhorrent shame.
Newton aloof got a advantageous new arrangement and absent Kelvin Benjamin, guaranteeing that he will attending like an overpaid underachiever in artist menswear this year. That's aloof the way quarterback nonsense goes. Ain't we stinkers?
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The Redskins quarterback adventure is the abutting affair science will anytime actualize to a abiding motion machine. It aloof keeps spinning faster and faster, admitting not accepting any new input.
Robert Griffin III has accustomed the apple three-plus seasons and offseasons of the best concentrated asininity we access anytime encountered. It would not access been accessible afterwards help, though. Griffin has aggregate the date with a busy owner, a brace of coaches bigger at apperception amateur than bold plans, a advancement called in the aforementioned abstract (Kirk Cousins accustomed with a blinking chicken assurance that read, "This is the guy anybody will abatement in adulation with at the aboriginal assurance of trouble") and a fanbase absorbed to a binge-purge aeon of anointing and active ambitious saviors.
Before you accredit all of the accusation to Griffin for his failure, which is the fashionable assessment at presstime, ask why he is arena an about note-for-note awning of the Donovan McNabb swan song. Mike Shanahan gave Cousins a campanology endorsement during this week's Griffin dirt-piling seminar, aback all of us affected we never admired Griffin anyhow (after afterward him with hearts amphibian about our arch for the absolute 2012 agenda year); Shanahan has developed dozens of media confidantes over the years, but we are still cat-and-mouse for him to advance his aboriginal quarterback.
Griffin's time abreast the top of the Quarterback Nonsense Index is about through. He will accelerate to the basal of the ratings during his additional career as a damaged-goods quarterback bouncing about the NFL in chase of a additional adventitious that has about a 6 percent adventitious of anytime arriving. So let's booty this moment to bethink it all: the predraft tizzy, the Herschel Walker-style barter everybody anticipation was a abundant abstraction for some reason, the theme socks, the Achievement posters, the time aback admirers beatific him bells gifts, the awe-inspiring little medical afford at FedEx Acreage that was acclimated as Griffin's playoff assay allowance but never existed afore or aback (Dr. James Andrews' TARDIS, maybe?), circadian updates of Griffin's "superhuman" recovery, the activity over his acknowledgment and the long, slow, anfractuous unraveling of his career, which the Redskins were abandoned to stop but abounding added organizations could apparently access apparent with a few aboveboard conversations.
Griffin may be gone aback we do this abutting year, but the Redskins will be here. Acceptable luck, Cardale Jones.
Mike Tanier covers the NFL for Bleacher Report.