#1 Failings

Gregg Easterbrook probably said one of the dumbest things in his distinguished career as TMQ when he pointed out that no player who has led the league in passing yards has gone on to win the superbowl.

Ahem.

Last year, Peyton Manning won the superbowl. He finished 2nd in passing yards by 21 yards (and led the league in passer rating).

In 2005, Ben Roethlisberger was 3rd in passer rating.

I’ll just go year by year. how about that? I’ll list championship quarterback and rank in yards and rating where they placed in the top 10.

2004 – Tom Brady – 6th/10th
2003 – Tom Brady – 6th/9th
2002 – Brad Johnson – 8th/3rd
1999 – Kurt Warner – 2nd/1st
1997 – John Elway – 6th/7th
1996 – Brett Favre – 4th/2nd
1994 – Steve Young – 4th/1st
1993 – Troy Aikman – 10th/2nd
1992 – Troy Aikman – 4th/3rd
1991 – Mark Rypien – 2nd/2nd
1989 – Joe Montana – 4th/1st
1988 – Joe Montana – 8th/6th

You get the point. In a lot of those years, the superbowl champ had a QB that placed high on QB efficiency but not in the top 10 in yards. The reason is the same reason that it’s rare for a league leader in passing to win the superbowl — great teams tend to be running the ball and burning the clock late in games. Running up the score the way the Patriots do is kind of rare. The numbers are also distorted because some of the most prolific passers in NFL history — Warren Moon, Dan Marino and Dan Fouts — spent their careers dragging mediocre teams to the playoffs. They were one-dimensional. The Patriots aren’t.

Having a great QB is key to winning a superbowl. Gregg Easterbrook knows this.

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