Monday, December 2, 2013

Franchise Quarterbacks

"How do you have 1 fucking franchise QB in 40 years? This makes Sandy look like a genius."

Those are the words of Twitterer @PinotGreggio, who appears to be a trifle miffed at the New York Jets.

So I decided to compare the Jets to the other teams in the NFL, and here's what I came up with.

I decided to define "franchise quarterback" as "quarterback who is, or will be, or should be, in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who had a title, or near-title, season with said team."

Then I counted the number of "franchise quarterbacks" all 32 teams had. Then I divided that number by the number of seasons they'd played.

I'm also counting moved teams as single franchises, so that the Baltimore and Indianapolis versions of the Colts, and the Los Angeles and St. Louis versions of the Rams, are together. But so are both versions of the Cleveland Browns, while the Baltimore Ravens are separate.

Ties in the rankings are broken by actual HOFers.

The first number after the team's name is the number of seasons per "franchise quarterback," followed by the number they've had in how many seasons they've played.

Here's what I came up with:

1. Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 10.8, 5 in 54: Daryle Lamonica, George Blanda, Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett and Rich Gannon.

2. San Francisco 49ers, 11.3, 6 in 68: Y.A. Tittle, John Brodie, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jeff
Garcia and Colin Kaepernick.

3. Cleveland/Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 12.8, 6 in 77: Bob Waterfield, Norm Van Brocklin, Roman Gabriel, Pat Haden, Jim Everett and Kurt Warner.

4. Philadelphia Eagles, 13.5, 6 in 81: Tommy Thompson, Norm Van Brocklin, Sonny Jurgensen, Ron Jaworski, Randall Cunningham and Donovan McNabb. No, I'm not counting Michael Vick. And I sure as hell am not counting Norm Snead.

5. Washington Redskins, 13.7, 6 in 82: Sammy Baugh, Sonny Jurgensen, Billy Kilmer, Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien. I'm not counting Robert Griffin III yet.

6. New York Giants, 14.8, 6 in 89: Benny Friedman, Charlie Conerly, Y.A. Tittle, Fran Tarkenton, Phil Simms and Eli Manning. No, I'm not counting Jeff Hostetler. And the day I count Kerry Collins as a "franchise quarterback" is the day you can shoot me.

7. New Orleans Saints, 15.7, 3 in 45: Billy Kilmer, Archie Manning and Drew Brees.

8. Atlanta Falcons, 16.0, 3 in 46: Steve Bartkowski, Michael Vick and Matt Ryan. Yes, I'm counting all 3. What Vick did in Virginia has no bearing on whether he was a "franchise quarterback" in Georgia.

9. Minnesota Vikings, 17.7, 3in 53: Joe Kapp, Fran Tarkenton and Warren Moon. No, I'm not counting Randall Cunningham with the Eagles.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars, 18.0, 1 in 18: Mark Brunell.

11. Dallas Cowboys, 18.0, 3 in 54: Don Meredith, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. 2 of the 3 in the Hall, and their 2 are better than the Oilers/Titans' 2. No, I'm not counting Craig Morton as a Cowboy. Nor Danny White. Certainly not Tony Romo.

12. Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans, 18.0, 3 in 54: George Blanda, Warren Moon and Steve McNair. 2 of the 3 in the Hall. No, I'm not counting Dan Pastorini.

13. San Diego Chargers, 18.0, 3 in 54: John Hadl, Dan Fouts and Philip Rivers. 1 of the 3 in the Hall. No, I'm not counting Stan Humphries, even if he did get them into their only league championship game since Lyndon Johnson was a popular President.

14. Baltimore Ravens, 19.0, 1 in 19: Joe Flacco. And their 1 is better than the Bucs' 2, who are better than the Panthers' 1. No, I'm not counting Trent Dilfer.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 19.0, 2 in 38: Doug Williams and Brad Johnson. Yes, I'm counting them both. No, I'm not counting Steve Spurrier.

16. Carolina Panthers, 19.0, 1 in 19: Jake Delhomme. No, I'm not counting Cam Newton yet.

17. Cincinnati Bengals, 23.0, 2 in 46: Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiason. No, neither one is in the Hall of Fame, but both of them got the freakin' Bengals into a Super Bowl, which is a monumental achievement.

18. Green Bay Packers, 23.3, 4 in 93: Arnie Herber, Bart Starr, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. No, I'm not counting Lynn Dickey.

19. Miami Dolphins, 24.0, 2 in 48: Bob Griese and Dan Marino.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers, 26.7, 3 in 80: Bobby Layne, Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger. No, I'm not counting Neil O'Donnell, because I'm not an idiot.

21. Kansas City Chiefs, 27.0, 2 in 54: Len Dawson and Joe Montana. Both in the Hall. Yes, Montana was only a Chief for 2 years, but he's the only man to get the Chiefs into an AFC Championship Game. Ever. (Dawson got them into 3 AFL Championship Games, winning them all, including 1 as the Dallas Texans.)

22. Buffalo Bills, 27.0, 2 in 54: Jack Kemp and Jim Kelly. 1 in the Hall, and perhaps the other should be. No, I'm not counting Doug Flutie.

23. Denver Broncos, 27.0, 2 in 54: Craig Morton and John Elway. 1 in the Hall. I'm not counting Peyton Manning with the Broncos yet.

24. New England Patriots, 27.0, 2 in 54: Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady. Neither in the Hall yet. Again, I'm not counting Doug Flutie.

25. Chicago Bears, 31.3, 3 in 94: Sid Luckman, Bill Wade and Jim McMahon. No, I'm not counting Rex Grossman.

26. Cleveland Browns, 32.5, 2 in 65: Otto Graham and Bernie Kosar.

27. Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts, 34.0, 2 in 68: Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning. I'm not counting Andrew Luck yet, or Bert Jones or Jim Harbaugh ever.

28. Seattle Seahawks, 38.0, 1 in 38: Matt Hasselbeck. No, I'm not counting Jim Zorn or Dave Krieg. Nor, yet, Russell Wilson.

29. New York Jets, 54.0, 1 in 54: Joe Namath. No, I'm not counting Richard Todd, or Vinny Testaverde. And even though Mark Sanchez got them to 2 AFC Championship Games, I'm not counting him, either.

30. Detroit Lions, 80.0, 1 in 80: Bobby Layne. Yeah, that's it. No, I'm not counting Matthew Stafford yet.  Nor Rodney Peete, nor Gary Danielson, nor Bill Munson.

31. Chicago/St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals, 94.0, 1 in 94: Kurt Warner. Yup, that's it. Jimmy Conzelman (1925 NFL Champions) wasn't a quarterback as we now understand the term, and Paul Christman (1947 NFL Champions) wasn't any better than Trent Dilfer.

32. Houston Texans, infinite, none in 12.

So, the Jets aren't the worst. It should be noted, though, that, of the 3 worse ones, 1 has only been around since 2002; while the other 2 haven't won a World Championship since 1957 and 1947, respectively -- making the Jets' 1968-69 title seem comparatively recent.

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