Yeah, sure, there are haters out there.
People who just wanna tear down the positives and crush the hopes for others.
So, the sensitivity of many, say, sports fans, especially those residing in our ultra-sensi Philly region, can be understood somewhat for getting a tad ticked off with the “you’re a hater” whining whenever anyone shares a negative word about “their” teams, coaches and players – you know, just as long as those teams, coaches and players are still favored by the consensus.
What, you’re not totally on board with the team’s plan? The player’s contract? The coach’s system?
Oh, you’re just a hater. Yep, no doubt about it. A hater, through and through.
OK, maybe …
But not always.
There are, believe it or not, people out there who have opinions and insights with – get this – all the right intentions when they opt to share them. Including the idea of providing a wake-up call for those stuck in a groggy, dream-like haze about the “franchise quarterback” merits of Sam Bradford.
Put it this way … there aren’t any.
Thing is, that’s OK. There are only a handful of those types in the NFL. When you factor in winning well into the postseason, the ability to carry teams, the skill to overcome obstacles more often than not, and produce the type of individual statistics to verify such superlative value, you got, oh, maybe, Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, and perhaps to a lesser degree at this point, Wilson and now Newton.
After that, you got a mixed bag of the above. Guys who put up numbers like Romo, Rivers and Ryan, another such as Flacco who brings the intangibles and some of the particulars to a certain degree, and then Eli, who flip-flops between “best” and “worst” so often that it’s hard to nail down exactly what he will be throughout the course of game, month or season.
The above groups represent the top two tiers in pro football’s pecking order.
Eagles fans, your boy falls in the next one. That’s reality. Accept it, deal with it, and plan accordingly – i.e., no “Super Bowl” boasts or even playoff prognostications.
With apologies to the excuse-making masses out there, Captain If Only has neither the career record nor the numbers to supplant any of those mentioned above, and, frankly, he falls behind many others as well, if you go off performance and production, including such Philly-anointed stiffs as, well, former Eagle Nick Foles and Brian “Four Picks in One Playoff Game” Hoyer.
Wanna debate? Toss out Bradford’s 81.0 career passer rating and you’ll get raised by Foles’ 87.3 and Hoyer’s 82.2. Slingin’ Sam loses big time on the bottom line to both, too – Foles’ 19-16 record fries Bradford’s 25-37-1, and, speaking of Hoyer and a playoff, at least he, as well as Foles, has been in one. Bradford has been in none.
That “brilliant” 7-game stretch he closed the 2015 campaign with, the one heavily bolstered by serious, end-game stat-padding in blowout losses to Arizona and Washington in weeks 15 and 16 to erase any playoff hopes, if it became the norm, possibly would elevate Bradford to that middle-rung status. But nothing higher.
He’s not elite, so don’t expect elite things from him, and stop placing him above a guy such as Kirk Cousins, whose 2015 campaign (NFL-best 69.8 completion percentage, 4,166 yards, 29 TDs, 11 INTs, 101.6 passer rating, playoff appearance) is almost 2013 Foles-like in being embarrassingly better than any season Bradford has produced.
No hate. Just a call for more awareness of reality.
For your own sake … as a means to be prepared when it truly smacks you in the face this coming fall.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
Stats don’t tell the whole story, but considering most cases to promote Sam Bradford’s value as Eagles quarterback revolve around numbers, here are a few digits that reflect where he ranks among active NFL QBs in certain categories for a career:
Passing yards per attempt & Passing TDs percentage
Passer rating among all active NFL quarterbacks
REALITY CHECK II
Bradford’s ballyhooed season-ending 7-game stretch is misleadinge, with big-yardage efforts in playoff hopes-ending losses to Arizona and Washington being held up as examples of his great play while others failed. They were nothing more than stats padding.
Eagles down 37-10 in 4th, Bradford goes off for 121 meaningless passing yards, including a 78-yard TD, to produce a then-season high 361 yards.
Eagles down 38-17 in 4th, Bradford goes off for 126 meaningless passing yards, and a TD, to produce a season high 380 yards.