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Friday, July 26, 2013

Correcting Bill Barnwell

The perspicacious Bill Barnwell has worked out the QB Championship Belt dating back to Johnny Unitas in 1959.  It's a great article, but I have to take serious exception to his choice to award 1976 to Ken Stabler over Fran Tarkenton.

Ken Stabler, Oakland Raiders

Reign: 1974
Stabler had been impressive taking over for Lamonica during the 1973 season, earning a Pro Bowl berth, but he was just a downfield force of nature during the following season. He threw a league-best 26 touchdowns while leading the Raiders to a 12-2 record, winning both first-team All-Pro and MVP honors. He would have a dismal 1975 season, though, throwing more interceptions (24) than touchdowns (16). That opened up a spot for …

Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings

Reign: 1975
This is very reminiscent of the Tittle run from the late '60s, when a veteran player who was always very good saw everything coalesce into a great stretch toward the very end of his career. Tarkenton won his first MVP award and made his first All-Pro team this year at the age of 35. He would be pretty good in 1976 before throwing a combined 35 touchdowns over the final two seasons of his career.

Ken Stabler, Raiders

Reign: 1976-77
The perch once again belonged to Stabler, who completed an incredible (for the time) 66.7 percent of his passes in 1976 while averaging 9.3 yards per attempt. Adjusting for the era, it's one of the best seasons in NFL history for a quarterback. The Raiders would win the Super Bowl in 1976. Stabler was merely very good in 1977, but there was no superior candidate to take the title away until 1978.
 Very well, let's compare the 1976 seasons of Fran Tarkenton and Ken Stabler.

13     10-2-1     255     412     61.9     2961     17     8         Tarkenton
12     11-1-0     194     291     66.7     2737     27     17       Stabler

Now, remember, Tarkenton is already holding the belt at this point and you've got to KO the champ to take the belt. Stabler's performance, while excellent in terms of his completion percentage and number of touchdowns thrown, simply isn't enough to justify taking it away from the Viking quarterback.  Stabler played in one less game, threw more than 200 fewer yards, threw 30 percent fewer passes, threw more than twice as many interceptions, and had a TD/INT ratio of 1.6 compared to Tarkenton's 2.1.  Which quarterback would you rather have had behind center?

In 1976, the Vikings scored 305 points.  The Raiders scored 351.  So Tarkenton was still leading the offense into the end zone, he just wasn't necessarily throwing the ball in there for the final scores.  Both QBs scored one rushing touchdown, but Stabler lost four fumbles while Tarkenton lost two.  That means that Stabler turned the ball over 21 times compared to 10 times for Tarkenton, lowering Stabler's TD/turnover ratio to 1.3.  This is hardly indicative of the best QB in the game, and it doesn't merit taking the QB belt away from the Georgia Peach in what was more than a "pretty good" 1976 season.

The big difference I see is that Oakland had a better running game in 1976, averaging 4.1 yards per carry compared to 3.7 for the Vikings.  Stabler didn't even throw for 6 of Oakland's 33 touchdown passes, while despite their inferior running game, the Vikings scored more touchdowns on the ground, 18 to 14.  So, that tells us that Oakland preferred to throw in the red zone rather than anything about Stabler being a better passer.

If the Raiders don't crush the Vikings in the Super Bowl that year, I don't see any way that Barnwell credibly anoints Stabler the superior quarterback in 1976.  And even with the benefit of the Super Bowl victory, I think it is clear that Stabler's performance that season was less significant and less remarkable than Tarkenton's, especially when one takes Tarkenton's advanced age and reduced mobility into account. So, I hope you will join me in emailing Mr. Barnwell to request that he rectify this historical injustice.

Labels:

104 Comments:

Anonymous Buckeyecopperhead July 26, 2013 9:09 AM  

Why does this clown only go back to 1959? Did I miss something here? Nonetheless, Stabler was/is way overrated as a signal caller.

Anonymous Josh July 26, 2013 9:20 AM  

1959: Giants-Colts sudden death NFL championship game, the start of the modern NFL and professional football's arrival as a national sport.

Anonymous Josh July 26, 2013 9:24 AM  

I'm not sure how Bart Starr and Roger Staubach don't make the list.

Blogger Nate July 26, 2013 9:28 AM  

there are a lot of problems with that list. Are we really suggesting that Aikman was never the best QB in the league? bitch please.

Anonymous Buckeyecopperhead July 26, 2013 9:31 AM  

Staubach was better than Stabler in '77, both statistically and as a SB winning QB. The writer's assertion that there was "no superior candidate to take the title away until 1978" is both shallow and pedantic. Yes, shallow and pedantic.

Blogger Nate July 26, 2013 9:34 AM  

Roger and Troy both should've held the belt at some point. And I really don't think Farve ever should have.

Blogger Nate July 26, 2013 9:45 AM  

and where is Warren Moon? Seriously?

Anonymous Josh July 26, 2013 9:45 AM  

When did Aikman ever have a season that was better than Young or Favre?

Anonymous Daniel July 26, 2013 9:54 AM  

Warren Moon threw way too many interceptions to have been the best in any given year. You would have to give him a handicap bonus for the Oilers offensive approach. Teams that don't care about INTs (because that's how they score so frequently) will have a hard time touting their QB as "best."

Plus, there is the small matter of a particular game with the Bills, when the scoring machine went TILT in the 2nd Half. Nationally, that is Moon's most memorable game, unfortunately.

I don't think it is "fair," as Moon is one of my personal favorites to watch, but I think it is just.

Aikman, though? Great qb on an offense of greats. Not the best individual, though, not ever.

Anonymous anon123 July 26, 2013 10:00 AM  

Where's Warren Moon?
Why, ripping up the CFL, of course.

Anonymous Outlaw X July 26, 2013 10:02 AM  

Once Young got healthy, he immediately became the man. He won MVP trophies in 1992 and 1994, settling for first-team All-Pro in 1993. Troy Aikman might have won two Super Bowls during this run, but he was a second-team Pro Bowler behind Young each year, and his numbers couldn't match up to what was being produced out west.

The numbers don't match because SF didn't have the offensive line and an Emmitt Smith running it down everyone's throat. Why put the ball in the air all the time when you had that 1-2-3 combination Aikman, Irvin and Smith with the best offensive line in the league?

Blogger Nate July 26, 2013 10:03 AM  

"When did Aikman ever have a season that was better than Young or Favre?"

Farve's bullshit MVPs in 1995, 1996, and 1997 just show what nuthugging morons the media are.

Anonymous Buckeyecopperhead July 26, 2013 10:05 AM  

Moon threw for a helluva lot of yards, but he was also a consistent interception machine. 1990 season was probably his best year statistically (362/584 - 4,689yds - 33td - 13int) but the Oilers finished 9-7 (3rd AFC Central) and were bounced by the Bengals in the first round that season. That hurts in comparison to Montana, Kelly and others that year.

Anonymous patrick kelly July 26, 2013 10:09 AM  

Ken got more chili (SB Ring) than Fran, plus he more sexy bad boy!!

Blogger Nate July 26, 2013 10:09 AM  

"Young each year, and his numbers couldn't match up to what was being produced out west."

how the hell does Warren Moon not have the belt in 1990 and 1991? He threw for practically 1000 yards more than Kelly each year! 4689 yards in 1990... 4690 yards in 1991. I mean for fucks sake!

Anonymous Daniel July 26, 2013 10:17 AM  

Nate, Favre destroyed Aikman in touchdown passes, and Young destroyed him in yardage per attempt. Aikman had one season where he was close to either, and several when he was behind Elway, Favre and Young.

You could say that he was "hobbled" by having such an incredible front four and a running game, and, had he only been surrounded by less talent, he might have proven himself to be the superior to the other three of the big four. But he had the great misfortune of having his best year in '95, and still ranking behind Favre who, for the first time, led in pretty much every category and threw TDs like it was amateur hour on defense. Aikman was last of the big 4 in TD passes that year, thanks to a red zone run game that was, simply put, one of the best of all time.

But that doesn't matter - his other passing achievements that year were not #1 - close, but not #1, and then Emmitt cost him a bunch of TD passes. Nice problem to have. In fact, had Aikman been "best" by the belt standard, they wouldn't have won as many Super Bowls.

Team games are like that, I suppose.

Blogger Nate July 26, 2013 10:23 AM  

"But that doesn't matter - his other passing achievements that year were not #1 - close, but not #1, and then Emmitt cost him a bunch of TD passes. Nice problem to have. In fact, had Aikman been "best" by the belt standard, they wouldn't have won as many Super Bowls."

This is my problem. he has this moving standard. No one's numbers were better than Moons in 1990 and 1991... but he doesn't get the belt.

Anonymous Josh July 26, 2013 10:25 AM  

Farve's bullshit MVPs in 1995, 1996, and 1997 just show what nuthugging morons the media are.

He had an unprecedented (at the time) three year run with the most passing tds in a three season span (at the time).

I'm not a fan of Favre, but he was very, very good for those three seasons.

And if you're going to argue that another qb was better than favre over that stretch, the only qb you can really make a case for is young.

Blogger JACIII July 26, 2013 10:25 AM  

The Snake did it all while drunk as a monkey and/or hungover.
And none of the others carry this endorsement:

"Ken Stabler was my most productive quarterback. If he had been playing quarterback when we went to the wishbone formation they would have had to have made room for another digit on the scoreboard."
_Paul "Bear" Bryant

The Snake, FTW! if he never even threw another ball.

Anonymous Daniel July 26, 2013 10:26 AM  

how the hell does Warren Moon not have the belt in 1990 and 1991? He threw for practically 1000 yards more than Kelly each year! 4689 yards in 1990... 4690 yards in 1991. I mean for fucks sake!

1990 was an amazing year for Moon. Playoffs, though. Man. A qb with a belt has to win the division or win a wild card game. It's in the secret guidelines. 1990, they did nothing on offense in the playoffs. Nothing on defense, either, but that was normal.

Anonymous VD July 26, 2013 10:26 AM  

I think Favre in 1995 based on his stats. But not the other two years. I saw him play regularly and we just never feared him the way we feared Steve Young. No matter how much fun he was having out there.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 July 26, 2013 10:27 AM  

For '76, on a list made in the era of lazy punditry that just wants to glance at Super Bowl win totals, of course its Stabler.
I'm really getting tired of this line of thinking, that the "trump card" metric for evaluating QBs is how many SB wins they have.
So many things go into a SB run that are beyond the QBs control or skill set that it's not a useful metric.
And it swings both ways.
Flacco will forever be deemed a top-tier QB now that he has a ring, even though if it weren't for Ray Rice's sick Fourth-and 29 scat play at a do-or-die point in a regular season game, Flacco would have watched the Super Bowl from the golf course. He was mediocre all season, and his one contribution to the defining in-season moment was not fobbing the handoff.
On the metrics, for '76, I'll agree it's Tarkenton.
At least this list doesn't tediously break down the DVOAPPGPAG of each QB's game for that season, or slap-dick ESPN's stupid QBR to the whole sad tableau.

Anonymous Josh July 26, 2013 10:29 AM  

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/qb1991

Holy crap, look at Mark Rypien

Anonymous Josh July 26, 2013 10:30 AM  

'm really getting tired of this line of thinking, that the "trump card" metric for evaluating QBs is how many SB wins they have.

PUNTER WINS!

Blogger Nate July 26, 2013 10:37 AM  

"Holy crap, look at Mark Rypien"

Who also threw for 1000 yards less than Moon.

Anonymous Razoraid July 26, 2013 10:37 AM  

Jake the Snake wins best sexting pseudonym. oh,wait...

Anonymous Outlaw X July 26, 2013 10:40 AM  

My memory of Stabler is that he never had much a Long ball.

Anonymous Daniel July 26, 2013 10:40 AM  

This is my problem. he has this moving standard. No one's numbers were better than Moons in 1990 and 1991... but he doesn't get the belt.

I agree with that argument a lot more than I agree with the Aikman push, but, to be honest, what I remember about 1990 is watching the effing Bengals make the Oilers, including Moon, look like they'd just come out of electroshock therapy.

The difference is this: Aikman, at his best, always had another qb in the playoffs, winning games, who had a statistically better season. Moon, at his best, had underachieving teams that got spectacularly punked somehow in the playoffs.

So, yes, the secret ingredient is playoffs.

Man, I remember that Bills - Oilers game like it was yesterday. I was milking cows (professionally), so had been up at 4, and it was a brutally cold winter with about 2 feet of snow on the ground. I had to treat some mastitis that morning, so I'd been frozen solid for hours. Made it back to the bunkhouse in time for that days games - watched every single second of it, thawing out and motionless. I bet I'm the only non-Oiler fan who saw that thing all the way through. I did the evening milking, more stunned by that game than any that I had ever seen before or since.

That's really the problem: Warren Moon's most important, most historic games, were not a display of his greatness. Is that his team's fault? Yep. But it isn't a belt for best statistical qb. It is a belt for qb - which includes stats...but those stats can (and should) be ignored when other factors come into play.

Is it a little stupid that Aikman might have been a "better" qb on a slightly worse team? Yeah. Is it too bad that the Oilers achieved, only to lose their minds on national t.v. two years in a row? Yeah.

Anonymous Josh July 26, 2013 10:40 AM  

Who also threw for 1000 yards less than Moon.

Moon threw it 240 more times. That means he only needed to average 4.5 yds per pass to get 1000 yds on those passes.

Anonymous Josh July 26, 2013 10:50 AM  

I saw him play regularly and we just never feared him the way we feared Steve Young. No matter how much fun he was having out there.

Steve Young is my favorite NFL player of all time, and I still think he's a one of the ten beast qbs ever.

Anonymous Daniel July 26, 2013 10:54 AM  

Steve Young should have gotten the belt back whatever year that was toward the end of his career where he nuked everybody. I think it was '98, but I try very hard to block that season out of my memory (at least the end of it).

Anonymous Josh July 26, 2013 11:07 AM  

Yeah, it was 98. http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/qb1998

Of course, that was also the year the Vikings were unbelievable thanks to randy moss and Cunningham's use of experimental PEDs.

Anonymous RINO July 26, 2013 11:13 AM  

The only issue I take with the list is that Favre deserved the honor in 2009 too .. he was just as dominant if not moreso than his younger years.

Anyone who thinks he doesn't deserve it for 2009 or the late 90's is out of their damn mind.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 July 26, 2013 11:14 AM  

Steve Young was a fun QB to watch, and made a lot of pundits eat crow for all the "he can't follow Montana, he'll never be better than Montana" crap.
He did, and he was.

Blogger Nate July 26, 2013 11:19 AM  

"Moon threw it 240 more times. That means he only needed to average 4.5 yds per pass to get 1000 yds on those passes."

so what? He did it. Rypien didn't. Rypien got to pick his spots against defensive situations he liked.

Moon had to throw the ball. If he didn't... they didn't do anything.

Blogger Nate July 26, 2013 11:21 AM  

Young was 2SD better than Montana. Montana was like a poor man's Chad Pennington... who just happened to be on a great team with a great coach.

Blogger Nate July 26, 2013 11:23 AM  

Farve in 2009?

Peter King? Is that you?

Anonymous Josh July 26, 2013 11:33 AM  

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/qb2009

I don't see any way Favre was the best qb in 2009. Manning, Brady, and Brees were all clearly better. And probably Rivers as well.

Anonymous Josh July 26, 2013 11:34 AM  

Go home, RINO, you're drunk.

Anonymous RINO July 26, 2013 11:35 AM  

He was basically the same as Manning ........ with half the turnovers.

Blogger RobertT July 26, 2013 11:37 AM  

Tarkenton was great. I watched him from a distance. But Stabler I watched up close and personal as he regularly and methodically dismantled them year after year after year. I'm not all that forgiving and don't generally have good opinions of players who played for other teams. But Stabler was different. He was so freaking good with that left handed delivery every single game. He tore the Broncos to shreds, but I can't find a way to think anything but the absolute best of Stabler. He's dead now. Shame.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 July 26, 2013 11:37 AM  

2009?
Didn't the Saints almost murder Favre right there on the field that season in the playoffs?

Blogger RobertT July 26, 2013 11:38 AM  

by the them I meant the Broncos.

Anonymous Godfrey July 26, 2013 11:38 AM  

I recall that Tarkenton didn't have much of a running game in 1976. I was surprised to read it was 3.7 per carry. Based on my memory of that season, I would have guessed lower.

Tarkenton was the better QB in 1976. If I recall correctly, he compensated for a lack of a strong running game with short passes out of the backfield to Foreman (44), but I may be confusing 1977 with 1976.

Anonymous RINO July 26, 2013 11:40 AM  

Didn't the Saints almost murder Favre right there on the field that season in the playoffs?

They lost by 3 points in an exciting game. Then the saints went on to crush the Colts by 14 points.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 July 26, 2013 11:44 AM  

They lost by 3 points in an exciting game. Then the saints went on to crush the Colts by 14 points

I wasn't being hyperbolic, and I don't mean in a 'game/score' sense.
I mean the Saints D was literally trying to murder Favre with blunt-force trauma.

Blogger Nate July 26, 2013 11:44 AM  

2009

Farve QBR: 66.4

Manning QBR: 82.9

Yep. Pretty much exactly the same.

Anonymous RINO July 26, 2013 11:45 AM  

Yep, they put a bounty on him and hurt his leg .. the Vikings were headed for a Super Bowl win.

Anonymous wcu July 26, 2013 11:46 AM  

I still haven't forgiven those bastard vikings for crushing the 9ers in that bastard playoff game... Nate: enough of the Montana hatin...he won 4 superbowls...chad pennington, good God dude. steve young had the long hard road...wish he could have gotten at least one more ring.

Anonymous VD July 26, 2013 11:46 AM  

Tarkenton was the better QB in 1976. If I recall correctly, he compensated for a lack of a strong running game with short passes out of the backfield to Foreman (44), but I may be confusing 1977 with 1976.

No, that was true of all three years. Minnesota avg YPC 1975-1977: 3.8, 3.7, 3.6.

Blogger Nate July 26, 2013 11:46 AM  

"They lost by 3 points in an exciting game. Then the saints went on to crush the Colts by 14 points."

The colts are down 7 with time... and they have the ball. Reggie Wayne runs the worst route of his career... and that means the colts got crushed?

Blogger Nate July 26, 2013 11:48 AM  

"Nate: enough of the Montana hatin...he won 4 superbowls."

More with the super bowl wins. This is why I think 90% of football fans are totally idiots when it comes to this subject.

Superbowl wins are irrelevant.

Or do you want to argue that Trent Dilfer was better than Dan Marino?

Anonymous Daniel July 26, 2013 11:50 AM  

I was surprised to read it was 3.7 per carry. Based on my memory of that season, I would have guessed lower.

3.7 in '76 was atrocious. I can think of 20 individuals that year who ran for more than 3.7 on average. OJ, Blier, Payton, Don Calhoun, Pruitt, Archie Griffin, Laidlaw...okay, I can think of seven. But 3.7 back then was like 2.7 now. Vikings were probably dead last in rushing that year, or darn close.

Anonymous Daniel July 26, 2013 11:51 AM  

Oops, I meant individuals who ran for more than 4 on average carry. Some of those guys averaged 5 or more per carry.

Anonymous RINO July 26, 2013 11:52 AM  

68.8% 33-16 7.8 99.9
68.4% 33-7 7.9 107.2

Seems pretty similar to me ... except that the dude threw 9 less interceptions. He was so good he made Brad Childress look good.

Anonymous Daniel July 26, 2013 11:54 AM  

Superbowl wins are irrelevant.

That's nonsense. Super Bowl wins are a factor, and they should be. They aren't the magic bullet that ends an argument, but disregarding SBs and playoffs is nutty, too.

Anonymous Jack Amok July 26, 2013 11:58 AM  

My memory of Stabler is that he never had much a Long ball.

Cliff Branch disagrees.

I love Tarkenton, but I have to stick with Stabler. Funny thinking back to 1976 though. Madden's Raiders were the Bad Boys of the league back then, but they weren't getting arrested for murder.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 July 26, 2013 12:01 PM  

Madden's Raiders were the Bad Boys of the league back then, but they weren't getting arrested for murder

No, but their fans were.
Zing!

Quick, what do you call a Raiders fan in a three-piece suit?
Indicted!

To be fair, if Jack Tatum had been implicated in a murder case, no one would have been shocked.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 July 26, 2013 12:12 PM  

Oh, and if anyone was wondering about T'eo, first day of camp, report card is pretty much the same as his performance in the National Championship game:
Great at reading the play, couldn't stop anybody despite that.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein July 26, 2013 12:20 PM  

I can't find a way to think anything but the absolute best of Stabler. He's dead now. Shame.

Did I miss something?

Maybe you,re thinking of Blanda?

Blogger JCclimber July 26, 2013 12:23 PM  

Sorry, but Stabler rocks, and I can't back your case, despite having great respect for Fran as well.

Stabler was a childhood hero of mine. We used to practice making his plays during our football practices.

Anonymous Jack Amok July 26, 2013 12:35 PM  

To be fair, if Jack Tatum had been implicated in a murder case, no one would have been shocked.

Well, sure, but only because they'd probably find the murder weapon stuck to the back of Lester Hayes helmet.

I guess that's why they wore black - their players provided all the color needed.

Anonymous wcu July 26, 2013 12:36 PM  

Montana had the stats,leadership, wins as well. Ellen degeneres would have been enough of a qb for the ravens to win the superbowl that year.

Anonymous Godfrey July 26, 2013 1:13 PM  

Tarkenton's numbers can be considered comparably favorable to Stabler’s despite a worse team running game. He had over a hundred more pass attempts (412 vs 291). I’d rule in favor of Tarkenton for 1976.

I can’t remember what year it was, but I recall Tarkenton was the first QB to have over 40 pass attempts in a game in a winning effort.

The evidence in favor of Tarkenton begins to mount.

Blogger rcocean July 26, 2013 1:33 PM  

So how good was Tark throwing long? Stabler was very good. My impression of the Tark is that his % of completion was overstated because he was dumping a lot of short passes to the backs and TE's.

Anonymous wcu July 26, 2013 1:35 PM  

Marino...if those fuckin pats hadn't beaten them, they would have skinned, stuffed and mounted da bears that year...best coaches? Vince lombardi,chuck knoll, joe gibbs, bill walsh, bill belichick, don shula.

Anonymous wcu July 26, 2013 1:42 PM  

Tom landry...how did I forget him?

Anonymous Godfrey July 26, 2013 1:48 PM  

@wcu July 26, 2013 1:35 PM "Marino...if those fuckin pats hadn't beaten them, they would have skinned, stuffed and mounted da bears that year..."


It's more likely Marino would be in a wheelchair to this day if Miami had played Chicago in the big game. Everybody in Chicago - including the players - wanted it to be Miami.

Anonymous Godfrey July 26, 2013 2:13 PM  

Another point... Tarkenton took the Vikings to the playoffs in 1977 when - by that time -the Vikings were running on mere fumes. The man was a great QB.

P.S. To this day I'm still upset about that playoff game against Dallas in 1975 and I often wonder if the fix was in.

Blogger James Dixon July 26, 2013 2:21 PM  

> ...and where is Warren Moon? Seriously?

Right where he belongs. Nowhere to be seen on that list.

Seriously. Stats only count for so much. You have to win the games too. And Moon didn't.

Anonymous wcu July 26, 2013 2:28 PM  

It would have been a great game, but Marino with his mark brothers already exposed the bear's weakness.

Anonymous wcu July 26, 2013 2:32 PM  

Shula would have figured out something to keep da bears off balance...it was marino's quick release and shotgun arm that defanged the bears.

Anonymous Shut Up, Nate July 26, 2013 2:54 PM  


"Farve's bullshit MVPs in 1995, 1996, and 1997 just show what nuthugging morons the media are."

112 TD's, 40 INT's, 95 QB Rating in three years, 3 NFC Championship Games, 1 Superbowl win. Absolutely horrendous numbers.


"Superbowl wins are irrelevant."

Right, because football immortality is never measured by how one significantly contributes to closing the deal when it most counts.

Anonymous ENthePeasant July 26, 2013 3:18 PM  

If the Raiders didn't crush them someone else would have, it's a tradition. Tarkenton was always the failed prototype of the scrambling QB, very exciting but good teams always beat him. At the end of the day Football of that era was a team game. Stabler was a great team player. Tark was a great athlete who set the stage for the kind of person who became a fan of Viking football. Very excitingly... but always destined to run out of gas. I was in the stands watching the Vikings be crushed by the Raiders (and three other teams in the AFC West could have delivered said asswhipping). On the surface the Vikings had better receivers and spectacular numbers in Tarkenton, but he was part of the problem. It was like watching a team play pickup street ball against a pro team. Tarkenton was awful... but very exciting.

Anonymous VD July 26, 2013 3:25 PM  

Sorry, but Stabler rocks, and I can't back your case, despite having great respect for Fran as well.

You're missing the point. Stabler was given the belt four of the five years concerned. I am arguing, with a strong statistical basis, that he merits three of the five, while Tarkenton merits four of the five. There is no way anyone can reasonably claim that Stabler's 1976 year was so great that it justified reclaiming the belt, not when he had 11 more turnovers than Tarkenton and only 10 more touchdowns.

You have to KO the champ. Stabler simply didn't do it the way Tarkenton had the year before.

Anonymous VD July 26, 2013 3:27 PM  

On the surface the Vikings had better receivers and spectacular numbers in Tarkenton, but he was part of the problem. It was like watching a team play pickup street ball against a pro team. Tarkenton was awful... but very exciting.

That's totally absurd and you clearly don't understand anything about football. The problem with the Vikings of that era was their sub-par running game. And he wasn't running around much from 1975 to 1978; he was too old. Tarkenton wasn't the best quarterback to play the game, but he was definitely top ten and he set all kinds of records in his day.

Anonymous ENthePeasant July 26, 2013 3:33 PM  

Nate, you're judgement of QB skills as always been extremely low and often based on the latest low IQ, high draft pick, Titan disaster. I remember you thought Vince Young was the second coming.

Anonymous ENthePeasant July 26, 2013 3:39 PM  

"That's totally absurd and you clearly don't understand anything about football."

I might know a lot about football, but it's true, I don't know or understand much about Viking football. I doubt very much if the Raiders, and any other winning NFL team, would have been chomping at the bit to have him. Every team in the NFL is looking for intangibles at QB... but Tarkenton was nothing but intangibles. And what do you think was the problem with the running game? How come they rarely had one during that time. And was Tarkenton calling his own plays? Yes, he was.

Anonymous DrTorch July 26, 2013 4:04 PM  

Steve Young is my favorite NFL player of all time, and I still think he's a one of the ten beast qbs ever.


Yep. I personally think best ever, even as a longtime Marino fan.

Ricky Waters fumbling in the NFC Championship game two years in a row cost Young two more SBs too.

Anonymous Josh July 26, 2013 4:10 PM  

The best qb in 1976 was probably Bert Jones, who had one of the all time great seasons.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=schatz/041208

Anonymous Josh July 26, 2013 4:12 PM  

More on great qb seasons (measured by cumulative adjusted yds per attempt over league average)

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=139

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 July 26, 2013 4:27 PM  

football immortality

Are you kidding?
Football immortality has nothing to do with determining the value and supremacy of one QB over another.
Hell, the way the NFL is determined to shoot itself in the genitals at every available opportunity, the sport itself may well be gone in a decade.
Another few seasons of pink cleats, flag-football rule implementations and helicopter moms making their sons play soccer instead of football for fear of injury, and you can shut the book on the NFL.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 July 26, 2013 4:29 PM  

Somehow, though, the SEC and Big 10(11+1+1+1+1+1) will somehow survive. The former out of honor, the latter out of the need for the former to have something to pity.
And the PAC-12, because why not.

Anonymous ENthePeasant July 26, 2013 4:30 PM  

"Ricky Waters fumbling in the NFC Championship game two years in a row cost Young two more SBs too."

Another interesting character. Two years after Waters left I was at Notre Dame for Spring Ball. Lou Holts couldn't say enough about Tim Brown. But he was very down on Waters. I don't remember exactly what had happened but ND had some big game and Waters had violated some team rules. The entire team asked Holts to suspend Waters and remove him from the locker room and practice, which Holts did. They won the game handily. Words like "no heart" and "zero integrity" are pretty serious words to hear about an NFL player who was having a great career. I doubted Holt on that one but then he started showing his true self and for every game he helped the Niners win, he caused them a loss. He shall forever more be known as "Alligator Arms" in these parts.

Anonymous G.Veil July 26, 2013 4:35 PM  

@Dr. Torch

That's ridiculous, Steve Young is five spots out from the G.O.A.T. spot sitting pretty at sixth best QB all time.

Anonymous Godfrey July 26, 2013 4:38 PM  

wcu July 26, 2013 2:32 PM "Shula would have figured out something to keep da bears off balance...it was marino's quick release and shotgun arm that defanged the bears."



Recall in that particular regular season game, the Bears were closing the gap in the second half. I think the Bears figured out what Miami was doing and adjusted. I don't think Miami would have gotten off to the big lead in the SB that they got in the regular season game.

Anonymous Godfrey July 26, 2013 4:40 PM  

@ENthePeasant July 26, 2013 3:39 PM "... but Tarkenton was nothing but intangibles. And what do you think was the problem with the running game?"



Offensive line was bad on the running game.

Anonymous Godfrey July 26, 2013 4:41 PM  

@Josh July 26, 2013 4:10 PM "The best qb in 1976 was probably Bert Jones, who had one of the all time great seasons."



And they should have beat the Raiders. I'm still angry about that game too.




Blogger James Dixon July 26, 2013 4:45 PM  

> The former out of honor...

Honor? The best talent money can buy more is like it. Don't buy your own propaganda, Huckleberry.

> And the PAC-12, because why not.

The why nots are the ACC, not the PAC-12. No one is quite sure what the PAC-12 is.

Anonymous wcu July 26, 2013 4:47 PM  

Dr teeth: what is it with 9er rbs fumbling in the championship game?...I agree, steve young would have gotten those sb wins too...he was a bigger, faster and stronger than montana...cut down too soon...

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 July 26, 2013 4:49 PM  

The why nots are the ACC

And if we were talking basketball, I'd agree with you.
We are not, so I don't.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 July 26, 2013 4:50 PM  

Don't buy your own propaganda, Huckleberry

But I got it on sale.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 July 26, 2013 4:53 PM  

No one is quite sure what the PAC-12 is

The PAC-12 is an assemblage of some good coaches, some mediocre coaches, Lane Kiffin, decent athletes, and a massive inferiority complex that is, admittedly, well-earned.

Anonymous wcu July 26, 2013 4:53 PM  

Godfrey: went back and watched that game, forgot mcmann was out...bears did adjust at halftime, but they were down 21 at halftime. Marino just had an incredible release. Damn those pats...if memory serves correct, the dolphins looked like they needed to change their cleats....they were sliding everywhere and the mark brothers couldn't get past the secondary.

Anonymous Godfrey July 26, 2013 5:02 PM  

@wcu July 26, 2013 4:53 PM "Godfrey: went back and watched that game, forgot mcmann was out...bears did adjust at halftime, but they were down 21 at halftime. Marino just had an incredible release. Damn those pats...if memory serves correct, the dolphins looked like they needed to change their cleats....they were sliding everywhere and the mark brothers couldn't get past the secondary."



That's great. I wish they had old NFL games on NetFlix or something. I'd just love to go back and watch some of those old games from the 60's and 70's.

Anonymous ENthePeasant July 26, 2013 5:06 PM  

"Offensive line was bad on the running game."

And why do you think they had such a bad group of OL for the running game? Tarkenton must hold the record for hanging onto the ball. Even during the Superbowl with the Raiders he kept that damn thing for 7 seconds all the time, which is a long time for an offensive Linment to stay on his block, so it's not like they were stiffs. When you build your offense around a QB like Tarkenton there's virtually no hope of having a running game.

Anonymous bigP July 26, 2013 5:59 PM  

Run blocking and pass blocking are different skills. Go read scout reports on OL and you will see that they delineate that. Also, if you have a QB like Tarkenton then you can build in things like play action fakes, designed rollouts etc to keep the defense honest and the field unbalanced.

Anonymous ENthePeasant July 26, 2013 6:11 PM  

"Run blocking and pass blocking are different skills."

Ummmm, I think that's my point as to why the Vikes had a hard time running with him. As for play action, without a running game, what does that accomplish? Who's going to bite on that? Rollouts are great... if you have a QB who can option or is good in the pocket. But if all the QB can do successfully is roll out you need to do is block cut off half the field and force him to throw in the other half.

Anonymous Buckeyecopperhead July 26, 2013 6:31 PM  

No way Miami was going to beat Chicago in SB XX. Not a Bears fan, but that team was a wrecking machine (h/t "Rocky") that season.

Hell, the 8-8 Browns almost beat the Dolphins at home in the Division round of the playoffs.

Anonymous ENthePeasant July 26, 2013 7:09 PM  

If you'll excuse me, I need to make VD's head explode. Bill Walsh wrote a great book called Building a Champion. One of the premises he deals with over and over is the bridge between how things look and how they really are. He talked about one great old QB who was known for his scrambling ability and had managed to make himself look pretty good... but the bottom line is he adlibed everything. Coaches could never mount a coherent plan, or execute it late in the game, it was all about the QB making it up on the field. Drafting talent meant nothing because you couldn't count on anything. In fact this QB often pointed to a receiver telling where to go when he started scrambling and God help the receiver if he didn't do what the QB was signalling, not that anyone knew what he was trying to signal, but TV commentators and fans were sure this pantomime was genius. The QB did what he wanted and everything became a reaction to his spur of the moment field decisions. Practices were held but a total waste of time. The QB did what he did in games. Coaches couldn't get rid of the guy. He was far more popular than any coach. And Owners loved how exciting he was. Filled seats. So coaches did the only thing they could to gain some control, they created a great defense (which is solid thinking in any NFL team). Walsh said of this guy (wish could watch VD's head right now) that he would have been a great QB in the so-called "West Coast Offense"... early on anyways. But he had too many bad habits as he aged, the result of some success winning and love in the media. The team had tried to trade him off and on for years, but no one wanted him. But he was and is a fan favorite.

Blogger Bogey July 26, 2013 8:55 PM  

Stabler always had issues with his knees, so his mobility was limited as well. As we know the great generals not only command respect from their followers but are also loved. Everyone here in the bay area including his team loved the fuck out of Stabler, the only odd person out was Al Davis.

Stabler had moments of sheer unadulterated brilliance and it showed when he picked apart the Vikings. And when it came to the Superbowl, Tarkenton was like an eunuch in a harem (to borrow an old phrase). On top of all of that Tarkenton is boring, he was a boring quarterback, and even a boring broadcaster. Boring, boring, boring, zoring, zzzzzzzz.

Sorry dude, The Snake deserves his due here.

Anonymous wcu July 26, 2013 10:24 PM  

Yea, the dolphins made a lot of people cry...built up big leads, couldn't hold them, spotty running game and flimsy defense doomed dan the man...still believe in my heart that the dolphins would have won, that was marino's last big chance...by the time jimmy johnson got their and tried to rebuild, it was too little, too late.

Anonymous wcu July 26, 2013 10:29 PM  

Godfrey, its great watching those old games with the commercials and the commentary as well...I'm sure there would be a market for those old retro games. Went back and watched some old larry bird/ celtic games against the bulls...it was really an eye opener how good larry was and how many times the celtics dominated the bulls...I know...off topic...

Blogger Miss Carnivorous July 26, 2013 11:11 PM  

I was 15 in 1977 and I had to move to Kansas City, Mo, to live with my uncle because my mom was on drugs . My uncle's girlfriend's daughter was a cheerleader for Raymore/Peculiar High School. She introduced me to the football team at the school. All I had to say was that I was from Oakland and I got beaucoup respect. The Oakland Raiders of the 1970's put Oakland on the map!

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