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3 NFL Quarterbacks under the Most Pressure for 2014-2015

I chose to not take the fish-in-a-barrel route with this piece. You’re not going to find slam dunk names such as Geno Smith, Jake Locker, Mike Glennon or Robert Griffin III on this list. What if the Quarterbacks I discuss have a combined 5 Superbowl titles between them?

Tom Brady

[adinserter block=”1″]When you initially look at Tom Brady the last few years and compare him to anyone else on this list, he seems the furthest stretch to even be considered like this. Since 2002 the worst 3 records on the Patriots resume are a 9-7 in 2002, 10-6 in 2005 and 10-6 in 2009. Brady is assuredly going to finish in everyone’s eyes as one of the greatest QB’s of all time. His obvious declines this past season have really only been in consistent throws and a slight slip in completion percentage. During the 2013 season, Brady would consistently overthrow or underthrow wide open receivers while getting no significant pressure from the opposing defense. Couple this with his completion percentage overall dropping about 2% each year since 2011 (65-63-60), Brady has been on the slow decline. Overall, this is not a shock for a 37 year old QB with 12 years’ experience.

Brady’s biggest hurdle is just going to be getting back and winning an elusive 4th Superbowl title. 10 years is a long time between big wins and although he has gotten back twice (only to be thwarted but someone else on this list), winning the big one is the one and only thing that matters for his upcoming season. To be frank, he did this to himself. Tom Brady (and Peyton Manning) are so great that anything but a Superbowl victory is a disappointment this late in their careers. You just can’t win 3 Superbowls and then produce a big goose egg for the next 10 years. Ultimately, Tom Brady will have free reign to do as he pleases in New England. I would equate it to Brett Favre’s end with the Minnesota Vikings. Brady will let the Patriots know when he is done rather than the other way around.

Maybe I am also a tad intrigued because of Ryan Mallet (3rd round draft pick – 2011) and Jimmy Garoppolo (2nd round pick – 2014) lying in wait on the sidelines.

Temperature of the Hot Seat: A cool, breezy April day in New England

Matt Ryan

Matty “Ice” checks in for almost the same reason I have Tom Brady on my list. Except that Matt has no Superbowls and 0.6% of the overall playoff wins that Brady has. He needs to win a big game….any big game….just not in the regular season. 6 years in the league has yielded Ryan a 1-4 playoff record. Overall Ryan has a very impressive regular season win record as a starting QB (60-34), touchdown/interception stat line (153/77) but it’s the playoffs that are dragging down any of the career highlights of this near 30 year-old QB. He just signed a 5 year extension worth a little over a $100 million a few years ago so I don’t expect a drastic move from the Falcons but going 4-12 last season really caught my attention.

The defense did need retooled and injuries plagued the Falcons with Julio Jones, Roddy White but Matt Ryan himself was only able to pry out 4 wins last season? He couldn’t even scratch and claw that team to 7-9? I can give him a pass because one bad season does not define an entire career and one can argue that even with Jones and White healthy that no one was going to top Seattle or Denver when it came to the Superbowl. Hot off his first playoff win in 2012, Atlanta was predicted to roll the NFC South, walk into the playoffs and be a mortal lock for the NFC Title game. The absolute worst case scenario happened last year and Ryan needs to rebound and consistently put some playoff wins on the resume.

Temperature of the Hot Seat: a hot day in the middle of June in Atlanta with an air conditioner on the fritz.

Eli Manning

Manning has had a pretty dismal last 2 seasons. The Giants themselves have now missed the playoffs 2 consecutive years after winning it all in 2011. Manning’s overall completion percentage has steadily declined since 2010. It was as high as 63% and was as low as 57.5% last season. The 63% completion season landed the Giants as the 8th best passing team in the NFL. This past season, at 57.5%, saw the Giants checking in at the near bottom of the league (28th). Since winning his first Superbowl in 2007, Eli has been 4-1 in the playoffs with another Superbowl win. 4-1 and a Superbowl you say? Well that’s not bad at all…right?

[adinserter block=”2″]In theory, no it’s not that awful. It does make that record smaller when you look at it as over the course of almost 7 seasons that he only has played in 5 playoff games. Eli has made a name for himself with big time Superbowl wins and I can’t take that away from him but the NFL is more and more a “what have you done for me lately” league. What’s the bottom line with Eli? He enters the season being 33 years old and has only played into January twice in the last 7 years. He needs to get back to an elite regular season form and not the form of last year where he amassed over 20 interceptions for the third time in his career.

Temperature of the Hot Seat: A few more Ryan Nassib jerseys appearing at the stadium each week

NFL Jerseys on Amazon.com

Tony Bitkowski
Contact Tony on Twitter @TonyBitkowski.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. All three of your picks are head scratchers. Eli Manning had no offensive line last year. I mean, that offensive line was like a turnstile. Haakeem Nicks was useless. Victor Cruz was the only receiver who could catch the ball. The Giants defense did not help Eli out. The Giants had a good chance to win back to back Super Bowls if that idiot receiver Plaxico Burriss didn’t shoot himself in the leg. Not Eli’s fault. Matt Ryan had similar offensive line problems. Had injuries to key players. Tom Brady, what you wrote sounds like the stuff I read on ESPN. Reason the Pats haven’t won in ten years is a NEGLECTED AND DECLINING DEFENSE. Sure, Brady, like ALL aging athletes is facing a slight decline, but as far as I am concerned, I really don’t think he has a lot of pressure. He got a rag tag team to it’s 3rd AFC championship game in a row. The man was working with new receivers and with Gronk in and out of the line up. Nice article, but I think you could have picked better candidates. Just my opinion.

    • i appreciate the reply and the feedback!

      For Matt Ryan – I just
      don’t see how a guy with unbelievable QB stats in the regular season and
      has 5 playoff appearances in 6 years and only has 1 win to show for it.
      Matt Ryan has the same playoff win total as Tim Tebow. He is a
      completely different guy when the pressure is on. I can give him a
      regular season pass for missing Jones/White (maybe) but missing both of
      those guys is the equivalent of dropping 9 wins between seasons? And
      even then he had Julio and Roddy for 5 games together and they still
      started 1-4. After Jones went down he still had Roddy for another 8 or 9
      weeks and still only amassed 2 or 3 total wins.

      For Brady –
      Wouldn’t the fact that he has gotten a group a misfits to 3 straight AFC
      championships put him under said pressure? Defense is bad – “well we
      still got Tom”, Receivers are awful ‘ “well we still got Tom”,
      Gronkowski’s hurt again – “well we still got Tom.” I mean he got them
      that far, why can’t he take them further? So when they finally do lose
      at some point, its now on the coaches or the wide outs or the defense or
      Gronkowski’s injuries etc. No one made Belichick create that entire
      offense around Brady-to-Gronk and then couple that with a stable of 11
      running backs to get 54 yards a game. No one makes Brady throw a
      fastball at wide open guys feet on 5 yard route. Brady is definitely
      under immense pressure.

      For Eli – Its hard to look past them
      going 1-4 down the stretch that 2008 season including the playoffs and
      pin pointing that entirely on Plaxico. It’s a good one, don’t get me
      wrong but when Plaxico was out they still had Amani Toomer, Steve Smith,
      Ahmad Bradshaw was still healthy, Kevin Boss was coming along nicely
      for them and then they just flat tanked it. They didn’t lose Jerry Rice
      in the middle of their playoff run. Eli has either lead or been tied for
      the league lead in picks 3 out of the last 7 years. He is the only
      person consistently on that list. I dare even say this but Tony Romo is
      only on there once (i’ll be honest, I was stunned by that)

      For
      all 3 of these guys we could each make excuses for them all until we our
      blue in the face. If we want to put asterisks by their respective
      seasons and include hardships that’s fine but the bottom line comes down
      to these guys all are facing some sort of heat coming from some
      direction.

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