Who Didn’t See That Coming?

February 5, 2007 – 3:59 am by Ryan Phillips

The Super Bowl is where quarterbacks cement their legacy. And two quarterbacks did that yesterday. Peyton Manning passed his way into the “greatest of all time” discussion and Rex Grossman threw himself (off his back foot, of course) into the “why does this guy have a job?” discussion.

When the always fantastic Jamie Mottram (better known to you as Mr. Irrelevant) published his list of the 40 most blogged about athletes of 2006, he included a few of our quotes, including one on Mr. Grossman. Here’s what that entry looked like:

39. Rex Grossman: “We’ve spent most of this year making fun of him because he’s going to cost his otherwise outstanding team a shot at the Super Bowl title with his awful play.” — Rumors and Rants

To all my friends out there who happen to be Bears fans, I’m not sorry. Your team absolutely deserved the 29-17 whuppin it got last night. You’ve turned Lovie Smith into a Chicago icon over night and no one stopped to ask why he stuck with such an awful quarterback all season. My opinion? Rex has compromising photos of Smith. Has to be, there’s no other explanation.

The Bears won in spite of Rex this year, yet Smith never made a change. Instead, he stuck with Grossman and made the most entertaining part of Super Bowl XLI Prince’s halftime performance. I’ve never been a huge Prince fan, but I’ll give him credit, the guy is good. Despite looking like a cross between Little Richard and Paula Abdul, he did his thing.

Anyway, as far as Rex is concerned, let’s just analyze the facts shall we?

-This season Rex Grossman had games in which he compiled ratings of: 64.9 (@ Min), 36.8 (Mia), 23.6 (NE), 1.3 (Min) and 0.0 (GB). His overall rating of 73.9 ranked 24th out of the 32 NFL quarterbacks who qualified.

-Including the Super Bowl he had seven games in which he threw two or more interceptions, including a four interception game against the always stellar Arizona Cardinal defense. His 20 interceptions (against 23 touchdowns) were the third most in the league.

-Including the NFC title game against the Saints, Grossman had six games where he had a completion percentage of 50% or less. His 54.6% completion percentage for the season was bad enough to be ranked 28th in the league.

And as for last night, Rex looked like he took the Colts and the points. He finished with two interceptions, only one touchdown, two fumbles (one lost) and a rating of 68.3 while leading his offense to just 265 total yards. Nice work Rex.

Despite the mountain of statistical evidence working against him, if you asked Smith all season, Grossman was his quarterback. Now Lovie, I know your options were limited – neither Brian Griese nor Kyle Orton remind anyone of Montana – but seriously man, you did nothing to light a fire under Grossman’s mediocre ass. In the NFL, average players lose their jobs daily and according to the stats, Grossman is far below average.

I have a ton of friends who are smart, knowledgeable and (strange as it may seem) articulate Bears fans. Seeing them talk themselves into Grossman this season was hard to watch. For their sake, I hope someone in the Bears’ front-office has a brain and they do something about the quarterback situation.

But as far as this site is concerned, I’m praying for another year of Grossman material, it’s just too easy.

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  1. 16 Responses to “Who Didn’t See That Coming?”

  2. Not to quibble, but the 0,0 qb rating vs. Green Bay was from week 17 (when Grossman only played a series, if I remember correctly), so don’t factor that into the verdict. But from everything else, you still come to the same conclusion, so, no worries.

    By whykiki on Feb 5, 2007

  3. Actually he played the whole 1st half of the Green Bay game, but like you said, like it matters anyway.

    By Anonymous on Feb 5, 2007

  4. Whykiki, you are absolutely wrong. Rex in the 3rd quarter, but by that time the game was already out of hand and in no part to a terrible performance on his part. He wouldn’t have been chastised so much for his comments about not preparing or focusing on NYE if he only played one series.

    By Anonymous on Feb 5, 2007

  5. This is absolutely wrong. Why is no one willing to give him a break? First of all, this is his first full season of playing. Before this season, he has a had a grand total of 8 games. So can we give him a little slack for being inexperienced? Peyton Manning had an awful first season, recording a rating of 71.2, but I don’t recall everyone calling for his job, and I think he’s turned out pretty well.

    And what about the “he wins football games” argument. In case you forgot, his record this year, including the playoffs, was 15-4. That is hardly below-average. And the QBs below him in rating? Their teams’ records were, respectively, 8-8, 4-12, 6-10, and another 8-8. That’s leaving out Jake Plummer and Joey Harrington, non-full time starters. And of those quarterbacks below him in rating, some of them aren’t so bad – you know, guys like Brett Favre and Brad Johnson, both Super Bowl winners. Furthermore, the average QB rating from 2000 through 2003 was 78.9, and if you throw out the 0.0 Packers game, Rex reaches that level.

    On the tangent of winning football games, where is the love that Roethlisberger got? He was absolutely awful this season and in the Super Bowl, and yet all that anyone ever heard about was his ability to win the games. This sounds like a double standard to me.

    And now in a historical context – the Bears have had traditionally awful QB play. Grossman is, if nothing else, better than the luminaries who have graced the position like, oh, Jim Miller, Henry Burris, Shane Matthews, Cade McNown, Jim McMahon (who never completed 60% of his passes as a Bear), Jonathan Quinn, Kyle Orton, Dave Kreig….you know what, here’s a list: http://www.bearshistory.com/lore/chicagobearsquarterbacks.aspx

    And I’d like to expound on Orton a bit more too – he played 15 games without cries for his job every other week despite posting a 59.2 (!) rating for the season. He only completed 60+% of his passes in 4 games, and only once recorded a rating over 100, a feat that Grossman accomplished a league-high 7 times (a fact that you conveniently left out of your post).

    By Patrick on Feb 5, 2007

  6. Patrick – you have GOT to be kidding me. No? You’re serious?

    Grossman had a tremendous football team at his disposal this season. A very good defense, a solid running game, and effective receivers. During Manning’s rookie campaign, the Colts were ABSOLUTE CRAP.

    Further, despite playing only 8 games previous to the 06-07 season, this doesn’t make him the equivilent of a rookie. He’s gone through 3 training camps, 3 offseason workout programs, and he’s been on the sideline, where he should have been learning the game in the same way that Philip Rivers did behind Drew Brees in San Diego.

    Still further, why would you throw out the Green Bay game in determining his passer rating. It happened my friend. And even without it, as you suggest, he’s an AVERAGE QB. I don’t want an average QB on my team.

    I’ll compare him to Roethlisberger when he wins 14 in a row and a Super Bowl. Until then, he (despite similar statistics) won’t be mentioned in the same breath.

    Orton didn’t receive cries for his job because they didn’t have a choice. There WAS no backup. And they tried, believe me, they tried. Krenzel anyone?

    And the rest of those quarterbacks you mentioned…you’re right, Grossman is an improvement compared to the crap the front office has put on the field. But we shouldn’t give him a break just because he’s better than that sorry lot. He’s still awful and if you put any of the top 10 QBs in the league on that team, you’d be looking at a 17-2 record and potentially a Super Bowl. I say potentially because despite how horrible Rex was yesterday, the defense could have at least TRIED to stop the Colts.

    By Cap on Feb 5, 2007

  7. Yeah, the defense was terrible. But, and this is especially true in today’s NFL, you can’t have it all. They have a great defense, and at the cost of that, they cannot have a top-10 quarterback. Rex is a QB with ups and downs, but overall an average QB should be enough to win it. And I believe that Rex, given more time, can be that and more. And maybe next time, the opponent won’t get the chance to run 92,532 plays to the Bears’ 6.

    By Anonymous on Feb 5, 2007

  8. Oh, and that last comment was me, Patrick.

    By Patrick on Feb 5, 2007

  9. I’ll cut Rex all the slack in the world. Fine. He’s young, inexperienced, blah, blah, blah.

    What the hell is Lovie’s excuse for leaving him in to LOSE THE SUPER BOWL?!?!

    By Anonymous on Feb 5, 2007

  10. I absolutely think that you CAN have it all, if you do things right. As much as I hate them, the Patriots have had it all for the better part of the past decade. And the Colts, well, their defense used to be thought of as awful, but they looked pretty dominating in 4 straight playoff games and I think that might give them the confidence to start off a little better next season.

    The Packers and Broncos each had it all for a time in the mid to late 90s.

    I don’t know man, I think the Bears need to identify a better quarterback and make room on the roster and in the salary cap to get him. Mark my words, Rex Grossman will never win a Super Bowl (at least as the starting quarterback…he might get a ring from the bench as the backup.)

    By Cap on Feb 5, 2007

  11. Tom Brady was a 6th round pick, that’s catching lightning in a bottle. That plus great scheming from Belichick on defense gives them a great all around team. I’ll never understand why people are so dead set against Rex as QB – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fanbase turn so quickly on a guy. He gets injured 2 seasons in a row while being waited on as the franchise savior and then he comes back and is erratic in his first full season and people are ready to run him out of town. Whatever. Now mark my words – Brian Griese and Jeff Garcia are not guys who can win a Super Bowl. Rex Grossman will be able to.

    By Patrick on Feb 5, 2007

  12. Patrick, while I appreciate your optimism I have to completely disagree with your last comment. Grossman should be better than he is at this point (see Philip Rivers).

    Unless he completely changes his style – throwing off his back foot, floating deep balls, forcing throws etc. – there is no way he can ever win a Super Bowl. He has not changed at all since his years at Florida. Spurrier used to constantly tell him he needed to change that stuff, that’s why he and Grossman butted heads so much.

    By Phillips on Feb 5, 2007

  13. Roethlisberger won the Super Bowl. Fans and critics like quarterbacks that do that. Rex just lost the game for the Bears. Down 5 in the 4th quarter to a Colts team that had dominated almost every single statistical category? What happened? Rex throws two interceptions and can’t handle the snap. Really the 2nd and 1 play cost the Bears the game I think. Run the freakin’ ball. You’re gonna let REX GROSSMAN throw it to try and win the game? Don’t coaches watch film? Maybe the coaches are to blame. Who knows. Colts 29 Bears 17. That’s all that matters.

    By Anonymous on Feb 6, 2007

  14. How can you people possibly deny the double standard for a guy like Roethlisberger. As far as I can tell, Patrick is the one person in this discussion who’s trying to talk some sense.

    The fact is that, yes, Grossman is a very talented passer who hasn’t fully honed his skills yet. And you say no one can win a Super Bowl throwing off his back foot and forcing throws? HUH??????

    Brett Favre.

    Patrick hit it on the head. How can you just throw out those seven games with a rating over 100? That’s bonkers. Typically, when you get these types of results from a young player (that is, tremendous highs and tremendous lows), the consistent high-level play comes out in time. This, I believe, holds true across all sports. In fact, it’s young guys who play consistently above-average but exhibit mediocre raw talent who ultimately get figured out and fizzle.

    Oh, and one last bit of trivia… In those “Bad Rex” games this year, do you know what Rex’s pass protection was? It was shit. The answer is shit.

    You Grossman bashers should at least attempt to put his performance in a historical context and evaluate his performance beyond the major blunders and QB rating, which oh-by-the-way is skewed by completion%, which oh-by-the-way is horribly overrated.

    By Vinnie on Feb 6, 2007

  15. this has nothing to do with his passing ability…it’s his decision making that is horrible. HORRIBLE. And it always has been….and you can’t teach that. in fact, it seems to be getting worse.

    I haven’t turned on him, I never thought he would make it to begin with. Playing under spurrier in the fun and gun didn’t teach him the proper tools to be an NFL QB. Sorry, it’s just a fact.

    as for the double standard roethlisberger argument, I haven’t heard good things about him as a passer pretty much ever. Anyone that has ever listened to these so called analysts would hear how much crap he takes. But the bottom line is that he won a super bowl.

    rex crapped the bed and blew the game for the bears. like I said, the defense played it’s part as did the special teams once indy adjusted and stopped kicking to hester, they had no return game at all.

    the bottom line that rex is NOT a good QB and never was….dramatic highs and lows don’t usually pan out…it’s hit or miss. Rex is a miss. If I’m wrong, feel free to rip me on it when he wins a super bowl. I won’t hold my breath for the “i told you so” email.

    By Cap on Feb 6, 2007

  16. Vinnie, I never said no one could win throwing off their back foot, etc. I said Rex couldn’t.

    Honestly you can’t compare anybody to Brett Favre. He does things with the football that no one else can. He can throw off his back foot because he has a once-in-a-generation arm, Rex doesn’t. He has a decent arm but nothing compared to Favre.

    Favre was also a superior decision maker in his prime, Rex is not.

    As for the Roethlisberger thing, it basically comes to this, the Steelers used him correctly. There were games in which he only threw the ball 11, 14, 15, 16 and 19 times. Because of their running game they could hide him. It was smart coaching, pure and simple.

    By Phillips on Feb 6, 2007

  17. look it is as simple as this – the colts win because of their quarterback where the bears won games IN SPITE of theirs… that just won’t ever win the superbowl. he should have been pulled for griese. or hell kyle orton – he never had a problem holding on to the ball when he was QB.

    By Anonymous on Feb 6, 2007

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