Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Feb 2014

The QB to Defend The Planet

If an alien race came to earth and challenged us to a game of football to keep the planet, who would be your starting quarterback?

I don’t care how you imagine the aliens or if you pick a player who is 60 or six feet under and the aliens resurrect him in his prime condition. That dilemma is for your twisted imagination. I just want to know who you pick.

Here’s the follow up: If the aliens’ deal is that we have to pick a quarterback from this 2014 draft class, who would it be?

Go to Matt Waldman's RSP blog and add a comment at the bottom of the post this link above takes you. List each name.

ONLY LEAVE THE TWO NAMES. It’s not that I don’t care about your reasons why, but at this point I don’t care about your reasons why. I just want to take the top 5-10 answers and hold a tournament.

I will ask writers to represent each choice (for the first question) and present their arguments here before the final vote.

Posted by: Matt Waldman on 27 Feb 2014

36 comments, Last at 08 Mar 2014, 11:15am by Noah Arkadia


by jtr :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 8:13pm

There's only one choice to win an athletic contest for the fate of the world: Bill Murray.

As far as players eligible for the draft, we could probably talk Murray into declaring.

by The Hypno-Toad :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 9:15pm

Basically I just wish this thread was about the Futurama episode "Time Keeps on Slippin'"
Real Answers:
Peyton Manning
Teddy Bridgewater, I suppose. He's a real person, right?

Futurama Answers

by nat :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 10:30pm

This is no time for a one-and-done!

by dryheat :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 11:03pm

Is this a trick question? The answer, of course, is Flash Gordon, quarterback, New York Jets. Although Tom Brady could definitely do that.

by nat :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:45am

Flash Gordon is by far the best answer yet.

by drobviousso :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:56am

Flash Gordon, Quarterback, New York Jets is the only correct answer.

by Noah Arkadia :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 1:34pm

Gordon's alive??

The man with no sig

by johonny :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 2:09pm

Pretty much having to go with Flash Gordon.

by Arnie Herber :: Sat, 03/01/2014 - 10:03pm

I think Waldman clearly needs to devote a paragraph to why Flash Gordon has proven to be the best option. Then, he can move on to explore the debate between QBs we're familiar with from NFL history...

(For talents that might prove useful in defending the planet, I am inclined to think of Randall Cunningham; or perhaps Tarkenton, Baugh, or myself, Arnie Herber.)

by Sifter :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 11:10pm

I would probably pick Cam Newton from the current bunch. Main reason being that we don't know how athletic the aliens are. If they are super athletes, then you want someone athletic back at QB so you have half a chance to compete. If the aliens are NOT super athletic, then picking a very athletic QB gives him a chance to dominate eg. Cam's college career. In fact I would argue you would run a college type attack, based on the aliens probable lack of football knowledge. Wishbone, read option type stuff that will fool those aliens good. So I'd be looking at the best athletic college QBs: of recent times Newton, Tebow, Vince Young, Vick and back to Tommie Frazier, Charlie Ward, John Elway etc. if we are raising guys back to their peak levels.

I guess Manziel best fits that description for the current class.

by Pen :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 11:47pm

I'd take Wilson, the only QB to start his first two seasons with a 100+ rating. Because he can improvise when things go wrong.

Bridgewater because Manziel probably would be out partying like it's 1999 the night before.

by Guest789 :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 2:25pm

If you want a Wilson-type QB, you have to take Rodgers - basically Wilson but 10%-20% better in every way.


“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

by Michael19531 :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 1:18am

1. Tom Brady
2. AJ McCarron

by andrew :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 3:28am

I was torn between Sammy Baugh and Fran Tarkenton.

I figure the aliens would have a ferocious pass rush which tarkenton's chaos would be good at avoiding. Baugh was pretty quick as well (hell he played defensive back as well). Baugh has the added benefit of being able to pin the aliens deep with his punts and quick kicks.

In the end I went with Tarkenton, mainly because of his prowess in taking woefully outclassed teams (the expansion vikings, the late 60s Giants) and making them at least respectable. Dr. Z once was asked to name the greatest single game quarterback performance he had ever seen. He selected Tarkenton, with those giants in 1971 playing a Cowboys team whose third string was better at every other position than the Giants starters. And somehow Tark made it competitive. He still lost in the end, but Zimmerman called it a heroic performance...

by Theo :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 6:24am

Kurt Warner in his prime was from another planet himself.

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:12am

Has to be Montana. Just look at his playoff stats from that Scott Kasmar study of postseason passers.

For a season I think I'd take Manning.

by djanyreason :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:48am

I think Joe Montana is only the correct answer if the aliens can also resurrect an in-his-prime John Candy to watch the game.

by Kevin from Philly :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:29am

Vinny Testeverde. Never bet against a Sicillian when death is on the line.

by djanyreason :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:47am


by drobviousso :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:56am

I was wrong above. There are two correct answers.

by nat :: Sat, 03/01/2014 - 11:01am

I don't think that scene ended the way you think it ended.

by The Hypno-Toad :: Sat, 03/01/2014 - 12:16pm

Alternate comment construction:

You keep quoting that scene. I do not think it means what you think it means.

by nat :: Sun, 03/02/2014 - 7:20pm

Yours is better. Good work.

by Noah Arkadia :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 1:29pm

I don't get it. Is Chuck Norris ill or something? Chuck Norris is the correct answer to nearly every question. He's just designed that way.

Seriously, though, Bruce Campbell. No question about it.

The man with no sig

by tomdrees :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 2:38pm

So many people here are counting out Touchdown Tom.

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:13pm

That's an unusual nickname for Joe Montana.

by Hurt Bones :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 3:01pm

1. Eddie Le Baron. Sure he's 84 and 5'7", but he's got a couple of things none of the others have a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

2. Aaron Murray. Working on his graduate degree in Industrial and Organization Psychology so a little bit above your average draft prospect.

by nonabsorbing :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 3:26pm

Science fiction? Friends, we have a quarterback defending us from SCIENCE FACT.


by LionInAZ :: Sat, 03/01/2014 - 11:41pm

Purdue neckbeards to the rescue!

by JFP :: Sun, 03/02/2014 - 8:49pm

Sigourney Weaver.

Space Jam era Michael Jordan. Pretty sure he's draft eligible.

by Jimmy :: Mon, 03/03/2014 - 10:40am

I am going with Bobby Douglass purely because there must have been some reason he played QB in the NFL and it certainly wasn't because of how he threw a football. Destiny, I think so.

by jebmak :: Mon, 03/03/2014 - 2:56pm

Quentin Barnes.

No doubt about it. He has as much or more athleticism than anyone else, and a helluvan arm. Plus, experience playing against aliens.

by Otis Taylor89 :: Mon, 03/03/2014 - 4:09pm

It's got to be Montana. He was a mobile QB, had touch and was clutch in college and NFL. He could close the deal on the aliens.

by Sisyphus :: Thu, 03/06/2014 - 5:11pm

You get any quarterback in their prime. While Montana is the obvious choice there I would go for Warren Moon.

Out of this years class the choices all seem to be a muddled heap; perhaps McCarron but that would simply be that he is the only QB I saw play more than once.

by Pen :: Fri, 03/07/2014 - 4:04pm

I don't think Rodgers has Wilson's improvisational skills. He has a lot of great skills and would rate out better, but if you went by DYAR or even the eye test, Peyton Manning is the QB to take. But we all saw what happens when you take away everything but the short passes and then pressure even the best QB. He gets a SB record for most completions and gets blown out. We've seen all year long what happens when you take away Wilson's routes and put insane pressure on him. He wins. Even Aaron Rodgers doesn't have that skill set. Since this is to save the planet vs an alien race (so it's silly lol, but let's assume here that the alien race has an even BETTER defense than Seattles), Wilson, Luck and Kaepernick are the only real choices here. Not the elite QB's, because only a mobile QB has a chance. Kap chokes when forced to rely solely upon his arm, Luck throws too many INT's to let the fate of the human race depend upon him. Wilson just doesn't make mistakes.
I take Wilson.

by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 03/08/2014 - 11:15am

Are we talking about Wade Wilson here? I can't really think of any Wilson that'd be in the conversation.

The man with no sig