Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

17 Oct 2005

Pick Six

So much for thinking the Steelers had a capable backup in Tommy Maddox. Maddox, who replaced an injured Ben Roethlisberger, had four turnovers -- two in overtime -- and struggled throwing the ball (at least to Steelers players) all day. Maybe he's not really this bad, but I don't think anyone would've complained if Cowher had pulled him in favor of Charlie Batch.

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 17 Oct 2005

21 comments, Last at 18 Oct 2005, 7:55pm by Jerry


by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 10:43am

I think most Steeler fans would have been OK with Cowher pulling him and replacing him with the lucky fan seated in Section 31, Row 14, Seat 3.


by Fnor (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 10:45am

I think the rules say the player has to be on your payroll in order to play, though, T.

So I would say the peanut guy from section 10. You should see the touch he has throwing into a crowd!

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 11:51am

Watched that whole game.

I can safely say that was the worst game I've ever seen a QB play.

by noahpoah (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 11:54am

I can safely say that was the worst game I’ve ever seen a QB play.

Yes, but will DPAR agree? Will Alex Smith's week old record be broken? I can't wait to find out!

by calig23 (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 1:43pm

Sadly, it wasn't the first time Maddox handed a game to the opponent on a silver platter.

Remember the Texans game of a few years ago, when the Steelers held the Texans to 3 first downs and 40 some total yards, but lost 24-6 because Maddox tossed two TD passes to Aaron Glenn and had a nice handoff (I mean fumble) to Kenny Wright for another TD.

I can't believe he wasn't yanked after the second pick. Who cares how long it had been since Batch had seen meaninful action?

Another choke by the master choker, Bill Cowher.

by Nick (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 2:04pm

Sorry, but anyone who says that was the worst game they've ever seen a QB play apparently didn't get to enjoy the Jonathan Quinn era in Chicago. Maddox was terrible, no doubt, but Quinn was on a completely different level than anyone I've ever seen.

by Stiller Fan in Cle (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 2:07pm

Don't remind me about that Texans game...I was there...he made Aaron Glenn look like a hero...

I've been screaming that Maddox is horrible ever since the Bills' game at the end of last season. The three throws he did make were horrible. I didn't get to watch the game yesterday, but I'm sure his skills haven't exactly improved since last year.

Where's Brian St. Pierre when you need him? Heck, where's that guy who was arrested for imitating Brian St. Pierre?

by JonL (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 2:20pm

Here's a question: Why are there so few good quarterbacks? Is it because the position such a unique combination of physical and mental ability? Is it because of the high amount of chance that occurs when the ball leaves the hand? What?

by Aaron (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 2:58pm

As you guys will see when the Quick Reads go up, this not only wasn't the worst game of the year, it wasn't the worst game of the week. Hint: look at the down and distance situations where Maddox turned the ball over.

by charles (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 3:14pm

Hint: look at the down and distance situations where Maddox turned the ball over.

That's true, but he turned the ball over twice in overtime, shouldn't he receive big deductions in the close and late game category.

by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 3:15pm

Unfortunately i've been down on Tommy Mad-Dox since before he suited up in the black and gold. I never understood the signing from the start and I never understood the fascination during the 2002 season. Even then he was a turnover machine, and in crucial situations.

Remember his first game against the Browns? He did come in and lead the 4th quarter comeback, but remember overtime? His first pass was thrown into double coverage and picked off by Daylon McCutcheon instantly putting the Browns in automatic field goal range. Luckily Phil Dawsons kick scraped off Kimos helmet and that was enough to juuuuuust force it wide. It was like that all season.

The Houston game may have been worse than this game simply because the Steelers defense really did dominate in that game. Quite possibly the best they've played over the past 5 years.

I don't think Charlie Batch would have really played any better yesterday, but I don't think he would have made the stupid mistakes. So.....maybe that would have been the difference.

Actually, I was shocked Ben didn't actually play. He went through his normal warm up routine, came out on the field, with no brace on the knee or anything that would make him look like he was injured and was rolling out to both sides of the field throwing absolute bullets from the 50 yard line to the goal line (on the run) hitting recievers coach Bruce Arians right on the chest every single time.

In short: He looked like Ben.

If I had to put money on it, i'd have said he was playing. Didn't even have a limp in his step.

Back to Turnover Tommy. I don't want to say he's the worst QB I ever saw play for the Steelers because I had the displeasure of watching Kent Graham play. But if I had to rank a list of QB's that i'd never want to see play for the Steelers again i'd rank them:

1. Kent Graham
2. Tommy Maddox
3. Mark Malone

He's that bad.

The playoff comeback against the Browns is one of my favorite all-time sports memories, and for that one day Heinz Field actually felt like Three Rivers Stadium, but other than that.....Tommy. You've always stunk.

by Harris (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 3:26pm

So long as a Detmer draws a paycheck Maddox can't be the worst QB in the league.

by johonny (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 3:30pm

I don't know if he's the worst but Gus Frerotten sure is consistant. 66.0, 66.8 and a 68.7 QB rating the last 3 weeks.

by Nate (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 3:32pm

Man, you Steelers fans are spoiled. The Bears have probably had 5 QB's in the last five years worse than Tommy.

For starters, Henry Burris and Jonathan Quinn.

by melissa (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 3:40pm

I didn't see this game, but the Steelers only had 73 yds rushing and 15 of those were Maddox and Jax had a horrible rush def so far this year (26th DVOA). Was the low rush total because Maddox sucked so much that Jax could just stack the line every time? Or did the Steelers just not rush well? Because I would think that would be more of a concern for Steeler fans since that team is built around the run (or was which is maybe why people didn't hate Maddox as much before?)

by calig23 (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 5:17pm

The Steelers ran poorly. The O-line basically got dominated, which always happens against good teams.

However, when you repeatedly run Willie Parker right at Henderson and Stroud, instead of, say, to the outside, it's not really surprising that the running game blows. And Bettis simply disappeared after the first half.

Just a horribly coached football game by the Steelers.

by Aaron Boden (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 5:17pm


While the bears have had quite a few bad qb's, I wouldn't put Burris as one of them. He was put in by chicago when he clearly wasn't ready, but he has become quite the good QB in the CFL. A lot of people would laugh at that, but consider that the CFL is a wide open league where you have to pass to win.

by JonL (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 5:49pm

Remember, Tim Hasselbeck had a QB rating of 0.0 a few years ago.

by dogtor (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 6:37pm

"A lot of people would laugh at that, but consider that the CFL is a wide open league where you have to pass to win."
Consider that the CFL is populated by horrible players that couldn't even make practice sqauds in the NFL.
Also consider that by your logic the NFL should be stealing QBs from the Arena League like there's no tomorrow.

by smash mouth football (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 8:52pm

Hey Steelers fans! Not trying to rub your noses in it, but now you can at least comprehend how frustrating it must be to root for the Ravens. Maddox's bad game yesterday is just AVERAGE compared to a typical Ravens QB. This also illustrates how crucial it is to be able to run effectively.

by Jerry (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2005 - 7:55pm

smash mouth,

You know what Wright, Kordell, and St. Pierre all have in common, of course.