Teddy Bridgewater & Beyond: Backup Quarterback Rankings

Miami Dolphins QB Teddy Bridgewater
Miami Dolphins QB Teddy Bridgewater
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 1 - Poor Teddy Bridgewater. He finally landed in an offense custom-tailored for a pesky ball-distributing leadership guy with a B-minus fastball. Bridgewater could have a Pro Bowl-caliber season just dishing slants and drags to Tyreek Hill in Mike McDaniel's designer Shanahan-knockoff Miami Dolphins offense. But he's stuck behind Tua Tagovailoa, the NFL's first combination quarterback/K-Pop sensation/infomercial juicer.

Walkthrough is here to talk about backup quarterbacks, not relitigate the advertising claims made during the Summer of Tua. But if the Dolphins suddenly swapped Tagovailoa for Bridgewater, the sportsbooks probably wouldn't bother changing their win total prop bets. Heck, some naysayers might claim that the Dolphins win projection would improve. Bad, naughty naysayers!

Here at Football Outsiders, we lump starting quarterbacks into three general classifications: "Win Because Of" (the "elite" guys), "Win With" (all the Kirk Cousins-types who soak up the flavor of their supporting casts), and "Win Despite" (2020-2021 Tagovailoa, for example). At Walkthrough, we classify backup quarterbacks into three self-explanatory categories: "Get You Through a Month," "Get You Through a Game," and "Get You Under the Cap."

Bridgewater, the best backup quarterback in the NFL in 2022, would rank somewhere near the bottom of the "Win With" quarterbacks given another starting opportunity. He could lead a team as stacked as the Bills to a 3-1 record if he backed up Josh Allen. Top contenders, however, can rarely afford Bridgewater-caliber contingency plans, and Bridgewater-types themselves gravitate to where both the money and opportunities are in free agency. Hence, Miami.

You know what comes next: backup quarterback rankings from 2 to 32. Let's get on with it.

Backup Quarterbacks Who Can Get You Through a Month

2. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

Here's a galaxy-brained theory about the whole Garoppolo-Trey Lance saga: Kyle Shanahan knew since at least the Baker Mayfield trade (early July) that the 49ers would never find a trade partner for Garoppolo. He also knew the organization had to sell Garoppolo's return to both Lance and the fans. So Shanahan purposely floated all the rumors about Garoppolo ghosting during the offseason and so forth to make Garoppolo look like much less of a threat. It's like referring to someone in an Instagram post as a "100% platonic pal." And of course, doing so just begs further questions.

Where would Shanahan learn such devious media manipulation? I learned it from watching you, dad!

Anyway, Garoppolo will be there to provide playoff-caliber game-management if the 49ers need him, assuming that he answers their texts, his shoulder is OK, etc.

3. Nick Foles, Indianapolis Colts

It's customary to make stinky-poo faces about creaky starters-turned-backups. But Foles was last seen coaxing a comeback victory from a dreadful Bears offense against the healthy-Russell-Wilson-led Seahawks in Week 16 of 2021. And of course, few quarterbacks have gotten a team through a month-plus quite like Foles from December of 2017 to February, 2018. Can Foles operate a Frank Reich RPO/play-action-heavy offense? Was the Philly Special special?

4. Tyler Huntley, Baltimore Ravens

Huntley led the Ravens to a 1-4 record (counting a game in which he replaced Lamar Jackson very early) while trying to get them through a month in 2021. The losses came by a combined seven points, two of them against the Rams and Packers, for a team down to its fourth and fifth cornerbacks and a collection of running backs scavenged from your 2016 fantasy lineup. Huntley is a "makes things happen" type backup, in contrast to the "game manager" type (backup quarterbacks are like Pokemon in many ways): he can scramble his way to chaotic wins with just enough passing and decision-making capability to keep opponents honest.

5. Gardner Minshew, Philadelphia Eagles

If you want your team to be competitive during a starting quarterback's absence, you want someone like Nick Foles. If you want them to be a hoot to watch, pick Minshew, who is already halfway to becoming Ryan Fitzpatrick with his signature look, colorful backstory, and knack for making routine plays look difficult and losses look like moral victories. Like Fitzpatrick, Minshew can string together enough improvisational highlights to generate a few wins before opponents realize they are being snookered. That's just about all a team can ask for from a young veteran backup.

6. Andy Dalton, New Orleans Saints

Dalton has led the Bears and Cowboys to a 7-8 record over the last two seasons. The Bears offense was a stale pretzel, and Dalton was battling injuries for a Cowboys team that never turned its Zoom cameras on in 2020. If Michael Thomas is healthy (you know the drill) and the Saints defense is as good as advertised, Dalton can game-manage his way to several wins if counted upon. No one said he has to look cool doing so.

7. Jacoby Brissett, Cleveland Browns

Brissett is what you get if you keep a "Get You Through a Month" backup in the lineup for a whole season multiple times. Brissett's 19th overall DYAR ranking with Indianapolis in 2019 is superficially impressive, but Brissett produced a string of 150ish-yard, 52-ish percent completion rate, zero-touchdown starts in the second half of that season. Even Frank Reich was out of ideas. It's like driving cross-country on a donut spare: the first 50 miles are swell, then you reach the desert and veer off the road into a cactus.

Brissett should get the Browns to at least 2-2 against a soft early schedule before Kevin Stefanski runs out of play-action boot concepts. For seven games after that, Brissett will be just effective enough to earn his next gig. And that's just fine: being Nick Foles is great work if you can get it.

8. Taylor Heinicke, Washington Commanders

Minshew without the gimmicks: a daring pepperpot who gets hot for a drive or two, then overthrows his next dozen open receivers. The Commanders clearly have a "type" at quarterback. Heinicke is boosted a notch by the fact that rookie Sam Howell could also deliver a surprise win if pulled from the back of the bench.

9. Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers

Ignore Love's four preseason interceptions: he was the victim of some tip-drills and rookie receiver errors. At the same time, don't overreact to how great Love looked at times against backup defenders. Love appears to have made a developmental leap forward in his third season, and he always had talent to burn. So the Packers won't be forced to take the game out of his hands the way they did in their 13-7 Week 9 loss to the Chiefs in 2021 if Aaron Rodgers takes a week off to protest vaccine boosters or help Tom Brady solve his marital problems or something. But we're not ready to rank Love ahead of more seasoned backups just yet.

10. Drew Lock or Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

Given four starts, Lock will have one three-touchdown game, two four-turnover games, and one game where his coaches just give up and hand off on every third-and-10. Smith, by contrast, has become a low-tier dink-and-dunk game manager with a wisp of leftover mobility to spice things up: given four extended appearances last year, he helped thump the Jaguars but mixed sacks with third-down throws short of the sticks against better opponents.

Both Lock and Smith barely qualify as "Get You Through a Month" backups, so it should be excruciating watching the Seahawks try to get through four-and-a-half months with them.

Backup Quarterbacks Who Can Get You Through a Game

11 to 13. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons
Malik Willis, Tennessee Titans

Pickett's average preseason pass could best be measured in air centimeters, but he did demonstrate an ability to run the offense efficiently in hurry-up conditions. Ridder looked promising throughout the preseason, though some of his highlights (like his game-winning touchdown in the preseason opener) would turn into bloopers against real NFL competition. Willis produced a few scattered viral highlights but looked generally extremely unready through 51 pass attempts and nine sacks in three games.

The order above is both alphabetical and intentional, with Pickett most ready to game-manage his way to a win or two thanks to his supporting cast, Willis capable of potentially surprising a Jaguars/Texans level opponent with his arm and wheels, and Ridder somewhere in between. All three remain viable quarterbacks of various futures, but this is where B-tier prospects inevitably land as rookies: they're student drivers, and their coordinators will need to keep a foot on the brakes at all times if they are forced to start.

14. Case Keenum, Buffalo Bills

Welcome to the kelp forest of creaky veterans!

Keenum led the Browns to two victories in 2021: the Thursday night D'Ernest Johnson Goes HAM 17-14 win over the Broncos and a Week 18 custodial job against the Bengals backups. He led Washington to a 1-7 record in 2019, with losses by 24-3, 9-0, and 19-9. It's tempting to lump Keenum among the Foles/Dalton types because of his 2017 success, but he's at least a full rung below them. That said, he shows up ready to play and could lead the Bills to a spot-start win or two against second-tier opponents.

15. Colt McCoy, Arizona Cardinals

McCoy led the Cardinals to two victories in relief of Kyler Murray last season, with an ugly 34-10 loss to the Panthers led by the P.J. Walker/Cam Newton platoon in between. So is he ranked too low here? Not at all. The Cardinals' second win with McCoy at the helm came against the Seahawks soon after Russell Wilson rushed back too soon from his hand injury. The Seahawks held the ball for just 19 minutes and 38 seconds. McCoy fumbled three times but the Cardinals recovered all of them. He spent most of the game dripping micropasses to Rondale Moore and James Connor in a 23-13 victory. So it wasn't exactly a repeatable formula for success. And everything else about McCoy's 12-year career—most notably how rarely he ever got into a game—suggests that he really should be coaching in the Big 12 by now.

16. Tyrod Taylor, New York Giants

Theoretical Tyrod Taylor is a "makes things happen" backup with wheels, gobs of experience, and a reputation for taking care of the football at all costs that coaches appreciate. Actual Tyrod Taylor tends to do just what he did in the preseason: average around 5.4 yards per attempt for a game or so (with more turnovers than expected) before getting injured himself.

17. Joe Flacco, New York Jets

Flacco, like Keenum or McCoy, initially looks like a Foles-level backup. But Flacco's teams are 2-11 in his last 13 starts dating back to the 2019 Broncos. And, well, you've seen him play. Like Keenum, Flacco could lead the Bills past an opponent like the Jets. Unfortunately, Flacco plays for the Jets.

18. Blaine Gabbert, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gabbert is a lot like Geno Smith: a toolsy failed prospect from 2011 who found a sweet gig hiding on the bench behind a durable superstar. Like Geno, Gabbert would probably dink, dunk, and scramble his way to modest success in a brief relief appearance. Unlike Geno, we haven't seen Gabbert do much of anything since he backed up Marcus Mariota for the 2018 Titans. He goes here because he can't really be placed any higher and it feels a little mean-spirited to place him lower.

19. Sam Darnold or P.J. Walker, Carolina Panthers

Darnold was recently a bottom-rung starter, making it tempting to list him among the top backups. But there's a level of unflappability that comes with being a quality backup, and Darnold has been highly flappable throughout his young career. Top prospects such as Darnold rarely morph into quality career backups: if a quarterback falls from "quarterback of the future" to "flunked his second chance" in four years, he's probably destined to become Blake Bortles/Jake Locker/Joey Harrington/Tim Couch, not Vinny Testaverde, Kerry Collins, or even Gabbert.

Walker, meanwhile, has a reputation as a "makes things happen" backup but a knack for interception sprees off the bench. Both Darnold and Walker are as likely to exacerbate a crisis as mitigate one.

20. Nick Mullens, Minnesota Vikings

The arithmetic mean of Case Keenum and C.J. Beathard, the ideal emergency quarterback if everyone else has COVID/injuries/jury duty, and the backup the Vikings are stuck with because the Kellen Mond/Sean Mannion competition ended in a double-TKO.

21. Chad Henne, Kansas City Chiefs

"Get you through precisely two series at the end of a playoff game" should be its own category.

22. Trevor Siemian, Chicago Bears

When Walkthrough first came up with these backup quarterback rankings, it sounded like a great idea. I can burn some leftover Gardner Minshew and Tua jokes! And knock the whole thing out on Friday then hit the pool for the weekend!

Then I reached this moment, the moment where I had to find something relevant to write about Trevor Siemian, and I realized that I was in hell. I had consigned my immortal soul to hell. Not to chase wine, women, and song, mind you, but in the name of an easy byline. What circle of hell is this, Dante? The one where Satan uses Brutus and Cassius as suppositories? Eh, I came to this fate honestly.

Anyway, Siemian started a bunch of games for a Saints team with a great defense and a solid offensive line but no playmakers last year, giving way to Taysom Hill for a few Wildcat junkballs per game. The Saints fell well behind the Titans, Eagles, and even the Falcons in three of those games, only for Siemian to throw some late touchdowns to make the final score close. The Bills said "LOLZ, nope" to that routine with a Thanksgiving basting, and then it was officially (sigh) Taysom Time.

So if you are looking for a quarterback to get you through a month of backdoor covers, Siemian might indeed be your guy.

23. Brian Hoyer, New England Patriots

Hoyer's teams are 1-12 in his spot starts dating back to 2016. The Patriots 2022 outlook would be much better if Bailey Zappe were Mac Jones' backup and Hoyer was the offensive coordinator.

24. Chase Daniel, Los Angeles Chargers

The Mario Mendoza of veteran backups. If your journeyman mentor somehow has less game experience or a higher salary than Daniel, it's time to dump him for some league-minimum rando.

Backup Quarterbacks Who Just Get You Under the Cap

25. Brett Rypien, Denver Broncos

Rypien was initially slated to join John Elway's League of Extraordinary Nephews alongside Chad Kelly; the master plan was to recruit Arch Manning like D'Artagnan. The new Broncos brain trust was thrilled with what they saw from Rypien in the offseason, though they hedged their thrilled-ness by stashing Josh Johnson on the practice squad. Rypien's lone start was a QB WINZ masterpiece against the Jets in 2020, but he tops this category because he has both gotten his team through a game and impressed a second regime.

26. Cooper Rush, Dallas Cowboys

Rush has been kicking around JerryLand since 2017 (with a brief Giants layover). He game-managed a 2021 victory by a 20-17 final to the Vikings when they were in full Sunday Night Football is just too big a stage for Kirk Cousins mode. But Rush officially starts the season next to Will Grier (who would rank 97th among the 32 backup quarterbacks) on the practice squad, which demonstrates just how much the Cowboys value their backup quarterback.

27. Kyle Allen, Houston Texans

Former Ron Rivera binkie backup and favorite of the Brotherhood of Cam Newton Haters, Allen is a sack machine whose primary purpose in 2022 is to prevent any Davis Mills controversy by not being a viable alternative. And you know what? That's not a terrible strategy: let Mills sink (probably) or swim (slightly feasible) with no lifeguard instead of burning cap bucks on some Garoppolo type who might confuse Failson McNair and Jack Easterbunny by winning a few spot starts.

28. Nate Sudfeld, Detroit Lions

A longtime Eagles offseason/preseason favorite best known for entering the game when Doug Pederson quiet-quit at the end of the 2020 season. Like Kyle Allen, his job is to prevent any sort of quarterback controversy. Unlike Allen, he backs up a starter with zero chance of developing.

29. C.J. Beathard, Jacksonville Jaguars

It's shocking that John Elway never employed Beathard, an under-center pocket passer AND nepotism hire. Instead, Beathard became a Shanahan side project with an almost Mike Glennon-level gift for padding his stats with touchdowns in lopsided losses. If anything bad happens to Trevor Lawrence, Doug Pederson plans to be at Cold Stone 15 minutes after practice every week, making the experienced-but-forgettable Beathard is the perfect "nothing to see here" backup.

30. John Wolford, Los Angeles Rams

Scrambly meaningless-game long reliever for a team that lacks two nickels to rub together for bench players. We all know the Rams are screwed if anything happens to Matthew Stafford, so why bother pretending?

31. Jake Browning, Cincinnati Bengals

Jake Browning? That fella who briefly looked like a prospect when John Ross and Dante Pettis were his collegiate receivers in 2016? Alrighty then. Taylor Heinicke would look great backing up Joe Burrow. Just try to overthrow Ja'Marr Chase. We dare you.

32. Jarrett Stidham, Las Vegas Raiders

Josh McDaniels' answer to Kyle Allen.

Comments

54 comments, Last at 07 Sep 2022, 10:16pm

#1 by mehllageman56 // Sep 05, 2022 - 2:40pm

You should have included Mike White on the list, since he's probably better than Flacco (400 yard game last year, zero interceptions in preseason vs Flacco's sad pick six).  To be honest, practice squad guy Streveler looked better than Flacco as well.

Points: 0

#2 by mehllageman56 // Sep 05, 2022 - 2:42pm

Also, you have Henne ranked too low.  At lot of these guys would not get you past Cleveland in the playoffs.  Darnold definitely wouldn't.

Points: 0

#3 by big10freak // Sep 05, 2022 - 2:47pm

When was the last time a starter was replaced by a high draft pick to start a season but stayed on the team as backup?  

 

Phil Simms was replaced but that was by Hostetler.

Points: 0

#25 by Tyler S // Sep 06, 2022 - 11:06am

There's several examples, but mostly of the "bridge QB/marginal starter from the previous season who played badly" variety as opposed to an established veteran starter like Garoppolo. For instance, Jimmy Clausen started 13 games for the 2010 Panthers, then was replaced by Cam as the 2011 starter after losing a competition in training camp. A similar example would be Rex Grossman starting 13 games for Washington in 2011, then spending 2012 as the third quarterback behind RG3 and Cousins, or late-career Matt Hasselbeck starting the 2012 season as Jake Locker's backup for the Titans

 

Points: 0

#28 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 06, 2022 - 11:32am

RG3.

It's a weird example because Cousins and RG3 were drafted in the same year, but Cousins replaced RG3 in 2015, and Griffin was still rostered as a backup.

Points: 0

#4 by Jetspete // Sep 05, 2022 - 2:59pm

I think you need to add a little recency bias to these ratings.  Some of these spots are based on what guys did a long time ago.  For example, Bridgewater's return to form season with New Orleans was in 2019.  Since then he was mediocre in Carolina and putrid in Denver after the 3-0 start vs bad teams.  No way he is a better backup option than some of the others on this list.  For example, even in his first start back from said injury, Teddy was bested by Kyle Allen.  Allen is probably in the top half of backups, far from the bottom. 

What has Nick Foles done since the Super Bowl run to make you think he can still win games?  hes 33 and hasnt performed with any competence since 2018.  That's four seasons ago.  He wasnt even as good as Minshew when they were both on the same Jacksonville team in 2019.  

Meanwhile Tyrod Taylor performed quite well for a game and a half before injury derailed his 2021.  Sixteen is too low, and hes definitely better than guys like Brissett or Keenum.  

You have Beathard 29.  I could understand that if youre using his performance in the "tank for Bosa" campaign, but he looked half decent in 2020. Again hes better than a lot of the guys in the bottom half here.  

Points: 0

#33 by serutan // Sep 06, 2022 - 12:49pm

w.r.t. Bridgewater, you're conveniently ignoring that the Panthers were putrid in general in 2020, and the Broncos weren't good enough to carry him in 2021. 

You're right to question Foles; the only real hope would be that being reunited Reich will somehow revive him and I would not bet actual money on that.

Meanwhile Tyrod Taylor performed quite well for a game and a half before injury derailed

    One of the most important abilities is availability,  and Taylor doesn't seem to have it anymore as the above statement indicates.

Points: 0

#34 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 06, 2022 - 1:06pm

Taylor has on more than one occasion seemed to have fallen prey to medical malpractice in the service of providing an excuse for the GM's pet draft pick.

"Team physician punctures lung" is the sort of thing I associate with the Browns, not the Chargers.

\"Team physician injures Taylor with wayward field goal attempt" is more the Chargers' thing.

Points: 0

#36 by KnotMe // Sep 06, 2022 - 1:36pm

There isn't really enough info on these guys other than Jimmy G to really rank them. Brisset and Heinike have both looked terrible and less terrible at times but you can't really order them that strongly. So the main groupings are mostly it I think.

Points: 0

#5 by Romodini // Sep 05, 2022 - 3:54pm

It's crazy that Jimmy G-sus went from being viewed as the savior of the Niners when he first became a starter to being viewed as the "second best" backup QB today. 

Obviously he has his limitations, but how does the 10th best QB by DYAR last year (ahead of Josh "Demi-god" Allen) and 5th best QB by DVOA end up as only the 2nd best backup? He literally outplayed the majority of starters last year.

Points: 0

#7 by theTDC // Sep 05, 2022 - 5:05pm

Because DVOA and DYAR are team stats. Alex Smith lead the league in QB rating for the Chiefs the year they drafted Mahomes. But he most certainly did not outperform the majority of the league, let alone the entirety, on a snap for snap basis through his individual play.

Points: 0

#16 by theslothook // Sep 06, 2022 - 1:35am

I happen to think Jimmy G is worse than his Dvoa rankings, but my god, people proclaiming you are wrong are engaging in some weird certainty that only comes from being some anonymous weirdo on the internet where certainty and machismo comes at 0 cost.

(Not referring to you Romadini)

Points: 0

#19 by Romodini // Sep 06, 2022 - 3:54am

Yeah I don't think the stats perfectly align with his true talent either, but seeing how most people talk about him it's as if all they remember is a bad overthrow in the Super Bowl. He's limited in what he does, but he must be pretty damn good at what he does right to have those stats.

Points: 0

#31 by Pat // Sep 06, 2022 - 12:04pm

but how does the 10th best QB by DYAR last year (ahead of Josh "Demi-god" Allen) and 5th best QB by DVOA end up as only the 2nd best backup?

Vast, vast amounts of injury history.

Points: 0

#6 by BigRichie // Sep 05, 2022 - 4:46pm

Romodini thinks football life is as simple as looking up DVOA and/or DYAR. Jetspete, on the other hand, can't spell either of them.

Points: 0

#10 by Romodini // Sep 05, 2022 - 6:23pm

And BigRichie thinks debating is as simple as making cute straw man quips.

Josh Allen was on supposedly the most stacked team in the league with some smart offensive minds. Weird that his performance in that system didn't carry over to DVOA and DYAR like Garoppolo's did. Of course he's not Josh Allen, but it's almost as if Garoppolo is actually good at some things, and not some bottom tier liability worthy of backup status. 

Points: 0

#14 by BigRichie // Sep 05, 2022 - 8:34pm

First of all, TDC fully explained it to you.

Second, Garoppolo now IS a backup. Is Mike supposed to pretend he's not?

Mike put him behind another guy who's also had pretty good analytical numbers the past 3 years, with somewhat lesser talent around him. And ahead of every other backup QB.

Points: 0

#18 by Romodini // Sep 06, 2022 - 3:42am

Garoppolo didn't play himself into backup status like Bridgewater did, he got injured and teams decided not to deal with that and made moves for other QB's instead. For all we know, Garoppolo is still better equipped to manage the Shanahan system than Trey Lance, but when you spend three first rounders on a guy you eventually have to start him. 

Pretty good or not, they're not better than Garoppolo's.

 

Points: 0

#21 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 06, 2022 - 7:46am

Losing his job to injury is also how Bridgewater became a backup.

Points: 0

#26 by theslothook // Sep 06, 2022 - 11:14am

True but then stints in Denver and Carolina revealed the limits of his abilities post injury.

Who knows, maybe Wilson will be bad and that will suggest Denver is the new Chicago. But I doubt that happens.

Points: 0

#27 by Romodini // Sep 06, 2022 - 11:26am

He lost his starter status at the end of the year because of a concussion, so I guess that's technically true, but that injury isn't the reason he's currently a backup. It didn't require surgery and a long recovery process like Garoppolo's shoulder. Broncos would have traded for Wilson regardless, and some other team like the Commanders might have actually taken a chance on him as a starter if he had played better.

Points: 0

#29 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 06, 2022 - 11:35am

Bridgewater entered backup/journeyman status after his devastating injury with the Vikings, which started the Bridgewater-Bradford-Keenum-Cousins cycle that trashed the Vikings draft and salary buffer.

He's lived in good team backup/bad team temp starter land ever since.

Points: 0

#30 by Pat // Sep 06, 2022 - 12:03pm

Saying "Garoppolo would be a starter if he wasn't injured" is like saying "I'd be rich if I had a billion dollars." Garoppolo's always injured. The reason he's not higher on a list of backup QBs who can get you through a month is because it's dicey that Garoppolo could stay healthy for a month.

Points: 0

#35 by Romodini // Sep 06, 2022 - 1:27pm

If you're factoring in availability, sure, I can see how Mike might discount him to second best. I didn't see that reasoning in his article though which is why I started this rant. 

Tua already has an injury history so it makes sense not to have two injury prone QBs on the same roster, although I think Garoppolo would perform much better in a random fill in game than Bridgewater, especially since he already knows the offense.

Points: 0

#37 by KnotMe // Sep 06, 2022 - 1:40pm

 Garoppolo will probably be first in line when someone gets injured mid season. Cleveland may still make a move now that his cap hit is better. 

Also, not much point in a good enough guy if there is a good qb class

 

Points: 0

#38 by theslothook // Sep 06, 2022 - 1:50pm

That was my thought as well. Mike didn't put in the injury proviso when he listed Jimmy G as a second best backup. And then the later replies suggested that his DVOA numbers were all inflated to begin with and he really deserves to be behind Teddy based on his on the field play. That tells me people think Jimmy G is actually a backup quality player when healthy.

 

Points: 0

#39 by Pat // Sep 06, 2022 - 2:23pm

I didn't see that reasoning in his article though which is why I started this rant. 

"Anyway, Garoppolo will be there to provide playoff-caliber game-management if the 49ers need him, assuming that he answers their texts, his shoulder is OK, etc."

Points: 0

#40 by Romodini // Sep 06, 2022 - 3:13pm

And yet he doesn't explicitly mention this as a reason for ranking him below Bridgewater, and having it follow a joke about text messages makes it seem more like a throwaway line than a serious cause for concern.

But congratulations for comprehending Mike's writing better than I did if Garoppolo's availability, sensitive feelings, and whatever "etc" alludes to are truly the reasons he listed him below Bridgewater. 

Points: 0

#44 by Pat // Sep 06, 2022 - 5:05pm

What in the Garoppolo section *isn't* a throwaway line??

Points: 0

#45 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 06, 2022 - 5:13pm

The line that was intercepted by the LB Garoppolo didn't see.

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#46 by Romodini // Sep 06, 2022 - 5:22pm

That's the absurdity of this debate. Unless Mike chips in to clearly state his reasons for putting Garoppolo where he did, we're just going to argue in circles. Maybe Eagles fans think alike and you're correct, maybe he actually thinks Garoppolo is a worse player than Bridgewater and I'm correct, or maybe he's a mastermind and intentionally left it vague so that we would argue endlessly about his rankings in the comment section and bring traffic to his article.

Points: 0

#48 by KnotMe // Sep 06, 2022 - 5:34pm

The entire point of ranking articles is to generate conversation as anything that isn't subjective to some degree you can just do with a table and don't need an article. 

Points: 0

#50 by Pat // Sep 07, 2022 - 8:36am

Of course he left it vague on purpose. It's Walkthrough ranking *backup QBs*.

Points: 0

#52 by Romodini // Sep 07, 2022 - 12:02pm

I fail to see how your reason for Mike being vague (mine wasn't serious, by the way) would prevent him from simply writing "Garoppolo's injury history places him below Teddy", "I trust Garoppolo's health less than Aaron Rodgers trusts his receivers, so he can't be number one", or "His availability gives me more nightmares than Carson Wentz so I'm rolling with Teddy".

Brief, specific, and best of all, he gets his usual jokes in.

Points: 0

#41 by theslothook // Sep 06, 2022 - 3:32pm

Since we are diving head first into more pedanty, I am curious what Tanier means with this line "playoff-caliber game-management". It strikes me as the kind of escape clause you make when what you really mean is, "game manager" but numbers don't so neatly line up with your statement. 

Points: 0

#42 by KnotMe // Sep 06, 2022 - 4:13pm

Garoppolo and Bridgewater are both not good, but not horrifical bad either. 

I mean, if your starter went down and you had to pick a guy to hold the fort for a few games and those were your choices, you probably hold sigh and pick Jimmy G (ignoring health and offensive scheme fit). Bring in health and it becomes muddier (is Garoppolo healthy? what are the odds he stays healthy?)

Honestly, I think Mike just wanted to have something interesting to say. and the only other backup anyone cares about is Jacoby Brisset and that's no fun. 

 

Points: 0

#43 by theslothook // Sep 06, 2022 - 4:20pm

See, if you are ignoring the health and offensive scheme fit, then I don't get why Jimmy G is being lumped into the backup tier with Teddy Bridgewater. 

For a team to go anywhere interesting with backups; even high end one's like Teddy, the team has to be effectively loaded on both sides of the ball such that he's not playing from behind and his offensive core can do most of the heavy lifting while he makes the simple plays and doesn't turn it over.

I said above, I dont think Jimmy G is as good as his numbers suggest; but that player is still miles above these backups. I really don't understand why we are drawing some equivalence to them UNLESS you want to argue that Jimmy G is entirely the beneficiary of a great supporting cast and an offensive wizard. And even that argument doesn't have legs because we saw the 49ers nose dive while Jimmy G was injured. 

Points: 0

#51 by Pat // Sep 07, 2022 - 10:53am

 And even that argument doesn't have legs because we saw the 49ers nose dive while Jimmy G was injured. 

When exactly are you thinking of? In '21 he was replaced by Lance, who was a rookie (and is by default bad). In 2020 the 49ers weren't that different when Garoppolo was out there. I mean, he was better, sure, but he wasn't miles better or anything. Mullens particularly got a pretty ridiculously hard stretch of games that year relative to Garoppolo, so he looked a lot worse but wasn't, actually (he had like a 4 game stretch of 10+ win teams or something).

In '18, Mullens actually didn't look that bad: I mean, he had a few bad games, but so did Garoppolo.

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#53 by theslothook // Sep 07, 2022 - 12:38pm

In 2020, Jimmy G had a DVOA that was 17% better than Nick Mullens'. I guess its a matter of taste what miles better means. But a solidly positive DVOA vs a solidly negative DVOA to me is huge and telling of two very different players. Miles better includes CJ Beathard btw. 

Really, you look over Jimmy G's career and he's basically either been solid or very good and the point at hand is why is he being listed with Teddy B and the other backups being mentioned; ignoring the injury concerns.

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#8 by BroncosGuyAgain // Sep 05, 2022 - 5:11pm

My subjective ranking is superior to your subjective ranking.

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#9 by bobrulz // Sep 05, 2022 - 6:04pm

Ranking backup QBs is hard because you're mostly dealing with small sample sizes, and their performance is very scheme/coaching/situation dependent.

That said, Garoppolo has proven that he can be a good (albeit limited) starter and has far outplayed Bridgewater in the last few years. I also think Gardner Minshew is just underrated in general. He really does seem like the second coming of Ryan Fitzpatrick - he's going to be a bridge starter/high quality backup into his late 30s, and I think in the right situation has legitimate starter potential. He looked respectable on the 2020 Jaguars ffs.

I'm not at all sold on Jordan Love - some preseason improvement to me doesn't mean he deserves to be over players who have actually proven they at least kinda know how to play. Love hasn't even proven that yet, imo.

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#13 by BigRichie // Sep 05, 2022 - 8:27pm

Why are you even on this site if you think DYAR and DVOA aren't worth paying any attention to at all?? Bridgewater's analytical numbers have been fine for the past few years.

I think I understand it, tho'. Teddy let down your and Jets' fantasy teams the past few years, so now you each know he therefore sucks.

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#54 by bobrulz // Sep 07, 2022 - 10:16pm

Garoppolo has outperformed Bridgewater according to DVOA in 2 of the last 3 years, and had a couple of other good years before that when Bridgewater was recovering from his major injury, but go off I guess.

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#11 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 05, 2022 - 6:24pm

They're all QB33

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#12 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 05, 2022 - 7:26pm

Only if you assume starters and backups are optimally-distributed.

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#17 by Spanosian Magn… // Sep 06, 2022 - 2:04am

Not really! For one thing, one guy on this list is literally penciled in to start the majority of his team's games, so I'm not sure he should even be on here. But also, football being what it is in terms of injury frequency, combined with the fact that quite a few of these guys are backing up young/unproven QBs on teams with expectations to contend, it's likely that one or more others will end up being his team's actual starter. And if you really think there's no difference in win expectation with Bridgewater or Garoppolo under center, versus Kyle Allen or John Wolford, well... I'd suggest watching more Kyle Allen games*.

*JK, no one should watch more Kyle Allen games.

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#23 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 06, 2022 - 8:25am

Yeah, it doesn't matter that Jacoby, Lock or Geno are gonna start. They stink and are listed for a reason. Bold prediction: their respective teams aren't winning the SB.

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#24 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 06, 2022 - 9:06am

Dunking after making a wager with 97% odds of winning is the sort of bravery you just don't see these days.

On the other hand -- Nick Foles, SB-winning QB.

\as many as Mahomes, Rodgers and Russ, and more than Herbert, Burrow, Josh Allen, and Dak combined.

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#20 by Raiderfan // Sep 06, 2022 - 6:54am

Is it shocking that Tanier writes an article about backup QBs, and still digs at Brady, or the most predictable thing ever?

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#22 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 06, 2022 - 7:47am

I think Brady can take it.

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