D.Rose vs Westbrook

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One of the best point guard debates in recent years has been Derrick Rose vs Russell Westbrook; two top notch point guards that are widely considered as the most athletic players to ever play the position. Both players can jump out the gym, move quickly and are good scorers.
Although they have similarities in some aspects, they’re games are a bit different. With his speed and quickness Rose likes to finish around the basket avoiding contact. Whenever he gets challenged at the rim he alters his shot to avoid contact. Every now and again he’ll finish strong at the rim over a defender, but usually chooses not to do that. Over the years he’s developed a consistent 3pt shot along with a shaky mid-range shot. When his shot is falling he’s nearly unstoppable, but his stroke isn’t as consistent as it should be, so him being unguardable hardly ever happens. On the defensive side of the ball he’s an average defender. Thru the years he’s gotten better, but still has a ways to go before being considered an elite or superb defender.
Westbrook, on the other hand, uses his speed, strength and quickness to finish strong at rim and overwhelm his opponents. When compared to Rose, Westbrook is a bit more physical. When he attacks he looks for contact, most of the time, while other times he’ll avoid it. Westbrook’s mid-range game is elite; while his 3pt game is slightly above average. Offensively Westbrook is virtually unguardable. If you play him for the drive he’ll knock down the jumper, play him for the shot and he’ll blow right by you. Defenders have nightmares when matched up with him. Defensively Westbrook is hard nosed and feisty like his coach, Scott Brook, was. Very seldom will you see a guy beat Westbrook and even still he’ll be right there with them.
When comparing the two of them you have to pay attention to all of the details and not just offense and defense. Sure Westbrook is a better offensive player and defensive player, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the better all around player. When comparing these two you have to look at the intangibles. D.Rose is a more willing passer than Westbrook while Westbrook is a more aggressive player. Westbrook has a sturdier body while D.Rose is frail. Rose is a leader by nature while Westbrook isn’t. After the intangibles you have to compare the skills and smarts of each player.
When it comes to handling the ball Westbrook is superior. Sure, D.Rose is quick and fast with the ball and no one can stay infront of him, but his ball control is real sloppy. During Thunder games Westbrook will force bad shots and make horrible decisions with the ball, for example, not passing it to Kevin Durant in the clutch. D.Rose on the other hand can go a little too out of his way to get other players going instead of taking over the mantle himself. All in all D.Rose is a smarter basketball player than Russell Westbrook hands down.
Stat wise they look a bit similar. For D.Rose’s career he averages 21ppg 7ast 4reb 1stl 3to 18shots a game while shooting 46.4% from the field and 31% from deep.
For Westbrook’s career he averages 20ppg 7ast 5reb 2stl 4to 16shots a game while shooting 43% from the field and 31% from deep.
Both stat lines are identical and can very well be interchangeable. If you were to switch D.Rose and Westbrook both the Bulls and Thunder will improve. The Thunder will now have a guy who can score, play smart and have everything he’s ever wanted, that specific thing being help! Kevin Durant and D.Rose would be a deadly duo that wouldn’t have to worry about shots and being able to co-exist. In the 4th quarter Rose will be able to feed Durant appropriately as well as get the shots he needs in order to be successful. Add in the fact that his body is frail, Durant will be able to take some of the heap of him. D.Rose will also have the benefit of playing for a coach who was once a defensive stopper at point guard. With D.Rose, the leader, and Kevin Durant at the helm the Thunder will stretch to new heights.
Westbrook on the other hand will finally have a team to call his own. He’ll be able to showcase his talent in ways he wouldn’t have been able to do with the Thunder. Instead of having to share the rock with Durant, Westbrook will be able to close games the way he wants to. With coach Tom Thibodeau by his side Westbrook will be able to develop into more of a leader and mature as a player. And on top of all that the Chicago Bulls will finally have a star that can stay in the lineup, as opposed to having Rose who is all ways hurt. By having a star that is durable and great offensively the Bulls will become an even bigger threat.
At the end of the day I came to the assumption that they’re both equal and interchangeable, which doesn’t make one better than the other. But if you want a definite answer i’ll leave you with these wise words: The best ability, is availability.

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Kevin Durant vs Carmelo Anthony

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Melo or Durant? Durant or Melo? Which one is the better scorer? Who’s the better defender? After LeBron who comes next? Those are questions Melo and Durant leave us with night in and night out. It’s a never ending saga; Melo might drop 35 one night and Durant will come back and drop 35 another night; Melo hits a game winner one game and Durant does it the next game; Melo uses his overwhelming power to bully defenders while Durant uses his nice, silky smooth game to manipulate defenders at will. Each time those things happen our minds promptly change our stance on which player is better.
  At 6’8 230lbs Carmelo Anthony’s game is based on speed, power, quickness, making contact and physicality. When ever he drives he bumps bodies with his defender in order to get them off balance so he can go right by them without them catching up, or so he can go up for a shot without them being able to contest it well. By forcing contact, Melo wears down his defenders and causes them to either foul or back away due to fatigue.  Kevin Durant’s game, on the other hand is somewhat opposite to Melo’s.
  Durant’s game isn’t predicted on speed, power and physicality; his game is more so finesse than anything else. Instead of looking for contact, like Melo does, Durant tries to avoid it. Standing anywhere between 6’9-7’0, Durant bases his game off of deception, quickness and length. When the ball is in his hands he uses quick deceptive dribble moves to either go by or freeze his defender. If the move or moves he uses fail, he simply steps back and uses his astonishing length to get off any shot he wants.
   This season each player has accounted for 30+ points in over 15 games. (Melo 19 and Durant 23.) Each player has had a couple of 40 point games as well. (Melo 5 and Durant 6.) And only one of the two has hit the 50pt mark this season, that person being Durant.  Just by looking at that Durant holds a slight edge over Melo in the scoring department. When looking at the numbers Durant gains a bigger lead.
  As of now Kevin Durant averages 28.9 ppg 7.5reb 4.5ast 1.2blks 1.6stl 3.3to and 2 fouls per game. In the efficiency category Durant makes 9.3 shots a game on 18 attempts, shooting 51.6%; attempts 4.4 3pts a game, making 1.9 and shoots 42.6% from deep; he also shoots 90% from the free throw line, averaging 8.5 makes on 9.3 attempts.
   Carmelo Anthony on the other hand averages 28.4 ppg 2.7ast 6.5reb 0.5blks 0.8stl 2.7to and 3 fouls a game in 38 minutes. He shoots 44.5% from the field while averaging 9.9 makes on 22.2 attempts; shoots 39.3% from deep on 2.7 makes out of 6.8 attempts; and shoots 82% from the free throw line averaging 6 makes on 7 attempts.
  As you can see above Durant is clearly a better player and scorer than Melo. Defensively they’re both relatively weak, but because of Durant’s length and ability to not foul he gains the upper hand. When you look at both players offensively you can tell Durant is by far the better player.
  Durant is a better playmaker and makes smarter decisions with the basketball. At times during Knick games Melo will shoot shots that make you question his motives; that problem doesn’t persist in Durant.
  Offensively it’s not even close. Not only is Durant in the 50s, 40s, 90s club he averages more points on less attempts. In New York Carmelo is the go to guy and gets the ball whenever he wants it. Durant plays on a team where the PG often forgets who needs the ball and that takes away from Durant’s game. Westbrook averages 18.7 shot attempts a game compared to Durant’s 18. No one on Melo’s team, outside of him average over 15 shot attempts. Give Durant that type of environment and he’d average 30+.
To Melo’s credit he scores in more ways than Durant does. Melo will mix it up on you by doing an array of things from posting up to shooting jumpers, while Durant sticks to jumpers. The scoring in different ways is cute and all, but would you prefer the guy who mastered one thing or the guy who learned everything but didn’t master it? I’ll like my chances with the guy who mastered one as opposed to the guy who didn’t.
  At the end of the season Kevin Durant will go home with his fourth straight Scoring Title, while Carmelo Anthony will be left award less for a fourth straight year.

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LeBron James is King James

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The Chosen One, LBJ, BronBron, LeBron,  James, King James, The Greatest, The Frozen One, LaQueen, LeBrick, what ever the case may be everyone must take note of LeBron James and his superb play as of late. Matter of fact scratch that, people should take note of his whole career. Ever since he first came out of highschool people around the world had their eyes on him. People knew from the jump whether or not they would be a fan of his or a hater. His haters always criticized the things he did wrong or the things he didn’t do. Not once did they take a look at all of the things he did well.

People said he’s not a scorer, but can’t name a year, besides his rookie season, when he didn’t average at least 27ppg. (http://www.nba.com/playerfile/lebron_james/bio.html#$/playerfile/lebron_james/bio.html, and yes 26.7 is rounded to 27 and does count.) So by looking at the link provided, not only does he score, he does it efficently; compared to “great scorers,” like Kobe and Melo. His naysayers are quick to point out the fact that he doesn’t attempt as many jumpshots as his peers, which as a result, is the reason why he shoots a better percentage. That claim doesn’t make any sense at all. In the game of basketball the best shot is a layup. After layup, it goes freethrow, 3pt shot and then midrange shot. The 3pt shot ranks higher because it provides more points and it changes your shooting percentage at the same rate a midrange shot would. With that being said he is a superb scorer.

On the defensive side you can’t find anyone better at defending the wings. On top of that he can guard all five positions really well, unless he’s guarding a great offensive center. When it comes down to playmaking, he is second to Chris Paul. (Even though that could be debated.) And for his size LeBron rebounds extremely well. Out of all the players in the NBA LeBron James and Rajon Rondo are the only players that can get a triple-double on any giving night. LeBron’s game as a whole is closer to flawless than anyone else’s game. No one on the planet, and I repeat, the planet, is as good a basketball player as LeBron James. The only person who scores better than LeBron in today’s league is Kevin Durant since he’s in the beloved 50’s, 40’s, 90’s club.

Substitute LeBron for Larry Bird, Kobe, Magic or even Jordan and he would make all of their teams better. LeBron would be devastating with Kobe and Magic’s Laker squads; if you put rookie LeBron in rookie Kobe’s shoes that specific Lakers team would have went to the Finals.( That team had Nick Van Exel at the one, Eddie Jones at the two and had Shaq patrolling the paint.) LeBron wouldn’t have lost a Finals series if he was in Magic’s place. The playmaking Magic did LeBron would excel in and on top of that LeBron is a better scorer and defender when compared to Magic.

Want to talk athleticism, LeBron is quicker, faster and stronger than the likes of Magic. Running ShowTime would be nothing to LeBron. Put LeBron in Bird’s shoes and Boston becomes better. The only thing Bird is better than LeBron at is shooting the basketball, nothing more. LeBron would thrive with McHale and Parish just like Bird did. Swap Jordan for LeBron and we’ll have a team that averages more points and features more scoring from players like Pippen and Rodman. LeBron is a better rebounder, passer, playmaker, facilitator, shot-blocker, heck he may just be a better defender point blank period. Jordan didn’t have to guard the type of athletes LeBron faces. Jordan didn’t have to guard an Arenas, a Kobe, a Wade, a Durant or a Melo; matter of fact Jordan couldn’t guard PF and C’s like LeBron can. Athletically LeBron is second to none. LeBron is more fundamentally sound than MJ is. I mean MJ is great, don’t get me wrong, but is he really better than LeBron? Jordan averaged 30ppg on 23 shot attempts a game, while LeBron averages 27ppg on 20 shots for his career. Time to do some math, since LeBron takes more shots in the paint than anywhere else and he was given three extra shot attempts, and made two of three, how many points would that equal? 31ppg is the answer. So in other words LeBron would have a higher career average if shot as many times as Jordan did, which equates to a better scorer, right? Some of yall are thinking i’m wrong because Jordan shoots 50% for his career and LeBron wouldn’t, but this is the funny thing about it all; by adding an additional three shots to LeBron’s shot attempts, with him making two of those, would make his shotchart look like this, 12/23, which equals 51.2%. That there would make LeBron James a superior scorer than the great Michael Jordan himself.

Some people like to bring up rings when rings equate to having team success. LeBron never played with a Scottie, Shaq, Gasol, Bynum, Artest, Rodman, Malone, Payton, Parker, McHale, Parish, Wallace, R.Wallace, Pierce, Allen, KG, Nash, Dwight, Manu, Worthy or Kareem until he signed with Miami and had Bosh and Wade alongside him. Back in Cleveland who did he have? Mo Williams? Delonte West? Washed up Shaq and Jamison? Big Z? Andy V? Larry H.? How many of those players questioned belong in the same class of the players named? Heck, if Jordan or anyone else went to bat with those, for lack of a better term, scrubs, they wouldn’t have won either. LeBron is so great you can put him on any team in this league and i repeat LEAGUE, and they would be a playoff team if not a contender. Lets sub LeBron for Durant; he’d have Westbrook playing better because LeBron would relieve the pg duties. LeBron would make Ibaka and Perkins better offensive weapons. Trade LeBron for Melo and the Knicks would be unstoppable. LeBron and Amare would wreck shop on the league. You can’t name one single player that isn’t compatible to LeBron. There is no way you could possibly do it. LeBron doesn’t hog the ball, crave the need to score, none of that; if anything he can be a little too passive at times and nothing more. LeBron playing on the Bobcats would be a lethal threat. Kicking it out to Ben Gordon for a triple, paving the way for Kemba and Henderson to score, defensive presence downlow in Biyombo, offensive postman in Mullens and a legit bench led by Sessions and Gordon whats not to love.  I made all of that sound good without mentioning M.Kidd-Gilchrist.

With that being the worst team in the league think about what LeBron could do with a Cleveland team headlined by Kyrie Irving or a Mavericks team headlined by Dirk. LeBron James is just that dude plain and simple. There is no denying it. Even if you aren’t a fan of him, (I’m not…. Kobe fan 24/7.)  you have to acknowledge how great he is and stop clinging on to hope that no one will ever surpass Jordan. Sure there may not be another Jordan, but in he same breath there won’t be another player like LeBron. He’s the greatest already, despite his career not being finished. He deserves his self entitled name, King James!

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NBA AllStar Weekend

 
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    The biggest weekend in basketball is AllStar Weekend. Rappers, fans, movie stars, bums etc all come together to watch and experience a weekend full of suprises, excitement and entertainment. During this weekend you have the Celebrity Allstar Game, Shooting Stars Challenge, Rising Stars Game, Skills Challenge, 3pt Shootout, Dunk Contest and most importantly the Allstar game itself. Some of those events can stay, while others need to be scrapped or changed dramatically.
         The Celebrity Allstar game should be more entertaining. Kevin Hart does a nice a job of keeping it somewhat entertaining, but him by hiself is not going to get the job done. Ne-yo, Common and Trey Songz should be exchanged for the likes of Drake, 2chainz and Chief Keef or someone of that nature. The actors and actresses should be people more commonly known by the youth; not people unknown or irrelevant to them. Sure one or two of them can be there for the older viewers but no more than that. As for the NBA legends and female basketball players the league is doing a good job of changing them.
          The Shooting Stars Challenge is decent enough to keep as is, but the Rising Stars Challenge should go back to normal. When I say go back to normal I mean go back to the Rookies vs Sophmores Challenge. They should go back because Shaq and Charles Barkley can’t draft and the game itself isn’t entertaining enough to tweak it the way they did.
            The Skills Challenge is a good event. There is nothing that can be added or taken away from it to make it any better. It is arguably the best event outside of the Allstar Game.
        Now as for the 3pt Shootout and Slam Dunk Contest things must change. In the 3point contest we want to see the best shooters. Not guys like Paul George and Kyrie Irving. Seph Curry, Matt Bonner, Ryan Anderson and Steve Novak are nice, but where are the guys like Nash, Durant, Ray Allen and Dirk? Where are players like Kyle Korver, James Jones, D.Wright  and J.J Redick? Why is the competition so low? Why not expand to eight people? Those are questions that run through ones’ head after the contest. On to the next competition. The Dunk Contest should go extinct. They have average players in the competition that need five or six different chances to complete a dunk. All the misses and redos take away the excitement from the contest. Instead of watching guys like Eric Bledsoe, J.Evans, Gerald Green, etc miss why not watch LeBron James, Blake Griffin and other elite players miss? Give us a break, without star players participating in the Dunk Contest there is little to interest. Ever since  Nate Robinson won his first Dunk Contest the competition has been a lost cause. The bottom line is that fans want to see stars conpete in these contests and not J.A.G.s. ( J.A.G means just a guy.)
             Last but not least Allstar Weekend has to be, for lack of a better term, crunk. The crowd can’t be dull and boring like it is this year in Houston. And the performances have to get better. For the past couple of years none of the performances have memorable. For example, last night’s performance by the Fall Out Boys was GOD AWFUL. Hardly anyone was cheering and the fans at home on Twitter were talking bad about it. To make matters worse they brought out a rapper, 2chainz, to help get the crowd going which didn’t help the performance at all.
          At the end of the day this Allstar Weekend has not and I repeat, has not been entertaining. It gives me the vibe that it was put together last minute and had no planning prior. Next year has to be better or Allstar Weekend will become just like the Pro Bowl, DEAD.

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The Rivalry That Never Was. Kobe vs LeBron

       

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Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, two of the three most talked about players in NBA History, with Michael Jordan being the other, continue to dazzle our eyes with great inseason matchups that will never translate into a much anticipated NBA Finals series.

Once LeBron ascended into a top tier player fans of the game dreamed of an NBA series that involved both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. LeBron, like Kobe, was suppose to be the second coming of Jordan. Both Kobe and LeBron acknowledged Michael Jordan as their idol and a player they wanted to be like. LeBron adopted Jordan’s number while Kobe adopted Michael’s game and body language. Once Kobe and Shaq broke up people talked about four things, Kobe, Shaq, Duncan and LeBron. LeBron was asserting himself as an elite NBA player. He led his Cavaliers to the Playoffs and had memorable series against the Wizards and Pistons early. During that tenure LeBron James was anointed the nickname King James.

On the other side of the U.S. Kobe Bryant led his teams to the Playoffs and had memorable series against the Phoenix Suns. Each player had little to no help en route to leading their teams to the playoffs. After the 2006-2007 season (which was the year LeBron lost to the Spurs in the Finals), the Kobe LeBron Finals matchup seemed more realistic.

The following year Boston got Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, L.A got Pau Gasol, Atlanta got Mike Bibby, Dallas got Jason Kidd and Phoenix got Shaq. Not only did those trades change the NBA landscape they made the Kobe and LeBron matchup a little bit more realistic. With J-Kidd and Shaq heading out West that paved the way for LeBron and his Cavs to move up into the upperechelon of the Eastern Conference. With the Lakers acquiring Pau Gasol they became the team to beat out West.

During the Playoffs that year LeBron and his Cavs took Boston to seven games and lost while Kobe and his new sidekick, Gasol, went all the way to the NBA Finals in a matchup with Boston. Eventually the Lakers lost and had a dreadful offseason.

Before the start of the 08-09 season LeBron’s team brought in Mo Williams to help propel them to another level. To help solidify their roster even more Cleveland pulled off a trade to bring in Ben Wallace and Delonte West. After bringing those guys in talks of a Kobe vs LeBron Finals matchup intensified. After having signed both LeBron and Kobe to lucrative deals Nike started making commercials about the two meeting in the Finals. Once Playoff time came around all eyes were on LeBron and Kobe. Each player led their team to the Conference Finals but only one advanced to the NBA Finals.

LeBron and Co. faced an Orlando Magic team led by Dwight Howard. In six hard fought games the Magic outlasted the Cavaliers and sent LeBron home in the process. Kobe on the other hand, led his team past a Nuggets team that featured Carmelo Anthony. After six tough games against Denver Kobe went on to the Finals where he beat the Magic and earned his fourth ring.

Weeks after the Lakers celebrated their Championship Parade, the Cavaliers did a trade with the Phoenix Suns to bring in Shaq. Days later the Lakers sign Ron Artest. Players, fans,coaches and analysts got the sense that a Kobe and LeBron series had become inevitable. Both teams started the season off strong. Even with the great start, Cleveland felt like they needed to give LeBron more help. At the trade deadline Cleveland did a trade that brought in Antwan Jamison. GMs and Experts said that move made Cleveland the best team in the league. Weeks later the Nike commercials came back campaigning for a LeBron and Kobe showdown. People around the world got hyped up and excited until the Playoffs came around. In the 2nd round of the Playoffs the Cavaliers lost to the Boston Celtics, who go on to lose to the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

While Kobe is having fun with his 5th ring, LeBron bolts Cleveland and signs with the Miami Heat to play alongside Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Now that LeBron had Wade and Bosh nothing was suppose to keep him playing in the Finals against Kobe Bryant. Once again people anticipated a Kobe and LeBron Finals matchup, until the Dallas Mavericks shocked the world. On four magical wins the Mavericks swept the defending NBA Champions in round two of the Western Conference Playoffs.

Instead of a Kobe and LeBron showdown fans got a Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade rematch. The end result being LeBron goes home ringless and Kobeless yet again. Last year LeBron led his team to victory in the Finals against the arguably the best scorer the game has ever seen in Kevin Durant, and the OKC Thunder, who happened to beat Kobe and the Lakers two rounds earlier.

During the offseason the Heat picked up Ray Allen and the Lakers traded for Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to make one last push to the NBA Finals while Kobe is still in play. Fast-Forward about six months and we’ll be where we are today. We have the Miami Heat as the top dog in the league while the Lakers are like a lost puppy finding their way, while struggling to keep pace with the nine teams ahead of them in the Playoff Race. LeBron and Kobe have been in each of the past six NBA Finals without matching up against each other. Six straight years without one heated series between the two. We may have had some scoring battles between the two from 05-06 to 07-08  (http://www.nbauniverse.com/awards/nba_scoring_leader_year.htm),  and some nice two games matchups during the course of regular seasons between the two but thats not a true rivalry. Rivalries are made thru Playoff Series. Kobe and LeBron haven’t been in one against each other and don’t play each other enough during the season to even start one.

So stop with all the Kobe and LeBron rivalry stuff. Kobe has no true rival and LeBron doesn’t either. Kobe’s career is on the downside while LeBron’s is up North. It’s time to face the fact: Their paths will never cross.

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Joe Flacco the Elite???????

Superbowl Mvp,record for most touchdowns thrown in playoffs history, 11-0 touchdown interception ratio in four playoff games with a Superbowl ring to cap it off. That’s everything Joe Flacco accomplished during this years playoffs; not to overlook the fact he out played both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning en route to accomplishing these feats. After that spectacular run one question must be answered; Is Joe Flacco ELITE? An elite quarterback does great things in both the regular season and postseason. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Ben Rothlisberger and Aaron Rodgers are all elite quarterbacks because of that. You can’t just grade a quarterback on postseason play you have to look at everything. Looking at stats from last season Joe Flacco had 3,610 yards passing with 20tds and 12 picks, completing 57.6% of his passes finishing with a QBR of 59.7 (Total Rating 80.9). This season he had 3,817 passing yards with 22tds and 10 picks, completing 59.7% of his passes finishing with a QBR of 46.8 ( Total Rating 87.7). Now lets take a look at the elite quarterbacks’stats along with 6 others during this two year span.

                 THE ELITE
Tom Brady 2011: 5,235 passing yards 39tds 12 picks 65.6% passes completed. QBR 72.7 (Total Rating 105.6)
This Season: 4,827 passing yards 34tds 8 picks 63% passes completed 77.1 QBR and (98.7 TR)

Peyton Manning 2010 (didn’t play in 2011) : 4,700 yards passing 33tds 17 picks 66.3% passes completed 68.6 QBR (TR 91.9)
This Season: 4,659 passing yards 37tds 11 picks 68.6% passes completed QBR 84.1 (TR 105.8)

Drew Brees 2011: 5,476 passing yards 46tds 14 picks completed 71.2% of passes QBR 84 (TR 110.6)
This Season: 5,177 yards passing 43tds 19 picks 63% passes completed QBR 67.9 (TR 96.3)

Aaron Rogers 2011: 4,643 passing yards 45tds 6 picks 68.3% passes completed QBR 86.2 (TR 122.5)
This Season: 4,295 passing yards 39tds 8 picks 67.2 passes completed QBR 72.5 (TR 108)

Ben Rothlisberger 2011: 4,077 passing yards 21tds 14 picks 63.2% passes completed QBR 63.6 (TR 90.1)
This Season: 3,265 yards passing 26tds 8 picks 63.3% passes completed QBR 62.8 (TR 97.0)

Each of those quarterbacks won a SuperBowl or two and shows greatness throughout the season and postseason. It’s not an “I’ll show up for one part,” type of thing for them. They’re consistently consistent with everything they do. Regular season or playoffs they show up unlike the other QBs.

               The 2nd Tier

Matt Ryan 2011: 4,177 yards passing 29tds  12 picks 61.3% passes completed 69.1 QBR (TR 92.2)
This Season: 4,719 passing yards 32tds 14 picks 68.6% passes completed 74.5 QBR (TR 99.1)

Matthew Stafford 2011: 5,038 passing yards 41tds 16 picks 63.5% passes completed QBR 65.5 (TR 97.2)
This Season: 4,967 passing yards 20tds 17 picks 59.8% passes completed QBR 58.9 (TR 79.8)

Jay Cutler 2011 (injured*) : 2,319 yards passing 13tds 7 picks 58% passes completed QBR 59.8 (TR 85.7)
This Season: 3,033 passing yards 19tds 14 picks 58.8% passes completed QBR 51.9 (TR 81.3)

Matt Schaub 2011 (injured) : 2,479 passing yards 15tds 6 picks 61% completed QBR 67.5 (TR 96.8)
This Season: 4,008 passing yards 22tds 12 picks 64.3% passes completed QBR 62.6 (TR 90.7)

Tony Romo 2011: 4,184 passing yards 31tds 10 picks 66.3% passes completed 71.4 QBR (TR 102.5)
This Season: 4,903 passing yards 28tds 19 picks 65.6% passes completed QBR 62.7 (TR 90.5)

Eli Manning 2011: 4,933 passing yards 29tds 16 picks 61% passes completed QBR 59.4 (TR 92.9)
This Season: 3,948 passing yards 26tds 15 picks 59.9% passes completed QBR 67.4 (TR 87.2)

After viewing those stats does Flacco really belong in the elite category? How many of those 2nd tier quarterbacks is he better than? The answers are no and not many. There are plenty of QBs who led their respective teams to SuperBowl titles who weren’t elite. ( Example Eli Manning both years and Big Ben 1st year.) The playoffs help define your career but doesn’t nec essarily make it. If Flacco comes back next season stellar and playing out of his mind then maybe just maybe he can be considered Elite. But as if right now he’s not.

SuperBowl XLVII

Just five months ago we were all wondering which teams would make it to the Superbowl with thoughts of the Giants, Cowboys, Falcons, Seahawks, Packers, Bears, Patriots, Broncos, Eagles, Texans, Steelers, Lions, Colts etc, making it. Instead we have the 49ers and Ravens playing in the biggest sport event of the year. Throughout the season each team gave us reasons to doubt. Ravens had to deal with injuries to key defensive players and dealt with an inconsistent quarterback at times this season. The 49ers had a quarterback change and lost some games that caused us to question them (i.e the Giants game). Despite the thorns in their sides each team managed to build some momentum in route to getting here. The Ravens came together as a unit when Ray Lewis announced his retirement and came back from injury. The 49ers started building momentum when they handed the QB position to Colin Kaepernick. In the playoffs against the Falcons and Packers Kaepernick had over 200+ yards passing and had a QBR of 92+ in both games. Tally that with the fact he had 181 yards rushing in the game against the Packers along with the 200+ yrds passing and you have a dual-threat quarterback that can’t be contained.In route to a SuperBowl berth he out played Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. Joe Flacco also did some things that shouldn’t be over looked as well. In the games against the Colts, Broncos and Patriots he tallied
281 yrds passing, 334 yards passing, 281 yards passing along with two tds, three tds, three tds respectively. He out played both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady to earn a spot in the Championship. The 49ers and Ravens both own stifling defenses led by Pat Willis and Ray Lewis along with two great coaches in Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh. The 49ers defense and offense is predicated on speed while the Ravens are more so about power. In this Superbowl we’ll get a chance to witness two of the greatest players ever in Randy Moss and Ray Lewis compete for a ring in their final rides. We’ll also have a chance to witness two QBs jumpstart their careers in different ways one ascending into the elite category and the other being amoung the second tier QBs. And to top it off we have two brothers in Jim and John Harbaugh coaching against each other. This match up should be an instant classic.