ST. LOUIS - OCTOBER 3: Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks at the Edward Jones Dome on October 3 2010 in St. Louis Missouri. The Rams beat the Seahawks 20-3. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The 2010 season we know was terrible for the Arizona Cardinals. We know the quarterback situation was a disaster. That is old news. In collaboration with the other NFC West blogs here (Field Gulls, Niners Nation, Turf Show Times), we are going to put together some posts that deal with the entire division. We will begin with the quarterback position. With the lockout, we are looking at the teams based on each team's starter/s returning for the 2011 season.
After the jump you will find my rankings, along with the rankings of our fellow "rival" bloggers. A snippet of what they write to explain their rankings are included and we invite you to read the rest of their explanations with the links to their articles. Here goes:
The top two quarterbacks were not as cut and dried as it may seem. Yes, Sam Bradford has the huge upside and Hasselbeck is in the twilight of his career, but Hasselbeck is still the only guy in the division to lead their team to the playoffs -- and he did it just a season ago and beat the defending champions in the playoffs. Bradford finished the year with 18 TDs and 15 INTs, over 3500 yards passing and a QB rating of 76.5. Hasselbeck threw for over 3000 yards on the season, 12 TDs, 17 INTs and a QB rating of 73.2.
In the end, it was the 2011 potential, rather than 2010 results that had me rate Bradford ahead of Hasselbeck. However, there is a mitigating and that is the addition of Josh McDaniel to the mix for Bradford. He will be running a new offensive system and that could stunt his progress a bit.
On the back end, it was Alex Smith that ranked ahead of Seattle's Whitehurst and the Derek Anderson/John Skelton tandem of the Arizona Cardinals. Sure, Smith has been disappointing, but he does show flashes of what he could have been. Whitehurst still is a mystery. After not playing in San Diego, Seattle ponied up a third round pick for him and he started two games. One of them was the playoff and division clinching Week 17 victory over Bradford's Rams. But he has yet to do anything to vault himself into the starting role, or even over Smith in the divions ranks.
Anderson is what he is. He will make a couple of "wow" throws and then miss the guy that is wide open in the flat and standing still. Skelton never was supposed to see the field and is, even still, a project.There will likely be improvement from the Cardinals quarterback situation just due to a year of the offensive system under their belts.
They rank the QBs like this:
Derek Anderson/John Skelton
Sam Bradford is a clear notch ahead of the rest of the division even after only one season in the league. He is officially the most talented QB in the NFC West and was an integral reason the Rams bounced back to almost win the 2010 NFC West. While Matt Hasselbeck might have the greater experience and the playoff victories, the torch has passed among QBs in the NFC West. Read more at Niners Nation.
Turf Show Times:
Alex Smith? Potential? I want to live in this utopia, a place where Horatio Alger still exists even after six years of dismal to mediocre results. Rams fans used to think the same thing about Marc Bulger...Speaking of Marc Bulger, is he going to sign with the Cardinals? At last report he had no interest trying to fill Kurt Warner's shoes again.
Hasselbeck has been and still is a great leader for the Seahawks, demonstrated his mettle with a solid performance in the playoffs last season, and is a savvy veteran. His playoff performance and experience makes him still a very dangerous player and he's got enough in the tank to nip at Sam Bradford's heels for the unofficial title of best QB in the NFC West (if he is indeed a part of the NFC West in 2011).
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