The website FootballPerspective.com has come to a conclusion about championship quarterbacks that should interest Cincinnati Bengals fans.
In a post titled, “Is Having a Great QB More Important Than Ever To Win It All?” the answer turns out to be no.
When analysts say that you need a great quarterback (or a great passing game) to win it all, that’s simply not true unless they are using the phrase in a big tent sort of way: if a mediocre quarterback who plays well for four games qualifies as a great quarterback, then yes, you probably do need a great quarterback to win (except for, you know, the 2015 Broncos). But in general, far too much deference is given to the phrase “you need a great quarterback to win.”
This conclusion was reached upon the realization four of the last 10 Super Bowl champions had quarterbacks that ranked 14th or lower in adjusted net yards per attempt. That number (four) matches the total from the previous 41 Super Bowl winners.
It just so happens Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is 14th among active passers in ANY/A, but that’s not all.
FP also examined the seasons for every Super Bowl-winning quarterback one year before he hoisted the Lombardi Trophy and found 12 who weren’t coming off great years even if they had been great at some point in their career.
This descriptor would also fit Dalton, who was third in the league in ANY/A two years ago but has not finished in the top 10 in any other season.
Last year with many of his best weapons hurt or gone via free agency, Dalton’s ANY/A slipped from 8.17 in ’15 to 6.53. His quarterback rating went from 106.2 to 91.8 last season.
Does this all mean Dalton and the Bengals are poised to break through?
Well.... that might be stretching it, but it is interesting to see numbers that make it seem less unlikely than the general narrative around Dalton’s career — and quarterbacking in general in the NFL — might.