Dave (Vacnouver, BC)
OK, Explain to me how people still feel judging a QB by wins and losses is valid after most knowledgeable observers have agreed that we shouldn't use W's and L's for baseball pitchers? QB's are just as dependent on the rest of the team as pitchers, or am I missing something?
Bill Simmons (3:42 PM)
Totally fair point. I'm more interested in the "how many times did you lose as a favorite and win as an underdog" portion of that record. A great QB should take care of business with a better team, especially at home as a big favorite. For Brady, SB 42 + last Sunday are big-ass blemishes on his resume. Same for Manning losing 7 playoff games in which his team was favored.
This is odd (and perhaps a measure of how seeing sports through the prism of gambling can distort your perception of performance). His response totally ignores the point of the question: a quarterback is only one member of a large team and is on the field only half the time, and therefore has a limited impact on the outcome of the game. A team is capable of losing a game in which the QB plays quite well, regardless of whether the team is favored or not. Vegas' bad judgment on a team's defense ahead of time shouldn't have any bearing on how the game impacts a QB's reputation.
The question aside, what an weird way to evaluate quarterbacks. Not that it's a worthless detail, but, in determining whether or not the game is a blemish on a QB's record, who was favored seems more like an afterthought than a vital piece of the puzzle (the vital and obvious piece being, Did the QB play well?). By Simmons' logic, Brett Favre deserves to be dinged for Super Bowl 33 (three TDs, one pick, 256 yards) more than Drew Bledsoe the year before (two TDs, four picks, 253 yards) because Favre was an 11-point favorite against the Broncos in 1998 while Bledsoe was a 14-point dog in 1997.
In other news, I'd forgotten how ridiculous Brady's MVP against the Rams was. The Greatest Show on Turf gets held to 17 points, Ty Law returns an interception for a touchdown, the first 15 minutes of that game are just a parade of huge hits by the Pats' secondary that scare the Rams O into a shell, but Brady's 16-27 for 145 yards and a single TD takes the trophy.