Originally Posted by 100027
Might be late on this (I'm at work, don't have time to look through past), but Bill Barnwell had a great article today on just this discussion. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9482930/bill-barnwell-breaks-nfl-young-elite-quarterbacks
Here are his ultimate conclusions. I feel like I wrote this myself. Am I Bill Barnwell?:
Who Was the Best Gang of Four QB in 2012?
This somehow seems harder now than it did before I started making cases for each of these guys. That's not how this was supposed to work. Hmm.
Given the huge gap between his numbers and the numbers of the other three players, it seems fair to rule out Andrew Luck. I know that Luck didn't have very much to work with, but he was also facing a cream puff schedule. In addition to his 18 interceptions, Luck alsoled the league in dropped interceptions last year. He wasn't on this group's level. I also have to drop Colin Kaepernick from the discussion, just by virtue of his shortened season. The three other players in this Gang of Four produced an average of 563 touches (pass attempts + rush attempts), while Kaepernick's late start got him to only 281. Production involves both quality and quantity, and Kaepernick didn't have enough quantity for 2012.
That leaves Griffin and Wilson. And if I have to pick between the two of them in terms of their overall performance last season, I have to pick Griffin. His completion percentage was higher and his yards per attempt were higher. They each threw 393 passes, and Wilson threw twice as many interceptions. RG3 also ran for more yards per carry and produced more rushing yardage. If you ignore those first few unsteady games from Wilson and compare how they played at the end of the year, you can make a really strong case for Wilson.
On the whole, though, Griffin was the better player and the most productive member of the Gang of Four last year.
Who Will Be the Best Gang of Four QB in 2013?
OK. Eliminating people made things easier last time, so let's do that again. I'm going to rule out Kaepernick because he has likely lost his best receiver, Michael Crabtree, for most of the season. Knowing the Harbaugh 49ers, the guy they replace Crabtree with will become an instant Pro Bowl–caliber contributor, but I'll be a little skeptical for now. One down.
While there continues to be great news out of Washington regarding Robert Griffin's recovery from knee surgery, the possibility of the knee causing him further problems is meaningful enough to cross him out here. These are high standards. And while I honestly believe that Andrew Luck will take enormous strides this season, he could improve his numbers by a significant margin across the board and still come up short of Russell Wilson's performance from the second half.
So that leaves Wilson, who picked up a no. 1 wideout over the offseason, Vikings standout Percy Harvin. Even better, Wilson won't be splitting the first-team practice reps with anybody during training camp this year. I'm pretty comfortable picking him as the best quarterback from the Gang of Four in 2013. (Also, sorry for putting that hex on you, Russell Wilson.)