NFL Handicapping: Worst Starting Quarterbacks
by Robert Ferringo - 8/14/2013
What comes to mind when I mention the names Michael Vick, Carson Palmer, and Mark Sanchez?
Is it their numerous Pro Bowl appearances? The hype and untold millions they have been showered with throughout their careers? Maybe it is the conference championship appearances and playoff games they have accounted for in their careers.
When I think of that trio only one word comes to mind: losers.
These quarterbacks are losers. Glorious, wonderful, brilliant losers.
These three signal callers have been among the worst bets in football over the last decade. They have specialized in crippling turnovers, horrendous accuracy, injury-forced ineffectiveness, and overall shoddy play in the most recent seasons. And age and their overall lack of ability have finally exposed them.
Yet somehow, shockingly, year after year Vick, Palmer and Sanchez have been able to convince front offices, coaching staffs and fan bases that they are, in fact, viable starting options. That’s pretty impressive considering all available visual and statistical evidence to the contrary. And – albeit tenuously – all three are on pace to start for their respective teams heading into the 2013 NFL season.
Enjoy it while it lasts.
Over the last two years Vick, Palmer and Sanchez have combined to go 55-85-3 against the spread. That is a shockingly awful 39.3 percent success rate, and gamblers have made a killing betting against them. But while every loss against the spread – and likely corresponding loss on the field – pads our bankrolls, it also gets us one game closer to their inevitable ouster.
People are starting to realize the truth about these terrible NFL quarterbacks. And when the day comes – and it is approaching rapidly – when they are finally benched or banished, I will shed a tear for each one of them.
Here is a look at the worst starting quarterbacks – and thereby the best QBs to bet against – in the NFL:
Mark Sanchez (13-19 ATS L2Y)
Statues are built for athletes that live up to the myth of Greatness. But there is something to be said for guys that set the bar at absurdly low levels and then continuously come up short of them. Sanchez is one such player.
Naturally, his first possession of the preseason ended with Sanchez throwing a pick-six. He is in midseason form.
Sanchez is locked in a battle with Jets-failure-in-training Geno Smith. Sanchez sounds cocky as hell about his odds of holding off the rookie Smith. But that’s because The Sanchize knows his ineptitude has all but cost Rex Ryan his job as well. And heading into a make-or-break season of his own, the odds are slim that Ryan would roll with a rookie under center.
Savor the Sanchez’s succulent stupidity. I’m predicting the Jets will start the season either 2-7 or 3-6 before a Week 10 bye. Ryan has the potential for a midseason firing, and I’ll be stunned if Sanchez is still under center coming out of that off week.
Carson Palmer (9-15-1 ATS L2Y)
Arizona Cardinals optimists and fantasy football dorks like to point out that Palmer actually threw for over 4,000 yards and managed 22 touchdowns last season in Oakland. What they are overlooking is that the Raiders had just four wins compared to a whopping five losses by 20 points or more and that Palmer’s stats were almost exclusively accrued during garbage time.
Losing is nothing new to Palmer, who is just stints with Buffalo and Cleveland away from winning Horrible Football Franchise bingo. Palmer was 21-31 ATS at the helm in his last four years in Cincinnati before his 9-15-1 ATS run with the Raiders. Now he is charged with turning around an Arizona team that has gone 18-30 straight up the past three seasons and saving a franchise that has won five or less games 13 times in 25 years in the desert.
What could possible go wrong?
Michael Vick (11-20-1 ATS L2Y)
I’m going to point to this article that I wrote back in 2005 and take credit for being way ahead of the bobblehead media and football analysts. At the time it was blasphemy to suggest that Vick was anything less than one of the best and most exciting players in the NFL. But I tabbed him as hopelessly overrated and questioned not only his play but also his character.
Vick is in a tight battle with Nick Foles for the starting gig in Philadelphia. Vick is talking and acting like the starter and a team leader. But new head coach Chip Kelly has done an impressive job undermining him at every turn.
I am pulling for “Ron Mexico” to win the inevitable quarterback competition because it will make it that much more fun to bet against the impending disaster in Philly this year. I wouldn’t even put it past Kelly, who looks like an accident waiting to happen, to try to use a two-quarterback system this year. You know: because Kelly is so “innovative”.
Kevin Kolb (7-11 ATS L3Y)
Only the Bills. Only the Buffalo Bills would look at the breathtakingly mediocre body of work that Kolb put on tape in his six-year career and say, “Yeah, that’s the guy we want to lead us into the 27th franchise rebuild of the last decade.”
Naturally Kolb, who has never played in more than nine games in a season, hurt himself this preseason in the most Kevin Kolb-way possible: injuring his knee by slipping on a wet mat. “Happy Feet” Kolb probably saw his own shadow, startled himself, and twisted his knee.
Kolb is reportedly fine and in line to hold down the job until rookie E.J. Manuel takes over. Like Sanchez, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kolb was out as the starter before Week 10, so get while the gettin’ is good.
Jake Locker (4-7 ATS LY)
Locker isn’t as “decorated” as some of the other clowns on this list. But he’s working on it. Despite the fact that he completed just 53.9 percent of his passes in college and just 55.5 percent of his passes in the pros, Locker still has people convinced he could be a legit pro passer.
Spoiler alert: he can’t. Locker has a cannon arm but no control over it. I know he’s young. But it doesn’t take a sharp NFL mind to know he’ll never be an accurate thrower. Locker has 14 touchdowns and 15 turnovers in his young career, and because of his accuracy issues I can only see more INTs in his future.
On the one hand, his incompetence is reassuring. On the other, it is kind of frustrating. The Titans actually have some nice offensive weapons. If they had, say, Sam Bradford, they would have the potential for a Top-10 attack and would be a great underdog bet. I’ll have to settle for betting against the Titans with Locker under center.
Blaine Gabbert (6-19 SU, 11-13-1 ATS L2Y)
Like Locker, Gabbert is a just a young pup. But Gabbert’s loser potential is undeniable; he could be one of the great ones. And by “great ones” I mean one of the worst starters of the past quarter-century.
The first possession of Gabbert’s career ended with him being sacked for a safety despite the Jaguars having the ball near the 10-yard-line. That has set the tone for a terrible tenure. Unfortunately, the only thing keeping Gabbert’s ATS record near .500 is the fact that everyone knows Jacksonville is one of the worst teams in football.
Gabbert is dueling with Chad Henne, a mess in his own right, for the Jags slot this year. I pray that Gabbert endures and that we can steal another season of him struggling to complete half of his passes while also showing no leadership qualities at all.
(This article is dedicated to other breathtaking failures like Rex Grossman, Brady Quinn, Matt Cassel, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Vince Young, Jimmy Clausen and all the other utter incompetents that made me money over the past decade. Your ineptitude echoes in eternity!)
Robert Ferringo is a lead writer for Doc’s Sport and he has earned over $9,000 in football profit for his clients over the last 15 football months. He went 5-1 last week with his NFL preseason selections and will have a 7-Unit and a 6-Unit NFL futures bet released this week. Also, for the first time ever, Robert will release selections from his incredible KING College Football Betting System. (Learn more HERE.) We are so confident that you will be amazed by this moneymaking system we are going to give you a free, no-strings-attached $60 credit to use toward a purchase of Robert’s football selections. CLICK HERE for $60 absolutely free!
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