This Year's Pro Bowl Quarterbacks Are Laughable
Trust me, I know you don't care about the Pro Bowl. But I need to vent about this year's quarterback class.
The initial Pro Bowl quarterback list for this year's game was Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer and Cam Newton. According to our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric -- which you can read more about in our glossary -- those passers represented a hefty portion of the top-10 quarterbacks this season, while Rodgers was obviously voted in because he's Aaron Rodgers.
That's all acceptable.
But, as most of you know, there've been a ton of quarterbacks who've dropped out of the NFL's All-Star game this year, whether due to injury or personal reasons. And the end result is now a big bag of nope.
Today, just five days before the festivities, Russell Wilson is the only initial passer who's slotted to play in this weekend's Pro Bowl. Replacing the other five quarterbacks are Tyrod Taylor, Derek Carr, Jameis Winston, Eli Manning and -- wait for it -- Teddy Bridgewater.
Yes, the same Teddy Bridgewater who had fewer touchdowns all season than Russell Wilson had during a four-game stretch this year.
Just how bad are these passers? Take a look at the table below depicting their per drop back Passing NEP averages, along with where that number ranked among the 37 200-plus attempt passers from this season.
|Quarterback||Passing NEP per Drop Back||Rank|
According to our numbers, Taylor and Manning both make sense as alternates. I mean, kind of. Our analytics liked Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins more, but they could've been invited and declined without our knowledge.
I'm not surprised by Derek Carr's inclusion, simply because he started the 2015 season so hot. When he was killing it, I wrote about how his performance was an outlier, and since then, he's regressed. He's regressed all the way to the 25th most efficient passer in football, which is certainly not Pro Bowl worthy.
But then there's Teddy Bridgewater. Per NEP, only seven passers were worse efficiency-wise this season: Johnny Manziel, Peyton Manning, Ryan Mallett, Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick, Matt Cassel and Nick Foles. That's not great, Bob!
In an era where the league is selling its quarterbacks more than any other, it's kind of sad that this is the NFL's representation. Perhaps this is what finally makes Goodell and company realize that this Pro Bowl contest needs a major facelift.