Geeks exhaustively crunch numbers to tell us shit we already know

06.25.08 9 years ago 39 Comments

The poindexters at Pro Football Reference have unveiled their list of the worst quarterbacks in the history of the game. You won’t find perennial benchwarmers like Jelly-Roll Lorenzen here, rather the stat-monkeys focused on quarterbacks who logged enough playing time to really stink up the joint. I doubt that anyone in the D will be shocked to learn that Joey Harrington topped the list.

No QB has performed so far below the league average for so long as Joey Harrington. To be clear, Joey Harrington probably isn’t the worst quarterback of all time in an absolute sense. But in terms of being so far below average, but far enough above miserable to earn more playing time, Joey Harrington hurt his team more than any other QB in NFL history. If Harrington had been worse, he would have played less, and he wouldn’t have set back the teams he played on.

Ouch. Don’t sugar-coat it or anything.

Also worth a look is their compilation of the worst quarterbacks in each individual season. This list is a pleasant blend of the expected (Archie Manning, Ryan Leaf, David Carr), the surprising (Phil Simms, Joe Theismann) and players I had all but forgotten (Stan Gelbaugh, Billy Joe Tolliver). Check out Joe Ferguson’s staggeringly awful run as worst QB in three straight seasons (1982-84).

Of course in this day and age a team would never give a QB that long before making a change. Americans will no longer tolerate protracted mediocrity from their quarterbacks. Mediocrity from our President, legislature, courts, social service structure, public schools and economic system is one thing. But from our quarterbacks? No effing way.

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