We are a week removed from the Superbowl and as expect the make it or break it post have started for Sam. For many, it's easy to say it's his make it or break it season for the simple fact they never wanted him in the Rams uni. Others on the other hand will fight tooth and nail over his performances this upcoming season, justifying his play whether it be good bad. But what I'd like to as everyone that have stated that this is his make it or break it season, what is success for him? And does he by your standards Because I might view both different from most people. After going over one of my previous posts there's no way that Sam will be elite this upcoming and furthermore you can throw all the gaudy numbers all you want but as Al Davis once said, Just win, baby win.
As I said above, winning is priority and winning is what will determine whether this upcoming season is a pass or fail for Sam. We know he can put up yards and take over a game here and there. What we don't know yet is whether he can lead this team further than a few exploits a year, but whether or not he can lead this team to the playoffs and beyond. Sure, it would be nice to see him put up amazing yards and torch defenses this upcoming season but that probably won't happen. Fisher might have said he's going to be opening up the playbook more but with the talent (or lack there of) on this team along with inexperience we might see a bit more chances down field but defiantly nothing Saints, Packers, or Patriots like. There where be an outburst here and there but nothing substantial.... yet. Nor do we even need that yet. Look no further than the Superbowl MVP's stats this season and then compare them to Sam's.
|2012 Regular Season||Sam Bradford||Joe Flacco|
Now if you look over them stats they are crazily familiar but what speaks even more volumes is the fact that Flacco has Anquan Boldin, Torry Smith, and Jacoby Jones, which if you take off your homer hat will admit any of these players could step in day one for the Rams and be a top 2 receiver. You add it to the fact that at the moment, yes Ray Rice is a better running back then Steven Jackson.So then I ask all the naysayers. how exactly did Sam not make his weapons around him better?
What is elite?
As far as the whole argument of whether he'll be elite or not first we must question what exactly elite for a Quarterback is. I was saying yes when I wrote this but I have had a bit of a change of heart ever since I read this comment from DC:
After reading this I thought about how media and fans as a whole throw around the elite word so loosely it's ridiculous. Me personally, I only think there are two elite Quarterbacks considering my standards and those to Quarterbacks are Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. If you just had a broad stroke you could also add Rodgers and Brees in there but neither of these players come close to where Brady and Manning are. My reason for this being fairly simple, here are my criteria for being elite in the NFL.
3. Make players around you better (I honestly think this one is overrated but I'll have some fun with it)
4. Win more than one Superbowl
When I look at these this seems to be a great criteria for judging whether a QB is great. Just from the first one Sam is already out of the conversation. But what if he wins about 10 games next season, does he pass that criteria, no. Winning is more than just being good for one season, it's about being good for years without any hiccups in your game. This is the main reason why I don't consider Eli Manning elite. Sure, he has 2 Superbowls but give his brother Peyton or Tom those defenses and they're making the Superbowl almost every year. Next, I'm going to probably get bashed but the last 2 criteria are the main reasons why I don't believe Brees and Rodgers are elite. I'll give you they put up great numbers but there's three things that just knock them off of the metaphorical Elite Mountain.
1. Flynn proved a few seasons back that even an average QB can do good in the Greenbay system by throwing more yards than any other QB in Green Bay history. Where is Flynn now? Being a bench warmer for Wilson.
2. I have yet to see either of these guys make any player player around the better when during their stints with their respective teams they've had some of the best surrounding casts in the NFL. You could say the same about Brady and Manning but both have proved they can make talent around them better. Manning doing it this year and Brady when he won his 3 Superbowls.
3. Both of these guys have won one Superbowl, that doesn't necessarily mean you are destined for the HOF. You ever hear the phrase once you got lucky, twice you're onto something and the third time, OK, you're good? That is the position that I take towards both. Same could be said for Peyton but he still gets 3 out of 4 criteria.
I'm not saying that Brees and Rodgers are scrubs, they're great Quarterbacks but considering some of the stuff that some on here expect from Sam, by some of those expectations are these two elite? Not yet. I'm not saying that they can't make players around them better but we haven't seen said thing yet. I think what we have not in the NFL is a few (at most 4) elite Quarterbacks depending on you're opinions of Rodgers and Brees but then you have just a bunch of above average to great Quarterbacks. For me it's
Elite: Brady and Manning
Great: Brees, Rodgers, Big and Big Ben (and some others)
Above Average: Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford (and some others)
So can Sam just jump up that latter in just one season? No, not gonna happen. By the end of this upcoming season I can see him being Above Average. Then a couple more years of consistency and playoffs and you never know.
So, is this his make it or break it year? Common knowledge would say yes but it would also say that this past season was but Fisher said otherwise. You might ask what do I expect this upcoming season and it's plain and simple..... playoffs.