FanPost

What would Breesus do?




Right around the time KC traded for Alex Smith, there was an article written on AP that was titled something to the tune of, "Can Alex Smith be the next Drew Brees?" I do not remember the writer, but it argued that while Smith may not be playing elite football as of yet, Brees saw a big improvement when he started working with Sean Payton and is now considered elite. It is possible Smith could do the same.

It got me thinking. Seeing a playoff-QB on a new team is a rarity. The Quarterback position is far and away the most valuable on the team; usually if you find someone you can win with you stick with him.

However, there have actually been a surprising number of playoff QB's, some good, some great, that have been traded or released at some point in there careers. These QB's face an immense amount of pressure on their new teams. Because they have already experienced a great deal of success in the systems they played in, and on the teams they played for, they are often expected to be the savior of their new organizations'. But it is very difficult to immediately develop chemistry with a new set of receivers, offensive lineman, and coaches. It usually takes a good deal of time to see that chemistry develop, just as we saw in Denver last year.

The first few games have to be the most psychologically stressful for the QB's. Alex Smith has played 3 games with Reid and the Chiefs. Let's compare his performance in these games to the first 3 played by Drew Brees with the Saints, Peyton Manning with the Broncos, Brett Favre with the Jets, Brett Favre with the Vikings, Joe Montana with the Chiefs and Drew Bledsoe with the Bills.

Within this group, it should be noted that Montana, Favre, & Manning won Superbowls with their previous teams; Drew Brees won a Superbowl with the Saints, and Smith/Bledsoe won playoff games with their first team but as of yet, neither has a Superbowl title (as a starter).

All of these QB's were >25 years old when they were traded. They all experienced playoff success with their first teams and there were injury concerns surrounding all of their respective deals. Smith and Bledsoe were both benched the preceding year due to injury. Brees and Manning were both sidelined the preceding year due to injury and there were lingering questions about Montana's elbow when he came to KC.

So here are there statistics from their first 3 games with their new teams.

Player

Team

Win

Comp

Att

Comp%

Yds

TD

INT

RAT

Y/A

Rush

Att

Rush Yds.

Smith

KC

3

64

105

61

669

4

0

92.1

6.37

23

114

Brees

NO

3

62

99

62.63

714

3

2

86.0

7.21

8

-5

Bledsoe

BUF

1

88

129

68.22

1017

6

2

100

7.88

1

0

Favre

NYJ

1

63

90

70

646

6

3

98.7

7.18

7

13

Favre

MIN

3

61

94

64.89

566

5

1

94.5

6.02

1

1

Manning

DEN

1

69

115

60

824

5

3

85.6

7.16

5

2

Montana

KC

3

42

66

63.64

587

5

0

117

8.89

6

33

Honestly there aren't many inferences to draw from this chart. I hoped there would be, but I can't make out any trends. We all know (I hope) that Montana is the greatest of all time. We all saw Manning's arm strength last year. We all love to laugh at the Jets.

Smith's low YPA stands out somewhat, but so do his rushing yards. Smith's 783 total yards is third behind Bledsoe (1017) & Manning (826). However, Bledsoe & Manning each started 1-2 while Smith started 3-0. Bledsoe also threw 2 interceptions, while Manning threw 3 and Smith was turnover free. Actually, when you account for his rushing attempts, Smith's 128 action plays is second only to Bledsoe's 130.

Interesting involvement considering Bledsoe is the textbook "gunslinger" and Smith is being sold as a "game-manager."

Maybe there is something to glean, after all.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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