The question : " Can Garrard take this team to the playoffs?"
One side says NO - Its all his fault and it's that simple.
The other says YES - Its a TEAM sport and all the pieces have to be there.
One side says : " We need a new QB - Garrard can't get it done "
The other says : " Of course he can't get it done, the O-line has him on his ass.. hard to throw when your running for your life"
So lets compare all the facts.. QB stats, team stats, and where the teams all ended the year.
Lets look at the playoff teams, thier QBs and what defenses they had...
WCX = Lost Wildcard weekend
DVX = Lost Divisional weekend
AFCC or NFCC means they are in the conference Championship..
With a few exceptions.. It looks like a mistake free QB or a great defense to get in.
By the averages to get in the playoffs requires either less than a turnover a game by your QB or a defense in the top third of the NFL, preferably both.
BUT you HAVE to have a top 10 Defense to get to the Conference Championship game.. PERIOD
OK so lets break down the need of a Mistake Free QB
While we all know Garrard did not play Mistake Free football niether did Brees, Cutler, Hasselbeck, or Manning. 8 other QBs had more turnovers than Garrard so obviously while not mistake free, he isnt alone.
Of those 8 QBs, the Bears are still in it with Cutler the 5th most mistake prone QB. If you will notice Manning was only one INT away from being tied with Garrard at #9.
Anyway, I hear you.. the turnovers aren't all that make a winning QB. So what about QB Rating..?
In the QB rating profile.. Garrard comes in at #13 or top half of the league. What I find more interesting.. looking at the QB AND Defensive rank of a team.. it does seem a good Defense makes a QB better. Of course you have your Mannings and Bradys that make a bottom tier Defense look good. But then you have your Drew Brees and Rothlisberger that it could be argued benefit from a top 10 defense.
Last but not least lets look at Sacks.. logic would dictate a bad O-line and your QB is sacked more..
Two interesting stats I see here..
One most the players with high sack counts are on teams that didnt get anywhere in the playoffs. Exception being the top two, with Cutler still in it.
Cutler and the Bears seem to be proof its definately Defense that win playoff games. As he was the most sacked and gave up some of the highest amount of turn overs.
The other thing to think about is Phillip Rivers played with the #1 Defense, was the #2 rated QB, but was #11 in turnovers & #3 in sacks.. see a correlation..? Could it be a bad O-line was all it took in San Diego for them to not make the playoffs?
So to wrap this up... statistically what we get is:
Garrard was #9 in losing the ball, while being #10 in sacks, but still was the 13th rated passer in the league. All while playing behind the 28th defense in the league.
There are only 3 QBs in the league above him statistically that didn't make the playoffs and only 1 in Cutler that did, while the #2 rated QB in the league didn't make it at all, playing with the #1 Defense, the key here is he turned over the ball and was sacked more than Garrard.
So looks like from this angle.. There is NO REASON Garrard can't get us into the playoffs
1 - The Defense steps it up :
Because if Cutler can get the Bears into the playoffs there is no reason Garrard can't.
2 - The O-line gets some help and youth :
Because if Rivers CAN'T get his team into the playoffs with the #1 Defense.. there has to be a reason.
Statistically you see the formula that wins : A QB that isnt rushed, and a Defense that does.
Just sayin' maybe its time to look at this as a TEAM effort and quit laying so much on Garrard.