The big issue with the Falcons favoring mobile quarterbacks
The Atlanta Falcons have not had a question mark at the quarterback position for over a decade, at least until now. Matt Ryan is no longer with the team as it is obvious that he was not the type of quarterback that Arthur Smith wanted.
Arthur Smith has shown that he wants his starting quarterback to be very mobile. He showed that in Tennessee with Ryan Tannehill who was a receiver in college, and now with the Falcons as he has brought in Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder, but there is one major problem with his preference.
The Falcons need to realize that history has not been kind to mobile passers
Atlanta Falcons fans are no doubt excited to see what the Falcons’ offense will look like with an athletic quarterback at the helm as fans have been accustomed to watching a pocket passer in Matt Ryan for over a decade.
Having a quarterback with the athletic talent that Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder have will certainly bring an exciting element to the offense, but with that being said, pocket passers have still dominated the playoffs not just in recent years but throughout the history of the NFL.
Sure, mobile quarterbacks are still a relatively new phenomenon in the NFL and have shown that they can dominate the regular season but the postseason is a whole different story.
Here is a list of all the starting quarterbacks in each of the last ten Super Bowls:
- SB XLVII: Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick
- SB XLVIII: Russell Wilson, Peyton Manning
- SB XLIX: Tom Brady, Russell Wilson
- SB L: Peyton Manning, Cam Newton
- SB LI: Tom Brady, Matt Ryan
- SB LII: Tom Brady, Nick Foles
- SB LIII: Tom Brady, Jared Goff
- SB LIV: Jimmy Garoppolo, Patrick Mahomes
- SB LV: Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes
- SB LVI: Joe Burrow, Matthew Stafford
The first thing that sticks out is just how many times Tom Brady is listed in there, but that is beside the point, at least kind of. Tom Brady is a pocket passer in the strictest sense, yet he has been in half of the Super Bowls during the past decade. He is obviously considered to be the best of all time, so maybe he is just different and an outlier.
Nonetheless, the only true scrambling QBs on this list are Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton.
Some may argue that guys like Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, and Joe Burrow are also scrambling quarterbacks, but that is not entirely true. Each of them use their legs as an accessory. They snap the ball with the intention to throw the ball from the pocket but can use their legs when need be.
On the other hand, guys like Cam Newton, Lamar Jackson, and Marcus Mariota use their legs pretty frequently. Their coaches consistently call quarterback runs for them, something a guy like Russell Wilson rarely does.
This presents a big problem for the Falcons, as there have only been two quarterbacks who play the position like Marcus Mariota to make the Super Bowl in the past decade. It does not take a genius to realize those are not good odds. Desmond Ridder could end up playing the position like Russell Wilson but much of that will depend on what Arthur Smith envisions.
Players like Michael Vick and Lamar Jackson have never been able to break through in the playoffs, and while the Falcons could certainly be the first, the odds are stacked against them.
If you want to consistently reach the Super Bowl, then having a pocket passer is still the way to go, which is not the direction Arthur Smith is going. He will have to prove history wrong to bring Atlanta their first Super Bowl victory.