Chicago Bears QBs: Sid Luckman, Jim McMahon, Jim Miller, and Jay Cutler

I’m a little tired of sports media types and fans not being able to think for themselves and instead just repeating things over and over.  I gave an example the other day when I said that the whole sports media world says universally that Roger Federer was better than Pete Sampras just because he leads him in Grand Slam titles, 15-14.

Here’s another example.  Fans and sports media constantly say that the Chicago Bears haven’t had a great quarterback since Sid Luckman in the 1940s.  What about Jim McMahon?  All he did was win a Super Bowl, go 36-5 for the Bears from 1984-1988 and 67-30 overall for his career.  It’s pretty pathetic that people don’t care about results, about productivity, about winning.  It’s true that the Bears had a great defense then, but they had a pretty bad receiving corps.  He was also known as a good leader.  Remember too that McMahon was a first round pick, No. 5 overall in 1982.

McMahon’s career completion percentage was a very good 58%, and from 1984 to 1987, his TD to interception ratio was 40 to 29.  Pretty good for that era.  McMahon obviously wasn’t as good as Marino, Elway, Montana, Esiason or Moon, but four of them are in the Hall of Fame.  McMahon was great for a few years.

I don’t care about McMahon or the Bears but I do care when people (fans, sports media, news media) don’t think for themselves and just repeat back what others say.

I hate it when people like Jim Miller of Sirius NFL Radio agree with callers who say that the Bears haven’t had any great QBs.  Of course, Miller says a QB should have a ratio of 2 TDs for every interception.  He and others ignore the fact that passing stats were much less prolific 20 years ago than they are today.

In my article a year and a half ago advocating Art Monk to get into the NFL Hall of Fame (http://www.coachmike.net/artmonk.php), I talked about this (though Monk’s stats are unbelievable for any era):

If we look at the rise in offensive statistics in the Super Bowl era, we see three distinctly different eras. The first 14 years of the Super Bowl were characterized by run-first teams. The middle 14 years (Monk’s Redskins career) were dramatically different with the passing game opening up because of the rules changes in the late 70s. What some of the voters either fail to recognize or acknowledge is that the most recent 14 years have also had significant increases in passing and receiving numbers due to further changes including the west coast offense and other schemes in which passing is used to set up the run. See the table below.

NFL

1966-1979

1980-1993 (Monk’s era with the Redskins)

1994-2007

Number of individual 4,000 – yard passing seasons

2

19

46

Number of individual 100 – catch seasons

0

3

50

Number of 1500 – yard receiving seasons

0

5

15

McMahon played in the 1980s.  It wasn’t that long ago.  Of course, now everyone says that Jay Cutler is the first great quarterback to play for the Bears in 60 years.  What an insult.  Cutler is 17-20 overall for his career and hasn’t made the playoffs.  Cutler does have the stats, though, and that’s what people care about.

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