FanPost

Age of Accountability

In the recent post by BShrout A Second Helping of Carpe Diem, I read a comment by corangemanr about the average age quarterbacks begin to peak, he suggested around 28. Being the type of guy who likes to do research, this seemed like a great piece of info to look into. There is a lot of information to look at when trying to determine when a player peaks, but I after looking the data over, I found the best way to do it would be to find the best season and look at the years surrounding it, if they were poor seasons, I don't think he'd peaked yet, whereas if it was preceded and followed by solid seasons, I would consider that peaking. I did this because it would overlook fluke seasons, good or bad,  as well as it shows when the quarterback found his sweet spot, so to say. I will also take into account career bests as well. For example, Troy Aikman, he progressed each season until 1993, when he peaked, his previous season in 1992 was successful, as was the 1994 season. Following 1993, his rating fluctuated between 80-90, he also set many of his personal records those two seasons as well. So for him, he was peaking in 1992, and peaked in 1993. Troy Aikman was 27 when reached his prime.

While I know much of a quarterbacks success is dependent on the play of his team, I took some of those factors into account as well. Since many great quarterbacks are still young, I chose those who were either retired, or been in the league at least eight seasons.

Table is after the jump, enjoy.

Name

Peak Age

Years as Starter

Rating

Milestones

Aikman

27

5

99

3000+ yards, comp. % personal best

Bledsoe

25

4

87.7

3500+ yards, 25+ TDs

Brady

28

5

92.3

4000+ yards, 25+ TDs

Brees

27

5

96.2

4000+ yards, 25+ TDs

Elway

33

11

92.8

4000+ yards, comp. %

Favre

26

4

99.5

4400+ yards, 25+ TDs

Garcia

30

2

97.6

4000+ yards, 31 TD's, comp. %

Hasselbeck

30

4

98.2

3000+ yards, 20+ TDs, 65+ comp. %

Kelly

31

6

97.6

3500+ yards, 30+ TDs

Manning

28

7

121.1

4500+ yards, 45+ TD's, 65+ comp. %

Marino

23

2

108.9

5000+ yards, 45+ TDs

McNabb

28

5

104.7

3500+ yards, 30+ TDs

Montana

28

6

102.9

3500+ yards, 25+ TDs

Warner

28

2

109.2

4000+ yards, 40+ TDs, 65+ comp. %

S. Young

31

2

107

3000+ yards, 25 TDs, 65+ comp. %

Average

28.2

4.6

100.98

A few notes:

- Brees has had a couple of very high years, but those are often followed or preceded by very poor ones, when he finally managed multiple solid seasons, from 2005 to 2007, was when I say he found his peak and plateaued, even with some better seasons after the 2006 season. That is the true meaning of peaking, not you best season, but when you reach the highest level of your play, and stay there.

- Elway is one I'm sure I'll take flak on, but look at his stats, despite constant changes, he never reached his best play till the 1993 season, while he played great before then, his play was mistake filled. Look at the Elway before the 1993 and after, the later one is a much better player all around, there is no question about it.

- Jeff Garcia entered the league at the spry, young age of 29, taking over for Steve Young in 1999, his first season in the league. But it should be noted he played football in the CFL for 5 seasons prior to entering the NFL. While while his NFL peak came in his second season starting, he had 5 other years behind him of experience. And it should also be noted, his play in Canada was far superior to the numbers he put up in the NFL.

- Manning played very well early, but he continued to progress till the 2004 season, when he set a number of personal bests and just had one of the best seasons by a quarterback ever.

- Marino was by far the greatest young quarterback ever. Setting NFL records in only his second season. While he played well for the rest of his career, he entered the league sprinting was ready from the get go.

- While Montana had better seasons after the 1984 season, that was when he began playing at his Hall of Fame form.

- Like Garcia before him, Warner played football elsewhere before coming into the NFL. After spending 4 seasons in Arena Football and 1 season in Europe, he joined the NFL. After sitting his "rookie" season, he took over for the Rams and showed he had already reached a high level of play, and despite losing his job in St. Louis and all the weapons he had there, he still played well elsewhere.

- Steve Young sat on the bench for five seasons, 1 in Tampa and 4 in San Francisco, before coming out of the shadows to take the helm of the 49ers in 1991. In 1992, Young at the age of 31, played at such a high level, that it set the tone for the rest of his career, which sadly didn't last long, only 7 seasons after that, he retired.

- Orton still has time develop into a great quarterback, many like Elway and Favre showed flashes early that they would be great, many others didn't show that greatness till their late 20's.

- So there are two things to take into account, how old they are, as well as how seasons they've started. To me age isn't a factor, many quarterbacks have shown that even into their late 30's, or 40's for Favre, they can still play. Age for a quarterback isn't as big a factor as it is for a running back or lineman. But to me we need to look at how long it took them starting before they peaked, and for most it was close to 5 seasons. Orton has only started in 48 games, or about 3 seasons, so if history holds up, and Orton starts next season, we will see Orton approaching his prime, but not there yet.

So, because I can only attach one poll per post, I am going to ask you to answer another question in the comments: Why did you chose what you did for the poll, and if you chose experience, how long do you think it takes a player to reach his peak play?

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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