I have been looking for a topic to do a FanPost on for a while, and thanks to footballperspective.com I found it. My last FanPost garnered only a little attention, 11 comments and 1 rec. Lets hope this one is better received.
I don't remember how I stumbled upon it but Chase Stuart wrote a great analysis on the 100 best and 100 worst QB's by their 5 best or worst years using the Relative Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt (ANY/A) formula.
What I found was interesting 5 Broncos Field Generals made the Top 100: Peyton Manning, John Elway, Craig Morton, Charley Johnson, and Jake Plummer. Oddly enough we also can claim the 39th worst; Mickey Slaughter. For you trivia buffs, Slaughter was the first Bronco to wear the #7. Of course Morton and Elway would go on to don it more honorably.
I intend to analyze each of the 5 Broncos that made this Top 100 list, to gain a better perspective on what ranking each of these players should truly have among themselves. If I am to take Stuarts excellent work at face value, I would be led to believe that they would stack like this: 1. Manning (1) 2. Elway (31) 3. Morton (53) 4. Johnson (83) 5. Plummer (87). But I don't take anything at face value, and I will break down the numbers and come up with in my mind a better solution and have fun doing it. By the way I find it blasphemes that Elway was not in the Top 5, let alone Top 25.
The first thing I realized about these players is only one played the entire 5 seasons period of data with the Broncos, not to mention their entire career. That distinction of course belongs to Mr. Elway. Therefore I started by recalculating their totals by removing any data from seasons in which they did not play for the Broncos. The analysis was revealing.
Based on the above data I re-ranked each of the five players based on their new totals.
Table 1. Broncos Quarterbacks Ranked by Total ANY/A
What stuck out most to me more than anything is that Jake "The Snake or The Fake depending on how you feel about him" ranking skyrockets from 5th to 3rd. He gave Denver the best years of his career no doubt. In fact the men ranked behind him at #4 and #5 are both enshrined in the Ring of Fame Johnson (1986), Morton (1988). So I will say it hear and now Jake Plummer belongs in the Ring of Fame. Not something I thought I would ever say, but numbers don't lie. Not only was Plummer one of the greatest to wear the number #16 for Denver, all's he did was win! I always felt Shanny pulled the plug on him prematurely.
via broncotalk.net 2016 Ring of Fame Inductee Jake Plummer ;-)
which is more than can be said about Jay Cutler.
no, not that Jay Cutler. This Jay Cutler.
The analysis also provided for some interesting tidbits and things to consider when evaluating these players.
Elway can be awarded "Mr. Consistency Award" as he only had a 154 differential between his best year and 5th best year. Manning on the other hand gets the "One Year Wonder Award", if only because his seasons with the Colts were so elite, that his 2012 season with Denver, in which he threw 37 TD's, over 4,500 yards, and 68.6 completion percentage was not one of his five best of his illustrious career. Not bad, I think we all can agree, while he may not be the greatest Bronco quarterback ever yet, he is certainly the best quarterback to lace up cleats as a Bronco. I hope I made that distinction clear enough. Craig Morton, one of my youth basketball coaches, gets the "Lifetime Achievement Award", he was the only player whose seasons that made Table 1 ('77 & '81) were so far apart. His years in Denver (1977-1982) weren't his best seasons, but they weren't his worst either. He is also the only player who's five best seasons occurred in three decades (60's, 70's, 80's) spanning seasons as both a Dallas Cowboy and Denver Bronco. Charley Johnson get the "Razzie Runner-up Award" for finishing #4 of 5 quarterbacks. And the "Toilet Bowl Award" for Worst. Broncos. Quarterback. Ever. goes to...
Milton Eugene Slaughter, 16 more interceptions than touchdowns and a career 54.8 QB Rating. In fairness to Slaughter after his playing career ended, he moved on to coaching as an assistant for 12 successful years at Louisiana Tech. All's he did there was mold and mentor a young javelin thrower from Shreveport named Terry Bradshaw. In 1987 Slaughter was inducted into the universities Athletic Hall of Fame! Thanks for representin' Bronco Country Mr. Slaughter.
I hope you enjoyed my unique and I perhaps slightly humorous look at these great Bronco signal callers. I learned a lot from doing the write up, and I love stats so it made it all the more enjoyable. 95 days and counting to kickoff!