Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Bucs Make Derek Anderson Look Like Aaron Rodgers

I was looking at Jay Cutler's stats (it's schadenfreude, but I enjoy watching the Bears's organization collapse), basically he's having comparable seasons to both Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson (except he doesn't get to play with a real NFL defense), and I noticed the Top 3 quarterbacks according to ESPN's QBR: No. 3 is Peyton Manning, No. 2 is Aaron Rodgers, and No. 1 is Derek Anderson. In Football Outsiders's DVOA rating, it's flipped around with Rodgers still at No. 2 and Manning at No. 1 and Anderson at No. 3. Derek Anderson's a Top 3 QB!
Of course the secret of his success is that he's started two games this season and both of them came against the Buccaneers. I doubt there's anyone out there who will defend him as the best QB in the NFL, but the case can be made that any QB could be an MVP candidate if they played 16 games against the Bucs. If Anderson can look like Aaron Rodgers when he plays the Bucs, imagine what the real deal can do.

The Bucs defense has played against some of the best QBs in the NFL this season (Roethlisberger, Brees (twice), Ryan (twice), Flacco) and they've been pretty much shredded by every one of them. The lone exception was a game in New Orleans when they picked off Brees three times and pushed the Saints into overtime. The Bucs won their game in Pittsburgh but Roethlisberger still played well.

If the Bucs have any chance against the Packers, it'll come from their offense pushing the Packer defense. Despite some struggles, the defense is ranked a respectable No. 17 by Football Outsiders while the Saints and Steelers (two teams the Bucs played well against) have defenses at the bottom of the rankings (No. 30 and No. 31).

Rodgers will have a big game against a depleted, struggling Bucs defense, and if the Packer defense has a solid game, it'll be a blowout.

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