With quotes like these, it’s always good to find the source and the way it was said, to see if Big Ben was really conceding that he may be done as a franchise quarterback. Here’s the segment:
He starts talking about how he needs to play better. Then, in response to an inaudible question, responds, “I don’t think so, but maybe I am, maybe I don’t have it anymore.” His tone and demeanor make clear that he is upset and dismissive, and saying it somewhat sarcastically, not as someone who genuinely thinks he’s done.
That was followed by this exchange.
Q: “Does the doubt ever creep in?”
A: “Nope. If anyone in this room ever has that doubt, they probably aren’t here.”
Q: “What will it take for this offense to reach its potential?”
A: “Me playing better.”
Prematurely declaring top quarterbacks to be finished is one of the most popular sports in America. Yes, Father Time eventually catches up but there are way too many false positives. Brett Favre had not one, but two games with 4+ interceptions in 2005, and averaged 6.4 yards per attempt. He played a few more years. Warren Moon had 5 interceptions games in both 1991 and 1992 after turning 35, and played for another 8 years. Peyton Manning had two 4-interception games in 2010, underwent neck surgery the following year, and rebounded.
I think when we look back, we’ll see this Jaguars’ pass defense led by Jalen Ramsey is going to be near the top of the league and make several quarterbacks look bad. They ended the Tom Savage era in one half.
Okay, so maybe you want to just look at not just interceptions, but production through five games. Here’s the most similar QBs that were within a year of Big Ben.
- John Elway, 1996, 7 TD, 7 INT, 6.56 YPA
- John Elway, 1994, 5 TD, 5 INT, 6.46 YPA
- Jim Kelly, 1995, 5 TD, 5 INT, 6.34 YPA
- Brett Favre, 2006, 7 TD, 5 INT, 6.28 YPA
- Matt Hasselbeck, 2010, 5 TD, 6 INT, 5.34 YPA