Ranking Each NFL Team by QB Situation

The NFL preseason finally kicked off with the Ravens winning over the Bears in the Hall of Fame Game. The regular season is only 33 days away!

To go along with this hype, this article ranks the QB situation of each NFL team heading into the regular season (remember, this list only accounts for the upcoming season, not future ones). The rankings are based on each team’s projected starter and backup for the 2018 season.

Here are the rankings. Let’s get started!

#32. Chicago Bears

Starter) Mitchell Trubisky, Backup) Chase Daniel

Trubisky indisputably lacked offensive weapons in 2017. Still, he only threw for seven touchdowns in 12 starts, and he passed for only 2193 yards. Considering his bleak 2017 stats and lack of a phenomenal game, Trubisky is still an unreliable prospect. Having Chase Daniel, a 31 year-old who’s thrown one TD in an 8-year career, doesn’t help the Bears’ QB situation at all. The Bears are dead last due to Trubisky’s bad 2017 season and the Bears’ lack of a valid backup.

#31. Buffalo Bills

Starter) AJ McCarron, Backup) Josh Allen

AJ McCarron is just a bridge QB to prepare Josh Allen for the NFL. While McCarron had a decent 3-game stretch in 2015 during which he had a 6-2 TD-INT ratio, he’s only completed 7 throws ever since. I also think Josh Allen will be a bust. He’s overhyped and inaccurate. Don’t expect an outstanding pass offense from the Bills.

#30. Jacksonville Jaguars

Starter) Blake Bortles, Backup) Cody Kessler

The Jaguars have an average backup QB in Cody Kessler. Bortles, however, has a lot to prove. Last year, Bortles was carried by Leonard Fournette, while the defense dominated. The defensive powerhouse was called Sacksonville for a reason. Meanwhile, Bortles only recorded three 300+ yard games throughout the regular and post-season. Bortles is not a good passer, so Jags’ QB situation is clearly a weak spot on their roster.

#29. Baltimore Ravens

Starter) Joe Flacco, Backup) Lamar Jackson

Baltimore drafted Lamar Jackson as their QB of the future. The Raven’s shift from a big-arm gunslinger to a Mike Vick-type QB tells us something about Joe Flacco; His high-risk low-reward play style isn’t working. The 6’6 veteran will probably start throughout the 2018 season, and he’s not gonna exceed many expectations.

#28. Cincinnati Bengals

Starter) Andy Dalton, Backup) Matt Barkley

Andy Dalton had some decent years, but he was never an outstanding player. Furthermore, he’s coming off one of his worst seasons yet. Dalton completed less than 60% of his passes last year. The backup spot is also a weakness, as Matt Barkley has an atrocious TD-INT ratio of 8-18.

#27. Kansas City Chiefs

Starter) Patrick Mahomes II, Backup) Chad Henne

Patrick Mahomes II is utterly unproven. I hate how people are quick to dub more experienced QBs like Jimmy G and Tyrod Taylor as “unreliable” players, while they jump off their seats for a gunslinger like Mahomes. To be frank, Mahomes played in one 0-TD game; He hasn’t even scored yet. Personally, the Chiefs’ decision to trash Alex Smith and trust in Mahomes was hasty. I think the sophomore QB is quite overrated, but I also trust Andy Reid’s judgement. I have mixed feelings about this one, but I’m leaning towards the negative side.

#26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Starter) Jameis Winston*, Backup) Ryan Fitzpatrick

If not for Jameis Winston’s 4-game suspension following the alleged personal misconduct, the Buccaneers’ QB situation would be pretty good. Jameis has displayed steady growth throughout his first three seasons; his ability to assess risk and reward has developed, therefore his completion percentage increased from 58.3% in 2015 to 60.8% in 2016 to 63.8% in 2017.  Losing a still-maturing QB for a fourth of the season hurts, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is a provenly mediocre player.

*Jameis Winston will face a 4-game suspension starting week 1.

#25. Miami Dolphins 

Starter) Ryan Tannehill, Backup) Brock Osweiler

Ryan Tannehill is underrated. In 2016, he threw with a high 67.1% completion rate until his injury. Tannehill is consistently overlooked, despite his above-average stats. He’s also pretty young, so he can still learn from Brock Osweiler. Both the starter and backup position are covered, but the looming question for the Dolphins’ QB situation is the plausibility of Tannehill’s return following a year off the field.

#24. Carolina Panthers

Starter) Cam Newton, Backup) Garrett Gilbert

Cam Newton isn’t a top-tier thrower. His 2016 and 2017 seasons were horrendous; he had a 52.9% completion rate in 2016, while he racked up 16 interceptions in 2017. And don’t forget, Garrett Gilbert, Cam’s backup, hasn’t thrown a single ball in the NFL. However, Cam Newton is an absolute beast when he scrambles. Last year, he rushed for 754 yards, a career high. His rushing-power allows Carolina to run a diverse set of plays. Carolina’s QB room has to find stability; Cam isn’t consistent, and Garrett Gilbert is a nobody. Still, Cam’s ability to run over defenses significantly improves Carolina’s QB situation. 

#23. Denver Broncos

Starter) Case Keenum, Backup) Paxton Lynch

Case Keenum was never a terrible QB, even as a backup on the Rams and Texans. He played especially well last year, as he led the Vikings to the NFC Championships. Paxton Lynch is also a decent backup with some NFL experience. I can’t, however, rank the Broncos higher on this list because 1) Case Keenum had only one great season, 2) the Vikings had the best defense in the League last year, and 3) there are many better QBs in the NFL right now.

#22. Arizona Cardinals

Starter) Sam Bradford, Backup) Josh Rosen

I want to rank the Cardinals much higher for two reasons. 1.) Sam Bradford plays amazingly when he stays healthy, and 2) in my opinion, Josh Rosen is the best QB out of the 2018 Draft after Baker Mayfield. Rosen will be a great NFL player. I’m calling it. Contrary to all his haters, I love his confidence. He hates to lose. WATCH THAT GAME BETWEEN UCLA AND TEXAS A&M. And in a football standpoint, Rosen is such a seamless, beautiful passer. However, Arizona’s situation doesn’t rely on just that because the Cardinals’ coaching staff won’t go all out on Rosen in his rookie year. If Bradford becomes injured again, Josh Rosen, a rookie QB, might enter the NFL field prematurely. Even though I think Rosen will be a great QB in the NFL, the potential commotion doesn’t help Arizona’s QB situation.

21. Tennessee Titans

Starter) Marcus Mariota, Backup) Blaine Gabbert

Marcus Mariota regressed last season. In the regular season, he had only 13 pass TDs, while he threw 15 INTs. Corey Davis’ disappointing rookie season probably affected Mariota’s performance. To look at things positively, Mariota’s successes in the post-season probably gave him some newfound confidence. Blaine Gabbert is also a very reliable backup QB. Overall, Mariota still must find consistency in his play. Doubts still pervade the Titans’ QB situation, rendering the Tennessee QB room mid-tier.

#20. Cleveland Browns

Starter) Tyrod Taylor, Backup) Baker Mayfield

For the first time in a while, the Browns have a reliable QB. We all know who Tyrod Taylor is and what he brings to the table. He is a low-risk QB who can both throw and run. He’ll bring stability to a position that was dreadful last season. Furthermore, if the Browns see fit, they have the opportunity to start Baker mid-season. This combination of stability and bright prospect is unheard of for the Browns. While the lack of a top-tier QB bars the Browns’ situation from reaching greater heights, in Browns terms, the QB room is looking great.

#19. New York Jets

Starter) Josh McCown, Backup) Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold

The Jets’ depth at the QB position helps as the team heads towards the 2018 season. Sam Darnold will most likely not start week one. Both McCown and Bridgewater are experienced QBs who are valid options for next season. Last season, Josh McCown distanced himself from his title as a backup as he threw at a 67.3% completion rate in 13 games. Bridgewater’s circumstances are more unique. In 2014 and 2015, his play-style and stats were very similar to those of Tyrod Taylor, but he hasn’t thrown in a full game for over two years. We’ll probably watch McCown sustain his starter status, while Darnold might take over mid-season. The sheer number of options the Jets have at QB renders their situation mid-tier.

#18. New York Giants 

Starter) Eli Manning, Backup) Davis Webb

Eli Manning is a reliable starter. He’s been playing in the Big Apple for 14 years for a reason.  He has consistently thrown at around a 62% completion rate for the past four years.  He’s not a top-10 QB anymore, however, due to his age. His 2017 season wasn’t bad, considering that he had no run-game and OBJ out for a majority of the year. Having a very healthy veteran at starter, and a promising young QB in Davis Webb at backup gives the G-Men stability at the QB position.

#17. Dallas Cowboys

Starter) Dak Prescott, Backup) Cooper Rush

Dak Prescott went off his rookie season, but his sophomore year wasn’t as impressive. People questioned his declining performance as he endured a mediocre stretch of games without Zeke. Dak’s interceptions more than tripled in 2017 (4 in 2016 to 13 in 2017), while his TD rate remained nearly the same. Dak’s regression in his second season raises questions, but his talent is undeniable. We’ll probably see him get back into good form. In the meantime, the Cowboys’ plan at backup QB spot is terrible, considering that Cooper Rush, a no-name player holds down the role. Dak Prescott is talented, but his regression in 2017 and Cooper Rush at backup raises questions, so the Dallas QB situation is average.

#16. Washington Redskins

Starter) Alex Smith, Backup) Colt McCoy

Alex Smith is a pretty good QB. However, his previous successes in Kansas City were partly due to the team’s offensive weaponry. In 2017, he had a powerhouse offense that included Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt, and Tyreek Hill. Kirk Cousins is younger, and he’s a better QB; Cousins has performed at a higher level with fewer weapons. While Alex Smith is by no means a bad QB, Cousins was the face of the franchise and dropping him for Alex Smith was questionable. Also, the backup position needs improvement.

#15. Los Angeles Rams

Starter) Jared Goff, Backup) Sean Mannion

After his atrocious rookie season, Jared Goff found his way in the NFL in his second year. Sean Mcvay played a major role in Goff’s positive transformation. Goff’s performance was comparable to those of top-10 QBs. However, Todd Gurley played at an insanely high level, thus skewing Goff’s sophomore season stats. Also, we can’t just overlook the fact that Goff was one of the worst QBs in 2016. Plus, Sean Mannion at backup QB is very peculiar. The Rams don’t have a plan B at QB. Goff’s top-tier 2017 season, balanced out with his negative rookie year, along with the Rams’ weakness at backup QB renders the Ram QB situation mid-tier.

#14. Indianapolis Colts

Starter) Andrew Luck, Backup) Jacoby Brissett

Expected to return in 2018, Andrew Luck has had a tough stretch of injuries. He carried the Colts’ mediocre roster through three 11-5 seasons before sustaining his first injury. In his first five NFL seasons, he’s averaged over 30 TDs per 16 games. Despite his leadership, talent, and ability to endure tough hits, availability is the best ability. This notion applies especially in the NFL, so even if Luck is a top 5 QB talent-wise, if he can’t stay on the field, he’s basically useless. Jacoby Brissett helps the Colts QB situation, as he is a top-10 backup QB. Luck is a tremendous QB, and I’m excited to see what he accomplishes with the Colts in 2018. Until he’s healthy, I can’t rank the Indy QB situation higher.

#13. Los Angeles Chargers

Starter) Phillip Rivers, Backup) Geno Smith

Phillip Rivers has started every game in the last 12 years now. He still plays very well, but he’s been a bit less consistent in the past couple of seasons. Rivers has shown that he can still play, but assessing his potential decline is very difficult. He is 37 years old, so any of these next few seasons can be his final one. Geno Smith at backup QB doesn’t really help the situation because he’s a mid to low-tier backup. Rivers will probably play well again in 2018, but Geno at backup isn’t great. I rank the Chargers #13 for their high stability yet lack of superbness. 

#12. Houston Texans

Starter) Deshaun Watson, Backup) Brandon Weeden

Deshaun Watson had a phenomenal rookie performance. I earnestly predicted he would be the best QB out of the 2017 Draft. Among the three first-round QBs from the 2017 Draft, Deshaun Watson easily performed the best last year. I think his ceiling is annual Pro Bowler and Superbowler. I want to even say Watson will reach Canton, but I can’t get TOO ahead of myself. First, the sample size is very small. He started only 6 games last year. Second, his injury is still concerning. Third, he is no longer the dark horse, so people will have higher expectations. This third concern is the least important because Deshaun Watson tends to GO OFF when the lights are bright (eg. Clemson v. Alabama in the College National Championships). If Watson overcomes his injury and stays healthy, he’ll be “the one” for the Texans. Houston’s ranking would hit single-digits if 1) they find a good backup and 2) Watson completely heals. 

#11. Las Vegas Raiders

Starter) Derek Carr, Backup) Connor Cook

Derek Carr is already a three time Pro-Bowler. He played well in 2017 even though the Raiders’ rushing offense was 25th in yards per game in 2017, and their defense was 23rd in yards allowed per game in 2017. Also Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree didn’t help Carr, as they underperformed in 2017. Either way, he didn’t play as well last season, but he was still a Pro Bowler. He’s proven himself to be a top-5 QB in the AFC. Not just that, as a young QB, the level of spark Carr adds to the Raiders can’t be overlooked.  Derek Carr is a very good QB and carries the Raiders, but he doesn’t have any postseason experience. Also, Connor Cook hasn’t started an NFL game. 

#10. San Francisco 49ers

Starter) Jimmy Garoppolo, Backup) C.J. Beathard

49ers have found the QB they’ve been looking for since Alex Smith. Jimmy Garoppolo might have only seven games under his belt, but we can’t forget that he learned well under Tom Brady for a few years prior. His ability to lead the team and bring such passion and energy to the game is incredible. He’s clearly a winner. One thing we still need to see is his performance in differing circumstances. Last year before his 5-0 record, most people doubted his capabilities. Now that he’ll be starting for San Francisco, not only will Garoppolo need to play in 16+ games every season, but also expectations for him will be significantly higher. Also, the 49ers saw that C.J. Beathard was a bad backup, regardless of his rookie status in 2017. The 49ers’ backup QB isn’t good, and Jimmy G hasn’t played many games, but I trust Garoppolo is San Francisco’s future star, so I rank their QB situation at #10. I truly believe Garoppolo will be a top QB for the next 15 years.

#9. Detroit Lions

Starter) Matthew Stafford, Backup) Jake Rudock

Matthew Stafford is a competitor among competitors. He may have had a good WR core that features Golden Tate III and Marvin Jones, but he’s still a great QB. His last three seasons have been Pro Bowl caliber. His 4th quarter comebacks have saved the Lions on multiple occasions, and Detroit’s lack of wins can’t be blamed on Stafford. It’s a team sport, but the rest of the Lions are mainly to blame. In 2017, Detroit was 27th in total defense, and DEAD LAST in rushing yards per game. Yet, Stafford led the Lions to a winning record. Also, Jake Rudock, the Lions’ backup QB, has thrown five NFL balls, one of those being an INT: not ideal. Stafford CARRIES the Lions, rendering Detroit’s QB situation top-tier, but the backup position lowers their grade.

#8. Minnesota Vikings

Starter) Kirk Cousins, Backup) Trevor Siemian

The Vikings WON. They solved their chaotic three-QB situation by doing away with Keenum, Bridgewater, and Bradford. They ended up with Kirk Cousins, a top-tier QB. In each of his last three seasons, he threw for over 4,000 yards and had a QBR above 93. He was the face of the Redskins, and he’ll bring that “it” factor to Minnesota. But Cousins’ shortcoming is that he hasn’t won many games. His current record is 26-30-1, and he hasn’t won a single playoff game yet. Cousins’ lack of wins isn’t purely his’ fault, however, as the NFC East was a tough division, and the Redskins roster was below average. Cousins is clearly a good QB, but Trevor Siemian is a mediocre backup. He couldn’t prove himself on the Broncos, but he isn’t terrible. Still, Minnesota’s QB situation is very stable.

#7. Pittsburgh Steelers

Starter) Ben Roethlisberger, Backup) Landry Jones, Mason Rudolph

Big Ben is the second best QB in the AFC behind Brady. He’s been in the last four Pro Bowls. But we can’t overlook his idealistic situation. Let’s just look at the offensive weapons he’s had: Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster at WR, Le’veon Bell at RB. And don’t forget about the Steelers O-line either. He’s obviously a top-tier QB, but he’s not the sole player who’s led the team to success. Landry Jones/Mason Rudolph at backup QB isn’t bad. The Steelers QB situation is great. However, Roethlisberger isn’t the outstanding player on the Steelers’ roster, unlike the five QBs at the top who are easily the best players on the their respective rosters.

#6. Philadelphia Eagles 

Starter) Carson Wentz, Backup) Nick Foles

Carson Wentz strikes me as a hard-working guy, even among other NFL players. I don’t doubt he’ll make an epic return next season. He played at an MVP level before his injury, as he racked up 33 TDs in 13 games. He led the League in TDs, despite playing in only 13 games. Nick Foles also WENT OFF in the Playoffs, and he deservingly won Superbowl MVP. But we can’t get ahead of ourselves. First, Carson Wentz might not come back week one due to his continuing ACL injury. Second, Nick Foles isn’t necessarily a starter-caliber QB. We can’t overlook the fact that his regular season QB rating was 79.5, where he completed only 56.4% of his attempts. If Wentz doesn’t recover in time, the Eagles coaching staff will have to thrown in Foles onto the field week one, and that scenario wouldn’t be ideal.

#5. Atlanta Falcons

Starter) Matt Ryan, Backup) Matt Schaub

Matt Ryan is on his way to the Hall of Fame. A few more Pro Bowl caliber years, and he’ll be a first-ballot HOFer. Remember, he’s still only 33 years old. Matty Ice is very consistent. His completion percentage in the past six seasons is 67.2% (2398/3571), and his playoff record is a decent 10-10. He has a lot of experience under his belt, yet another potential 6-7 years to play. As for the 2018 season, the Falcons can definitely count on Matt Ryan to perform well. Furthermore, the Falcons also have potentially the best backup QB in the NFL. In his 13 year career, Matt Schaub has started in 92 games, and he’s recorded a high 63.9% completion rate. He’s an old-school QB, but his stats compare to a decent NFL starter. A spectacular starter in Matt Ryan and a seasoned backup in Matt Schaub puts the Falcons’ QB state in the top five.

#4. New Orleans Saints

Starter) Drew Brees, Backup) Tom Savage

Drew Brees has been in 9 out of the last 10 Pro Bowls. He’s completed over 70% of his passes in each of his last two seasons. Michael Thomas is the only Pro Bowl WR he’s ever had, yet he’s played incredibly for 17 years. With a decent backup QB and a first ballot HOFer at starter, the Saints’ QB situation is near the top of the NFL. Similar to Tom Brady, however, Drew Brees has brought up talks of his imminent retirement. This factor isn’t too notable, considering that Brees will continue to play at a high level as long as he’s on the field, but it does show that Brees is aging. The top-4 teams on this list are very close together, and the Saints aren’t in the top-3 solely because their QB situation doesn’t carry their roster as much.

#3. New England Patriots

Starter) Tom Brady, Backup) Brian Hoyer

The Patriots’ QB situation is almost interchangeable with the first place spot. The future HOFer has been the best QB of the 21st century if not of the history of the NFL. Only a once-in-a-lifetime legend like Brady wins FIVE Lombardi Trophies. However, Tom Brady himself has made comments about his impending retirement. Prior to the 2017 season, he showed a “I’m not thinking about retirement” kind of demeanor, but following his Superbowl loss, he has voiced some understandable fatigue. Also, more importantly, Brian Hoyer is a below-average backup, and Belichick’s role in the organization is equal to that of Brady, so the Pats aren’t #1 on this list. All in all, Tom Brady is still the best QB in the NFL, but 1) the Pats’ weakness at the backup spot without Jimmy G or Brissett, and 2) mastermind Belichick’s overshadowing of the QB situation render New England’s QB situation third in the NFL.

#2. Green Bay Packers

Starter) Aaron Rodgers, Backup) Brett Hundley

Aaron Rodgers is a top-3 QB in the NFL. He pulls crazy plays super often. He has proven himself to be a consistent top-3 QB every year. He can scramble, throw on the run, and make big time in-pocket plays; he’s super versatile. Rodgers’ value was on full display last year as the Packers broke apart without him. Rodgers manages to lead a mediocre team to great success even without many offensive weapons. Also, Brett Hundley now has some NFL experience, as he played decently with the help of Devante Adams. He was an average starter last year, and his responsibilities will lessen as he’ll be playing as backup in 2018. With Aaron Rodgers healthy and a good backup QB in Hundley, the Packers’ QB situation is near the top.

#1. Seattle Seahawks

Starter) Russell Wilson, Backup) Austin Davis

The Seahawks’ QB position is their only real strength. Russell Wilson has absolutely CARRIED the Seahawks over the past few years. Russell has NEVER had a Pro Bowl wide receiver, yet his passer rating has been top 10 in the NFL in five out of his six seasons. He threw for 34 TDs last year (1st among all QBs), and he ran for 586 yards (2nd among all QBs).  Without Russell’s rushing last year, Seattle’s run-game would have been dead last in the League, as he contributed to 35.9% of the team’s run-game. Russell Wilson does EVERYTHING for the Seahawks, so he’s clearly under-appreciated. Although he doesn’t pass as cleanly, Russell is the same caliber-player as Brady and Rodgers because he can throw-on-run, run, and create plays out of nothing. Russell hasn’t missed a single start, and Austin Davis’ stats aren’t bad. Russell Wilson is more valuable to the Seahawks than is any other player to any of the 32 NFL teams, and he’s incredibly consistent, so the Seahawks’ QB room is the best in the NFL.

 

AKIRA’S OVERVIEW

The Top

1. Seattle Seahawks

2. Green Bay Packers

3. New England Patriots

4. New Orleans Saints

Excellent conditions

5. Atlanta Falcons

6. Philadelphia Eagles

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

8. Minnesota Vikings

Good situation

9. Detroit Lions

10. San Francisco 49ers

11. Las Vegas Raiders

12. Houston Texans

13. Los Angeles Chargers

14. Indianapolis Colts

Average: Some improvements can be made 

15. Los Angeles Rams

16. Washington Redskins

17. Dallas Cowboys

18. New York Giants

19. New York Jets

20. Cleveland Browns

21. Tennessee Titans

Not reliable

22. Arizona Cardinals

23. Denver Broncos

24. Carolina Panthers

25. Miami Dolphins

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

27. Kansas City Chiefs

28. Cincinnati Bengals

QB situation is looking weak for 2018

29. Baltimore Ravens

30. Jacksonville Jaguars

31. Buffalo Bills

32. Chicago Bears

 

That was my IN-DEPTH ranking of each NFL team’s QB situation. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed!!

 




 

Featured image from: Benoit, Andy, and Albert Breer. “The NFL’s Top 21 Quarterbacks for the Rest of 2017.” SI.com. Accessed August 03, 2018. https://www.si.com/nfl/2017/10/18/nfl-quarterbacks-qb-rankings.

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“Statistics.” NFL.com. Accessed August 03, 2018. http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?seasonType=REG&offensiveStatisticCategory=null&d-447263-n=1&d-447263-o=1&d-447263-p=1&d-447263-s=TOTAL_YARDS_GAME_AVG&tabSeq=2&season=2017&role=OPP&Submit=Go&archive=false&conference=null&defensiveStatisticCategory=GAME_STATS&qualified=false.
“Statistics.” NFL.com. Accessed August 03, 2018. http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?seasonType=REG&offensiveStatisticCategory=RUSHING&d-447263-n=1&d-447263-o=2&d-447263-p=1&d-447263-s=RUSHING_YARDS_PER_GAME_AVG&tabSeq=2&season=2017&role=TM&Submit=Go&archive=false&conference=null&defensiveStatisticCategory=null&qualified=false.

 

Neymar’s Diving Antics Can’t Continue

The 2018 World Cup was very entertaining, but everything wasn’t fun and games. The tournament also had some undeniable low-points. Soccer legends across the world accosted superstar Neymar for his diving. Germany was knocked out in the group stage. And worst of all, the Japanese national team lost its 2-0 lead to fall short in its Round of 16 matchup against Belgium (okay, I’ll stop talking about that).

Aside from Japan’s unfortunate loss, I think the most unfortunate aspects of this World Cup was Neymar’s antics. Despite such talent, Neymar is wasting his potential by diving, and he’s bringing down the game with him. As said by soccer analysts, soccer legends, and Twitter, the Brazilian’s immoral actions added a dark side to the World Cup. Criticizing him is a necessary step to curb the pitch-acting. We can’t continue to overlook these flops if we want this genuine, beautiful game to continue.

Neymar’s dives have have many unfortunate consequences.

  1. Other players will feel the need to dive so that they can keep up with Neymar.
  2. These dives muddle the line between real fouls and dirty dives, not only creating difficult situations for referees, but also taking away from actual offenses.
  3. They teach the next generation to continue these antics.
  4. The game of soccer will receive a bad reputation.
  5. Slowly, the definition of “talent” will change to include diving as a criterion.
  6. For Neymar, his shot at a Balon Dor will definitely worsen.

No one likes to see diving in soccer. Flopping ruins the beauty of the game, and to put the matter simply, it’s a very dishonest act. Of course, inciting a foul is a valid tactic. However, flopping around like a fish isn’t the way to go. Neymar’s talent is superb and he surely has the potential to dominate the Beautiful Game for the next few years as he reaches his peak, so his legacy shouldn’t be his deplorable acting on the pitch.




Featured image from: Gilmer, Marcus. “Neymar’s World Cup Dive Gives Us the Top-notch Memes We’ve Been Waiting for.” Mashable. July 02, 2018. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://mashable.com/2018/07/02/neymar-dive-world-cup-brazil-mexico/#EowdHbD.Aqqa.

Crunching the Numbers of the Past World Cups: A Hopeful Trend

Beyond the laughter and tears, this past world cup continued a hopeful trend in international soccer.

In the 2002 South Korea/Japan games, of the 64 total matches, only 53% (34/64) of the matches were won by the higher ranked team, with 25% (16/64) of the games ending in an upset.

In the 2006 Germany World Cup, 52% (33/64) of the games were one by the favorites, while 31% (20/34) of the games were upsets.

In the 2010 South Africa games, 59% (38/64) of games were won by the higher-ranked nation, while 20% (13/64) of matches were upsets.

In the 2014 Brazil games, 69% (44/64) of games were won by the higher-ranked nation, while 17% (11/64) resulted in upsets.

In this recent 2018 Russia World Cup, only 53% (34/64) were won by the nation with the higher FIFA ranking, while a whopping 33% (21/64) of the matches resulted in upsets.

In the past five World Cups, the “favorites” of each matchup had only a 57% chance of winning. The inferior team won 25% of the time.

Furthermore, 92% (147/160) of the squads involved in the last 5 Cups obtained at least one point in the group stage.

These numbers sketch the unpredictable nature of the World Cup. To make the World Cup even more entertaining, lower ranked teams have improved drastically, thus decreasing the gap between the weaker sides and the European/South American powerhouses. I’m really excited about what the World Cup will hold in the future.




Citations:

FIFA.com. “2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan ™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/koreajapan2002/matches/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “2006 FIFA World Cup Germany ™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/germany2006/matches/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/southafrica2010/matches/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/brazil2014/matches/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-15 May 2002.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/rank=97/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-17 May 2006.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/rank=144/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-26 May 2010.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/rank=191/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-05 June 2014.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/rank=239/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-07 June 2018.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/index.html.
Featured image from: Sky Sports. “World Cup Fixtures: The Full Schedule for Russia 2018.” Sky Sports. July 15, 2018. Accessed July 16, 2018. http://www.skysports.com/football/news/12098/11154890/world-cup-fixtures-the-full-schedule-for-russia-2018.

ReCaP: What a World Cup!!

World Cup 2018 was absolutely amazing. The sheer excitement across every single match was unparalleled. We witnessed so many jaw-dropping games, with 169 goals scored across all matches. We watched Croatia dominate its group before they nearly lifted the Cup. We watched the Russian team put its nation on its shoulder as they nearly reached the semi-finals. Kylian Mbappé became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since the legendary Pelé. And of course, France lifted the Cup for the first time in 20 years.

These people got the anecdote correct…

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.46.24 PM

Every year? Maybe every two years so that the Cup doesn’t lose its incredibleness.

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.47.15 PM

Yeah, it was absolutely nuts.

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 7.47.07 PM

Can’t agree more with this guy. Japan stole the show.

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And just like that, life is back to normal.

 



Citations

FIFA.com. “2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/statistics/.

Comments from: FIFATV. “France v Croatia – 2018 FIFA World Cup™ FINAL – HIGHLIGHTS.” YouTube. July 15, 2018. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrsEAvRerTg.

Featured image from: Mirror. “Didier Deschamps Calls on France Stars to Follow in His Footsteps with World Cup Final Victory over Croatia.” Evewoman – Woman’s World. July 15, 2018. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/sports/article/2001288124/didier-deschamps-calls-on-france-stars-to-follow-in-his-footsteps-with-world-cup-final-victory-over-croatia.

 

 

 

 

 

Nightmare at Rostov: Japan Falls Short Against Belgium

Japan once again failed to reach the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup in a nightmarish thriller.

Japan sustained their defensive might throughout the first half as their defense successfully kept a clean sheet. The scoreline at halftime was 0-0. This standoff awfully reminded me of Japan’s match against Paraguay in 2010, where the Samurai Blue lost in a penalty shootout.

However, with a beautiful goal from Haraguchi (MF) and Inui (MF) in the opening minutes of the second half, the Japanese dream of reaching the quarterfinals of the World Cup was astonishingly tangible. I started watching the World Cup in 2010, and all I could remember since then were the great number of stories regarding Japan’s lack of “the thing” that could send them into the top 8 of the FIFA games. Today’s game seemed to reflect otherwise.

Unfortunately, with a 69th minute goal from Vertonghen (DF) and another header from Fellaini (MF) in the 74th minute, my heart shattered. We were so close. Japan had multiple opportunities to score thereafter, but they couldn’t convert. A deathblow in the 94th minute by Chadli (MF) sent the Belgium boys past the Samurai Blue.

To be completely frank, I feared this outcome all along. Even after Japan’s two goals, I just had a nagging feeling that a comeback would occur. Japan is missing “something.” The physical attributes? The ability to finish games off? The confidence? This “something” is so difficult to grasp because even after three tries at the Round of 16 match, Japan can’t overcome this towering barrier, and each game seems to have its own problems for Japan.

Maybe the Japanese players are too analytical, but then again, with beefed up players like Lukaku and Fellaini on the Belgian side, however, playing the game without deep analysis of opponent’s play style, game conditions, etc. seems impossible for the Japanese team. Something is missing for Japan. Japanese soccer is facing a predicament of what the Samurai Blue needs to do to find greater success at the international stage.

This game was an absolute tragedy. The two goals from Japan put me in euphoria, but to see that final whistle blow after a last-second winner from Belgium completely knocked out Japanese hearts that had been waiting for decades to see the national team make the quarterfinals. I also sympathized greatly for players like Honda, Nagatomo, Kawashima, Kagawa, and Okazaki. They have revolutionized soccer in Japan. They put Japanese soccer under international spotlight, yet they couldn’t win that ONE match. Sadly, they may never stand on a World Cup pitch again to experience what they have dreamt of.

Other players like Inui and Shibasaki (MF) also shined in this year’s World Cup, and seeing all of these breakout players fall to the ground after the whistle was absolutely terrible.

At the end of the day, the Japan national team worked their butt off and should be proud of what it accomplished. To reach the Round of 16 alone was a great achievement considering the odds put against them. I want to see Japanese soccer succeed in the 2022 World Cup.




Featured image on:

Images), (Image: 2018 Getty, (Image: REX/Shutterstock), (Image: Getty Images Europe), (Image: AFP), and (Image: REUTERS). “Belgium 3-2 Japan Report: Chadli Bags 94th Minute Winner to Complete Comeback.” Mirror. July 02, 2018. Accessed July 02, 2018. https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/belgium-japan-world-cup-live-12578964.

World Cup Game Analysis: Japan vs. Columbia

WHAT A THRILLING WIN FOR JAPAN!!

Everyone counted against Japan winning their World Cup opener against Columbia. Well, they were wrong. The Samurai Blue led a superb upset.

Japan started off with a bang as Yuya Osako (FW) pressured the Columbian backline and created a breakaway. Kagawa’s (MF) following shot led to a penalty kick and a red card for Carlos Sanchez (DF). I have already seen people saying that Sanchez’s hand ball was accidental and wasn’t deserving of a red card. This claim is ridiculous. To say that Sanchez’s hand naturally floated mid-air for that long until the ball hit it, is just absolutely insane. He definitely intended to pull a Suarez. Anyways, the Japanese shooter calmly put away the PK, and I hoped the rest of the game would go Japan’s way.

However, I saw a sloppy 30 minutes from both sides afterwards, as passes seemed to go wide. Japan is not used to having the upper-hand because people count us out. Their playing reflected this reality.

A dive from Falcao and a terrible referee decision led to a sneaky freekick goal by Quintero (MF) as he rolled the ball under Japan’s wall. Honestly, the ref’s decision to reward Falcao’s blatant dive was much worse than his decision to send off Sanchez. Watch the highlights, and you’ll notice that Falcao was LITERALLY the one who tried to lay the body on Hasebe (MF), but the Columbian dove. WHY? HOW DOES THAT WORK?

The second half was all Japan. Japan created chance after chance, but the Blue boys failed to concede. But in the 73rd minute, Osako scored a beautiful header. Ospina (GK) was caught off the goal-line as he fails to decide between punching the ball and keeping his ground. Columbia never seemed to find their attacking rhythm. Despite James Rodriguez’s entering the match in the second half, chances were minimal for the Columbian side. The long 5-minute stoppage time felt like an hour, but Japan came out with three points.

My man of the match was easily Osako (FW), and he rightfully won the award. Throughout the match, he made beautiful runs that exposed the Columbian backline. The opening goal was a result of Osako’s breakaway even though his initial shot was blocked. Furthermore, in the 78th minute, he barely blocked a close-range shot from James Rodriguez. Most importantly, he scored the decisive goal.

Other great performances came from Nagatomo (DF) and Gen Shoji (DF). Nagatomo showed outstanding ability to keep up with Cuadrado, and he made quick runs and had a few crosses. Shoji displayed his defensive coolness by outplaying Falcao in many situations.

The Columbian side didn’t display their South American flair in their first match, but I hope to see some exciting soccer from players like Cuadrado (MF) and James Rodriguez in the upcoming Group H matches.

Conclusively, Japan’s victory was a historical one as it was the Samurai Blue’s first time winning a World Cup matchup against a South American team. The game was yet another upset. I’m super hyped that Japan finally got their revenge against Columbia, following their 1-4 defeat four years ago. Never count us out!



Citations:
“Colombia vs Japan June 19, 2018 – 2018 FIFA World Cup Commentary.” FOX Sports. Accessed June 19, 2018. https://www.foxsports.com/soccer/fifa-world-cup/colombia-japan-june-19-2018-match-commentary-108590.
FIFA.com. “2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – Matches – Colombia – Japan.” FIFA.com. Accessed June 19, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/match/300331550/#motm.

World Cup Match Preview: Japan vs. Columbia

Japan will face Columbia in match-day 1 of the FIFA World Cup 2018. With the kickoff less than four hours away, 27 out of 28 betting companies have indicated that Japan are 5 times more likely to lose than they are to win.

To give a brief history, four years ago in the 2014 World Cup games, Japan fell to Columbia 1-4. With the round of 16 hopes on the line, Japan couldn’t handle the offensive force led by Jackson Martinez and James Rodriguez as the Samurai Blue conceded 3 goals in the second half. Will history repeat itself?

Well, the talent in Columbia’s national team will be tough to handle for Japan. Columbia have a strike-force led by James Rodriguez and veteran Radamel Falcao and a defensive crew that includes David Ospina at GK and Zapata at CB. The Columbian squad have physical attributes that overpower the smaller Japanese side.

Columbia definitely has some weaknesses that Japan can capitalize on. First off, Columbia’s offense has not seen much success in recent games. They only scored a dull 21 goals in 18 qualifier games. Also, James Rodriguez’s start is in question as he has experienced a training injury days before the match.

The Japanese side aren’t all that bad either. Japan has some talented, veteran players to lead the way. These players include Keisuke Honda, Shinji Kagawa, Maya Yoshida, and Shinji Okazaki, who have all had much success on the international stage. Most notably, Honda, Kagawa, and Okazaki were stars on the national team that reached the Round of 16 in the 2010 World Cup. Furthermore, the first few days of the Cup have already seen some upsets. Mexico defeated Germany in a thrilling match, while Iceland and Switzerland successfully held off Argentina and Brazil, respectively, to ties. Japan can do the same.

Being a Japanese person, I am obviously a biased commentator. However, as we have seen time and time again, anything can happen in soccer. Japan doesn’t necessarily need a miracle, either. Despite being the underdogs, the Samurai Blue aren’t a weak side. Regardless of how the match turns out, we can expect to enjoy a clash of two ambitious teams.



Sources:

“Colombia Team Roster.” FOX Sports. Accessed June 19, 2018. https://www.foxsports.com/soccer/colombia-men-team-roster?competition=12&season=2018.

 

“Colombia v Japan Winner Betting Odds | Football.” Oddschecker.com. Accessed June 19, 2018. https://www.oddschecker.com/football/world-cup/colombia-v-japan/winner.

 

“Japan Team Roster.” FOX Sports. Accessed June 19, 2018. https://www.foxsports.com/soccer/japan-men-team-roster?competition=12&season=2018.

 

Pringle, Ben. “Colombia Team News: Predicted Colombia Line up vs Japan – Rodriguez Injury Doubt.” Express.co.uk. June 18, 2018. Accessed June 19, 2018. https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/975978/Colombia-team-predicted-line-up-Japan-World-Cup-Group-H-sportgalleries.

 

Tyers, Alan. “Colombia World Cup 2018 Squad and Team Guide.” The Telegraph. May 30, 2018. Accessed June 19, 2018. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-cup/0/colombia-world-cup-2018-squad-team-guide/.


Featured image on:

“2018 FIFA World Cup- Colombia Vs Japan-Preview! Live Streaming Information, Predicted Teams, World Cup Fixtures, Team News, Kick-off times.” BeIN SPORTS Australia. June 18, 2018. Accessed June 19, 2018. http://www.beinsports.com/en/2018-fifa-world-cup-russia/news/2018-fifa-world-cup-colombia-vs-japan-preview/905506.

Akira’s Movie Review: Deadpool 2 (NO SPOILERS)

Deadpool 2 was the funniest movie I’ve watched so far this year.

The movie took advantage of Deadpool’s invincibility to add instantaneous humor in fighting scenes where viewers were didn’t expect. The producers also showed some fearlessness as they added mild racial jokes and gore.

The characters were great in this movie. The movie casted rather unknown X-Men so the producers could freely develop the characters’ personalities to add humor to the story. For example, Colossus is considered the Russian father-figure who seems to completely oppose Deadpool with his pacifist ways, while Negasonic Teenage Warhead (and yes, that is her name) is a sarcastic, uncaring teenager who roasts Deadpool. My favorite character after Deadpool is Dopinder even though he is not an X-Men member. He constantly shows his psychotic side that contradicts his ordinary taxi job. He admires Deadpool’s brutal methods and wants to follow his footsteps.

Obviously, Deadpool was the star of the show. He even admits it himself. He is literally the “director” of the movie. He puts his savagery on full display as he laughs at the deaths of other characters and takes a lighthearted approach in almost every situation. Despite his seemingly uncaring humor, with a major event in his life came weakness. And with weakness came coming of age. Deadpool begins to question his own moral beliefs and develops as a person. No worries though. Despite his growth, his crude humor doesn’t fade.

Conclusively, Deadpool 2 capitalizes on Deadpool’s invincibility to develop scenes full of crude humor and gore. However, as the movie progresses, Deadpool develops into more than just a crude joke producing machine as he comes into contact with many new characters.

85/100



Featured image:

“Deadpool 2.” 20th Century Fox. May 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://www.foxmovies.com/movies/deadpool-2.

Akira’s Game Review–Detroit: Become Human

Before Detroit: Become Human came out, I had mixed feelings about the game. When I first watched the trailer and videos of the demo, I was super excited to see how the game would turn out. However, when I started considering the game’s mechanics more, I began having doubts about the execution of a choice-based game. My biggest concern was that the game would become a story-based production where the player would merely press buttons to indicate his or her choice. My first play through turned out to be a pretty fun experience. The game had many flaws that the producers clearly tried to suppress and often failed to, but overall, I enjoyed my first 5-6 hour play through.

To begin, Detroit had a multitude of flaws. First, the leading third of the game was very boring. When using one of the characters, Cara, in the first couple of hours, I merely completed chores for my “owner” and did monotonous, auxiliary stuff. The same notion gameplay applied for another of the protagonists, Marcus. I completed chores and took care of my owner. Furthermore, the game introduced me to a wide, potential-filled dystopian world, but the game unfortunately seemed like a extended cutscene with a few taps of my right stick and buttons here and there. To add to the misery, even when the story begins developing with Carl advising Marcus on humans co-living with androids and Kara discovering her lousy owner’s abuse towards his daughter, the gameplay still sustains its dullness. The gameplay contained an excessive amount of walking and slow moving. Moreover, the developers made clear that they were trying to turn a non-game into a game. They created a lot of achievements, along with a points system that contributed to an “extras” section where the player could obtain auxiliary items that didn’t translate to the game itself. Overall, the large portion of the game served to fill up the gameplay with accessories to cover up its lack of action.

Even through its unfortunate lack of action, I still did enjoy the game. It provided a huge multitude of options for the player to choose in every situation. The game had also had beautiful graphics that contributed to its futuristic feel. Following the dull introductory couple of hours, the story developed into something very intriguing. In terms of Connor, the android detective, his investigations and tasks were thrilling, making me want to play even more to see what would happen next. Hank, Connor’s partner, also made the story more interesting as he showed his weaker side as he tries to cope with his son’s death. Hank definitely develops into a consistent character who is constantly tired, angry, or sad. The concept of AI developing emotions is seemingly cliché, but the execution of this concept was actually unique as Connor begins developing deviant tendencies and Hank begins sympathizing for the abused deviants. Hank asks Connor, “What are you really?” The question raises conversation on a larger topic within the game’s world, because while Connor himself is an android, the player is a human who controls him. This phenomenon really speaks to what constitutes subjectivity, because while the androids are expected to obey their masters under all circumstances, in many occasions, obeying can take many different routes. Connor also begins to notice that the deviant androids have nothing in common. This realization indicates that these deviants are not rooted from one specific robotic factor, but rather, from different circumstances affecting different emotions. Marcus and the player’s use of him also raises many moral questions. My use of him and Cara were in direct conflict with that of Connor. Through Marcus’ fight for justice, he realizes that freedom, despite being a right, often needs to be fought for. By the end of the game, I embraced my desire to follow my agenda of obtaining android equality. Throughout the game, the dialogues and choices were very thoughtful and constantly contributed to the mission’s results. Playing on the “experienced” difficulty added gravity to every choice I made.

On top of the story’s many messages and complexities, the limited gameplay was fun. The action scenes were actually exciting. I always wanted to make sure I won my fights and chases because the “experienced” difficulty level was very punishing. The construction and preconstruction scenes, along with the puzzles, though sometimes monotonous, were pretty fun. I enjoyed using the Marcus and Connor’s superior android abilities to complete certain missions. Also, the progression systems, while they often felt forced, definitely contributed to the game. The flow chart was a great way to track my successes, failures, and potential paths to take in future attempts. Comparing my progress with the rest of the world was also exciting. Furthermore, the achievements often felt excessive but still felt rewarding. Finally, watching my relationships with different characters was entertaining. The relationship tracking, unlike the achievements, had a gravity to them because they directly contributed to the livelihood of my three characters along with that of surrounding characters.

All in all, Detroit: Become Human exceeded my relatively low expectations. The game had many flaws, including the often-dull gameplay and the boring first-half. However, the game’s progression system and the freedom in decisions-making gives power to the player as he/she journeys through relationships and tough decisions. The next-gen graphics also add to the game. The game could’ve improved a notch if the action scenes were not limited to a tiny minority of the game. Detroit takes time to get into, and even when the gameplay does speed up, there is often a lack of actual “gaming” happening. Analyzing the details and taking careful thought in each decision definitely allows the player to enjoy free control throughout, but patience is key when exploring Detroit. If you are looking for an action-packed game rather than an RPG, this game might not be for you.

 

Final rating: 70/100



Featured image:

Human, Detroit: Become. “Detroit: Become Human (@Detroit_PS4).” Twitter. May 24, 2018. Accessed May 28, 2018. https://twitter.com/detroit_ps4.