There was a play early in the Falcons vs Seahawks game that typified why I think Matt Ryan is a terrible big game QB. 2nd down and 8, he scambled to his right. With about 3 yards to go there was a defender 6 yards away. He took one more step and slid down. He could have easily dove for the first, but he took the safe play. Safe in regards to injury. Not safe in regards to winning the ball game. It was maddening to me from a football standpoint. Ryan did not rise to the moment. He played it like it was a regular season game. Needless to say they did not convert 3rd down. They settled for a FG.
He stayed Bruce Banner. Brilliant scientist, thinker.. When he needed to get angry. Needed brute force. Needed to scare the defense.
Elway knew when to be the Hulk. Young knew.
There has been a lot of talk ever since Michael Vick came sprinting into the NFL about "changing the position." It was probably whispered before I was born. It was spoken audibly with Steve Young and Randal Cunningham out there. With Vick it was being yelled at us. It echoed between the caverns that separate the mountainous NFL coverage outlets. When it turned out Vick was nothing more than an average QB it was quiet once again.
It's loud again and if you weren't paying attention, Kaepernick's sonic boom thundered throughout the enclaves of social media and corporate media all the same. It shattered the hopes and dreams of Packer fans and sent aftershocks through the NFL fan bases. They were still mumbling under their breaths about how Kaepernick is staring down his receivers, about how he is inaccurate, how the NFL will figure it out next year and he'll get injured.
They are right, but.. they are wrong.
The two seasons in the NFL are very different. The regular season, a long term percentage play to get a healthy team into the playoffs. The post season, a short stint against several good teams in a row.
There will never be a QB who has a successful long-term career playing the way that RG3 did during the regular season. As Vick has done. As Kaepernick did in that very game that saw his Legend grow three sizes.. before breaking your TV set.
The next generation of QBs. Perhaps a generation that has come before, is not simply a quarterback that runs the option, who scrambles 15 times a game. No, I say, it is the quarterback who is good enough as a pocket passer to get his team to the playoffs without having to expose himself to too many hits. Then to use those abilities only when the season is on the line at the end of the regular season or the playoffs themselves.
Only when the moment is right.
Only when the beast must be unleashed.
When someone says championships are won with pocket passing. They are correct! When they say these option plays and running QBs are a fad. They are wrong!
You needn't look farther than guys like Rodgers, or Wilson, or Luck. They're not as physically imposing as Kaepernick or Newton, but make no mistake they can all scare the defense with their legs when necessary in the biggest of moments. I fervently believe that Rogers needs to run more in big games. Instead of going for bombs on third and short, he should take the first every time it is there in a big game. Every QB who is capable of doing it should.
Athletes of this level, who have been passing since they were 7 years old. Who enter the NFL at 23, 24, 25 years old. Physically and emotionally mature. They are growing in number. It will quickly become a league of haves and have-nots. Do you have an athletically imposing QB who is [insert minimum here] a pocket passer? Build the rest of your team around him, make it to the playoffs, and then let him run.
All this is why I do think that Wilson is a better overall QB than Kaepernick right now. He's a better passer, and I think he's better at knowing the moment. The Seahawks are probably better positioned to have a consistent regular season next year because of it.
Can Kaepernick get there? Of course, but anyone expecting or hoping for Kaepernick to do next season, what he did a couple days ago has it wrong. The offense should return to what it was before in the regular season. Defense, run the ball, pocket passing. Do not expose Kaepernick to unnecessary hits.
This will make teams like Seattle and SF all the more dangerous in the playoffs. It will terrorize the playoffs, disappear into legend for a year and return in the playoffs to demoralize defenses who have not seen it on film since it last devoured their souls.