NFL.com: Matt Hasselbeck is only League’s 14th Best Backup QB
According to Marc Sessler of NFL.com, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is only the 14th best backup in the entire NFL.
That’s right, there are apparently 13 other backup quarterbacks who are better than Hasselbeck. The latter was surprisingly called just a “serviceable stand-in”, a label which sounds awfully like someone who’s only able to successfully throw a football while maintaining a pulse:
"Serviceable stand-ins14. Matt Hasselbeck, ColtsYou might want Hasselbeck higher on this list because of his successful career, but this is 2015. Turning 40 in September, he isn’t a better option than other middling passers almost half his age…."
While ESPN’s John Clayton got it right by calling Hasselbeck a Top 5 backup quarterback earlier this offseason, NFL.com’s Marc Sessler seems to have gotten it wrong. Yes, Matt Hasselbeck is just short of his 40th birthday, but since when is being old at quarterback always such a bad thing?
- Exhibit A: Peyton Manning, 39 years old
- Exhibit B: Tom Brady, 37 years old
Yet, we still hold both in incredibly high esteem.
Is Hasselbeck either an all-time great like Manning or Brady?
Dec 28, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (8) drops back to pass against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at LP Field. The Colts beat the Titans 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
However, that’s besides the point. He’s not being asked to be a starting quarterback like either one of those two, but rather just a quality backup. Hasselbeck is still fully capable of getting this offense into the right play, properly reading a defense, and progressing through his reads, checking down if he needs to.
Entering his 17th NFL season, he may not have the biggest of arms anymore, but he really doesn’t need to. The Colts would rather have his pocket presence and veteran savvy than some of the younger and stronger armed backup quarterbacks listed ahead of him, who tend to make much more mistakes.
Instead of being discarded like old milk, Hasselbeck should be treated more gracefully like a fine wine. Just last season, he was 30 for 44 (68.2%) for 301 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception, featuring a passer rating of 102.6 in 4 appearances.
Honestly, one could make a strong argument that outside of potentially Tennessee Titans rookie Marcus Mariota, he’s the 2nd best quarterback in the AFC South right now. As a 3x Pro Bowler and former NFC Champion, Hasselbeck still has plenty to offer the Colts as a backup quarterback and deserves to be much higher in such a ranking.
Dec 28, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (8) directs his offense against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at LP Field. The Colts beat the Titans 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
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