This week's podcast begins with a few fandom stories that caught professor Mike Lewis's eye during Conference Championship week. Then, Professor Lewis discusses Patrick Mahomes's flash, Jalen Hurts's under-the-radar rise, and why the San Francisco 49ers should add Tom Brady to their loaded QB room this offseason.
Listen to the full episode here:
Mike Lewis 0:08
Hey welcome, everyone. Welcome to the Fanalytics Podcast brought to you by the Emory marketing analytics center, brought to you this week by Mike Lewis and Doug Battle. How are you, Doug?
Doug Battle 0:18
I'm doing well, Mike, we had a good weekend of football, I will say, it couldn't have gotten much worse. For me, I was really hoping to see my guy, Joe burrow, I wanted the Brock party upset. That was kind of the matchup I was looking for. So it couldn't have gone much worse. But hey, no one was necessitated on the field. So you can't take those things for granted anymore. With NFL it could have been worse, actually.
Mike Lewis 0:39
And I got two directions to go with it. And I think we start with, you know, during the college football season, we started, we started a lot of episodes talking about sort of fan of the week, I think we had some of that kind of activity not as beautiful as the Tennessee guys in the overalls and the goalposts in the river, and then we can get to the to the football. So I'm gonna start lighthearted move to the more statistical. Okay,
Doug Battle 1:05
I love it. Yeah. Okay, Doug. So
Mike Lewis 1:06
here's my observation, and a little bit of backstory on this. So back about 15 years ago, I was doing some research on the role of appearance in politics. And you know, one of the things about social sciences is that the results are either obvious, or they're probably wrong or fraudulent. Okay. And so the the mind numbing stuff I found in terms of politics, and there was a little bit of a twist to this story, is that you wanted your Republican candidates or Republican voters wanted the Republican candidates to look like CEOs, like very competent, very kind of trustworthy, you know, and on the Democratic side, candidates that did better or more intellectual looking. And so it's almost like the CEO or the captain of the football team versus the, the kid in the band or the professor, right? And so make some sense, right, these kind of stereotypes. But one of the takeaways from that is just authenticity. Okay, and it's like, people want authenticity. And that's been the terribly overused word in the corporate world, right? Where in the political world where authenticity is like, people don't actually know what it means. It's like, I'm going to pretend to be genuine. Right? This is the usual implementation. But that occurred to me as we kind of a long winded up for this. But that occurred to me, in terms of some of the stuff we saw the last week. And two things in particular, Patrick Beverley with a camera. And the Cincinnati mayor, essentially saying that, how did he say this? That basically, Joe burrow was Pat mahomes. Daddy, right, right. Yeah, one of those. Well, I mean, you tell me what you think. I enjoyed one. And I thought the other was, you know, like watching the Saved by the Bell kids saying just cringe worthy.
Doug Battle 3:00
Yeah. So, Pat, Bev, that guy is just constantly providing great content for me makers out there last year, celebrating making the NBA Playoffs like his team had won the championship for the Minnesota Timberwolves. I guess that was last year, two years ago. And this year, for those listening that don't know what we're talking about LeBron James was debatably. Fouled. I don't know Lakers fans. I know, don't think it's debatable. He was fouled on a potential game winning shot at the end of the layup. He was
Mike Lewis 3:36
well, we talked a little bit about this via text he was fouled by 2023 LeBron James standards 1993 Michael Jordan, Detroit Detroit Pistons standards.
Doug Battle 3:48
Exactly. And we we need to see those two combined because, or side by side because it was a it was a pretty light file for a strong guy and he threw a full out temper tantrum afterwards. And that's become a meme. People have said, you know how? No context what is LeBron responding to here? And I saw one that said this is Alabama fans finding out you actually have to win your regular season games to make the college football playoff. A lot of different applications for that meme. But Pat Bev going into the audience, getting a reporter's camera coming onto the court and showing the referee showing the official on the camera where the contact was made from LeBron. Really creative by Pat bet. He's a innovative fellow. And didn't go so well for Pat teed up.
Mike Lewis 4:44
Okay, and let me ask you this that could have cost him the game. Pat Beverley, authentic or inauthentic. 100% authentic
Doug Battle 4:51
100% authentic right. And we've talked about him before. People who pull for whatever team he plays for love The guy that his blood sweat and tears like he gives it his all he's gritty. He's an if you're playing against Pat Beverley, he's obnoxious, he's dirty. He's any bad thing you can name. He is the most irritating player in the NBA to play against. And I think it's funny when a guy like that when he plays like when he played for the Timberwolves, I bet you Lakers fans hated him when the Lakers would play the T wolves. And now he's probably beloved by the Lakers community. And I don't know if the Timberwolves will ever hate him after last year and last season, but he is a he's kind of a perennial underdog. And he he's like a he's like a little chihuahua that barks at the big dogs. That's, that's Pat Bev as a basketball player, and I respect it. I respect it. he entertains and he's 100%. Authentic. You're right, Mike. Yeah, no, I
Mike Lewis 5:49
you know, in some ways, the way you described it, that reminded me of, you know, back in the 90s, with the bowls when Dennis Rodman was the month the most annoying guy in the NBA became a Chicago ball and he's fully light. Yes. Right. And I mean, I remember going back, everyone, Pat Beverley, Pat, Beverley, was in high school, and Illinois had a strange recruitment with a guy. And at that point, it was like, yeah, what's what's going on with this? But you know, have you seen that career played out? It's like, that's just who he is. And I can definitely imagine a college coach passing on that because my sense is that personality probably hasn't changed much. Right. But yeah, I mean, if you if you were gonna give me one Laker if if you were I was going to win a raffle and get a Laker jersey. I want to Patrick Beverley jersey.
Doug Battle 6:36
Don't give me LeBron. I don't. Let's do mainstream. Anthony Davis. Give me Pat Bev. I think before it was Caruso, when he played now he's with the bulls. He was kind of that guy that he was scrappy. And a fan favorite that was? You don't like see, you don't like losing to that guy. So Pat, Bev given us the entertainment. I think, you know, I saw that Randy Johnson became a photographer post playing career as a
Mike Lewis 7:06
pitcher. A six foot 10 pitcher. Yeah, yeah.
Doug Battle 7:11
Right. He's a professional photographer now. And I think, Pat, Bev, I think he's got to go that route. I think, you know, if he's not in, if he's not in an advertisement for Canon or Nikon, or Kodak, somebody's not doing their job.
Mike Lewis 7:25
Okay. And this was my other thought about, you know, this kind of issue of genuine and what what resonates. I felt like we had a, like a social media moment. And and again, you know, Patrick Beverley bringing out getting the camera. I don't think he's going for, you know, likes via social media. But he'd be really good at it, wouldn't he? Oh, yeah. You know, and then in contrast, we had the mayor of Cincinnati, who 100% Forgot what his job was, and decided he was an influencer, I think, and wanted to go viral. And I don't think anyone likes what he did.
Doug Battle 8:08
I, you know, if I'm a Cincinnati citizen, which I'm not, and I don't know what side of the aisle that guy's on, by the way. He's not getting my vote. next go round. Because as a sports guy, you never can be too sure as to what causes bad luck. But we all know, and this is just a fact that jinxing a game is a thing, right? That is a fandom fact. And you can't say things like that, especially publicly and expect good things to happen to your team. If he had said it after the game. I think it would have been well received, had the Bengals won the game. But prior to the game, making that kind of statement giving the Kansas City Chiefs bulletin board material, not good. And you know, it reminded me of something I think you remember this Mike earlier this year, Eric Ainge, former quarterback for Tennessee, coming out and making some comments about the Georgia fan base, specifically, before his team played in Athens that came back to bite them if I'm a Tennessee fan, I don't appreciate that. And the commonalities I see is these are two football entities, you know, teams programs, whatnot franchise that are successful now that are not used to being successful and those fan bases tend to get ahead of themselves with such things. I remember being at the National Championship game 2017, Georgia, Alabama, Georgia is up. I don't know 13 zero at half over Bama. two touchdowns, right, as I mean, for me. That is not a comfortable lead. For some of the people in there. After years of suffering as a Georgia fan. Georgia had already won the national championship. And in the bathroom bathroom, by the way at these games, halftime whatever during a game can be a pretty hilarious environment where you have both fan bases doing taking care of business, and a lot of people feel the need to show their superiors Ready for the others? I was a little embarrassed by Georgia fans in those settings. But yeah, so we had guys in there telling Alabama dynasties over. You know, Georgia is the king Kirby's, Nick Saban's, daddy, all those things. And I'm just like, this isn't going to end well. Like the fact that you guys are saying this album's gonna win this game. And they did. And so as a fan, like, I don't like to hear those things if I'm a big fan of I'm a Cincinnati citizen, not a huge fan of that. And I'm not sure what he was trying to achieve as mayor, I guess, brownie points, but it backfired in my opinion.
Mike Lewis 10:37
Oh, well, yeah. I mean, is a politician. I mean, you know, your best case scenario is, is he's trying to unite the city. The worst case scenario is he's trying to go viral because he wants to be the governor of Ohio. Right. I left it out. Maybe. Yeah. Well, eventually, I looked it up. He's a Democrat. That seems kind of irrelevant, I think. But yeah. But there is something like you use that phrase, you know, this. Mmm, I'll just start a stop myself short here. But you like this phrase of? I'm your daddy, or who's your dad? How's that a victory for anyone? Right? I mean, let alone a mayor of a city. It's like, you know, listen to yourself first.
Doug Battle 11:18
So yeah, you're talking about to your grown man talking about to other grown man. So again, like I get it, I think it's fun when, when the mayor or you know, the politician, celebrate the victories or whatnot, but to celebrate prematurely start claiming fatherhood of another man, prior to a football game. It's a bit of a bold move, and it could easily backfire. And that's exactly what we saw. Well,
Mike Lewis 11:41
I know I know your strengths. If you know how to trash look, there's some people that are glorious in this world in terms of trash talking. Right. And, and Travis Kelce, was channeling one of those glorious trash talkers, sort of on the on the flip side of this, I looked up where the word jabroni came from, a lot of people attribute that to the rock. Right. And I think that's where he's, he's going with it. You know, and there's no offense intended to the mayor of Cincinnati, but the rock is built for that. And the rock has put years into doing that. Don't do don't don't, you know, record 60 seconds with no production value. Throw that up there on YouTube and think you are going to be a WWE quality wrestler. It's just you know, you got to think through this stuff.
Doug Battle 12:23
He should have consulted with Pat Beverley. Let's see who else could have been a good consultant for him. Anthony Edwards. I don't know if you saw him. He acted in that basketball movie with Adam Sandler came out. I don't know, in the summer or something.
Mike Lewis 12:37
I can't make myself watch that man. Okay, me too. I will.
Doug Battle 12:40
I didn't watch the movie. But I saw the film. I saw the scene or some of the scenes with Anthony Edwards. And if you watched it, you would think wow, this guy is a natural actor. He's got an acting career, how to him. But I, you know, I think he's just a natural trash talker. And that was his role. And he was just being himself. And so some of these guys, they've got it. I don't know that the Cincinnati mayor had it. I'd love to know, a sports background. Did he play sports, you were just talking Mike, about the types of people on it with each side of the aisle who become politicians who earn those leadership roles. And based on your analysis, this may not have been a former athlete. And so I'd be curious to know, but certainly not leaning into his strengths. You know, if anything, I think it's smart to try to piggyback off of the success of a team, you see that Georgia politics way too much. And with a likable guy like Joe burrow, who, you know, I feel like if Joe burrow were to run for any kind of office, down the road, he's we've talked a lot about how he's the most universally loved athlete right now. And so I could see piggybacking off of his success, but the manner in which he did it is is what gets to me like,
Mike Lewis 13:49
and you know, Doug, I think it actually makes it even a little bit worse, because burrow is a natural at this. Yeah. And I think it was last year where he talked something about you know, that they had beat the second best team in the NFL a couple times in a row, right, referring to the referring to the royalty of the chiefs. So I think that's what actually makes it worse for the Cincinnati mayor and I read the I just read the early life section. There's no references to playing a sport he ran for senior, the only thing I wrenches from as a youth is running for senior class president if his eyes
Doug Battle 14:23
there we go, there we go. right in line with what you were saying, you know, if Joe burrow
Mike Lewis 14:27
is, you know, throwing it out there in terms of, you know, the refund policy in the NFL, and, you know, I've beat the second best, you know, team in the NFL three times in a row. He doesn't need your help, you know, and I think that's kind of a that's kind of a key thing and all this. Now, even on the other side, I wasn't tremendously impressed by the Chiefs tight ends sort of calling them out. They're kind of going for his own kind of moment. But I mean, I you know, I understand it, and part of me wonders is is this kind of the social media disease and all these guys are now trying to be there very quickly stepping you mentioned some of the classic trash talkers out there. I think back to guys like you know Rick the web the wrestlers the Ric Flair so the world right these are the guys that are professionals at that and you know, just I mean I hate to say it it's so cliche but you know, kind of stay in your lane or even know your abilities maybe know your abilities. Know your ability
Doug Battle 15:26
stay in your lane. I you know, I saw a good video of a chiefs player after the game, talking smack about the Bengals saying you know, they're going home, they're in the locker room crying, we're going to the Super Bowl, and I like postgame trash talk as a fan. A lot more than pregame trash talk. So that's my 10 cents. But I got to ask my is Bengals chiefs is that becoming the rivalry that we thought it was chiefs was going to be with these two, quote unquote, generational quarterbacks. The fan bases seem to have developed a hate the players seem to kind of hate each other. And it's kind of glorious to watch.
Mike Lewis 16:10
I did some media last week with some guys from Buffalo, some journalist from Buffalo, and really, really smart guys. And you know, the tenor of the questions was really, really impressive, really thoughtful guys. And it was an interesting conversation. You think about it like that the buffalo fan base is still reeling after after that defeat. And it makes sense. And you know, we forget things quickly. But think about what that community has gone through in terms of you know, I think that grocery store shooting was you know, at the beginning of that basically the beginning of the season, blizzards that killed I want to say, you know, three, four dozen people, games canceled because of other blizzards. And then the, you know, Damar hammer Hamlin. Yeah. And so that community ends up being rocked. And that's that's a small community, the second smallest market in the NFL, just bigger than thin Green Bay. But I think you could almost argue because the way Green Bay is sort of the fan base, you know, they have all of Wisconsin, that buffalo is the smallest natural fan base in the league. And so this fan base, this was Okay, you tell me if I'm getting this wrong, if I'm misremembering, this was buffaloes here. Right? That at the beginning of this year was they had literally Superman at quarterback, right? This, you know, this, this specimen, this physical outlier amongst everyone. It was his time to get to that next level. They'd been knocking on the door. They go through this tumultuous, local, local, you know, season in terms of the local community. And then Joe burrow knocks them down. I think right now and again, these kind of hot takes and these narratives based on what happened in a week or two. Yeah, 100% I think buffalo is Buffalo looks like that. 30 This looks like you know, whatever great quarterback rivalry you want to think of it the past is mahomes versus burrow. And Alan is the third guy, you know.
Doug Battle 18:12
Yeah. And there might be some recency bias because NFC Championship, I mean, AFC championship last year, Bill's team was a classic. I think everyone wanted to see that this year and burrow, stole the show the week before,
Mike Lewis 18:27
and I was saying what it feels like,
Doug Battle 18:29
right? Yeah, yeah. And, well, you know it that's why I'm asking it's like it is starting to feel like Buffalo's time has passed, which I'm not saying it has it feels that way. And I saw a barstool article. I didn't click on it. And the headline, of course, was trolling and it said is the bills dynasty over? Of course, bills haven't won any championships. So it's not a dynasty. But and add a picture of Josh Allen sitting there with his hands on his head. But the bills definitely I know, there's that fanbase can be even more hungry next year, because they feel now they feel like disrespected or overlooked. In the sense of they went from being the class of the AFC in the preseason to being the number three team, you know, not the big story, not the big rivalry even at this point with the Bengals establishing such hatred from the Chiefs last year eliminating them from the playoffs or eliminating them from the Super Bowl. And moving forward, I think the expectation is until proven otherwise, Joe burrow is going to be right there knocking on the door, you know, within a game of the Super Bowl. And I don't think anyone has the chiefs, losing in the first two rounds of the playoffs and so until proven otherwise, the bills kind of are that third team, and they've got such a passionate but small fan base. They have been through a lot this year. They're really I think that team is what brings that community together and what Out of those people and so to have that, you know, were people might have in their heads thought some special was going to happen and it just disappears and gotta wait another year to prove your place in the NFL. And nothing you can achieve in the regular season really means anything at this point for a team, like until you get the job done in the postseason, you're gonna be doubted.
Mike Lewis 20:22
Now they I mean, that's their trajectory. Is that right? That they, they are an elite team with an elite defense great wide receiver, Superman at quarterback, passionate fan base with its own nickname, you know, tables are being destroyed on a regular basis. And now and again, just at this moment, I mean, the other thing that is always tough that people overlook, mmm, maybe they don't overlook it. But this natural cycling of NFL teams, right, if you've been winning 1213 games in a row, every season, it tends to mean that you've got a lot of really good talent on your team. And so then you've got to start paying, you got to pay the quarterback right. And that's, that's, you know, a big chunk of your salary cap, and you got to start playing these other these other players at the same time you're playing the, you know, the the first place schedule, and that's why you tend to see this progression downward that these championship windows closed. Kansas City's kind of unique in that they've withstood that, right? They this this run has been going on for Well, I think six years now. Cincinnati is sort of coming up on that because you know, Joe burrow is still on that rookie quarterback. So it does seem that buffalo is the most vulnerable to those to those big three.
Doug Battle 21:42
Yeah, and Cincinnati, I think there's question as to whether they'll be able to keep T Higgins and Jamar Chase because those guys are gonna have to get paid as well as Joe burrow. Kansas City. Yeah, they've sustained their success. But at the same time, their team that won a Super Bowl, I don't know if mahomes was on his first contract. But they were still built, where they had a lot of like mahomes inherited a lot of talent, he came into a team that was winning with Alex Smith at quarterback. And so they took the next step with mahomes. But once mahomes signed his big money deal we've saw I mean, we saw it in the Super Bowl last year, his offensive line talent went down because there's less money to go around for the rest of the team. That's how it works. That's what you don't see in baseball as much as the salary cap limitations. And when you do have a successful player like that, and might to be honest, I think that's part of why like the Steelers won a couple when Ben Roethlisberger was on his first contract. And we've seen some young quarterbacks have six, I think that's part of why Joe burrow made the Super Bowl so early in his career. And it gets harder and harder for those guys, as they become veterans. And so and we saw that like Aaron Rodgers right now, he hasn't had a team in years that was super bowl eligible, he hasn't had the receiver talent he hasn't had, you know, and so you see that in the league, and it does get harder for these guys. And so you know, the bills are kind of in a place where their windows not closed. And and I think in time, they're gonna get one, but you do have to start getting a little bit anxious when you're looking at what the chiefs and what the Bengals are doing. And I think the biggest thing is just the perception amongst fans that, you know, I think there's a lot more excitement around the Bengals at this point.
Mike Lewis 23:27
Yeah, and I think you're casting it exactly right, though, that the and again, the other reactions are always tremendous in the world of sports. And this may change again, very quickly here. But it does look like that the NFL for the 2020s is going to be the mahomes versus burrow kind of rivalry. Now it is kind of, you know, and we have plenty of time in the offseason to talk about some of this stuff. You know, for the NFL. You're glamour quarterbacks and, and the quarterback talent seems to be concentrated in the AFC may well be in Kansas City, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Buffalo, and maybe the second tear team, the second brand name in the struggling Los Angeles football market. Right, right. Ouch, in a way.
Doug Battle 24:22
Yeah. And I kind of hate that. It's all in the AFC, not just the markets that they're in. But like for example, if we had Josh Allen playing anywhere in the NFC and making the Super Bowl and we would get the classic matchup of burrow vers mahomes And then you would get another great matchup with mahomes or burrow versus Josh Allen potentially, and not to discredit Jalen Hertz. But hertz is a guy going into the year that some people didn't know if he was a franchise quarterback. And so it's a different different ballgame in the NFC Stafford. A year ago in the Super Bowl and you've got the veteran Tom Brady but I mean well past his prime as we know and on a team that seems to be on a downward trajectory at the moment. And Aaron Rodgers Well,
Mike Lewis 25:13
I mean, you know, and again, we got plenty of time in the offseason so I almost want to kick some of this stuff down the road. Yeah, man we're gonna have an interesting free agency you know, free agency season in the NFL at the quarterback position. You know, Brady being a free agent I believe Rogers being someone very willing to trade Yeah. And so what who are your standard bearers in the in the NFC 40 Niners
Doug Battle 25:42
with three potential starting quarterbacks but also three guys that not a lot of people seem to want except maybe Trey Lance I don't know. It's it's a unique situation in the NFC but that AFC is just so stacked. When When Justin Herbert is like the fourth or fifth guy on the list. That is a stacked quarterback League.
Mike Lewis 26:03
Well, okay, so switching over to the other side of the ledger, the Eagles going to the the Eagles going to the Super Bowl, you know, San Francisco the 40 Niners this year and again that was the the team I got the most wrong in the preseason projections. You know, I looked at that and go Jimmy jeez, a plus one guy, you're switching to a rookie, which means you're going to you know, lose, let's say three for essentially a rookie in terms of experience, you're going to lose three games more that knocked him down a level. But I believe party was undefeated as a starter until the game right
Doug Battle 26:44
or now he had never lost
Mike Lewis 26:47
or lost. So the 40 Niners are at an anomaly in terms of how good that team must be in terms of the support structure that the leading man essentially doesn't matter. Right that I mean Gee, I mean, look, trade land. I mean, what would people be talking about Trey Lance had come in and had the season that Brock Purdy had had they would have been out of the league yeah future the league where Brock Kearney they look at it and go, you know, good run.
Doug Battle 27:19
It's he's still in that Cooper rush. Hi, Nikki. Tear. I think we're people think it might be a little bit of a fluke. But he he did a really good job. Because that's Cooper, Russia. He didn't win. I mean, he didn't lose a game for till his very last game with the Cowboys won like five games straight or something and hierarchy had a run like that at one point in Washington with the commander, our word, football team. And so I feel like Brock Purdy gets that perception. I don't know that it's fair. I don't know that. It's unfair, though. Given what we've seen from some of the you know, Nick Foles years back winning a Super Bowl with the Eagles. But I gotta say I feel for 40 Niners fans, and I have a good friend who's a 40 Niners fan. And they have had so many teams come so close, in my lifetime, going back to
Mike Lewis 28:11
in Timeout, timeout in your lifetime. Yeah, yeah, I know. In my lifetime, 40 Niners fans have had plenty of
Doug Battle 28:19
stuff. But I'm saying like I have friends that are 2526 27 year old 40 Niners fans, and I remember the Giants, my giants beating the Niners in the playoffs in a game where the 40 Niners punt returner, was injured and their second string punt returner muffed a punt that gave the Giants the game winning field goal. It candlestick. And it seems like they're in the NFC Championship every other year. They've made the Super Bowl I remember Colin Kaepernick. I remember when Colin Kaepernick was supposed to be the next guy. He was kind of thought of as, in the same way that mahomes was thought of after a year or two where he was really, he was winning a lot of games. He was tearing it up on the ground. He was making all the throws he I remember reading a Sports Illustrated article saying you know, he's got Andrew luck's head, he's got, you know, this guy's arm. He's got Michael Vick's wheels. He's got he's the guy and then they've had so many of the guys Alex Smith was supposed to be the guy Kaepernick was supposed to be the guy, tre Lance. Supposed to be a grappler was supposed to be the guy. I paid him a lot of money when they brought him over. And they keep coming so close and making it so far. And in the words of Linkin Park, it didn't even matter. So,
Mike Lewis 29:34
I mean, you know, I mean, I'll say this in terms of like an inch, you know, the offseason and going into next year, that 40 Niners quarterback room is the most interesting quarterback room in the league on some level, right? Yeah, in terms of all three of these guys might be exactly the same in terms of potential and yeah, and they might be exactly this. I mean, I mean, as crazy as that sounds, given how different they are in terms of You know, levels of athleticism versus, you know, the styles of games they play and being a veteran versus relative rookies. You know, as a fan, I suspect it's the most interesting quarterback room in the in the league. And as a fan, it's amazingly frustrating. Yeah, like if I'm a fan I kind of want them to make a trade for Rogers or sign Brady. Right. Yeah. And I've seen that run for the ones
Doug Battle 30:31
speculation. Yeah, they just want that one year and like long term, you know, freelance is going to be a 10 year starter and I don't know that he is. I've never been a huge believer in him. We've hardly seen him play. But let's say theoretically, he used to be a 10 year starter is it worth giving up? 10 years of a really good quarterback for one year of a guy that might give you more of an advantage that year and potentially winning a Super Bowl for the Buccaneers would probably say yes with their experience with Brady. And I think most fans would give up 10 years of mediocre quarterback play for one year of great but is at this point in their careers Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady is the marginal difference like as the QB wins metric between them and a guy like Brock Purdy or them and train Lance for them and Jimmy G that significant to give up a future with one of those young quarterbacks
Mike Lewis 31:21
you know, it's kind of funny in in Brady's Brady's really an interesting story statistically right? Because when you look back over the last Okay, so he's not in this year's Super Bowl. He's not in last year Super Bowl. He was in the one before that. Then he missed the 2019 Super Bowl, but he was in the 2018 Super Bowl, and he was in the 2017 Super Bowl and so on some level and like I get that the guy is aging he's been in like half of the last six Super Bowls duck. Yeah, I mean, so it's kind of remarkable he threw for the second most yards in the league this year. It's a it's an interesting thing to look at. I mean, I It's mystifying and look so maybe if you're the 40 Niners me you know I love a good story more than anything. I signed Brady or Jimmy I sent Jimmy T packing for nice symmetry there. And then Trey Lance's the backup and I mean, it's
Doug Battle 32:19
what about Brock party?
Mike Lewis 32:23
I think so.
Doug Battle 32:25
Okay. Yeah, I've I don't know. I mean, if I'm Tom Brady. Now that's the situation I want to be in the playmakers they have. In San Francisco, the coaching staff, the defense, all of it is superior to a situation in Tampa, in my opinion. And so if I'm grading, I'm running, chasing, that's what I do, if I want to be in the best position to win one more, which I'm sure he's at a point where that's what he wants. That's, that's what that's the route I'm gonna go. If I just if I'm the 40, Niners I don't know, because it's one of those things. Giving up Jimmy G is one thing, if they end up giving up one of the young quarterbacks to make it happen to make room on the you know, whatever, if they if they want to not have four quarterbacks or three quarterbacks on their roster, they're going to have to do that. And giving up a bright future for one run that could with one injury or one. One thing the ball doesn't bounce your way one time. And it's all it all blows up in your face. So it's a gamble if that's what they do, but I'm not here for it. I'd love to see it.
Mike Lewis 33:26
This is how weird the NFL gets though. So let's say they go out and they pay Brady $40 million next year $45 million. Right? Because the quarterback salary market is also going to get even weirder with Lamar Jackson. Yeah. Okay, so let's say you pay him $45 million. So you're paying him the same amount of money is Kyler. Murray $46.3 million? I think so you get Brady that and does that make any sense that Brady can't command more money than Kyler Murray in a one year deal? Strange stuff, right? The other two guys are still on, you know, rookie quarterback deals. So the 40 Niners would actually still be have a relatively low priced quarterback room, compared to a lot of other organizations. Now I'm with you. If there's something about it, that seems nuts to go out there and get a 46 or 47 year old guy.
Doug Battle 34:17
But when you've come close this many times, I mean, when you've come that close that they've been within a game or two games of Super Bowl champs, five times in the last, I don't know, 10 years, 2015 years? I don't know exactly, but they've been so close so many times. And maybe that's what it takes to get over the hump. Maybe that's that's the difference.
Mike Lewis 34:36
And even a very weird part of the story. Brady doesn't get sacked very much, which means he doesn't run and he's he gets the ball out of there very quickly. Quick. Yeah. So he might be actually less injury prone than the other three guys that are in the equation. You know, when we're
Doug Battle 34:53
about this whole decision, like looking at the unrestricted quarterbacks I need to see who all is under drifted. But I know Daniel Jones is and I know Tom Brady, I believe Tom Brady is Tom Brady is Lamar Jackson, Lamar Jackson, of course, okay, well, even let's say Lamar Jackson, Daniel Jones, Tom Brady, let's say those are your three, you're deciding between if you're the Niners, where your thing is for me, like for most teams, like for the Giants, I would much rather resign Daniel Jones for the long haul, then signed Tom Brady for one year. I mean, if they signed Brady for one year, I would get behind it and, and try to enjoy it, that would be so weird to watch him in a Giants uniform. But looking at the health of the franchise, in the long term future, the team, you probably rank your three options as Jones because he's the youngest. And he's got the most upside, long term, then Lamar Jackson, because he's the second youngest, and he plays at a very high level. And he looks like he can win a lot of games now. And then Brady, because he might give you one or two years. But he's clearly you know, physically, he only has so much left that he can do. And unless you're going to win a Super Bowl, it's probably not worth giving up. A, you know, a franchise quarterback for and this opportunity costs would be a Daniel Jones. But for the 40 Niners it's like it would seem bizarre if they were to go get Daniel Jones, that that wouldn't make any sense. So far. It just depends on the team.
Mike Lewis 36:15
Now, let me put let me advocate for Tom Brady, because you know, he needs the he needs the help, right? He doesn't have enough going for Brady, to me might be the most attractive of those guys. Because he doesn't want a long term deal. Yeah. And so if the quarterback market is now set out there that not only to get Lamar Jackson, do you have to give him you know, X dollars guaranteed you probably have to give him those dollars guaranteed for five years. Okay, so Lamar Jackson, you are tying yourself to him for a quarter of a billion dollars, let's say $50 million by five years. Tom Brady, maybe it's 50? Maybe it's $55 million and out? Right? I don't like the idea of having you know, I don't like that idea of having Lamar Jackson to allocate that amount, you know, a quarter of the salary cap for five, six years.
Doug Battle 37:16
Yeah, don't pay him in his mid 30s. Basically, I don't want to allocate
Mike Lewis 37:19
that to any of these guys, with the exception of you know, maybe Herbert or right.
Doug Battle 37:25
Yeah. And I think I think the flip side of that is, like, as a fan, I'd never want my team to end up in the situation that the Seahawks had been in which I know they had a decent year, given the circumstance, Seahawks, Broncos, some of these teams that they they watched their franchise guide go at some point. There, they've been winning enough games, that they're not getting a top guy and they're not getting a Justin Herbert type in the draft, you know, they're not gonna get CJ Stroud or Bryce young and this year's draft. And so they get stuck with a mediocre quarterback like filling in the gap for several years. And that's, that's not what's not what a fan wants. And so avoiding that, I think is kind of tricky. Like, if you go get a Tom Brady, and he plays for a year and you win 11 games and make a playoff run. And then he's done. He retires whatever in your team's drafting number 25. And the draft, you're not going to be positioned for a top quarterback. But that's where the Niners are in a good spot. Because it's like, their next guy could already be on the roster. It could be trailing, or it could be brought party. So interesting situation. But I think if anyone can can afford to pay Brady for one year, and it makes sense for them, it's probably got to be the Niners. And if I'm a Niners fan, you know, it's gotta be weird to be one of those fans and to sell yourself on Trey Lance being the future MVP of the league, and then sell yourself on Jimmy Garoppolo being good enough to get the job done and then sell yourself on Brock Kirti. Being the wonder kid that goes full Tony Romo and ends up having this phenomenal NFL career after being overlooked his whole life, and then sell yourself on on another guy, another situation. But getting back to what I was saying about Daniel Jones versus Tom Brady, Daniel Jones, Lamar Jackson was Tom Brady, it feels to me like I want to hear your thoughts on this. That the QB wins metric, your metric for if a player is on a team, how many wins that they marginally contribute versus the average quarterback? It feels different based on what team the players go into. And I know the metric accounts for the team that the guys played for. It tries to level the playing field as best possible but to me, it seems like Daniel Jones might be a plus one in New York but a minus one in San Francisco. Or, I mean, or Tom Brady might be a minus one in New York, but a plus two in in San Francisco, if that makes sense. I mean,
Mike Lewis 39:58
I gotta kind of push back I mean, sort of like? Yeah, I mean, that's the whole point to get away from that. But I, and I think there is like, almost as like, you know, that is the way everyone reacts to analytics. Right. Yeah, sort of on a go a little bit beyond what's in the analytics. I mean, the you know, I mean, that's the whole point to the way I developed it to control for that would to bring in the defense and the, the way baby offensive play differently depending on the quality of the defense. I mean, so it's, it's, it's in there. Now, I will say this, I think, I think quarterbacks are a, you know, when I'm gonna, I'm going to pull back on this me I think I struggle with some of that, like, I'm not going to be I'm not going to claim that I understand the position completely, because I honestly don't think anyone does, right. You know, one of the narratives going into the season was, you know, mahomes just lost the cheetah, you know? Yeah. No one even remembers that anymore. Yeah, right, they ever played together. And so when I've, you know, pulled data and looked at the level of talent on the field, surrounding quarterbacks, and then looked at quarterback performance, I don't find much, right. And so that's the end. So let's, I mean, this might get this might be a little much for a podcast. And so on average, I should say that I don't find much. Now, we look at what happened this year in someplace like Green Bay. And, you know, in the case of Aaron Rodgers, it does seem like the lack of talent or talent that maybe he wasn't happy with, did impact his performance. So on average, maybe the way that put us on average, a guy that's plus one in one city is going to be plus one in another city. But there are, you know, that's how statistical models work. Right. But there's always going to be the there's going to be the exceptions. And again, I I think that's probably a terrible explanation for everyone except the statisticians out
Doug Battle 42:04
there. So sure, well, yeah, it makes sense to me. Yeah. And to think think of Aaron Rodgers and that Niners off. I mean, the Niners to me is like such an attractive situation with the line that they have the receivers that they have the defense they have the coaches they have and if I'm Aaron Rodgers and I'm gonna get traded, I'm pushing for that, you know, Trade Me for Trey Lance Trade Me for which would be another interesting situation if trade Lance and Jordan love ended up on the same team competing for a job.
Mike Lewis 42:33
And dog Aaron Rodgers in San Francisco, that's a match made in heaven isn't
Doug Battle 42:37
my gosh, anyway. Yeah, him being the way that he is in San Francisco V and the way that it is. So that's another scenario. It's gonna be a fun offseason. It's always fun when big players like that are on the move in ways that could potentially shape the future of the league or the near future, the league.
Mike Lewis 42:57
So what do you think? And, uh, well, I mean, you know, and, and, look, I wasn't entirely intentional on my part. I've got almost nothing to say about Jalen Hertz.
Doug Battle 43:08
I mean, I really, you know, and no one knows what to do with him.
Mike Lewis 43:11
I always think in terms of the narratives and his narrative was the, you know, his long term story right as he he lost his job at Alabama, then ended up what was he like a mid round draft? Pick? Third round, something like that, you know?
Doug Battle 43:29
Maybe squeeze, quick. Yeah.
Mike Lewis 43:32
And so like, the whole trajectory changes from like, this is the next great Alabama quarterback. Okay, second, round two, this is a guy that lost his lost his job and now has to prove himself. And when you look at the stats, he was never a bad player, had some rookie year wasn't great. rookie year was solid his second year, and is now you know, had a great season. But you know, in the absence of that, and again, as an analyst, you know, I want to self correct for this, you know, I want to let the numbers speak. But it's, that's a very kind of fuzzy one to me, in terms of projecting out is this is this, he's just on this trajectory to become the neck, a next top five top 10 guy. I honestly don't know that Eagles team also strikes me as very good.
Doug Battle 44:18
Yes. Yeah. No, he's on a very good team. He's in a great situation. I was talking to someone yesterday during the game and saying, What is the difference between Jalen hertz and Justin fields? Because there's a prospect fields as a better passer. They were both six they were both Heisman candidates. But fields is better passer, the better runner faster, stronger, bigger. He's a bigger, faster stronger. Jalen Hurts and it's like if you put fields in that eagle situation, is he tearing it up right now? And these are the things where we we will never know for sure. But so with hertz, there's kind of this perception that maybe he's just really fortunate and in a great situation And but for the longest time, I was one of those guys with Brady that was like he's just you know, he inherited a dynasty. And of course he's winning like if you put Stafford there if you put Aaron Rodgers or you put any of the top 10 quarterbacks in that situation, they're going to be winning Super Bowls, which is probably true. But Brady went in one year one with the Bucs, which was the ultimate prove it for his career. And retrospectively, probably the greatest achievement in his career, given what he inherited in New England and so with hertz, I don't think anyone he doesn't get the buzz like if Justin Herbert were doing this, people would be freaking out about it. And he's it's not like he's a veteran guy. Like he's a pretty young quarterback. And I think like he's, I think there's this bias everyone has in their head, due to the fact that he got beat out at Alabama or he lost his job. He didn't get beat out. He lost his job. He started he started a true freshman in Alabama, which is a heck of an accomplishment led his team to College Football Playoff both years that he started that Georgia defense that tore him up in the national championship was generational, they were phenomenal. And two came in probably looks better, comparatively to hurts because Georgia didn't have the tape on to have that they had on hurts because the next year I don't know if you remember this, Mike, the next year SEC championship game, a year film on tour. He goes out there against Georgia. And Georgia is just eating him alive. He gets hurt. Jalen Hurts comes in the game. And the script reverses hurts is the hero of that game. He leads the comeback for Alabama. And so I don't know that. After seeing that happen. It was like maybe it was kind of a situational thing were to look so much better due to the situation and seeing the way hertz played at Oklahoma. Certainly silence some of his doubters. And then of course, I you know, going in the NFL, my comparison was Dak Prescott. I just to me, it seems like he's better than Dak Prescott. And he's better than Justin fields, and I don't right now. And it's hard to attribute what exactly it is other than his situation. But I think the guys, it sounds silly. I mean, this is one of those things that you say about people who get lucky or have you know, good situations, but it's like he's a winner. You know, he's just a winner. He's got that intangible that not everyone has where he gets he's a leader, he gets the job done in ways that you can't measure on the 40 yard dash.
Mike Lewis 47:23
You know, out of the last three out of the last four guys standing and this is kind of crazy given who you know, the 40 Niners quarterback was hurt seems to have the least kind of media glow. Yeah, right. Oh, yeah. And going into this, you know, we're all back on board, the Pat mahomes Is this January, he's the next go. He's now just layering his staffs to inevitably catch up with Brady. And then you got this other guy that's almost, you know, almost waiting for them to start to refer to him as this blue collar kind of journey and quarterback for the for the Philadelphia Eagles who last time they were there had Nick Foles as a quarterback, that they just they just plug a blue collar guy in and they go and they go to war. Right?
Doug Battle 48:11
Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, to that point, I would say I've heard goat used in reference to every quarterback and the final for now with party. It's Could he be the next Brady because he was drafted so late, but there's still that association with what is this guy ends up being the goat one of that be crazy. With Joe burrow. There are people who legitimately myself included, think you know, he very well may be the goat over the course of his career. We'll see how it plays out. And then of course, with Patrick mahomes. He's been that next in line behind Brady, and he's, he's a more talented player. And so if he's able to achieve the same things with Super Bowls, which he's kind of on pace to do, of course, you're never on pace for what Tom Brady's done, but he's as close to on pace as you can be for how young he is in his career. There's that goat conversation that and the one quarterback who hasn't gotten I've never heard the word goat associated with Jalen Hertz. And it has nothing to do with how he's performed or the outcomes of the games he's played in because he's done nothing but win and succeed for his early career in the NFL. And so will the perception change after the Superbowl? I think we'll see. But I'll say this just purely based on that. I think a lot of people are just assuming, because of their glow, because of Patrick mahomes glow that the Chiefs you know pretty much have it in the bag now because they're not playing Brady or they're not playing and Aaron Rodgers, but man that Eagles team is a heck of a football team. I mean, they have just run through the competition these playoffs. And you know if I'm a chiefs fan, I am not overconfident going into that matchup. So I will be very curious to see how perception of Jalen hertz transforms if he is to lead the those eagles to a Super Bowl this year.
Mike Lewis 49:56
Do you have a prediction for the game?
Doug Battle 49:59
Oh man And it's early get back to me next week, I need to think I need to, I need to watch some film and you need to sit on this one. You know, prediction though. During the games yesterday, they showed the ad from last year with Eli Manning singing Good for you by Olivia Rodrigo. And you've got to have the meaning brothers and a Superbowl ad. So that's going to be my one yet when we talk about universally loved athletes, current athlete Joe burrow, former athlete Charles Barkley Shaq, but I mean, the Manning brothers are up there, right, who hates them? Who hates Eli Manning? Other than Patriots fans?
Mike Lewis 50:36
Okay, Doug. I mean, we'll get to, you know, some data and prediction in just a second. Yeah. You're an Eli Manning guy. It seems like every time Eli appears with Paden in an ad, he is soundly defeated by Paden.
Doug Battle 50:51
Yeah, that's, that's who he is. His thing. It's always been his thing, but he just owns it. And I love it. It's endearing.
Mike Lewis 51:00
I mean, that the latest one where it's like, the, you know, were paid and claimed that his mom is on the phone. And yeah, it's there. Those guys are golden and play their roles beautifully.
Doug Battle 51:14
They're like Joe burrow if he wasn't cool. But if he was self calm, like if he was comfortable in his own skin, but not cool, that's, that's the meaning. So yeah, I got to see, Eli had one of my favorite Superbowl commercials ever with Odell Beckham, Jr. And they did this scene from dirty dancing for Eli lips up. And I think that ad was just for the NFL. But if you're the NFL, you've got to capitalize on the likeability of those guys. So I'm predicting that I'm predicting. You know, I'll say this every year. People get excited for the ads. And then afterwards, they say it wasn't as good as last year wasn't as good. There weren't all the classics that we've had in the past. And so I always expect that always expect people to be a little disappointed by that Rihanna halftime show. I don't know what to say like it's I just expect it to be like a lot of halftime shows.
Mike Lewis 52:05
I want you to save that because we got next week is first full Super Bowl pre
Doug Battle 52:09
Yeah, yeah, I'm good. Last year, I will say last year's halftime show was really well received and somewhat original, in the sense that we hadn't had like a real true hip hop, rap Super Bowl.
Mike Lewis 52:24
Now, as you weren't talking, I was pulling a little bit of data. So I've been pulling some data today looking at quarterback performance and who's won the last? Looks like I entered data on the last 11 Super Bowls. Yeah, looking at the passer rating and touchdown to interception ratio and you referenced it like going into these games. You think, you know it's the it's the the the quarterback, the the ultra gunslinger. The top guy is the Montana's or you know the Terry Bradshaw is or Troy Aikman, these are the guys that win the Superbowl? Yeah, I'll be honest with you, Doug. When I look at the last 11 Super Bowls, the quarterback with the higher NFL passing rady ratio rating that you know, the standard passer statistic, one, two got two times out of the last 11 seasons. And in terms of touchdown to interception ratio, the guy with the better ratio won four out of the last 11 games
Doug Battle 53:26
11 games or seasons 11 seasons?
Mike Lewis 53:30
Yeah. You know, it's when you when you go back and you start to look. And look, I was pulling pulling some data and looking at correlations. And I'll be honest with you, I'm not going to use quarterback data to make a bet on the on the Super Bowl. I don't see that there's a lot there. I mean, you go back and you look at you know, who wins these games? Because I would think and again, kind of the cognitive bias that oh, yeah, you got to have the quarterback the number one quarterback. Yeah, man, I think on average, maybe you don't, which is a strange way to think about it. I can't totally get my head around that. But you go back over over the years. And look, Stafford B burrow, and older Brady beat a younger mahomes mahomes Big Garoppolo Okay, there's one right yeah. Brady beat golf. Full speed Brady. How about that. Brady beat Matt Ryan. Peyton Manning beat Cam Newton. But that was a Peyton Manning that could barely.
Doug Battle 54:30
That was that was like an MVP Cam Newton. Yeah. Peyton was not very good.
Mike Lewis 54:35
Joe Joe Flacco Well, Russell Wilson beat Peyton Manning. Joe Flacco beat Kaepernick and remember what you're saying about Kaepernick earlier, right? You had all the hype. You had all the hype. Eli B. Brady and Rogers beat Roethlisberger. So you know, it's Yeah, man. It's a coin flip. I think when you look at it from that person, statistically,
Doug Battle 54:55
yeah. I mean, it's pretty it's pretty even across the board. I'll say this though in terms of playoffs. Success. It seems like some quarterbacks turn it on in the playoffs. And I'm thinking like Joe burrow definitely is one of those guys. Eli Manning was one of those guys in his career. And Nick Foles, there have been several quarterbacks who turn it on in the playoffs, and then we've got guys who always light it up all season long, and they put up the numbers. And whether it's just their team not playing a good game, or maybe they don't play as well in cold weather, or what the deal is. And I'm thinking like Lamar Jackson is one of these guys, who at least the perception of him, you know, the difference in the hype around Lamar Jackson, I see people compare him and burrow all the time because they're in the same division. And the Jackson stands will say, he's a better quarterback, look at the stats and stats across the board, more yards, more yards, rushing, more touchdowns, more, less interceptions, like across the board, but it's like come playoff time. Not a lot of success. And I think, unfortunately for him, and I don't think it's fair to him because I think last year Josh Allen's bills team probably was better than the team that made the Super Bowl but the overtime rules. I mean, he it's not like he played a bad game and that AFC Championship, we'll just say that. But Josh Allen is starting to get that label of can you get the job done? Can you finish the job? And it's not like he's on a bad team like Stafford was for so long. And so some of these guys turn it on in the playoffs and it's like you can separate like I want to see playoff only stats for Joe burrow versus Lamar Jackson. And I want to see and I think a lot of fans are that way when they would come free agency or come the draft, you know, when the team's making decisions, who's going to be the guy like there's a lot of guys that can put up numbers during the year who's going to be the guy that wins games come playoff time. And I think burrows are in that Brady certainly played on teams and the you know, that barely make the playoffs and then they go make the Super Bowl inevitably it's like Tom Izzo in the NCAA tournament where it's like he they could be the 12 C they could be the 13 C they could be the to see like Michigan State's gonna be a security team come postseason, and there are certain teams Gonzaga for the longest time was one that would never make a run even if they won 30 games in the year. And I think that's like the equivalent of Lamar Jackson. So just my observation on playoff quarterbacks kind of piggybacking on what you're saying about the Super Bowl.
Mike Lewis 57:23
And Doug, I think we're gonna cut it right here because we've already already started to go a little deep but we gotta have some we gotta have something to talk about next week Super Bowl related. So yeah, as always guys more content that ww w.fandomanalytics.com Like and Subscribe.