Clay Matthews and the Packers put an end to Jay Cutler's and the Bears' season last year. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Cutler, Sanchez, Romo - three of the league's most overrated

Jay Cutler, Mark Sanchez and Tony Romo are three of the league's most overrated quarterbacks. Raymond T. Rivard photograph


So now that we must wait until at least Monday for any more news about whether we we are going to have an NFL season, I thought I’d take a few potshots of my own and focus on three of my “favorite” players.

So, here we go…

Jay Cutler, Tony Romo, Mark Sanchez …

Just what do they have in common?

Well, other than the fact that they play for NFL teams in the three biggest markets, to me they are three of the league’s most overrated players.

Romo, his only positive attribute being that he is a Wisconsin boy, plays for “America’s team,” but might as well be quarterbacking his Burlington High School squad. We’ll see what Jason Garrett can do with Romo this coming season, but to date (even when Garrett was handling the offense before becoming head coach) Romo hasn’t been able to pull together an offense over the course of a full season … nor has he been able to take his team to consecutive playoff wins.

He simply doesn’t have what it takes to be a winner, nor does he seem to be able to stay healthy long enough to do it. How do we know he doesn’t have it? Well, if you’re playing for a team that puts a defense on the field like the Cowboys and the team still can’t win the big games, then it’s pretty obvious that he doesn’t have what it takes.

His statistics are impressive. In five years in the league he has started 61 games and has a 39-22 record. He’s attempted 2,070 passes and completed 1,326 (64.1 percent) for 16,650 yards and 118 touchdowns. He also has a 95 quarterback rating … statistics that have earned him Pro Bowl appearances in 2006, 2007 and 2009. Injuries in 2010 kept him off the field and doomed the Cowboys.

He threw for more than 4,000 yards in 2007 and 2009, but in my mind he’s still overrated because he hasn’t won the big games and until he does that, he’s just a guy in this league.

He’s also a proven choker … consider the Seattle playoff game when he fumbled the snap.

Consider Sanchez in the same category. The Jets defense is among the top five or top 10 in the league. The team has a solid offensive line … heck, he even had LaDainian Thomlinson in the backfield last year, but when the ball was placed in his hands to win a game, he seemed to always come up short.

Though having played only two seasons in the league, maybe I’m jumping the gun on Sanchez, but he had better step into a bigger role this coming season. If he doesn’t, the Jets may just give up on the high 2009 draft pick … the player the team selected to replace Brett Favre.

Sanchez has been reliable, starting 31 games in his first two seasons and has a 19-12 record. However, he’s completed just 474 of 871 passes (54.4 percent) and 5,735 yards and 29 touchdowns.

His 33 interceptions in two seasons are also alarming for the Jets. That’s the type of statistic that isn’t going to win many fans or win many of the big games.

Sanchez’s performance in the AFC Championship game last season against Pittsburgh was pathetic in the first half. Though he brought the team back in the second half, because of a soft defense by the Steelers, it wasn’t enough to win the game. The Steelers allowed the Jets enough room to make a game of it, but when it needed to stiffen, the Steeler defense did so. A good quarterback – a Manning, Rivers or Rodgers – wouldn’t allow their teams to get into that situation in the first place and in the second place, they would have finished that game with a comeback win. Sanchez didn’t. Maybe it’s his youth, maybe it’s just that he’s overrated.

And of course we have to throw Jay Cutler into the mix.

Yes, we all know he’s tough. His teammates, including Brian Urlacher, say so. We have to believe them.

But if appearances are worthy of anything, all anyone has to do is see the pictures of Cutler on the sideline in last year’s NFC Championship game to understand that there’s something about Cutler that’s just not right.

It’s attitude.

For crying out loud, it was the NFC Championship AGAINST THE PACKERS! If Urlacher broke his leg, he would have been out there trying to kill Aaron Rodgers.

His stats are OK … in the past two years with Chicago, Cutler has completed 597 of  987 attempts for 6,940 yards (60.5 percent). He has 50 touchdowns with the Bears, but only an 80.9 quarterback rating.

His career statistics are very similar to Romo’s: 1,359 completions in 2,207 attempts for 15,964 yards (61.6 percent) and 104 touchdowns. But like Romo, Cutler hasn’t been able to lead his team to playoff wins. While he did lead the Bears to a division title last year, he couldn’t finish the job in two important games: The season finale in Green Bay and the championship game at home against the Packers.

Until he can shake the “soft” moniker and win some playoff games, Cutler is going to be viewed like Romo – just a guy who racks up statistics, but can’t win.

My guess is that these three “guys” will be just that for the remainder of their careers. They will win lots of games, but won’t win those that matter most.

And for that, they will continue to be overrated year after year.

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Tags: Aaron Rodgers Al Harris Brett Favre Brian Urlacher Charles Woodson Chicago Bears Dallas Cowboys Detroit Lions Donald Driver Green Bay Packers Greg Jennings Jay Cutler Mark Sanchez Mike McCarthy Minnesota Vikings New York Jets NFC NFL Nick Barnett Ryan Grant Ted Thompson Tony Romo Tramon Williams Winning Isn't Everything, It's The Only Thing

  • Person

    you dumb shit, the Cowboys Defense is awful, and so is their offensive line and an inconsistent running game, Romo doesn’t have what it takes to win? then how comes he’s held otas and minicamps for his team during the lockout? i think the person who takes that responsibility is committed to winning more than anyone else on his team

    • Tarynfor 12

      Or he has a sense of urgency to keep his job and doing these self promoting camps(ahem)is merely to garner some media support when things go wrong…again.
      Nothing like saying”hey,I held camp and tried but,you know these guys really didn’t put effort into it like I did as proven by the way THEY PLAY”.

      • ray

        When Romo starts winning when in matters, I’ll consider taking him out of the overrated category … he’s got the team around him to win … everyone’s waiting … Oh, and BTW person … no name calling on this site … sorry go somewhere where that’s accepted … not here.

  • rhondamathieson

    Some of the most amusing losses ever suffered by the Cowboys has been through Romo– who could forget Vikings chasing Romo all over the field? Or JJ’s face when the Cowboys couldn’t bring home to JJ’s great playpen either its first game played there or its first superbowl- Romo goes choke again all this coming season..Ya Sanchez is so lousy his entire tema has to make up for it -But you left off the goofy QB’s of the Steelers, and Phil Rivers… Qb doesn’t mean as much anymore does it?

  • Jimmy Mac

    Wow, could you find a more poorly written article with zero tangible evidence to back anything up?

    I know this is a Packer-based site but this is just awful. Felt like I was reading something written by a 12-year-old.

    “Romo sucks… well, because I said so! And so does Jay Cutler! And they will always suck! Nevermind that the Packers were lucky to be in the post season and could barely overcome the Cutler and the Bears – these guys all suck and they always will, cause I said so!”

    Somebody shoot me for clicking on the link. Didn’t know I was stepping into a kindegarten debate

    • apackphan

      Yup, I said so … And I’m not the only one. Sorry I offended your sensibilities and your love for Tony and Jay, but until they prove they’re not just crybabies, in my mind … Yeah, they just suck … Because I said so.

  • Erik

    I’m sorry but this “article” is a joke.

    In regards to the comment about Sanchez “when the ball was placed in his hands to win a game, he seemed to always come up short.”

    Do you watch football games? Because if you did you’d see that he led big time clutch wins against the Lions, Browns and Texans in the finals seconds or overtime of those games. That’s also not mentioning that with less than a minute to go he marched the Jets down the field in the playoffs in Indy to beat the Colts.

    Do your research please.

    • apackphan

      I would say that Sanchez might be able to change my mind with time … But come from behind against the Lions, Browns and Texans? C’mon if he’s worth his salt, he wouldn’t be behind against those sorry franchises in the first place. He’s just the darling of the New York media at this point. If he wins some games against quality competition in big games, then he will gain my respect … But not until then.

      • Alejandro

        Quality competition? You mean beating playoff victories in San Diego against Rivers, in New England against Brady (3TD Passes), and Manning. The kids playoff stats are off the chart. Do your research before you write this garbage.

  • carlos

    I stopped reading this article when you put that overrated bum philip rivers in between 2 great qb’s like manning and rodgers . You say sanchez is overrated but hes lead his team to 2 Afc championship games , say what u want about the D and running game carrying them . Philip Rivers wins games that dont count for S@#t . There have been countless QB’s in the leauge that have put up monster numbers and never have come close to winning it all , and shame on them !! if they couldnt get over the hump thats on them and their teammates . Sanchez is closer to winning a chip than the two bums you mentioned and rivers , not because he puts up monster numbers , but because he wants it more !! look at rivers after a loss huffing and puffing , its all a f’in show , sanchez looks like he wants to cry after every L , lol . nuff said

    • apackphan

      Carlos, you know I have to agree with you about Rivers … I should have thrown him into the heap, too. He throws like a girl as far as I’m concerned and can’t seem to win when it counts. But I still think that Sanchez is a media darling who is going to flame out in a year or two or get killed by Rex Ryan before that …

  • NICK

    2 qbs that were in the afc/nfc championship games. They have to be overrated

  • Packers2010FlukeSeason

    No one ever highly rated Jay Cutler. How dumb of an article to consider Cutler as an overrated when he was never rated that high to begin with. Idiot.

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