Joe Flacco is only four months removed from standing on a stage in the middle of the SuperDome raising the Lombardi Trophy. Throughout these past months, there has been a great deal of turnover on the roster, especially with the veterans. This has left much of the leadership responsibility on Joe Flacco, among others.
Given the change in how everyone views Joe with the new contract and shiny new ring, I wanted to see how other quarterbacks had faired the season after their SuperBowl success. I have taken the stats from the winning quarterbacks dating back to Peyton Manning in 2006.
Possibly the least shocking piece of the above table is how consistent Peyton Manning’s stats were between the two seasons. The same amount of touchdowns, 300 yards difference in passing yards and less than a 1% difference in completion percentage. That just goes to show that the outcome of his seasons were not due to him all the time, but who was playing on the other side of the ball.
The two that made the biggest leap after winning the Super Bowl were Ben Roethlisberger (his second) and Aaron Rodgers. Big Ben’s numbers vaulted him from quarterback that needed to rely on his defense and running game (which he did in the first Super Bowl) to someone who could put the team (and many defenders) on his back. He increased by over 1,000 yards in the same number of game and raised his passer rating by over 20 points. In my opinion, the reasoning for this is he started to become more confident throwing the ball down the field (yards per attempt increase from 7 to 8.6). The Steelers also missed the playoffs in 2009, so improved numbers don’t necessarily take you to the Promised Land.
Aaron Rodgers almost doubled his touchdown total from the SuperBowl in the 2010 season. He threw for 700 more yards and also raised his rating by over 20 points.
In his first Super Bowl, Eli Manning’s stats became a little bit better. He had a better rating and completion percentage and threw 10 fewer interceptions. His second time around did not go as well as his stats dipped this past year.
So, what does this all mean? There are certainly no consistent trends here other than no one was able to repeat as champions. Big Ben and Rodgers were able to compound their success in a big way. Peyton Manning had an almost identical season. Drew Brees dipped a bit, but still had an great season. Eli Manning had mixed results in his two opportunities. It certainly tells us that a Super Bowl championship does not guarantee anything in terms of statistics for the next season.
Here’s to Joe having a year like Rodgers and Big Ben in their follow up seasons. What kind of season do you think Joe will have?