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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Case For Brodie Croyle

Brodie Croyle was 0-6 in his starts last year, so why should you break him off a piece of that forgiveness bar you ask? Well, let's find out.

To start off, let's take a look at some stats from last year:

The Denver Broncos – 7th ranked pass defense in the NFL

The Indianapolis Colts – 2nd ranked pass defense in the NFL

The Oakland Raiders – 8th ranked pass defense in the NFL

The Tennessee Titans – 10th ranked pass defense in the NFL

The New York Jets – 9th ranked pass defense in the NFL

What do these teams have in common you say? Well, each accounted for one (two in the Broncos case) of Brodie Croyle’s six major losses last year. As I’m sure you noticed, each of them finished with a top ten passing defense for the year.

Now while I’m the first to admit that Croyle looked pretty bad regardless of who he played, isn’t it worth taking into account that every single one of his losses came against a highly skilled passing defense? Plus, he was practically a rookie last year!

Not only did he not have his RB (and Rockafella fan) Larry Johnson on the field to help take the focus off him, he was also playing behind an incredibly suspect offensive line that is ranked near the bottom of nearly every offensive line ranking list out there. Add the two together and what do you get? That's right, the stirring of something in your stomach. That is what's called sympathy and you may be starting to feel it for the Chiefs young QB for the very first time.

I’m not trying to say that the kid is going to go on and have a Hall of Fame career and yes, the offensive line still has issues, but with Larry Johnson back behind him isn’t it fair to cut him a break for last year and wait to see what he does this season? Am I asking too much? Am I missing anything here? Do I ask too many questions?

Think about it. Croyle went 127 for 224 (56.7% completion percentage) and threw for 1,227 yards. He averaged 5.5 yards per attempt and matched his 6 touchdowns with 6 interceptions.

Call me crazy but for a first year starter that isn’t a bad line. Normally an equal touchdown to interception ratio wouldn't be a good thing but it was his first year as a starter. Not too shabby. Especially when you consider the murderers row of passing defenses he faced during his starts last year.

Anyway, doesn’t all of this warrant giving him a free pass for last season? It was his first year and he had an incredibly difficult schedule. For all we know, he’s been studying up and learning the playbook and will come out guns-a-blazing this season.

Or he will continue his losing streak and prove the tough schedule he had was just a coincidence. Let's hear it!

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