The Detroit Lions vs. Pittsburgh Steelers game went to overtime on Sunday, Nov. 14, and ended in a 16-16 tie. Steelers’ running back Najee Harris was surprised the game could end in a tie.
“I didn’t even know you could tie in the NFL,” Harris said. “In my mind, I was sitting on the bench saying, ‘I’ve got another quarter to go.’ But someone came to me and said, ‘That’s it.’ I’ve never had a tie in my life before.”
But that’s not the main story. Jared Goff struggled through another pedestrian game, and finished 14-25 for 114 yards. That’s a 14.3 quarterback rating (QBR).
Goff’s play was so poor it prompted former NFL quarterback turned wide receiver Terrelle Pryor to say that he and blackballed quarterback Colin Kaepernick would be better choices. In a now-deleted social media post, Pryor called Goff “terrible.”
This is an interesting debate Pryor brings up. Would the Lions be better off with Kap?
Let’s dismiss Pryor’s claim about himself right off the bat. For all of Goff’s shortcomings he’s had far more success as a quarterback than Pryor.
Goff led the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl and is a two-time Pro Bowl player at quarterback. He has led the league in passing attempts. His career highs in passing yards and touchdowns thrown all dwarf Pryor’s.
Pryor has never been a starting quarterback for an entire season and has a below average 56 percent completion percentage. He did, however, become a 1,000-yard receiver in 2016 for the Cleveland Browns, which was a remarkable transition.
But Goff is the better quarterback.
That brings us to Colin Kaepernick. The blackballed former quarterback turned civil rights activist last threw an NFL pass in 2016. That was five seasons ago.
During Kap’s tenure as the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback, he led the team to a Super Bowl Berth and a subsequent NFC Championship game appearance. He was becoming the face of a new wave of NFL quarterback. A true dual threat.
For decades, Black quarterbacks in the NFL were not allowed to shine as both runners and pocket passers. Kap was doing both.
Had he not been blackballed from the league for protesting police brutality during the national anthem, who knows what he would’ve developed into as a quarterback.
Kap’s 34 years old now. He was 29 when he last played in the league.
Tom Brady is 44 years old. Aaron Rodgers is 37. The recently retired Drew Brees is 42. Yes, they are among the best to ever do it.
But what if Kap, at 29, connected with a franchise and innovative coach who could utilize his talents and develop the areas where he showed promise? Is it ridiculous to think Kap could still be playing today?
The league has somewhat evolved in terms of what a starting quarterback should look like. A player like Kap if he’d still been in the league would no doubt be thriving today.
As far as the Lions go. That roster isn’t great, and head coach Dan Campbell isn’t exactly an innovator. So, who knows what Kap could do with that situation.
But had he been in the league all this time, there’s no doubt he would be among the better quarterbacks, and likely better than Jared Goff.