Have you ever watched a quarterback perform so well to the point that he looked inhuman? Every pass looks perfect; he knows what the defense is doing before the play occurs and he makes every play in a critical situation.
The robot zone is an exclusive club that I created to showcase the highest level of quarterback play. There are six requirements to join the elite crew. Throw for at least 3,500 yards, have at least 30 passing touchdowns, throw no more than 10 interceptions, complete at least 60 percent of your passes, start every game of the season and lead your team to the playoffs. Only five quarterbacks have accomplished this in the 91 years of the NFL.
Steve Young enjoyed the first ever robot zone season in 1994. He threw for 3,969 yards, 35 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and completed 70.3 percent of his passes. Young won his second MVP that season and led the San Francisco 49ers to Super Bowl XXIX. They dominated the San Diego Chargers 49-26 and Young threw for a Super Bowl record six touchdowns in the process and won the Super Bowl MVP.
Peyton Manning accomplished two robot seasons in 2004 and 2006.
In 2004, he won the MVP for the second year in a row. He broke hall of fame quarterback Dan Marino’s single season touchdown record by throwing for 49 touchdowns. He also threw for 4,557 yards, completed 67.6 percent of his passes, 10 interceptions and set the record for highest quarterback rating in a season with 121.1. Manning led his team to a division title, but the Indianapolis Colts lost in the divisional round of the playoffs to the New England Patriots.
In 2006, Manning threw for 4.397 yards, 31 touchdowns, nine interceptions and completed 65 percent of his passes. This time around, the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI and Manning got off the list of the greatest players to never win a championship.
The following season, when the New England Patriots acquired wide receiver Randy Moss in a trade from the Oakland Raiders, Tom Brady finally had a deep ball threat on his team. This led him to have, in my humble opinion, the greatest season a quarterback has ever had. Brady had 4,806 yards, an NFL record 50 touchdown passes, eight interceptions and a completion percentage of 68.9 percent. He led the league that season in completion percentage, touchdown passes and quarterback rating while leading his team to an undefeated regular season. Brady won his first MVP that season, but the Patriots lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII 17-14.
During the 2009 season, two quarterbacks that will forever be linked accomplished the feat. Aaron Rodgers, in his second season as a starter for the Green Bay Packers, threw for 4,434 yards, 30 touchdowns, seven interceptions and completed 64.7 percent of his passes while being the most sacked quarterback in the league that season. The Packers lost in the opening round of the playoffs to the Arizona Cardinals in an overtime shootout 51-45.
His predecessor on the Packers, Brett Favre, enjoyed the most efficient season of his career at 40 years old. In his first year with the Minnesota Vikings, Favre threw for 4,202 yards, 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions and had a personal best completion percentage of 68.4 percent. The Vikings lost in the conference championship game to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the New Orleans Saints, 31-28 in overtime.
Brady joined Manning last season as the only players to have two robot zone seasons when he threw for 3,900 yards, 36 touchdowns, four interceptions and a completion percentage of 65.9 percent. In the process, he broke the NFL record for most passes thrown consecutively without throwing an interception, led the league in quarterback rating and became to first person to win the MVP unanimously. The Patriots lost in the second round of the playoffs to their hated rivals the New York Jets 28-21 on their home field.
Through week 12 of the 2011 NFL season, Rodgers is on pace to have another robot zone season. He has thrown for 3,475 yards, 33 touchdowns, four interceptions and is completing 71.8 percent of his passes. The Packers are currently undefeated with a record of 11-0 and are the favorites to repeat as Super Bowl Champions and Rodgers is the top candidate to win the MVP.
If Rodgers can finish the season playing on robot zone level and the Packers win the Super Bowl again, he will start to move up the ladder of the greatest quarterbacks of all time
The Winner of the 2011 Heisman Trophy is…
In an exciting year of college football, many players have stood out with incredible plays to lead their teams to victory.
Consensus 2012 NFL Draft No. 1 overall pick, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck led the No.4 team in the country to an 11-1 record. Alabama running back Trent Richardson as of week 14 has rushed for 1,583 yards and 20 touchdowns. Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III has been an all-around threat this season. As of week 14, pilot of the Bears offense has 4,920 all-purpose yards and 41 touchdowns. Unfortunately, none of these young men deserve to win one of the most prestigious awards in all of sports. Only one player has had to overcome controversy and lead a young offense to a 10-2 record on a team that had NCAA sanctions.
USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley has accomplished the best season of his career by throwing for 3,528 yards, 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions with while completing 69.1 percent of his passes. The Trojans started the season under the radar under because of their probation for four years including a two-year ban from bowl games because of the Reggie Bush scandal. The junior from Newport Beach, CA had his teammates believing in each other to overcome the obstacle that was in their way. When Bush began taking improper benefits from agents, Barkley was in the eighth grade. Because the Trojans could not compete in postseason competition, they made sure to treat every game in a special way.
In an interview with ESPN Los Angeles, Barkley spoke on the motivation that his team has.
“The fact that we can still win and show the world that we’re a team that wants to play football and wants to win. And that one institution can’t tell us what our season is,” said Barkley.
With his top receivers being a freshman and a sophomore, Barkley made them look like experienced veterans as he broke the Pac-12 record for passing touchdowns in a season. Like any big time performer, Barkley has performed his best against the top teams the Trojans faced. The match against Luck and the Cardinal was a classic matchup between two teams fighting for different things. At the time, Stanford was still in the hunt for the national championship and USC just wanted respect. The Trojans ended up losing in triple overtime, 56-48, with both Luck and Barkley throwing for three touchdowns and one interception. At the end of the day, the experience of the Cardinal overcame the determination of the Trojans. Three weeks later, USC headed up to Eugene, OR to face the No. 4 ranked Oregon Ducks. In the 38-35 upset, Barkley threw for 323 yards and four touchdowns while completing 76 percent of his passes.
In the Trojans last game of the season against the crosstown rival UCLA Bruins, Barkley played the best game of his career. He was flawless by going 35/42 for 423 yards and six touchdowns.
Barkley has showed that he is the most important player in the country the way he has led this team. He has started since he was a freshman and has blossomed into an excellent pro prospect. The communication major has had the most memorable season out of all the potential candidates and deserves to hoist the trophy this year