Over the past few weeks, I've seen some Comeback Player of the Year odds that had Dak Prescott as the clear favorite. It had been as good as -450 for him last week. After the Bengals win over Kansas City, I just assumed that the gambling gods would see the light. But Dak is STILL the favorite and it is starting to blow my mind. Look, I have no dog in this fight. I hate the fact that my beautiful boy Herbert is going to have to duel with Burrow in the playoffs for likely their whole careers, but that is the limit of my feelings on either player. I just don't understand how Burrow isn't the current favorite. Let's break it down:
408 Days ago, Burrow tore his ACL and MCL. His PCL and Meniscus were both badly damaged as well.
Today, Burrow is:
- 5th in Yards
- 1st in completion %
- T4th passing touchdowns
-2nd in passer rating
- 11th in QBR
- 3rd in 1st down %
- 1st in yards/pass attempt
- 2nd in 40+ yard completions
- 2nd in EPA + CPOE composite
- 54 total "bad" passes
All behind the 22nd ranked offensive line according to PFF. And that is probably boosted by the fact that they aren't terrible at run blocking. Burrow has been sacked a league leading FIFTY ONE TIMES this year which is kind of crazy since he was only blitzed 125 times (The average for the top-10 quarterbacks by yards is 143 for reference, and the other 9 have only been sacked 27 times on average).
AND all in what could be argued as the hardest division in football. Only the AFC North and West have no team with under 7 wins. the Bengals beat four teams currently over .500 and two at .500
451 days ago, Dak had an extremely graphic-looking compound fracture and dislocation to his right ankle.
Today, Dak is:
- 8th in yards
- 5th in Completion %
- 5th in passing touchdowns
- 7th in passer rating
- 17th in QBR
- 12th in yards/pass attempt
- 7th in 1st down %
- T-7 in 40+ Yard completions
- 15th in EPA + CPOE composite
- 77 total "bad" passes
All behind one of the best offensive lines, if not THE best, in football. Like, a nearly unstoppable line. Dak has only been sacked 29 times even though his line has been blitzed 165 times.
AND in arguably the WORST division in football. The Giants are barely even a real franchise at this point, and both them and WFT are bottom 10 in the league in points allowed. Giants are the 2nd lowest scoring team in the NFL and WFT is 11th. The Cowboys have beaten three teams currently over .500 and one at .500. The Eagles are better than expected this year, but that's the only credit I can give them.
It might just be my interpretation of the stats, but I think Burrow has performed better at the quarterback position despite being in a harder situation. I guess it really just comes down to the criteria of the award. According to wiki, "While the criteria for the award is imprecise, it is typically given to a player who shows perseverance in overcoming adversity from not being able to play the previous season, such as an injury, or for playing well in comparison to the previous year's poor performance"
If you are an AP voter, do you put more stock in to the actual injury? I'm not a medical expert, so I can't tell you which injury was more severe. But both players had undeniably hard-earned roads to recovery. Do you put more stock into comparing their current stats to their pre-injury stats? We already knew Dak was a great quarterback, and we only had 10 weeks worth of Burrow before he got hurt. Maybe you put more in the pieces around them? Chase and Mixon are INSANELY good, and Tee Higgins has been going crazy this year as well. But the combo of Lamb(1,057/6) + Schultz(787/6) + Cooper(786/8) is very solid. Not to mention the Zeke + Pollard combo is responsible for 2,225 total yards of offense this year.
I couldn't tell you how the voters make their decision. All I know is that both Burrow and Prescott had really bad injuries and I that think it is undeniable that Burrow has played better than Dak in 2021.
P.S. I know that some of you have issue with stats like QBR, Passer Rating, EPA and/or CPOE. For that reason, I just included them all so that you can pick whichever ones you like and ignore whichever ones you hate