The rigors of the NFL demand that if a team hopes to qualify for the playoffs, then make a run for the Super Bowl, its roster better have some decent depth.
That’s especially true at quarterback, where an injury to a starter can essentially wipe out an entire season, not to mention denting the bankroll of that team’s backers at Michigan sportsbook apps.
Having a backup quarterback ready to go, and perhaps play for a while, is a necessity. All teams hope that they have the equivalent of an Earl Morrall on their roster.
The late Morrall is part of NFL lore for his spectacular fill-in performances. After replacing injured Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas in 1968, Morrall went 13-1 before the Colts were upset by the New Jets in Super Bowl III. Two years later, Morrall also had a role filling in again for a hurt Unitas in Super Bowl V. That time, the Colts won the title on a late field goal, beating Dallas.
Then, in 1972, Morrall stepped in for injured Miami starter Bob Griese, another Hall of Famer, and won nine games to help the Dolphins to their perfect season that ended with a victory in Super Bowl VII.
So which teams are in the best shape at backup QB heading into the 2023 season? BetMichigan.com. your home for the best Michigan sports betting bonuses, did the research to find out.
Ranking NFL Backup QBs Entering 2023
49ers A Case Study in Quarterback Depth
More recently, football fans and Michigan sports betting customers saw how an injury to San Francisco’s spectacularly successful backup quarterback Brock Purdy (five straight wins as a starter) doomed the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game against Philadelphia last season.
So, who has an Earl Morrall or a Brock Purdy on the sidelines going into 2023, just in case the starting quarterback can’t play? BetMichigan.com used data on all 32 backup QBs from Pro-Football-Reference.com on games started, QB rating, touchdown percentage and interception percentage to compile an aggregate ranking of the most valuable backup QBs in the league.
How Teddy Bridgewater Rates As Backup QB
The Lions are a preseason favorite to win the NFC North with veteran Jared Goff as their quarterback. Follow BetMichigan.com to track the Detroit Lions playoff chances all season.
To Detroit’s advantage, the No. 2 QB on the team’s depth chart, Teddy Bridgewater is rated the fifth-best backup signal-caller heading into the season.
Among all backup QBs evaluated, Bridgewater is fourth in games started, third in quarterback rating, 15th in touchdown percentage and tied for fifth in interception percentage.
Perhaps most encouraging is that when Bridgewater was called on to fill this exact role, as a backup to Saints’ QB Drew Brees in 2019, Bridgewater was a perfect 5-0 as a starter. He completed 133 of 196 attempts for 1,384 yards, nine TDs and just two interceptions. Bridgewater helped keep the Saints on track to make the playoffs until Brees returned, though New Orleans lost in the Wild Card Round.
Entering this season, the Detroit Lions Super Bowl odds get a boost from the fact that Bridgewater is a very capable replacement if Goff comes out of the starting lineup for any reason.
Bridgewater, heading into his ninth NFL season, is 33-32 as a starter.
Who Are Top-Rated Backup QBs
In BetMichigan’s analysis of backup quarterbacks, the top spot was a tie between Indianapolis’ Gardner Minshew and Philadelphia’s Marcus Mariota. Both Minshew and Mariota have experience as starters.
Carolina’s Andy Dalton, once the star QB of the Cincinnati Bengals (83-77-2 over 12 seasons), was ranked No. 3. The No. 4 backup was the New York Giants’ Tyrod Taylor, who is going into his 13th NFL season with a 26-25-1 record as a starter.
The Lions have +2200 odds at BetMGM Michigan Sportsbook to win the Super Bowl in the 2023-24 season.