Aaron Brooks much too comparable to Collins


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Jan 22, 2006
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Aaron Brooks much too comparable to Collins
By Anthony Carroll

When you think of Aaron Brooks, a comparison to Kerry Collins doesn’t instantaneously come to mind. However, Collins and Brooks do have a great deal in common.

Unfortunately, much of the widespread similarities between the two quarterbacks seem to be common downfalls—mainly their poor decision-making ability and propensity to turn the ball over. And with the Oakland Raiders’ set to meet with Brooks on Tuesday, it would be wise if the organization carefully thought about the quarterback before getting too in-depth with his future. Keeping Brooks out of the future plans altogether may help to prevent another chapter in the "Kerry Collins saga."

Besides the glaring difference in mobility between Collins and Brooks, their on-field decision making is awfully similar. Simply put, both are careless and inconsistent quarterbacks. At any one point in the season, in a game, or even on a single drive, Brooks or Collins can make a spectacular play for their team or for the opposing defense. But more likely than not, both seem to aid their contesting defenses and hurt their own teams in the grander scheme of things.

Since becoming a New Orleans Saint, Brooks has been spectacular at times and second-rate at other times. After joining the club in 2000, Brooks has started in 82 of the 85 games he has suited up for. Looking solely at yardage and touchdown totals, both Brooks and Collins appear very impressive. Since his first start for the Saints in 2000, Brooks has thrown for 19,156 yards and 120 touchdowns. Similarly, since 2000, Collins has posted just as impressive numbers, with 21,811 yards and 114 touchdowns.

But behind the high yardage and touchdown totals of both quarterbacks lie interceptions, fumbles, and losses—and not in moderation. In the last six years, Brooks has thrown for 84 interceptions, fumbled the ball 59 times - losing 23 of them, and has been sacked 210 times. To measure him up, you can easily compare his numbers with Collins' over the last six years using the same categories: 91 interceptions, 70 fumbles, 21 lost fumbles, and 180 sacks. This means there is just a difference of seven interceptions, 11 fumbles, and two lost fumbles in six years of play. Besides the 30 additional sacks that Brooks has incurred, it would be hard to find two quarterbacks as statistically similar as Brooks and Collins over a six-season span.

From 1995 to 1999, before Brooks had entered the NFL out of Virginia, Collins put up 11,826 yards, 59 touchdowns, 75 interceptions, fumbled 51 times, lost 27, and was sacked 116 times playing for the Panthers, Saints, and Giants.

Even each quarterback’s win/loss ratio is somewhat comparable. In 2001, Brooks’ first season as a full-time starter, he managed a 7-9 record; that same year Collins also went 7-9 with the New York Giants. In 2002, Brooks improved to go 9-7, while Collins posted just one extra win at 10-6. In 2003, Brooks finished the season 8-8 and Collins was removed after 13 games, going 4-9. In 2004, Collins’ first season with Oakland, Brooks went 8-8 once more while Collins went 3-9. Finally, last season Collins finished 4-12 while Brooks was pulled after starting 13 games, going 3-10. In all, Brooks holds a starting record of 35-42 since 2001 and Collins holds a 27-43 record since then. This means in the past six NFL seasons, Brooks has differentiated himself from Collins by winning eight extra games—which turns out to value just over one additional win per season. One supplementary victory in 2006 is not exactly what the Raiders should be looking for right now.

What’s even more frightening about Aaron Brooks is that he has yet to make a postseason appearance since his rookie year, when he finished off a ten win season started by quarterback Jeff Blake. Brooks led the Saints to their first postseason victory in franchise history, defeating the St. Louis Rams in the NFC Wild Card game 31-28 that year, but has not been back since. Offensively, Brooks has been in decent company since the beginning of his career, surrounded by players such as Ricky Williams, Deuce McAllister, Joe Horn, and Donte' Stallworth.

Ironically, Brooks took over the New Orleans Saints after Jeff Blake was injured on November 19, 2000 against, you guessed it—the Oakland Raiders. He started the following week and did not miss a snap up until late 2005. With Tuesday’s meeting, the Raiders could once again give life to Aaron Brooks—but not necessarily for the general welfare of the team.

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