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The Lounge>*** The Definitive Gannon vs. Grbac DEBUNKED Thread ***
htismaqe 01:07 PM 01-02-2014
It's time.

The common urban legend perpetuated amongst Chiefs fans is that we would have won that 1997 playoff game with Rich Gannon because he was clearly so much better than Grbac when in reality, that wasn't at all the case.

Let's start with wins and losses.

Code:
	Wins	Losses	Win %
Grbac	8	2	0.800
Gannon	5	1	0.833
Very similar. Let's look at a sample of passing stats now.

Code:
	Pass TD/Game	INT/Game	Passing YPG	YPA	Rating			
Grbac	1.1		0.6		195		6.2	79.1
Gannon	1.16		0.67		127		6.5	79.8
Again, this cross section points to them being remarkably similar. They ran fewer pass plays with Gannon at the helm so therefore appeared to be slightly more efficient but overall, the offensive output was very similar, regardless of who was under center.

Now, let's look at a couple of key defensive stats, since I think we all agree that the 1997 team was driven largely by the defense. This is where things get interesting.

Code:
	Def YPG	Def TO/Game
Grbac	335.4	1.9
Gannon	254.3	2.5
It's pretty clear what drove the Chiefs winning streak down the stretch - the defense got A LOT better as the season went on. In fact, the defense allowed LESS THAN 300 yards in only 2 of Grbac's starts, whereas that same defense allowed only one team to gain more than 300 yards while Gannon was under center.
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DanT 01:21 PM 01-03-2014
I have a tendency to want to believe that the Chiefs coaches have a better idea of who to play than I do. Because they were high on Grbac and selected him over Gannon at the start of the 1997 season, I wanted to believe he was a better QB. Gannon had times where he was not able to move the offense, including in late 1996 with the Chiefs and in his Super Bowl appearance with the Raiders.

But my thinking with Gannon has evolved. I realize now that he was a far the hell more effective QB than I was willing to give him credit for when he was in KC. I realized that while watching him beat the Chiefs when he was with the Raiders. He's a smart player who plays within his limits and knows how to keep drives alive, which leads to scoring opportunities, which leads to better chances to win. I don't have a problem with "game managers". You can win with game managers, provided they have a strong grasp of what the hell is going on. If Gannon is in a 3rd and long in a situation where punting is not an option, he seems to me to have a far better feel for how to get the first down. Grbac seems basically mediocre in a situation like that. He can chuck the ball, but that's about it. I didn't feel like Grbac's performance at the end of the 1997 game was surprising. He doesn't strike me as having an especially high level of situational awareness. Gannon does. I recall rooting against Gannon when he was on the Raiders and being fairly confident that he wouldn't be able to overcome particular situations, only to see him kick our ass. Gannon went on to win a MVP award and he's now an analyst that I enjoy listening to, both on game day and during the rest of the week (on NFL radio). I don't have the feeling that Grbac knows anywhere close to what Gannon knows about being an effective QB in the NFL, and I think the differences between those two players in that regard were evident during their playing days. My main regret about the 1997 Chiefs is that there wasn't a fair competition for the QB position in preseason. There were plenty of folks on the predecessor to this board who were championing Gannon over Grbac throughout that year because they felt Gannon was the better QB. I think one has to account not just for what was known then but also what the two QBs did in subsequent years. It's evident to me that Gannon was a more effective NFL QB than Grbac.
[Reply]
DanT 01:36 PM 01-03-2014
The Wikipedia page on Elvis Grbac is absolutely ridiculous in how favorably it spins facts in Grbac's favor. It's kind of fun to read because it is so ridiculous. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Grbac
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duncan_idaho 01:46 PM 01-03-2014
I watched that Grbac playoff loss again yesterday (glories of YouTube). It was interesting, because I remember watching the game live and thinking that Gannon should have played, and Grbac blew it.

But watching it again, I was surprised at how much better Grbac played than I gave him credit for. Taking the time outs because he was out of breath was incredibly annoying, but Grbac was under a lot of pressure in that game and didn't really get any help from his running game.

I definitely did not remember him being as mobile as he was in that game, and definitely did not remember him making as many plays in the face of pressure as he did.

I also forgot how infuriating it was to watch Ted Popson get so many of the snaps at TE that year.
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Imon Yourside 03:28 PM 01-03-2014
Originally Posted by duncan_idaho:
I watched that Grbac playoff loss again yesterday (glories of YouTube). It was interesting, because I remember watching the game live and thinking that Gannon should have played, and Grbac blew it.

But watching it again, I was surprised at how much better Grbac played than I gave him credit for. Taking the time outs because he was out of breath was incredibly annoying, but Grbac was under a lot of pressure in that game and didn't really get any help from his running game.

I definitely did not remember him being as mobile as he was in that game, and definitely did not remember him making as many plays in the face of pressure as he did.

I also forgot how infuriating it was to watch Ted Popson get so many of the snaps at TE that year.
Ya, that Popson thing...he should have had the first down on 3rd and 5(?) at the end, but was so slow he was stopped a yard short.. If only Tony G...if only... :-)
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Chiefspants 01:19 PM 02-26-2020
Weird bump, but one benefit of winning the Super Bowl is that its allowed me to revisit past heartbreaks with an entirely new perspective. Here is the game in its full glory, complete with pre-game commentary and commercials of the 90's (they are nostalgia bombs in the best of ways).



I became a fan during the 98' season, I was five years old, and the Chiefs rewarded me by losing 6 consecutive games. The first time I ever cried from a sporting event was when I watched John Elway rip my soul out by making an incredible comeback against the Rich Gannon led Chiefs at Mile High.

My parents, feeling bad, bought me the 95' and 97' highlight videos. You know how the 97' video starts? With John Elway beating us in Arrowhead after the Chiefs bye. I went on to meticulously study both of the Chiefs "mid 90's" 13-3 seasons, I even saved up via yard work money to buy the 93' tape as well. 97' always fascinated me, though, with the Grbac/Gannon intrigue and the incredible regular season victory over the Broncos - just how did we end up losing in the playoffs? This thought stuck with me so long that I even watched my Bronco fan friend's highlight video to get the alternative perspective. After the Indy loss in 2013, I couldn't really watch this game any more. It was just too much, and always painful to watch how close we were to claiming victory only for it to slip away.

In 2013, I was on the wagon that it didn't matter if Grbac or Gannon started. Grbac played a good game - but upon re-watch, I'm starting to think Gannon would have been the right move again. It's eerie with this re-watch, it was amazing how every commentator disagreed with Marty's decision to sit Gannon before the game. Instead of a stat-line (which, to Grbac's credit, was pretty impressive), I think it came down to which QB was better suited to lead us on the game winning drive at the end of the game - and that QB was undeniably Rich Gannon. It is still baffling to me to watch Grbac with 4 minutes left try to run one of the most inept and inefficient 2 minute drills I have ever seen. There was no urgency with the play calls, no urgency to get to the line, and him getting chased and being called to use his mobility (reminds me of watching Big Ben rumble around) were often caused due to him missing easy gimmes on the first two downs. Honestly, how were the Chiefs set up at their own 48 with nearly 4 minutes left and only advance 30 yards in the next 3 minutes and 30 seconds? The inefficiency wasn't limited to Grbac - it was definitely a team effort to let the game slip away. The Chiefs had the ball at the 29 with 1:51 in the game, and somehow, with 12 seconds left, were on the 20? It was just abysmal clock management all around. How in the hell does Anders fall in bounds on first down AND Popson proceeds to do the same on the 2nd?

The timeouts ended up being back-breakers throughout the game. It is baffling just how many times Marty had the opportunity to take the slightest risk to move the needle, and how he balked every, single, time. Why, for instance, was Ted Popson anywhere near the field on the last drive? Marty's adherence to his "locker room code" was every bit to blame as his playcalling. It was especially a knife to the heart of Marty and Peterson that Neil Smith had two critical sacks in this game (especially compared to DT's performance on the other side :-) )

It's amazing how this game very much became the representation of the Chiefs' playoff games before the Mahomes era (seriously, want to know how the Chiefs did in the playoffs from 1990-2017? Just watch this game, that's it). No matter how many division championship banners we hung up, how inspirational Marty's speeches were, how terrifying our defenses may have been, or how awe-inspiring that regular season win was, the conclusion to the Chiefs 90's dynasty teams ended when a team led by a more talented QB sent us and our retread San Francisco QB home. It is incredible that we finally, after so long, were on the opposite end. Going into a Super Bowl against San Fran and with the star QB against their retread. It's amazing for me to think about - and watching Mahomes deliver a title to Kansas City was better than I could have ever imagined.
[Reply]
lawrenceRaider 01:40 PM 02-26-2020
Gannon was the better QB, and it isn't even close.
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scho63 01:53 PM 02-26-2020
Watching that game makes me so happy we no longer have Grbac or Marty-they both suck and so did Marty in the playoffs.
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Chiefspants 01:57 PM 02-26-2020
Originally Posted by scho63:
Watching that game makes me so happy we no longer have Grbac or Marty-they both suck and so did Marty in the playoffs.
It also makes me appreciate just how much Reid has changed over the years. For a guy who was often compared to Marty in how conservative he was both in his late game drives down the field and on 4th down. Reid has completely adjusted his game in the Mahomes era, and deserves kudos for it. National writers have taken notice too, and given Reid rightful kudos.

https://slate.com/culture/2020/02/an...-bowl-liv.html
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Pasta Giant Meatball 02:33 PM 02-26-2020
Lulz
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Dartgod 02:34 PM 02-26-2020
Originally Posted by Chiefspants:
Weird bump, but one benefit of winning the Super Bowl is that its allowed me to revisit past heartbreaks with an entirely new perspective. Here is the game in its full glory, complete with pre-game commentary and commercials of the 90's (they are nostalgia bombs in the best of ways).
No thanks. Even though we finally won the SB, I'd still rather sandpaper my dick with 40 grit than watch that game again.
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KCChiefsFan88 02:36 PM 02-26-2020
Originally Posted by lawrenceRaider:
Gannon was the better QB, and it isn't even close.
Who cares.

Mahomes, Mahomes, Mahomes, Mahomes.
[Reply]
Pasta Giant Meatball 02:37 PM 02-26-2020
Why the fuck would anyone rewatch that whole turd...wow

95 PLAYOFF WATCH PARTY. WOOOOOOO
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Chiefspants 02:57 PM 02-26-2020
Originally Posted by Dartgod:
No thanks. Even though we finally won the SB, I'd still rather sandpaper my dick with 40 grit than watch that game again.
:-) fair enough, to both you and PGM.

To me it makes our redemption that much sweeter.

Watching Marty refuse to take chances that much happier to have new and improved Reid today. Watching the frenzy over Grbac/Gannon only to be crushed by Elway makes me that much happier that we have found our star.
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Pitt Gorilla 03:04 PM 02-26-2020
127 passing yards per game? WTF?
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Pasta Giant Meatball 03:50 PM 02-26-2020
Elway did nothing. Soooo awesome we missed out on a possible superbowl because of a non called forceout and a phantom hold. That is something you can never get back. Nothing can change that.
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