Kordell's Rise to Greatness?
For nearly 3 years, the Anti-Kordell fan club ranted and raved that the Stillers were doomed until this punk, #10, was canned and a real QB was added to the roster. Who could blame the masses, Kordell was often inaccurate, indecisive and failed to be accountable. Something strange, though, started to happen at the end of last season and has continued through the current; Kordell has improved to the point that he currently lays claim to the NFL's 18th best QB rating with an 80.0 mark.
The most remarkable fact is not his middle of the pack QB rating, but his consistent improvement along the way. Looking at the chart below, you can see that his totals yards (rushing + passing), passing yards and QB rating all have an upward trend throughout the season. This chart helps indicate his maturation and growing confidence. A confidence that if it continues, could just help what was once a laughable offense help lead a team, dominated for years by defensive greatness, move deep into the playoffs.
The most surprising stat surrounding Kordell and the Stillers has to be their 10-2 record. Combine that record with the final 5 games of the 2000 season and Stewart et. al. have accumulated a 14-3 record. Look for a team with a more impressive record over the last 17 games and you will not find one. While amassing this record cannot be attributed solely to Kordell Stewart, he has certainly played a critical role along the way.
Stewart, once a whiner and finger pointer, is now a leader. He holds himself accountable. He takes both success and failure in stride. And fortunately for us, there has been more success than failure of late.
Despite all this "rah rah" talk, nothing has been accomplished yet. There are still 4 regular season games plus the playoffs remaining. No level of greatness can ever be achieved with a 10-2 record alone. For Stewart to complete his transformation from chump to champ, he will need to continue his stalwart play and help his team advance past the first round of the playoffs.
It's funny, but for once I feel comfortable saying that I think Kordell will be the man. If he can turn a symphony of boos into a chorus of cheers for Kris Brown's field goal attempts, he can do anything right?