Quarterback is the key to victory

At any level of football, the position of quarterback is the key for a winning team.

If you don’t believe that, glance at the successful teams going today.

In the pro ranks, you only have to look at the two favorite franchises of local fans.

In Green Bay, they have Aaron Rodgers at the helm. Poised and polished, Rodgers never seems to panic when the going gets tough.

Facing a desperate situation at Miami late last Sunday, Rodgers coolly moved his team within scoring distance. With six seconds left to play, he threw for the winning touchdown.

In Detroit, the Lions (like the Packers) are 4-2 this season, have banked their hopes on a stout defense and the somewhat erratic talents of quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Stafford is one of those passers who can show flashes of brilliance, and then underthrow or overthrow a wide-open receiver. His judgement in tight spots is also very questionable and he’s more than likely to wing a sidearmed toss under duress.

Stafford lacks the sharpness required to be a a top-level quarterback like Tom Brady of the Patriots, Peyton Manning of the Broncos, and of course, Rodgers.

That’s why when push comes to shove in the NFC North – possibly in late December when the Lions go to Green Bay – the definite advantage goes to the Packers.

It’s not that Green Bay has more overall talent than Detroit, they have the quarterback.

In the state of Michigan, Michigan State and Michigan have annually battled for bragging rights and for top high school recruits.

In recent seasons, the Spartans have emerged as the top dog because they have had an edge in quarterbacking.

This season, MSU has a good chance to earn the league championship and maybe more because of senior signalcaller Connor Cook.

Cook is a solid, if not spectacular, quarterback who has the knack of making big plays. He proved that last year in late-season wins over Ohio State and against Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

The U of M, on the other hand, has struggled all season at QB, not to mention the controversy created when its backup was sent back into a game after suffering a mild concussion.

When the two rivals match up later this month, the edge in the game goes to MSU.

That’s because they will have the best quarterback going into the game.