Super Smash QBs – Choose Your AFC Fighter!
It’s been a while since I did my previous pop culture quarterback comparisons. I wasn’t sure in March how I would follow up the popularity of those superhero QB comps, but I knew I wanted to do one at the end of the year. How does one follow up an article that is a nerd love letter? By writing another, of course.
If you’ve been living under a rock, you may have missed the new Super Smash Brothers game coming out in December. And just in case you thought I was a cool kid, worry not. I spent most of my weekends in high school playing one of the earlier iterations of the Smash Bros. franchise with friends in my basement. The new game includes the largest roster ever, and this makes me the perfect person to tell you which character best personifies each NFL quarterback. Once again, I’ll start with the AFC and smash you with NFC comparisons in a separate article.
New England Patriots: Tom Brady
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Wolf
Reasoning: This could be because Wolf literally has a gray beard, and Brady is the gray beard of the quarterbacks. Additionally, Wolf is the villain of the Star Fox universe and prone to giving dirty looks. I’m sure many consider Brady to be a villain, as well. However, much like Wolf, Brady is a powerful attacker who just finished as the only player 41 years or older to pass for 4000 yards in NFL history.
Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Jigglypuff
Reasoning: You laughed when you read Jigglypuff, right? Why wouldn’t you? That’s how many people felt when the Buffalo Bills drafted Josh Allen at the beginning of the year. Yet, he really came on strong toward the end of the season. After the Bills’ bye week, Allen was the QB2 in both total points and fantasy points per game. This isn’t all that different from Jigglypuff, who in the right hands can turn into a wrecking ball of fluff.
Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Pac-Man
Reasoning: It once seemed like Ryan Tannehill would be a strong fighter. After all, he had quarterback whisperer Adam Gase as his coach and was coming off back-to-back 4000-yard passing seasons. The past two seasons have seen Tannehill’s stock decrease greatly, to the point where the Dolphins are talking about moving on. Much like Pac-Man, I’m not sure how much longer Tannehill will continue to be included in our game.
New York Jets: Sam Darnold
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Lucas
Reasoning: Since Syndrome from The Incredibles wasn’t an option, let’s look at Lucas. Hair? Check. Young kid who shows potential but may not be as strong as some other fighters yet? Check.
Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Inkling
Reasoning: Considering he only got one start last season, Patrick Mahomes is very much a new kid on the block, just like Inkling. Another similarity? Inkling has moved up tier lists due to her ability to add 50-percent damage bonuses with her ink. Mahomes? Passed for 50 touchdowns in his first full season starting. Coincidence? I think not.
Los Angeles Chargers: Philip Rivers
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Snake
Reasoning: Snake famously had a stint as an old man, and Philip Rivers is one of the quarterback position’s elder statesmen. Additionally, I can’t help but feel that Snake probably has the foulest mouth of anyone on our quarterback roster. Snake tends to be underrated in Smash because most lack the precision to use him well, but when used right, he is downright explosive. That reminds me of how fantasy players feel about Rivers, even though he has finished as a top-12 quarterback in eight of the past nine seasons.
Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Luigi
Reasoning: What gives? Derek Carr is clearly the better of the Carr brothers. That should entitle him to be Mario, right? Not quite. Carr hasn’t lived up to expectations after bordering on QB1 status for two seasons. Much of this can be blamed directly on the wacky circumstances he finds himself in with the Raiders and Jon Gruden. You know who else finds himself in wacky situations? Luigi. I mean, dude hunts ghost despite being hyped up as one of the biggest fraidy cats of all time. Carr did just pass for over 4000 yards, despite Gruden trading away all offensive talent except for ghosts of NFL past like Jordy Nelson, so there may still be hope for Luigi’s NFL counterpart.
Denver Broncos: Case Keenum
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Mii Fighters
Reasoning: It was fun to root for Case Keenum to succeed in his given opportunity, just like it’s fun to watch the Mii you created of Hulk Hogan battle it out of with your favorite Nintendo characters. You know neither will help you win games, but gosh darnit, you’re going to cheer them on anyway. There’s a decent chance neither Keenum or Mii Fighters make it to the next game.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Bowser
Reasoning: Ben Roethlisberger is famously hard to sack, and Bowser can take a lot of damage before flying off the stage. Both are incredibly grumpy all the time, and both pout when they don’t get their way.
Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Sonic
Reasoning: It’s cliché to talk about Lamar Jackson and his speed, but more than half his total offensive output came from rushing yards across seven starts. Don’t forget that Sonic has a homing attack that can lock onto opponents, and as Lamar Jackson grows, it’s possible he will hone his homing skills and improve upon his 58.2% completion percentage from this season. There’s reason to believe Jackson may go “Super Sonic” in the future, considering he was the QB15 from Week 10 until Week 16.
Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Ganondorf
Reasoning: I’ll admit it, it’s the hair thing again. Ganon and Andy both rock ginger locks. Giving Dalton a slow character comp. also felt fitting because he had one of the lowest rushing totals among starting quarterbacks this season.
Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Young Link
Reasoning: Young Link is widely considered one of the top-tier characters in Smash, despite his youth. Sounds a lot like Baker Mayfield, who is the apple of many fantasy owners’ eyes. Plus, Young Link sort of looks like he’s ready to use his sword to enter anyone who has wronged him into his “notebook.”
Jaguars: Blake Bortles
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Wii Fit Trainer
Reasoning: No one is going to take you seriously if you play as Wii Fit Trainer. Similarly, no one will take you seriously if you declare your love very publicly for Blake Bortles. Wii Fit Trainer has one thing going that Blake Bortles doesn’t—it might still make the next game.
Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Yoshi
Reasoning: Yoshi is a character everyone seems to love, and I haven’t come across many fantasy players who didn’t wish better things for Marcus Mariota. Yoshi was once supposed to be a dragon but had that ability removed. Mariota? He was to be the next in a generation of elite fantasy quarterbacks after his 2016 season. Unfortunately, over the two seasons since, it seems Mariota has forgotten he was supposed to be a dragon too.
Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: King K. Rool
Reasoning: King K. Rool was a long-forgotten character from gaming past. He last appeared as a main character in Donkey Kong 64 and was a fan favorite among those of who played Donkey Kong Country. Much like King K. Rool, it seems Andrew Luck was forgotten by the fantasy community this past season due to his shoulder issues. Now, both are back with vengeance and reaching top tiers in their respective games. It doesn’t hurt that King K. Rool wields a blunderbuss that Captain Andrew Luck would surely approve of.
Houston Texans: Deshaun Watson
Super Smash Bros. Comparison: Pokemon Trainer
Reasoning: Much like Pokemon Trainer, Deshaun Watson has so many ways he can attack. He might use his Squirtle-like agility, Ivsyaur-like precision, or Charizard-like power to help your fantasy team at any given time. Finishing the year sixth in points per game among quarterbacks shows that great things are on the horizon. Who knows, maybe he’s on his way to be a master.
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