Matt Hasselbeck, Hall of Fame quarterback. Man, wouldn't that be something?
Well, you might not be too crazy if you've been pounding the table for the former Seahawks quarterback to be in the Hall.
When you look at the quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame that don't own a Super Bowl victory, the names that populate are Dan Marino, Dan Fouts, Warren Moon, Jim Kelly, and Fran Tarkenton. Matt Hasselbeck likely won't, but absolutely should join that list, and this breakdown and career comparison against three-time Super Bowl Champion Troy Aikman is why.
Matt Hasselbeck vs. Troy Aikman: Passing Yards
If you assume that Hasselbeck's career won't continue past the 2013 seasons, he'll have 34,647 yards for a career spanning from 1999-2013. Aikman's career lasted from 1989-2000, where he compiled 32,942.
Also, when you look at the fact that Aikman played with a Hall of Fame offensive lineman in Larry Allen, as well as four other offensive lineman from 1989-2000 that made more than two Pro Bowl appearances, as well as Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith at running back and potential Hall of Famer Daryl Johnston at fullback, it goes to show that Aikman simply did less with more compared to what Hasselbeck had to work with. Oh, wait...did I mention Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin was at his disposal as well? Still not sold? Let's continue.
Matt Hasselbeck vs. Troy Aikman: Touchdown Passes
When you quickly glance over the career of Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, you would imagine that being he's in the Hall, as well as being a three-time Super Bowl Champion that he'd have a quality amount of 20+ touchdown seasons under his belt. Unfortunately for Aikman, he only surpassed the 20+ touchdown mark once in his career, in 1992.
On the contrary, Hasselbeck compiled four 20+ touchdown seasons during his tenure as a Seahawk; 2003-2005, 2007. Again, The only Hall of Fame caliber offensive teammate that Hasselbeck had during his tenure with the Seahawks was 2014 Hall of Fame inductee offensive tackle Walter Jones; and I promise, he wasn't catching any touchdown passes.
Over Aikman's 12-year career, he compiled just 165 career touchdown passes. In fact, only five times did Aikman even throw more than 15 touchdown passes in a season. Hasselbeck threw more than 15 touchdowns in a season eight times over his career from 1999-2013.
When digging deeper into touchdown passes between the two, Aikman threw 114 of his 165 career touchdown passes in the Red Zone, while Hasselbeck threw 138 of his 201 career touchdown passes in the Red Zone. When his team was trailing in a game, Hasselbeck threw 92 touchdowns, Aikman only threw 61. Now, what's important about those numbers are Aikman was aided by Top-10 defenses in eight of his 12 years in the NFL, while Hasselbeck had a Top-10 defense only once.
When looking at how many touchdowns Aikman threw while the Cowboys held a lead; 63, just five shy of Hasselbeck's career number of 68.
4th Quarter Greatness
For Decades, quarterbacks have been marked mainly by two things; Super Bowl victories and their play in clutch moments. Well, a three-time Super Bowl Champion like Aikman should have a ton of fourth quarter accolades, right? You'd be surprised. Aikman's career record as a starting quarterback was 94-71, with 21 game-winning drives and 16 fourth quarter comebacks.
Matt Hasselbeck successfully rivals that with a career record of 80-72, with 24 game-winning drives and an equal 16 fourth quarter comebacks. However, as mentioned before, Aikman did less with more than Hasselbeck, and the same can be equated here. One can only imagine what Hasselbeck could've or would've done with a team like Aikman had around him all those years.
From 1999-2013, Hasselbeck has 43 career fourth quarter touchdown passes, while Aikman only threw 35 from 1989-2000.
So, when you put the numbers side-by-side and compare, the only thing Aikman really has over Hasselbeck's career is Super Bowl victories. A lot of doubters for Hasselbeck's legitimacy as a top-tier quarterback in the NFL will say the era in which they played were too different to compare. Are they? Clearly the Hall of Fame is a numbers game, hasn't that been proven here? I guess the magic number here is zero, the amount of Super Bowl victories Hasselbeck has in his career. I think he and the 12th man have their own opinion about what went down in Detroit back in 2006.