Lions’ Tim Boyle in a tier all his own among NFL backups

SideLion Report

Tim Boyle is obviously not among the NFL’s best backup quarterbacks, but the Lions’ No. 2 signal caller is in a tier all his own according to a recent ranking.

When an NFL starting quarterback struggles and he’s not a top-tier guy, ever fan’s favorite player usually becomes the backup quarterback. But if Tim Boyle had been healthy earlier last season (after a preseason injury) when Jared Goff was struggling, Detroit Lions fans may not have been clamoring for him.

Boyle wound up starting the three games Goff missed last year, with the expected lackluster results. All three were losses for the Lions, with two by four points or less that could’ve been wins with marginally better quarterback play.

Pro Football Network ranked Boyle as the third-worst backup in the NFL last month.

Christian D’Andrea of USA TODAY’s For The Win didn’t rank NFL backups 1-32 recently, choosing to go with tiers instead.

Tim Boyle in a tier all his own among NFL backup quarterbacks

Tiers 1-VII have names that get increasingly less flattering as they go. Then comes Tier VIII…


At no point since high school has Boyle looked like an NFL quarterback. He threw more interceptions than touchdowns his senior college season at Eastern Kentucky, which came after transferring away from UConn

During his college career at UConn and Eastern Kentucky, Boyle had 12 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. That he’s now entering his fourth NFL season is an accomplishment already, as Andrea noted after citing his college stats.

None of these things suggest a career on Sundays. And yet, despite a 64.2 career passer rating, he’s set to enter his fourth season as a pro. He’ll make $2 million this season instead of the veteran’s minimum. He’s already qualified for a league pension. We have no choice to appreciate Tim Boyle, the NFL QB whose career makes no damn sense.

Being on the NFL’s radar at all after not even being a mediocre college quarterback is something. It would not be surprising if Boyle is never on an NFL roster again after this season, but he’ll have had a longer than-average career.

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