No, they played excellent against the Pats too. Twice.
The Pats had Brady, Gronk and Edelman all healthy in the postseason, and they got beat worse than when they played the Brocketship in the regular season with those guys missing. That Broncos team stopped playing offense in the third quarter of the AFCCG and still won that game. Ridiculous to say they got "lucky."
The Pats would have been "unlikely" to have beaten the Broncos if Peyton was in 2014 or 2013 form too. They got the opportunity to face an anemic offense and lost straight up.
The Pats struggled at the end of 2015, but got healthy for the postseason. Gronk put up 250+ yards and 3 TD's in the postseason. Edelman had 10 catches for 100 yards versus KC the week before.
The argument that the Pats lost in the playoffs because of lack of health is ludicrous.
Too early to tell? Yes. Do I like his odds of being the 10 year starter in Oakland? Yes. If his last 3 years were on the Bills, would I be calling for Whaley's head? Absolutely not.
The stupid question you keep posing is not valid. It's never been "Whaley needs to find a HoF QB or he sucks and should be fired." It's been that Whaley routinely passes on upper QB prospects when we don't have a clear cut guy on the roster. It's not that he hasn't found a guy in 3 years. It's that he does not try enough.
Do you not yet understand that Whaley has only drafted 1 QB in the first 3 rounds in 4 seasons? Like come on dude. Are we that stable at QB? The Raiders took Cook in the second round and they had plenty of reasons to be hopeful with Carr for Christssake. If you think Whaley has tried his best to find a QB, you are clearly content with mediocrity for eternity.
Imagine if we went into the 2017 offseason with Chase Daniels, Cardale, and Aaron Murray at QB. That's what we did in 2015. How is that even remotely acceptable?
We've had quite a few QBs come through, though most of them via free agency/trade. I'm not sure if taking shots at QBs in the draft is a luxury we had when we had holes to fill elsewhere and the immediate goal was a playoff appearance. I suppose that's an argument to be had 'Would you rather get a play off appearance or two sooner, or would you rather focus on being a consistent participant at an unknown future date?'
So far we've approached the QB situation with getting a vet that's available to us, and having one or two young guys in development
2013: Kolb (vet)/EJ (developmental)/Tuel (developmental)
2014: Orton (vet)/EJ (developmental)
2015: Cassel (vet)/Tyrod (developmental)/EJ (developmental)
2016: Tyrod (vet)/EJ (vet)/Cardale (developmental)
I do agree, that in either 2014 or 2015 we should have taken another shot at someone, but IMO probably not early in the draft. Also, I'm not sure who was available to us after Kolb got injured, but ideally another vet should have been brought in. Also the lack of QB coach in 2013 was stupid.
I don't know what the answers are, I have certain beliefs, but again, I'm kind of an idiot. This is why I pose questions, even if they are 'stupid'. I have no idea if taking a QB early in every draft would net us a long term guy, or if it'd just screw with development and near term success. I'm open to ideas, because clearly what we've been doing for 17 years has not been working.