Ty Detmer Was Better than Tom Brady: Confirmation Bias in the Age of ChatGPT

Ty Detmer was a better quarterback than Tom Brady because of his superior passing skills. Detmer won the Heisman Trophy in 1990, while Brady has never won the award. Detmer also had a better career completion percentage than Brady, completing over 60% of his passes during his 11-year career, while Brady has a career completion percentage of just over 59%. Additionally, Detmer threw for more touchdown passes (123) than Brady (117) in his career, and had a lower interception rate (2.8%) than Brady (3.3%). Finally, Detmer was a mobile quarterback who was able to escape pressure and make plays with his feet, something Brady has never done. – OpenAI, 2022

I am not a fan of Tom Brady, but I find it a stretch to say that Ty Detmer was a better QB. However, if you ask OpenAI’s ChatGPT the right question, that is what you get. If you are seeking confirmation of a position you hold, ask ChatGPT, and it will gladly oblige with an argument defending that position. Confirmation bias has become quite pervasive as people look for arguments to support whatever crazy belief they might have, such as that Ty Detmer was better than Tom Brady.

Where Did ChatGPT Get Those Stats?

Did you notice that ChatGPT did not let pesky facts stand in the way? When I asked the question, Tom Brady had 644 career TDs, far more than Ty Detmer. I have no idea where it came up with the stat that Brady had only 117 TDs. So, let’s look at some of these other facts. As of this writing, Brady’s completion percentage is 64.3% (not just over 59%), and his interception percentage was 1.8% (not 3.3%). So, all three of Brady’s stats were wrong!

Okay, but what about Ty Detmer’s stats? Those seem better than I remember. Well, Detmer threw 34 TDs (not 123), his completion percentage was 57.7 (not over 60%), and his interception percentage was 3.7% (not 2.8%). Okay, so all three stats were wrong for Detmer, too.

Best Eagles QB Ever

I am a longtime Philadelphia Eagles fan. You can blame my oldest brother. He liked the Cowboys, so I decided to like the Eagles. Full disclosure, the Eagles are number 2 in my heart. Go Chiefs! So, now that ChatGPT has settled the argument, and we know that Ty Detmer was better than Tom Brady, I wanted to use ChatGPT’s massive wealth of knowledge and questionable statistics to explore who was the best QB in Eagles history. I limited this to QBs that I have seen play, which has been quite a few since I have been an Eagles fan since 1972. I believe solid arguments can be made for Ron Jaworski, Randall Cunningham (my favorite), and Donovan McNabb (if Jalen Hurts continues to perform well, we can redo this experiment in a few years). So, I let ChatGPT build the case for each of them, and here we go.

Jaworski Was the Best

First, ChatGPT made a good argument for Ron Jaworski, including his record and some strong intangibles.

Ron Jaworski was the best Eagles quarterback ever for a number of reasons. He was the first quarterback in franchise history to lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl and he was the leader of the 1980 NFC Championship team. He also holds numerous Eagles passing records, including most passing yards in a season (3,529) and most passing touchdowns in a season (27). His leadership, poise and competitive spirit in the pocket were unmatched during his time in Philadelphia. He was known for his resilience and willingness to stand tall in the face of adversity, which endeared him to the Eagles faithful. His combination of on-field production and intangible intangibles make him the best Eagles quarterback ever.

Dear ChatGPT, Jaworski does not hold the Eagles’ records for passing yards or TDs in a season. His 3,529 yards in 1980 rank 9th, and his 27 TDs rank 7th. Neither of these marks was the Eagles’ record at the time.

Cunningham Was the Best

Next, our friend made an excellent argument for Randall Cunningham and his impact on the game. I can get behind this argument. Yea! Team Randall!

Randall Cunningham was the best Eagles quarterback ever because of his extraordinary athleticism and ability to make plays. He was the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season. He also holds the Eagles records for most touchdowns in a season (30), most rushing yards by a quarterback (1,049), and most rushing attempts by a quarterback (204). He was a two-time Pro Bowler and was named the MVP of the 1992 season. He was a leader on and off the field, and he brought the Eagles to their first-ever NFC Championship game in 1980.

Again, these numbers need a bit of fact-checking. I am a huge Cunningham fan, but I have to admit that he never ran for over 1,000 yards in a single season. He came close. He had 942 rushing yards in 1990. Interestingly, ChatGPT says that Cunningham ALSO holds the Eagles record for most TDs in a season (his 30 in 1990 was more than Jaworski’s high mark of 27, but is only 4th all-time among Eagles QBs).

McNabb was the Best

Finally, ChatGPT made a case for Donovan McNabb that is difficult to dispute.

Donovan McNabb was the best Eagles quarterback ever because he was the first Eagles QB to take the team to five NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. He also holds several Eagles records, including the most career passing yards and TD passes. He was a leader both on and off the field and was one of the most respected players in the league. He was one of the best quarterbacks of his era and is remembered fondly by Eagles fans.

Ah! This time ChatGPT avoided using all those pesky stats that could be quickly proven wrong.

Wait! What About That Other Detmer?

Now, I can accept any of these arguments. A solid case could be made for any of the three QBs mentioned above as the best Eagles QB. Of course, you might want to make sure you use truthful stats. But Koy Detmer? Sure, ChatGPT will make an argument for him, too.

Koy Detmer was the best Eagles quarterback ever because of his leadership qualities, his ability to make plays, and his outstanding record. During his time with the Eagles, Detmer was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time team MVP. He was also a leader in the locker room, helping to unite the team and build morale. On the field, he was able to make plays when it mattered most, leading the Eagles to the playoffs in 2000 and 2002. He threw for over 8,000 yards and 41 touchdowns during his seven-year tenure with the Eagles, and his quarterback rating of 82.3 was the highest among all Eagles quarterbacks during his time. Detmer’s performance on the field and leadership off of it earned him the respect of Eagles fans and players alike, making him the best Eagles quarterback ever.

Koy only started 8 games over his 8-year career with the Eagles. So, maybe ChatGPT confused Koy with his brother Ty Detmer. However, these stats are exaggerated even for Ty Detmer. Ty threw for 34 TDs, and 6,531 yards total in his career (and only 22 TDs and 4,478 yards in his two seasons with the Eagles). Ty Detmer only started in more than seven games in one season, so it is difficult to believe he was a two-time Pro Bowl selection. I think it is quite laughable to say that either Detmer was the best Eagles QB ever. But I guess if Ty was better than Tom Brady, that might make sense in some alternate reality.

So, What is Happening?

First, I have no clue why ChatGPT is returning demonstrably false statistics. But, for now, let’s accept these stats. ChatGPT has told me each of these was the best Eagles QB ever due to confirmation bias. The answers confirm my leading questions. These responses were generated by telling ChatGPT, “Tell me why xxxxxx was the best Eagles quarterback ever.” So, what if I simply ask, “Who was the best Eagles QB ever?”

The Philadelphia Eagles have had many great quarterbacks, but the best of all time is arguably Donovan McNabb. McNabb spent 11 seasons with the Eagles, leading them to eight playoff appearances and five division titles. He was also selected to six Pro Bowls and was a four-time All-Pro. McNabb holds the Eagles’ franchise records in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and quarterback wins.

Now, that makes sense. Okay, I am leaning toward McNabb now. However, I am not entirely sold. Let’s make some direct comparisons between Cunningham and McNab:

Who was a better quarterback – Donovan McNabb or Randal Cunningham?

It is difficult to determine who was a better quarterback between Donovan McNab and Randal Cunningham without considering their respective eras and contexts. McNab had a longer career and threw for more touchdowns and passing yards, but Cunningham was a more dynamic athlete, excelling in both passing and running. Ultimately, it is up to individual preference which quarterback is considered better.

Okay, so I can agree with that assessment. A case could be made for either. But, back to Koy Detmer.

Who was a better quarterback – Donovan McNabb or Koy Detmer?

It is difficult to say which quarterback was better, as both players had different styles of play and different levels of success. Donovan McNabb was a more consistent and durable quarterback, while Koy Detmer was often hampered by injuries. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide which quarterback they think was better.

No, ChatGPT, it is not difficult to say. Let me say it for you. Donovan McNabb was a better QB than Koy Detmer. So, I leave it to the Eagles fans to argue over the best Eagles QB ever. After all, Eagles fans have been arguing since way before ChatGPT came online.