Week 5′s almost in the books and the landscape of the NFL is changing at the quarterback position. As I mentioned in Week 1, this is a passing league, and if you don’t have a good quarterback in this league, you can assure yourself of a losing endeavour. In this episode of the Monday Afternoon Quarterback, we will examine the good, bad and ugly side of quarterback play in the NFL through Week 5.
Dallas Cowboys/Denver Broncos Shootout
Wow. If every game could be as scintillating as what we saw in Dallas yesterday afternoon, there would be no need for Basketball, Baseball or Hockey. We saw 99 points scored and several lead changes as the last team who got the ball (Broncos, 5-0) held on for the win. This type of high powered offense is what’s good for the NFL. No one sticks around to see the 6-3 snoozefests. The fans want offense and they want it NOW. I think the only bad thing to come out of this game is the hate flying towards Tony Romo, who only threw for 500 yards and 5 TDs yesterday. I think the Cowboys fans should consider themselves lucky to have even been in that game yesterday, seeing as how the Broncos have been running roughshod over everyone. Sure, Tony threw the game deciding pick, but if not for him, the Cowboys wouldn’t have even been in the game. For further clarification, take a look at the QB rosters of the Jaguars or the Jets
You must feel good this morning as an Oakland Raiders fan. Terelle Pryor may be the savior of a dynamic quarterback that this franchise has been waiting for since the Rich Gannon days. Pryor is not going to be lights out with the pass, but will make smart throws and smart decisions with his feet. His QBR was higher than Peyton Manning’s this week, despite having quite mediocre stats (18/23 22 yards, 2 TD and 0 INT, combined with 36 yards rushing). Now if the Raiders can go out and get a dynamic receiver to help Pryor, this offense can be something special, especially if Darren McFadden can stay healthy. Word on the street is that Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Britt could be a available and I expect the Raiders to be in the discussion as to where these two will land.
The Giants are suffering from Murphy’s law at this point as everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. They made a furious comeback late in the 3rd quarter, after Michael Vick got injured and was replaced by Nick Foles. The only problem was that Foles look like gold against the inept Giants defense. You have to question if Tom Coughlin still has it, because of two questionable calls. On a 3rd and 9, the Eagles pass short of the first down, however there was holding on the play. The Giants inexplicably accept the penalty and instead of getting the ball back, they watch Michael Vick zip his way for 30 on 3rd and 19! The next questionable call was a timeout called followed by a Challenge, which Coughlin lost, costing the team 2 timeouts in one play. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here, because the guy upstairs who is watching the replay is partly to blame for 1. coming late with the call, and 2. getting it wrong. Believe it or not, the Giants at 0-5 are not at all dead, as with the Cowboys loss yesterday, they’re only 2 games behind the divison lead, which is what they will need to get in order to make the playoffs.
E.J. Manuel and Brian Hoyer
Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse for the Bills and Browns. It’s not often you see both starting QBs get knocked out of a game, but it happened last Thursday night. These young quarterbacks need to be smarter about protecting themselves. On two QB scrambles, they elected to take the hit rather than slide. We know you want to give it your all, but you have to realize that even an E.J. Manuel at 6’4″ and 237 has no shot against Tashaun Gipson, who is only 5’11″ and 205, but is trained and taught to bring the ball carrier down by any means necessary. Whether he hits him in the head or by the knee, Manuel opens himself to punishment when he puts his head down, and unfortunately, these things happen all too often to scrambling QBs, such as Mike Vick and RGIII. Now because of that mistake, the Bills have to turn to a practice squad player to start this week against a defensive secondary that held Tom Brady to 0 TDs. Good luck with that.
This guy has to be the biggest goat in the NFL at this point. He must have the record for consecutive games with pick 6′s (if there even is one) and on the first play of the game no less, threw a pick 6 for the 4th straight game and could not get anything going, throwing some more picks and headscratchers as the Texans got pummelled by the 49ers last night. This team, which had such promise last year to be a title contender is now 2-3 while Indianapolis begins to run away with the division. I don’t like placing blame on one guy, but he is seriously hurting the team, and like I mentioned earlier, in a passing league, that’s not a good thing.
Despite not even playing this week, you have to put the dunce cap on the Vikings for signing Josh Freeman. A team with the reigning MVP in Adrian Peterson has a circus at the QB position. Do they really think that Freeman is better than Cassel or even Ponder at this point? Way to crumble the confidence that Cassell built up last week by beating the Steelers. Personally, I think Freeman is a big waste of physical talent, ala Jamarcus Russell. If he couldn’t get the job done with such talented receivers such as VJax and Mike Williams in Tampa, how is he going to do anything with the relatively lackluster receiving corps of the Vikings? I think this move is an epic FAIL for all involved. Or maybe they just need someone with bigger hands to hand the ball to AP.