NFL Backup QB Watch: Part 1
With week six of the NFL season here the time has come for quarterbacks who are performing poorly to begin looking over their shoulders and worry that their backup may be taking over their job very soon. Every season we witness at least one fifth or so of the leagues starters lose their jobs due to either poor individual performance or poor team performance and that usually happens somewhere around week six or so. Sometimes it’s not the quarterback’s fault but most of the time it is so with all that being said let’s take a look at the league’s starting signal callers who could be yanked for their backup in the next week or so.
We’ll start with the Kansas City Chiefs where starter Matt Cassel suffered a concussion last week in the Chiefs 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Cassel is doubtful to play this week versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers so that means more than likely Brady Quinn will get the start behind center. Now in this situation Cassel isn’t being benched for Quinn, but if Quinn has a good game and the Chiefs defeat the Bucs then it will definitely present an interesting situation in week eight (Chiefs have bye in week seven) Kansas City hosts the Oakland Raiders. So far this season Cassel has thrown for 1,150 yards, five touchdowns and a league high nine interceptions while completing just 58.5% of his attempts and has led the Chiefs to a dismal 1-4 record, the time has almost come in KC for a change behind center and Quinn plays well versus Tampa Bay that change could be made permanently.
Speaking of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers they also may have some controversy arsing at the quarterback position as well with starter Josh Freeman (as well as the team) struggling mightily so far this season. Freeman has passed for just 790 yards, five touchdowns, four interceptions and completed 54.6% of his attempts (31st in the NFL) in four games while leading his team to a 1-3 record. The 17th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft may just be headed for the bench in favor of Dan Orlovsky if he has another bad game or two especially if the Bucs lose in the process.
The most publicized and lengthy quarterback controversy has to do with the New York Jets and their signal callers Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. The talk of which one of these two would and should start behind center began they day after the Jets acquired Tebow from the Denver Broncos for a fourth round draft pick despite the fact that New York signed Sanchez to a three-year contract extension with $40.5 million in new money ($20.5 million in guarantees). Now with the season in full swing and Sanchez as well as the entire Jets’ offensive unit struggling the controversy has ratcheted up to an all-time high. Sanchez is last in the NFL in completion percentage (48.4%) and has thrown as many interceptions (six) as he has touchdowns while leading the New York to a 2-3 record. It was this time last season when the Broncos made the decision to insert Tebow into the starting lineup for a struggling Kyle Orton and the rest is well known history. Jets head coach Rex Ryan has said that Sanchez is and will remain the starting quarterback for his team but if things continue go how they are then one can only wonder how long that decision will remain the same.