Injuries, Indecision By NFL Coaches Brings QB Chaos To Several Teams
Injuries, Indecision By NFL Coaches Brings QB Chaos To Several Teams And Make Bettors Extremely Cautious
Alabama Remains Top College Team But Faces Acid
Test This Saturday As TD Favorite At 3-0 Arkansas
By Kelso Sturgeon
You will have to forgive me for longing for the so-called “good ole days” of the National Football League when every team had a reasonably qualified quarterback. My standards of excellence were signal callers such as John Unitas, Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Y.A Tittle and even Otto Graham. Later I threw into the mix the likes of Joe Montana and John Elway.
As good as were the aforementioned, it was a challenge for all of them to take the field each week and lead their teams to victory because they were facing teams that were just as talented as were they and matching wits with quarterbacks who were competent and could get the job done.
That is history.
What is going on at the quarterback position in the NFL in 2010 is in many cases laughable and embarrassing—and those are the two nicest things I can say. Disgraceful would better describe the situation at such places as the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and even the Philadelphia Eagles.
The dilution of talent and the inability of coaches to help develop quarterbacks means the position on many teams is manned by second-raters, worn out and over-the-hill veterans and gentlemen so lacking in talent they can be starters one Sunday and then cut and looking for a job the following week.
Since a good quarterback is essential to winning in the NFL, a team that does not have one is on a collision course with a 2-12 or 3-13 season and a spot at the bottom of the standings. With this situation comes a major challenge for bettors and that was never more evident than with what those who bet on the NFL face this week.
When you bet this week, here is what you are going to get.
Reid Stays The Course, Invites Disaster
Let’s dispense with the quarterback situation with the Philadelphia Eagles before moving into the never-never land of incompetence.
Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said Monday Kevin Kolb would start for the Eagles against the Jacksonville Jaguars, despite the fact Michael Vick played outstanding football in the six quarters he filled in for the injured Kolb.
It does not take a genius to figure out the foolishness of this move and to understand it is being made only because the Eagles got rid of Donovan McNabb and bet the franchise on Kolb, who was knocked out of the first game of the season. Before heading to the sidelines in that game against Green Bay, Kolb looked absolutely lost and in the process completed 5-of-10 passes for 24 yards and had a passing efficiency rating of 56.3.
Vick took over and after leading Philadelphia to its first victory of the season, a 35-32 win at Detroit, goes to the bench having completed 37-of-58 passes for 459 yards, three touchdowns and an efficiency rating of 105.3.
Kolb played well in filling in for McNabb when he was injured last season but he looked nothing like that quarterback in the pre-season and in the first regular season game this time around.
Speaking as a bettor, I won’t even try to figure this one out.
Chaos In NFL Quarterback Circles
Here are quarterback situations bettors need to address this week.
Derek Anderson has been absolutely terrible in his role as starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals (1-1), has completed just 54.2% of his passes and has but thrown for just one touchdown. He looks lost, period, and may be replaced by Max Hall, a rookie out of BYU, who in turn is backed up by John Skelton, a rookie out of Fordham.
At Buffalo, the Bills have given up on Trent Edwards—at least temporarily—and will start at quarterback Sunday against the New England Patriots sometime starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, a 5-year veteran out of Harvard. He started eight games for the Bills last season, threw for nine touchdowns, had 10 interceptions and had a rating of 69.7. He has started 23 NFL games for three teams—the Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and St. Louis Rams.
Carolina sent veteran Jake Delhomme packing after last season, handed the ball to his back up Matt Moore and will this Sunday find themselves starting rookie Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame) against Cincinnati. Moore was benched having completed 40.8% of his passes this season, with four interceptions and eight sacks.
The Kansas City Chiefs may be 2-0 but it certainly has nothing to do with the play of quarterback Matt Cassel who in wins over San Diego, 21-14, and Cleveland, 16-14, has completed 26-of-50 passes for 244 yards, a touchdown, with two interceptions and a rating of 55.8.
The quarterback spots at Cleveland, Oakland, Jacksonville, Seattle and maybe even Minnesota, have disaster written all over then.
For bettors it truly is pay attention time.
Kelso’s College Top 25
1. Alabama (3-0)…7-point home favorite at Arkansas (3-0)
2. Ohio State (3-0)…43-point home favorite over Eastern Michigan (0-3)
3. TCU (3-0)…17.5-point home favorite over SMU (2-1)
4. Nebraska (3-0)…41.5 home favorite over I-AA South Dakota State (0-2)
5. Boise State (3-0)...17.5-point home favorite over Oregon State (1-1)
6. Stanford (3-0)…4.5-point favorite at Notre Dame (1-2)
7. Arkansas (3-0)…7-point home underdog over Alabama (3-0)
8. Texas (3-0)…16-point home favorite over UCLA (1-2)
9. Oregon (3-0)…10.5-point favorite at Arizona State (2-1)
10. Oklahoma (3-0)…15.5-point favorite at Cincinnati (1-2)
11. Auburn (3-0)…2.5-point home favorite over South Carolina (3-0)
12. Arizona (3-0)…6.5-point home favorite over California (2-1)
13. South Carolina (3-0)…2.5-point underdog at Auburn (3-0)
14. N.C. State (3-0)…8.5-point underdog at Georgia Tech (2-1)
15. Utah (3-0)…33.5-point home favorite over San Jose State (1-2)
16. Florida (3-0)…13.5-point home favorite over Kentucky (3-0)
17. Iowa (2-1)…28-point home favorite over Ball State (1-2)
18. LSU (3-0)…8-point home favorite over West Virginia
19. Nevada (3-0)…4.5-point favorite at BYU
20. Oklahoma State (3-0)…Off
21. Miami (1-1)…3.5-point favorite over Pitt Thursday
22. Air Force (2-1)…12.5-point favorite at Wyoming
23. Missouri (3-0)…18.5-point home favorite over Miami-OH
24. Texas A&M (3-0)…Off
25. Michigan State (3-0)…31-point home favorite over I-AA Northern Colorado (2-1)
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