Who does this sound like?
I watched a quarterback this weekend whose early struggles put his team in the hole, whose maddeningly inaccurate passes drive fans nuts, who is often trapped in a play calling scheme which seems ill-suited to the strengths he has but who can put his team on his back and will them to a victory.
Oh and he has some backers and detractors who are so wrapped in their position that they sometimes defy reason.
Think you know the answer? We'll see later on in the column.
As I write this, I'm not even watching the debacle of a Monday Night Football game and I get PAID to watch football.
What a brutal game. This game was so bad, the Jets' offense said 'Wow you guys suck'. The Colts defense feels better about itself. It's so bad (HOW BAD IS IT) FEMA sent financial aid.
So in case that was unclear by all accounts the Ravens/Jags game sucked eggs.
Monday Night Football has been less then stellar since ESPN took over, as the NFL has given NBC's Sunday Night Football better games and the flex schedule. We can argue booths and announcers and anything else, but that fact—that the schedule is skewed—is indisputable.
Also indisputable: we have another week in the books and it's actually not much clearer at all.
It was far from dull as always.
Can We Get a Mercy Rule?
I got up early Sunday morning to drag the family out of bed at SIX FREAKING THIRTY so we could drop my eldest at the football field, eat pancakes at a Diner and then return to watch his team play.
The Queens Falcons romped all over their opponents, beating them 56-6. It was brutal, although the other team really fought hard.
I thought that was going to be the worst beat down I saw all day. I was so very, very wrong.
In case you missed it:
Houston Texans 41, Tennessee Titans 7
Kansas City Chiefs 28, Oakland Raiders 0
Dallas Cowboys 34, St Louis Rams 7
And the winner of the bully award goes to:
New Orleans Saints 62, Indianapolis Colts 7
If I recall one trivia tidbit, in one single game, the Saints outscored the Rams' whole season.
I have to wonder if the above teams thought they were vying for BCS style points.
Now, people have asked me if I thought that was right, if these teams were running up the score.
I don't care. I mean, I don't believe they were, but the truth is I don't care.
Why? Because in this league if you take your foot off the opponents neck you run the risk they get back up (case in point, the Chargers and the Jets this weekend). If you don't press down and throttle them, you just never know.
Besides, you don't want them to drop 62 on you? STOP THEM.
It's pretty damned simple.
At some point during my son's game, the score got out of control (clearly). So the coaches began subbing in second and third string players. Yet my son's team kept scoring.
There's only so much you can do as a coach. Also, the truth is if you play half way, you will get hurt. You'll pull up at the wrong time, you'll miss something you shouldn't have and you or someone else will get hurt.
Do I think that the men on the beaten teams might feel embarrassed? Sure. Getting blown out sucks.
maybe the lesson they can learn is that you have to come to play otherwise you end up a cautionary tale about coming to play.
After six games, Chris Johnson has one hundred yard game and one touchdown.
A far cry from 2,000 yards, huh?
I hate to say I told you so but.... no wait that's a flat out lie. I LOVE SAYING I TOLD YOU SO.
I cautioned fantasy owners and Titans fans that when a guy misses preseason, it often ends with injury, under-performance or both. In this case not only did Johnson miss preseason but due to the lockout EVERYONE missed the off-season.
We have seen that rust on many players and we are seeing more than most on Johnson. He's not running with the pop he has in years past. He's not playing as fast as he has, isn't showing the vision, the determination, the elite ability we have seen in the past.
He's stuck in neutral.
He's out of synch with an offense which is led by a new, veteran quarterback and a different game plan.Had he been in training camp, would he be struggling?
Possibly. There is a school of thought that he may be feeling the after affects of a massive number of carries in the first three years of his career and could be wearing down prematurely. (sidenote-this is why I have no issue with asking for more money. You never know when you will fall off a cliff career-wise)
Somehow the Titans have eked out three wins without dominating performances by Johnson, in large part to the unexpectedly solid quarterback play of Matt Hasselbeck. I've waited for the wheels to come off and this three game skid?
Car bottomed out.
They should win against the 'holy cow how bad are they really' Colts but after that? Cincy, Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa, Buffalo, New Orleans? All look like tough matchups for the team.
Chris Johnson needs to get right and soon or this season looks to be very ugly.
And Now a Segment To Make Jets Fans Grumpy
I'm going to lay this out there and I want you to hang with me long enough for me to explain what I mean. OK? Deal?
Remember the quarterback I described near the start of the column? The one you thought was Tim Tebow?
Yeah, I was describing Mark Sanchez.
It struck me as I read and listened to analysis on Tebow's Sunday outing that I'd heard many of the things being said before.
Tebow is Denver's version of Mark Sanchez.
Bear with me a second.
By no means are they the same quarterback. Sanchez's mechanics are far more sound, he's more confident under center overall, and he has had a much better team around him. Sanchez also came out of college too early.
Tebow is a beast running the ball (though both are dangerous and work well on the run), can be more accurate (then Sanchez) and has a much less solid team around him. Tebow was one of the greatest college quarterbacks of all time and was a seasoned starter by the time he entered the league.
Look at that first paragraph again though and tell me it doesn't equally describe both guys.
Both Sanchez and Tebow make baffling decisions early in games and both guys have accuracy issues.
(Yes, I know Tebow was an incredibly accurate quarterback in college. This is the NFL and thus far? Not so much.)
Both guys can play well on the run (Tebow is a far better pure runner) and actually seem more accurate and effective on the move.
Both guys have some pretty strident detractors and loyalists as well, often in open defiance of reason and logic.
When the chips are down and the team is behind, both guys can lift their offense up in a way that completely contradicts the entire game to that point and get a 'W'.
Sanchez can't always do it and I can guarantee Tebow won't either. However, they have both proven they can do it which is no small thing.
Super-Tebow is just getting started while The Sanchize is three years in and should be showing more improvement.
However, there are some real similarities to the way these two quarterbacks are described and criticized.
I have my doubts about both players at this point. One thing I do not doubt is their ability to fire up their teams when the chips are down.
Again, they have some pretty big differences in their games.That's pretty obvious.
It just struck me that they have some pretty big similarities as well.
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