If your favorite team lost an NFL game on Sunday, chances are you’re embarrassed about it. Some teams were falling behind faster than Dixie State did on Saturday when Cal Poly scored 21 points in what seemed like 10 seconds (OK, so it was really about three minutes) during the third quarter.
The average final score of an NFL game on Sunday was 34-13. If the cash for clunkers program had been extended to football games, the government would probably be looking for a way to cancel the program before it went bankrupt.
In what proved to be the best game of the day, Houston held off a huge rally late by San Francisco. Down 21-0, 49ers head coach Mike Singletary benched Shaun Hill after yet another ineffective outing and brought in Alex Smith.
Smith led a furious rally that uncorked a controversy about the starting job in the Bay Area. Personally, I never would have guessed that a No.1 overall pick would outplay an undrafted, free agent, eighth-year journeyman quarterback if actually given a real opportunity on a team that finally has some offensive talent.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Monday that Smith will be the starting quarterback next week. According to the article, Singletary said that the main reason for the benching was his “urge to kill someone while Smith was in the game faded.” Well, that and he thought Smith would give them the best chance to be competitive.
The 49ers aren’t the only Bay Area football team with a quarterback controversy. If I were Oakland, I’d probably be starting Jeff Garcia right about now. Oh wait, they cut him … right. At least Bruce Gradkowski only turned the ball over once. Sadly, Gradkowski’s passer rating of 72.3 in two games is almost double the rating of JaMarcus Russell.
Could the Raiders possibly be any more bipolar? They follow up a stunning win with possibly the worst game for an NFL team this season.
Benson blackballs Chicago
Speaking of bipolar, maybe only a diehard Chicago fan like me remembers Cedric Benson crying his eyes out on draft day after the Bears took him with the No. 4 pick. Just a few short years later, Benson was cut after all kinds of legal troubles and fights with cops (not to mention some horrible football games in between).
His career seemed over, until he signed with the one team that provides sanctuary for all NFL players with a criminal record, the Bengals.
Now, if there’s one thing that everyone has learned from dealing with an emotionally unstable ex, it’s not to piss them off or have them feel that they’ve been slighted.
Somehow the Bears did just that. Benson told the media last week that he thought Chicago had blackballed him, trying to prevent other teams from signing him by ruining his good name.
Unfortunately for the Bears, they were unable to convince him otherwise before the start of the game on Sunday. Benson looked like the second-coming of Jim Brown, running over any defender in his path en route to 189 rushing yards and a touchdown.
The other Johnson in trouble with twitter
While Chad (formerly Johnson) Ochocinco is generally known as the king of twitter in the NFL, Kansas City running back Larry Johnson is making a run at the crown.
“My father got more creditentials than most of these pro coaches,” he tweeted.
That in itself is pretty innocuous, but then he goes on to attack his own coach, Todd Haley.
“My father played for the coach from ‘Rememeber the Titans.’ Our coach played golf. My father played for redskins briefly. Our coach. Nuthn.”
I wish that I was making the spelling up, but those are the actual tweets, word-for-word.
But you have to wonder how Todd Haley became an NFL coach having never played football, even in college.
Well, I did a little investigative journalism (actually just looked him up on the internet) and found that Haley’s first NFL job was as an assistant in the scouting department for the Jets in 1995. Coincidentally, Haley’s father was director of player personnel in New York at the time.
So I’m thinking had Papa Haley not pulled some strings in 1995, the Chiefs might not be in such a poor situation right now.
That, or Larry Johnson could just shut his mouth and try to gain more than 2.7 yards per carry this season. Who’s right? I’ll let you decide.
Quinn losing money weekly
The saddest storyline comes from perhaps the most pathetic team this year – the Cleveland Browns.
Browns quarterback Brady Quinn was due to make an $11 million incentive if he took 70 percent of Cleveland’s snaps this season. With the team still in rebuilding mode and Quinn looking to be the team’s future, it seems like a no-brainer. That is, unless you’re Eric Mangini.
Instead of getting Quinn some valuable playing time, Mangini has instead decided to start Derek Anderson for the last three weeks after giving Quinn all of two games and a couple of quarters.
The only problem is, Derek Anderson is the lowest rated quarterback in the entire league. Yes, lower than even JaMarcus Russell.
Anderson is completing 43.8 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and seven interceptions. Meanwhile, Quinn completes 60.8 percent of his passes with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Although Anderson has 63 more passing attempts than Quinn, he has just 205 more passing yards.
Mangini told reporters after Sunday’s 31-3 loss to Green Bay that he never considered replacing Anderson, despite him being 12 of 29 for 99 yards with an interception and two fumbles.
This has me more confused than when people try to explain “Lost” to me. What exactly is it going to take? Even Russell finally got pulled from a game, despite Al Davis threatening to disband the team if Gradkowski saw the field.
Obviously Quinn could not possibly hope to succeed in Cleveland at this point, which is probably why he put his house on the market a few weeks ago. But in this economy, in Cleveland, good luck with that.