Quarterback Concerns for Key Teams

Albert Raminfard

 

This week has been very interesting across the league with many teams needing and wanting to change their leader on the field: the quarterback. It seems as though many of the weaker teams in the league decided enough is enough and made chang­es to focus on their future, while others have sim­ply tried to find a solution to losing their leader for the season.

The biggest and most obvious loss has been Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, whose team has been completely lost without him, drop­ping every game this season thus far. Prior to this week, the big news was having Tim Tebow start over Kyle Orton for the Denver Broncos, and possibly implying that Orton would be up for a trade. Since that point, there have been multiple changes at quarterback for many teams trying to get their young quarterbacks in for some play time, while others had to make moves due to more season-ending injuries.

In Oakland, the Raiders did not hesitate to re­place Jason Campbell, who they lost to a broken collarbone, by trading for former Benglas quarter­back, Carson Palmer. I have mixed feelings about this trade because I do believe Palmer is a good fit for this team and has great potential, but the Raiders gave up a lot for him. Giving up a first round pick and another conditional 2013 pick for a 31-year-old quarterback, as well as leaving your­self with only two picks in the 2012 draft, doesn’t seem like the best idea. It is a bit difficult to justify the move considering Campbell was playing well before his injury. This move tells me the Raiders are poised to make a push for the postseason and, in doing so, are also trying to attract a good GM for their future. They have a 4-2 record and a legit­imate shot for the division or a wild card position at this point. On the other side this was a fantastic move for the Bengals, also at a surprising 4-2, who can now continue to rebuild and re-legitimize their franchise.

Losing Chad Henne for the year has left an already winless team looking that much worse. Henne wasn’t the greatest of talents already, and with Matt Moore leading the Miami Dolphins on Monday, the future of this season is looking very bleak. Their offense was helpless against the New York Jets, with an awful amount of poor throws and decision making by Moore in that game. Any Dolphins fan would be pretty worried at this point, hoping that his or her team drafts well and maybe even gets Andrew Luck.

In the NFC, the Redskins have given John Beck the start over Rex Grossman after his horrid performance against the hapless Eagles, throwing for four interceptions. When Beck was put into the game in the fourth quarter, they were able to score a touchdown and make the game close. I’m sure Coach Shanahan was left to wonder why he didn’t pull Grossman sooner. Beck may have the potential to keep the Redskins in the mix for the NFC East, especially since the whole division is underperforming. It also seems that Beck is going to be the starter for this franchise for at least a few more years.

The Vikings have decided to pull Donovan McNabb, after winning only one game with him under center. This will be the first time McNabb is a true backup since his rookie year. The Vikings have decided to put Christian Ponder in the mix because, at this point, it doesn’t look like this sea­son is going anywhere for them with the Lions and Packers way out on top. This is a smart move, as I feel there isn’t too much pressure to be left on him this season, and he can get game-time experience to prepare for next year. Personally, I’m quite curi­ous to see how he will do, considering where he was drafted.

Still, the question now remains: out of the weaker teams in the league, who will chase after Andrew Luck in the draft next season? The best fit for Luck, in my opinion, definitely has to be the Colts. Just like Peyton Manning was success­fully compared to his NFL-playing father, so too has Luck been associated with his NFL-playing father, Oliver. It is also clear that Peyton Man­ning is getting older, and he obviously just had a big injury, which makes you wonder how much longer he can last. Luck has the potential to con­tinue to maintain the pass-happy franchise that developed under Manning, not to mention the fact that he will have at least a season or two to learn from the best in the game before starting, a la Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre. By that same token, if Luck is drafted early, then he may be traded away just as current Giants quarterback Eli Manning was traded for Philip Rivers of San Diego in 2004.

There are definitely teams who need immedi­ate help at the quarterback position, and it is clear that Luck could definitely be the answer. He is head and shoulders above all other prospects, so I’m excited for any team he may go to.

Contact Albert Raminfard at [email protected]