Black Quarterback: The Different Tune Episode
by Brandon Simmons
Singing a Different Tune About Eli
There is a lot of noise being made about New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, and it’s a song that debuted last year but many people weren’t listening to the right way. If you remember, then-Giants head coach Bob Mcadoo infamously benched Manning for Geno Smith, while the team was in the middle if a severe losing streak. There was quick backlash from Giants fans, as well as general fans of the league, given the fact that the move ended Manning’s consecutive start streak; it just looked like a trash maneuver during an already trashed season. Fast forward to this season and there seems to be a frustrating sentiment with the franchise QB. Last week, wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. implied that he may not be happy with Manning’s performance. This week, it was reported quite a few players in the Giants locker room is getting frustrated with him. Perhaps the real kicker is former Giants quarterback and current Los Angeles Chargers backup QB, Geno Smith, tweeting that everyone owes Mcadoo an apology, amidst all the benching rumors this year.
It has always been kind of easy for Eli to dodge heavy criticism, up until recent years. He has always maintained somewhat of a low profile. There was some criticism lodged at him from time to time, but most of the blame would be shuffled to Beckham’s immaturity, the failure of his head coaches or the offensive line. But most of those things have been fixed to an extent. The Giants have a new head coach this yea; they got rid of right tackle Erik Flowers, who was giving up a crazy amount of sacks this year; and Beckham did appear to be working on his maturity, but he is still consistently putting up quality numbers. So there’s no one left to take the heat but Manning, as every quarterback does.
It’ being reported that Manning could be benched at some point this season and it would make for a disastrous end to a career that a lot of QB’s would die for. At 37-years-old, Manning has 2 Super Bowls under his belt, both coming from beating arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history. But that was close to 5 years ago and things have not been the same. In that season, Manning was only sacked 28 times; this year he has already been sacked 20 times through 6 games. New York probably feels that things are so bad, a major shakeup such as a quarterback change is needed to get the team’s attention and salvage the season while they still can. The only issue is how far will the talent drop off be for a replacement QB to come in right now? You don’t want another Geno Smith situation where the backup comes in and makes everything even worse.
A Loss Doesn’t hurt that Bad
The biggest game of the weekend was the New England Patriots hosting the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football, with the Patriots pulling off with the 43-40 win. It was one of the best games of the year so far that did not go into overtime. Many NFL fans enjoyed the offensive spectacular between boh teams, but it’s unlikely the Chiefs and their fans enjoyed the loss. However, this loss was nothing to really be hurt over.
This was a stretch of the season that the Chiefs knew was coming up and would be tested on but so far they are passing…in a sense. Aside from the Jacksonville Jaguars game, the defense has not played well at all. They were able to get 4 picks against the Jaguars but still have given up 400 passing yards in that game as well as 2 others. The bright side is that their quarterback has remained nothing short of spectacular this year. Mahomes has only thrown for 4 picks this entire season, to go along with his NFL record 18 touchdowns to start the season. Sunday’s loss only proved that this team could probably beat you without a legit defense, if Mahomes continues to put up these numbers with this offense. The next game in their gauntlet will be another Sunday Night matchup, this time at home with the Cincinnati Bengals, who are making their own noise.
This 3-game stretch of the Jaguars, Patriots and Bengals was to show how serious the Chiefs can be and how solid is Mahomes. It’s hard to say how weak a team is because of their defense, especially when the offense is running through opponents like chitterling enchiladas. The next toughest game for the Chiefs will be the Los Angeles Rams in Week 11 and even their defense has been struggling lately. But as you saw on Sunday, relying on Mahomes hasn’t hurt the Chiefs that bad.
Silence Around the Jaguars
Before the season started, Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback did an interview with GQ magazine in which he called everybody’s quarterback trash; but after Sunday’s 40-7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys he was noticeably speechless:
You can’t blame Ramsey for being quiet on the recent struggle of his team but the fans will not be quiet and perhaps roast the Jaguars for their QB play. In his first 2 games, Bortles had 5 touchdown and 2 picks, including throwing for 376 yards in a 31-20 win over the New England Patirots in Week 2. Since then, he has thrown for 6 interceptions and 3 touchdowns. Bortles has been playing at a decent level for about a year and a half now, but he has always been questioned as whether he is a franchise QB. His success has always depended on some other mitigating factors, such as a great defense or solid running game; but never dependent upon his play. Right now, neither of those components are working and the only thing left to rely on is the QB position, which has not worked with Bortles at the helm. His career high was 35 TD’s and over 44 yards in 2015, but they missed the playoffs. However, last season he recorded his 2nd lowest totals in touchdowns with 21 and the team went 10-6; but Bortles still managed to only muster up 87 yards in the Wild Card round.
Shout out to the Baltimore Ravens for their franchise record 11 sacks. The dominant defensive performance led Baltimore to a 21-0 shutout of the Tennessee Titans.
Shut out to Kansas City Chief’s linebacker Breeland Speaks and the new roughing the passer rule. Sunday, the rookie was about to sack Patriots quarterback Tom Brady but inexplicably let him go as Brady scrambled in for a touchdown. Speaks’ excuse was he thought Brady threw the ball already and decided to let him go so he would not be penalized. It can’t be excused that you gave up a sack, but the rules should not get this lopsided in favor of the QB. The league has to legitimately fix this rule after this year before there won’t be any fans to watch the quarterbacks they are trying to protect.
This weekend, quite a few teams will be trying to clean up their act and right their early season wrongs. The Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles will be in Philly to get a potential postseason leg up on one another. Fresh off of his record setting Monday Night Football performance, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will take his team into Baltimore and face the Ravens, fresh off their rec0rd-setting defensive performance. Brees has never beat the Ravens and this could be the toughest defense they have faced all year. Given the fact that Baltimore is fresh off their sack performance, the Saints might run the ball a little more to take off the pressure; but until then…I’ll holla.
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