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Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III could have run out of bounds, thrown the ball away, or slid feet first before a defender was near him. But he did not do any of those three things, but instead he was knocked out of the game. Photo by Evan Vucci/AP Photo
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss has found a new home alright. The bench. He has not had much need for his gloves, as he only has nine catches on the season in five games. Photo by Jeff Lewis
RGIII vs. Luck... vs. Newton
For the first this season, Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III was out performed by Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. But it was not because Griffin played poorly.
Griffin started the game against the Atlanta Falcons completing 10 of 15 passes for 91 yards. He had already led the Redskins on one touchdown drive, and they were on their way to potential second touchdown drive when Griffin scrambled and was hit hard near the sideline. The hit gave Griffin a mild concussion and knocked him out of the game.
It has been said that a player's greatest ability is availability, and Luck was available for the Colts game against the Green Bay Packers, while Griffin was not for two and a half quarters.
Luck being available helped the Colts upset the Packers 30-27, as he completed 31 of 55 passes for 362 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. As good as Luck was, those numbers are not what Griffin has been putting up. Luck needed to throw the ball 55 times in the game, and he only completed 56 percent of his passes. On the season Griffin has completed 69 percent of his passes, which is amazing for a rookie and it leads the league. Luck has completed 54 percent of his passes for the season.
But where was Griffin in the Redskins 24-17 loss? Well he was not on the field.
The biggest fear for a mobile quarterback is the amount of hits that they take. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is a prime example of that.
The sideline is a quarterback's friend, and if he cannot get there, throw the ball away or slide feet first so that the defenders, by rule, cannot hit him. Griffin did not do any of those three things on the play that he was hurt on.
A quarterback does not want to take unnecessary hits, and that was just what Griffin did. He was running towards the sideline when he decided to turn up field to get more yards, but that turned out to be a bad idea. It appeared that he saw that he was not going to get any extra yards, so he started to slide feet first, but by then it was too late, and the defender legally hit him hard, knocking him out of the game.
The 17 points that the Redskins scored in that loss was the lowest of the season for them. Last season they had a horrible offense, and Griffin has changed all of that. So far this season the Redskins have point totals of 40, 28, 31, 24, giving them one of the highest points per game average in the league. But without Griffin, they only scored 17 points.
Griffin was not available, and his team lost. Luck was available, and his team won. So for the first time in five weeks, scoreboard goes to Luck. But he is still way behind in terms of the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Griffin is still blowing Luck out.
As for Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, last year's Offensive Rookie of the Year, it's not looking good, and for as much talent as he has, he is not looking or acting like a winner at all.
Newton has been up and down this year, with this past Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks being his worst outing of the season. He completed only 12 of 29 passes for 141 yards. That was good for a quarterback rating of 15.1, and he did not lead the Panthers to any touchdowns in their 16-12 loss.
The Panthers offense only produced three points in the game, as they scored their lone touchdown on an interception return, and they were awarded two points off of a safety when the Seahawks punter purposely stepped out of the back of the endzone with less than a minute to play in the game.
It appears that Newton is becoming an emotional wreck as he is becoming consumed with winning as his team continues to lose. After finishing 6-10 last year, the Panthers are now 1-4 this year. It's great that Newton cares about winning to that degree, but it looks like he is letting the pressure get to him, instead of staying calm during the tough moments, like most of the best quarterbacks in the league do.
Playing on a bad team is not helping Newton much. Even when he has had a great game, their defense was nowhere to be found. Last week against the Falcons, Newton threw two touchdown passes with no interceptions, he rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown, and he led his offense to 28 points. But they lost because the defense gave up 30 points.
The only game that the Panthers won was against the New Orleans Saints. All it took from Newton was completing 70 percent of his passes for 253 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions, and 71 rushing yards and a touchdown. In that game Newton led his offense to 35 points, and they still barely won because the defense gave up 27 points.
Newton needs to get a control of his emotions, and he needs more help from his defense.
Vick continues to struggle
Looking at the numbers, it appears that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick had a good game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He completed 20 of 30 passes, and threw two touchdown passes.
But this is not fantasy football.
The Eagles only scored 14 points in the game, and Vick had a key fumble at the two yard line as they Eagles were on the verge of scoring a touchdown, and if they did not, they could have kicked an easy field goal. The Steelers won the game 16-14.
Part of the blame needs to go on Eagles head coach Andy Reid, because he still cannot figure out that when the Eagles run more than they pass, they win.
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy only had 16 rushing attempts, even though the game was close throughout, and the Eagles even led in the closing moments of the game.
Vick fumbled three times in the game, losing two of them, which was really the difference in the game. He was also sacked twice. It appears that he is struggling to read the defense before the snap of the ball, so he is not seeing where the blitzers are coming from.
The best quarterbacks read where the blitz is coming from, and either change the play, or throw to the area where the blitzer left. Vick is not doing either of those things well.
49ers dominate the Bills
San Francisco 49ers 45, Bills 3.
There is really nothing more to say about that game.
There is not much to say about the Chicago Bears 41-3 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars either.
Those were just two really good teams blowing out two really bad teams.
The 49ers and Bears are two of the best teams in the NFC, but the Falcons look like they are the best, as they are only one of two undefeated teams. The Houston Texans being the other one.
The surprise team in the NFC at this point is the Minnesota Vikings, who knocked off the 49ers three weeks ago. This coming Sunday they travel to the Redskins. If Griffin cannot play at quarterback for the Redskins, then the Vikings will more than likely easily move to 5-1 on the season.
One thing that is not a surprise is that 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss has not been a factor at all, as he only has nine catches in five games. It is not a surprise because Moss did not play last year, and the year before, during the season he was traded by the Patriots, waived by the Vikings, and then retired after the Titans did not plan to resign him because of a lack of production.
Moss is the fourth leading receiver on the 49ers this year, behind Michael Crabtree (27 receptions, 311 yards), Vernon Davis (20-303), and Mario Manningham (19-186).
The only thing working in Moss' favor is that out of that group, he is probably the only one with a chance at the Hall of Fame.
Broncos continue to dig themselves into holes that Manning cannot get them out of.
The big question coming into this season was whether or not Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning would be able to come back from missing last season with a neck injury.
Well looking at the stats, sure, he's back.
Manning is the fifth ranked quarterback in the league with a passing rating of 101.2. He is second in the league with 1,507 passing yards, and fourth in the league with 11 touchdown passes.
So why are the Broncos 2-3? Well, they trailed the New England Patriots by 24 points before they made a late run this past Sunday. They ended up losing 31-21.
Against the Falcons they trailed by 20 points at two different times in the game before they ended up losing by six.
Against the Texans they were down by 20 points heading into the fourth quarter before they ended up losing by six.
Manning puts up good numbers throughout the game, but offensively they do not start putting points up on the board until they are down by a lot. And defensively, outside of linebacker Von Miller, they really do not have anybody on that side of the ball that is coming up big.
Miller, last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year, has been wrecking havoc in the offensive backfield, but in the Broncos 31-21 loss to the Patriots, quarterback Tom Brady had his way with the Broncos defense on plays where Miller was not able to get pressure.
If Manning is really going to be back, then he is going to have to put some points on the board in the first half, and the Broncos are going to have to be able to rely on more than one guy in defense.