NFL Full Of QB Quandaries Heading Into Week 3
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NEW YORK (AP) – Brett Favre had his worst day as a Viking, and a Minnesota team that thought it was set at quarterback is 0-2.
At least the Vikings are certain who their starter is.
After a Sunday full of injuries and interceptions, seemingly half the league heads into Week 3 with a quarterback quandary.
The Titans’ Vince Young was pulled after his third turnover against Pittsburgh. The Steelers needed all those takeaways from their defense because they’re down to their fourth-string quarterback.
Michael Vick won the battle of backups in the Eagles’ victory over the Lions, playing so well that now Philadelphia must answer questions about whether he should remain the starter when Kevin Kolb returns.
The Panthers’ Matt Moore and the Raiders’ Jason Campbell also got yanked as those two teams quickly soured on their new starters.
At this rate, maybe we’ll see a coach suiting up at quarterback for somebody.
“I know it won’t be me,” the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin said of who will start for Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay. “I’m not good enough.”
That’s all he knows. Ben Roethlisberger is suspended for two more games. Byron Leftwich, who was supposed to fill in, is out with a knee injury and was even released to make room for another defensive lineman, though he is expected to be re-signed Monday.
Then Dennis Dixon hurt his left knee early in Sunday’s game and didn’t return.
Charlie Batch took over and went 5-of-11 for 25 yards – and the Steelers still won thanks to their defense and special teams despite not scoring an offensive touchdown. Until Dixon undergoes some tests, the identity of their starter next Sunday is a mystery.
Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher insisted there’s no question about his quarterback situation. He said after the 19-11 loss that Young will start next week against the New York Giants.
The move didn’t work Sunday as backup Kerry Collins had two turnovers of his own.
“I wasn’t concerned honestly about his feelings at that point,” Fisher said of Young. “I was trying to win the football game. And he’s our starting quarterback, and he will start this week, OK? So you know it’s not an easy thing to do to anybody. But he is going to come back, start this week and play well.”
Eagles coach Andy Reid is also adamant that Kolb is his starter, no matter how many dazzling plays Vick racks up. With Kolb out with a concussion, Vick made his first start at quarterback since 2006 and went 21 of 34 for 284 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 37 yards – and frequently avoided losing yardage with his fancy footwork.
“We’ve got more plays for him than we did a year ago, so he’ll be on the field,” Reid said of Vick, who played sparingly last season. “It isn’t going to be five or six plays this year.”
The Eagles beat Detroit and backup quarterback Shaun Hill 35-32. With Matthew Stafford out with a right shoulder injury, Hill went 25 of 45 for 335 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.
Panthers coach John Fox isn’t making any assurances about his QB situation. Moore, anointed the starter after Carolina jettisoned Jake Delhomme and all his turnovers in the offseason, has six giveaways in two games after committing two more Sunday. He was benched for rookie Jimmy Clausen in the fourth quarter of a 20-7 loss to Tampa Bay.
Clausen was 7 of 13 for 59 yards with an interception.
Fox said it’s “way too early” to say who will start at quarterback next week against Cincinnati.
“Matt has not been benched by any stretch,” Fox said. “We’ll go with whoever gives us the best chance to win next week and that will take some time.”
New quarterbacks in Oakland and Arizona aren’t doing much better. The Raiders pulled Campbell after an ineffective first half against the Rams. Campbell was 8 for 15 for 87 yards and an interception before being replaced by Bruce Gradkowski. He was acquired from Washington during the offseason but lasted all of six quarters as the starter.
“I was surprised,” Campbell said. “We were down 7-3. We had been moving the ball. We just stalled when we got to the red zone. But at the same time, it was a decision that they made.”
Gradkowski rallied Oakland to three scoring drives and a 16-14 win, and coach Tom Cable said he hadn’t made any decisions about who will start next week at Arizona.
The Raiders will be facing an opponent with its own shakiness at quarterback. Derek Anderson earned the Cardinals’ starting job in the preseason, resulting in Matt Leinart’s release. In Sunday’s 41-7 loss to the Falcons, he was 17-of-31 for 161 yards and two interceptions.
Two guys who aren’t in danger of losing their jobs still had miserable days. The Jaguars’ David Garrard and the Ravens’ Joe Flacco each threw four interceptions in losses.
Compared with all that, the Vikings’ quarterback scenario looks downright rosy. Even if the 40-year-old Favre had three interceptions and no touchdowns in a 14-10 loss to Miami.
After throwing two interceptions at the Metrodome all of last season, Favre accounted for four turnovers in the 2010 home opener.
“It’s just hard to repeat those type of numbers and statistics and it’s hard to repeat wins,” Favre said.
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