Reporting John P. Lopez
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Jay Cutler would have made it interesting. Perhaps — probably, even — the 8-1 Texans still would have won Sunday night’s showdown with the then 7-1 Bears.
But what should have been an epic ending to a brawl of a football game in a classic NFL setting turned into an uneventful dud that made Ishtar and Biodome seem riveting.
One reason: Cutler was out.
And that’s why the NFL needs to protect quarterbacks even more than they already do.
It’s the most important position in the NFL and we lost four last week — three to head injuries.
How do you protect the most important players and the NFL product, without sacrificing the violence and hitting that draws so many fans? Not sure if you really can, but you need to try. Elite quarterbacks pay the bills. I hate watching bad quarterbacking — and that was clear when Cutler went down against the Texans.
I was happy as a fan, but the end of the game was predictable and boring. No one — I mean NO ONE — believed Jason Campbell could make a seven-point game interesting.
As much as I hate to say this because I like the hitting as much as anyone, quarterbacks should not be hit above the shoulders or below the waist. Period. Perhaps the, “In The Grasp” rule should make a return appearance. And most important: They should be protected and the same rules apply EVERYWHERE on the field, not just in the pocket. Everyone on the field, especially in the NFL, knows who the quarterback is. For the sake of the game, it should happen, even after picks or turnovers when QBs are susceptible to cheap shots.
Part of me doesn’t like that fact and sacks will suffer. Part of me doesn’t like the fact that QBs will have such an advantage and defenses will face even longer odds. But not only do I believe it would be best for the entertainment value, I also believe that’s where the NFL is heading.