Monday Morning Quarterback Week 5
St. Louis RamsArizona Cardinals
Not much positive to report in this game. Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb did not throw any interceptions and he completed 28-of-50 passes. St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford threw two TD passes and directed the Rams to an important victory.
Kolb may have been the quarterback of an undefeated team coming in, but few believed he was the real deal and he could not complete any scoring drives in this game. Bradford lacked consistency, completing just 7-of-21 passes.
Miami DolphinsCincinnati Bengals
The Dolphins don’t have much going for them in terms of offensive talent, but rookie Ryan Tannehill directed them to a road win over a playoff contender. That should boost his confidence, as should completing 17-of-26 passes for 223 yards.
Andy Dalton is going to have to show he can cope with adversity after a poor effort against the Dolphins. He only threw 1 TD pass while tossing 2 interceptions. He lacked the ability to finish drives that he had displayed in earlier games.
Indianapolis ColtsGreen Bay Packers
Rookie quarterbacks are not supposed to be able to lead comeback wins against Super Bowl contending teams. That’s just what Andrew Luck did, as he completed 31-of-55 passes for 362 yards with 2 TDs and just 1 interception.
While Aaron Rodgers had a fine statistical game by completing 21-of-33 passes for 243 yards with 3 TDs, he couldn’t help the Packers hold on to a big early lead. The biggest issue is the lack of protection he is getting from his offensive line.
Baltimore RavensKansas City Chiefs
Joe Flacco doesn’t have anything to feel good about in terms of his numbers, but he played with maturity. He knows that going on the road against a troubled team can be a tough assignment and he kept his cool and led the Ravens to an ugly win.
Matt Cassel is demonstrating that he’s not the answer in Kansas City. He completed 9-of-15 passes for 92 yards with no TDs and 2 interceptions before he was replaced by Brady Quinn. The Chiefs have no offensive cohesion.
New York GiantsCleveland Browns
The Giants were coming off a painful defeat at Philadelphia and quickly fell behind 14-0 to the Browns. Eli Manning barely blinked as he threw for 259 yards and 3 touchdowns while leading the Giants to an offensive explosion. Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden looked solid in the early going against the Giants’ defense.
Weeden is going through the typical growing pains of any young quarterback. He threw 2 interceptions to a Giants pass defense that has been quite vulnerable. Weeden is making slow progress, but he’s a long way from becoming a dependable quarterback.
Pittsburgh SteelersPhiladelphia Eagles
Ben Roethlisberger did not throw a touchdown pass but he also kept it clean on the interception side of the ledger. Michael Vick completed 20-of-30 passes for 175 yards and threw 2 scoring passes without tossing an interception.
Vick can’t seem to hold on to the ball. He fumbled the ball three times and the Steelers recovered two of them. Roethlisberger needs to give the Steelers a bit more in the passing game.
Atlanta FalconsWashington Redskins
Matt Ryan had to deal with serious adversity in this game as the normally productive Falcons ground attack was absent against the Redskins. Ryan completed 34-of-52 passes for 345 yards and 2 TDs as Atlanta eventually took charge. Washington backup Kirk Cousins did a reasonable job in relief of the injured Robert Griffin III.
The report out of the Redskins lockerroom is that RGIII suffered a mild concussion in the loss to the Falcons. While tests will determine his status for next week’s game against the Vikings, RGIII said he believes he will be able to play against the Vikings.
Seattle SeahawksCarolina Panthers
The Seahawks are not going to win a lot of offensive showdowns this season. That’s fine with rookie Russell Wilson, who just wants to win. He led the Seahawks to a tough road victory by completing 19-of-25 passes for 221 yards. His TD pass to Golden Tate late in the third quarter gave the Seahawks a lead that they would not relinquish.
Cam Newton is battling hard to stay above water, but he is not winning that fight. He could not find his rhythm against the hard-charging Seahawks and complete just 12-of-29 passes for 141 yards.
Chicago BearsJacksonville Jaguars
The Bears are starting to look like one of the best teams in football and Jay Cutler is holding up his end. After an early interception, he was sharp as he completed 22-of-39 passes for 232 yards with 2 TDs.
Blaine Gabbert displayed plenty of toughness and guts, but he made too many mistakes for the Jaguars. He completed 17-of-33 passes for 142 yards and the two interceptions he threw were both returned for touchdowns.
Minnesota VikingsTennessee Titans
Christian Ponder continues to take what opposing defenses give him. While he rarely goes downfield to attempt a deep pass, he understands how to read defenses and is a consistent short- and medium-range passer. If this sounds like a game manager, the 4-1 Vikings will gladly take it.
The Titans are collapsing and backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is not good enough to do anything about it. It’s not his fault that the Titans have given up 30 points or more in each of their five games, but he lacks the firepower to ignite the offense.
San Francisco 49ersBuffalo Bills
It’s hard not to be shocked by San Francisco’s explosiveness on offense. Alex Smith was a razor-sharp 18-of-24 for 303 yards and 3 TDs without throwing an interception. For this game, he looked like he deserved to be mentioned with all-time San Francisco quarterbacks like Y.A. Tittle, John Brodie, Joe Montana and Steve Young.
It’s not all Ryan Fitzpatrick’s fault, but the Buffalo Bills have fallen off the planet after giving up 97 points in the past two games. Fitzpatrick has no clue how to turn off the negative momentum once it gets started.
New England PatriotsDenver Broncos
A superb show by future Hall of Famers Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Manning completed 31-of-44 passes for 345 yards and 3 TDs without any interceptions against the generous New England pass defense. Brady was surgical as he completed 23-of-31 passes for 223 yard with a TD pass to Wes Welker.
While neither quarterback made any huge mistakes, it took Manning until the second half to get the Denver offense percolating while Brady had a hard time sustaining the New England offense in the fourth quarter.
New Orleans SaintsSan Diego Chargers
Drew Brees broke Johnny Unitas’s record for consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass when he hit Devery Henderson with a 40-yard TD pass in the first quarter. That marked his 48th consecutive game with a TD pass. He also threw four TDs in the game, leading the Saints to their first win of the season.
Philip Rivers did not have a bad game as he threw for 354 yards and 2 touchdowns, however he could not sustain the attack once the Chargers built a 10-point lead in the third quarter.