A number of teams wound up playing a backup quarterback today for a multitude of reasons. While some of the quarterback changes that took place this weekend should not warrant a large amount of speculation, the moves do indicate that teams aren’t willing to sit back and watch their teams under perform.
Here’s a look at the teams who could look to make a change at quarterback if their offensive struggles persist:
There is no doubt that Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles will have a firestorm to deal with if Kevin Kolb struggles in his return next weekend.
While Michael Vick was able to beat the Detroit Lions today, it wasn’t necessarily the most convincing win by the Eagles. The defense seemed to struggle more than Vick and the offense did. So far Vick has managed to accumulate 459 yards passing with 140 rushing and 3 passing touchdowns.
The good news for Kolb is that he and the Eagles offense will lineup against the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday. Jacksonville is coming off a big loss to the Chargers in which they gave up a total of 477 total yards. If Kolb cannot put points up against the Jaguars porous defense then he is in for ton of heat.
The Raiders made one of the most unforeseen moves of the day when head coach Tom Cable chose to bench Jason Campbell at halftime because of the three turnovers that he had already accounted for.
Bruce Gradkowski took over Campbell and actually led the Raiders back from being down 7-3 and went on to win the game 16 – 14. The thing that makes this move interesting is that Campbell seemed to be the vocal point of their offense. Replacing him with Gradkowski only complicates the team’s quarterback situation. To Gradkowski’s defense, he helped them win a couple of games last season when things looked to be over for the Raiders.
There is little chance that the team will seriously consider replacing Campbell in the near future. This should be taken as more of a warning that losing single-handedly to a team that is considered to be as bad as the Rams are will not be tolerated.
Vince Young basically had the same game as Jason Campbell had on Sunday. Young was taken out after his third turnover and was replaced by Kerry Collins in an attempt to get the team back in the game. Instead of the Titans pulling the game out like the Raiders did, Collins was nearly as ineffective as Young had been.
Titans head coach Jeff Fisher said that he wasn’t concerned about how Young felt about the move because he was trying to win a football game. He went on to say that Young will be the team’s quarterback moving forward.
Vince Young is the Titans future and both the front office and Jeff Fisher know that. The move today was an attempt to inject some life in a struggling offense that happened to be in a winnable game.
This situation may have more legs than some of the others will have. Matt Moore started for the Panthers on Sunday and was pretty ineffective other than a touchdown pass to Steve Smith. He was replaced in the fourth quarter by Jimmy Clausen who ended up throwing for 59 yards and an interception of his own.
Head coach John Fox has been rumored to be on the chopping block for the last two seasons so his future with the team will be determined by the team’s overall success this year. Moore played solid for the Panthers at the end of last season but has struggled during the preseason and regular season so far. Fox may be willing to roll the dice with Clausen and see if he can develop into the solid starting quarterback that they had hoped he would become.
The team announced that Dennis Dixon would be the team’s starting quarterback until either Byron Leftwich was healthy or Ben Roethlisberger returned from his suspension. The problem is that Dixon went down yesterday with a knee injury that so far doesn’t appear to be that serious, so the team was forced to bring in their No. 4 option, Charlie Batch. Thankfully for the Steelers, their defense didn’t need a productive offense to win the game.
The team will have to choose between Dixon, Leftwich, and Batch for this week’s upcoming game against the Buccaneers. Mike Tomlin will most likely not go with Batch unless Dixon’s and Leftwich’s injuries persist.
Everyone knew that the Cardinals offense was going to struggle without Kurt Warner but their offense has gone from a top-five offense to one of the five worst offenses in the league. The Cardinals would have gotten shutout yesterday if Tim Hightower didn’t break loose for an 80 yard touchdown run.
Starting quarterback Derek Anderson was taken out of the game after producing 161 passing yards and two interceptions. Rookie quarterback Max Hall was brought in to see if he could get anything going but he managed to throw an interception during one of his two pass attempts.
Despite the fact that the Cardinals looked really bad yesterday, it is very unlikely that Anderson will get benched in favor of Hall. The team has created the situation that they currently find themselves in and there doesn’t look to be a quick-fix solution to their problems.
The Jaguars game was a lot like the Cardinals game in that they were so far out of the game that they decided to take David Garrard out and not risk an injury or more embarrassment.
Luke McCown was brought in to replace Garrard and did a better job of taking care of the football.
Garrard isn’t exactly on the hot seat because of one bad outing that saw him throw four interceptions. Jack Del Rio is another coach that is considered to be on the hot seat which could influence his decision to keep Garrard as the team’s starting quarterback if he continues to struggle.
McCown didn’t play well enough to start a quarterback controversy just yet, but Del Rio will likely remember his ability to take care of the ball.