If you want some laughs on this Sunday, check out the replies to my Tweet noting that Colin Kaepernick would give the Packers a much better chance of remaining competitive than
beloved former Giants coach Ray Handley. I’ve seen this here as well, but the number of Packers fans who reflexively defend Mike McCarthy also he’s largely squandered Arron Rodgers is astounding. As much as I like to make fun of NYC provincialism, if a Jets or Giants coach parlayed one of the 3 best QBs ever into a 10-8 postseason record, including somehow blowing a conference championship game in which your defense spotted you 4 INTs and 5 sacks, 100 out of 100 of their fans would want the coach fired directly into the sun. And they’re arguing that McCarthy was deserving of their complete blind trust although Hundley has been awful. Particularly amusing is the “BUT HE KNOWS THE OFFENSE” defense, which is hilarious if you see the passes McCarthy lets him throw when the game is close — like, I’m pretty sure Kaepernick would have picked up all three of those bubble screens by now. And, yes, many Broncos fans were hilariously defensive about Trevor Siemian for a season and a third despite the rather glaring signs that it was unlikely to work out, but at least they had just won a Super Bowl with sub-replacement level QBing, so you can forgive a little irrational giddiness.
Speaking of the Broncos, you’ll be amazed that picking up a QB coming off a sub-sub replacement level year to back up an NCAA mediocrity has not worked out especially well:
The Broncos tried to halt a three-game losing streak by replacing Trevor Siemian with Brock Osweiler, the quarterback the Texans paid the Browns to get rid of and the Browns are paying to play for the Broncos.
Given Osweiler’s pedigree, it’s no surprise that he threw for just 208 yards and a pair of interceptions in Sunday’s 51-23 loss to the Eagles. Osweiler’s lone touchdown was a garbage-time toss to Demaryius Thomas. He was also strip-sacked once and threw numerous passes that were nearly picked off.
The Broncos looked ready to quit on both sides of the ball before halftime, a sure sign that the veterans have zero faith in either Osweiler or the turnover-prone thirsty try-hard he replaced.
So…is it finally Paxton Lynch time in Denver?
Lynch, who has been recovering from a shoulder injury since late in the preseason, could be healthy enough to play next week, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The question is not whether he can be better than Osweiler or late-October Siemian—Gary Kubiak could return from the personnel department to play quarterback and outperform the other two Broncos options—but whether Lynch can be good enough to get the 3-5 Broncos back in the playoff conversation.
Lynch flunked his preseason audition, and the incredibly marginal Siemian marginally outperformed him in their offseason competition. While he has the most upside of the Broncos’ three-headed monstrosity, it’s hard to imagine him morphing immediately into Wentz/Goff/Prescott after one year on scholarship and two months in injury rehab.
These Broncos are a not great team with bad quarterbacks. Instead, they’re an overrated, average-at-best team with awful quarterbacks. The Eagles and other opponents have exposed cracks in their worn-out defense. They have no offensive playmakers other than Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Juggling quarterbacks won’t help unless one of them is Tom Brady, or at least some dynamic scrambler type who can make things happen on his own like…nah, let’s not go there right now.
Inserting Lynch won’t save this season, but it at least will let the Broncos start planning for the future.
OK, but Kaepernick WOULDN’T KNOW THE OFFENSE!
Some other notes:
- Dom Cosentino makes the case that the Saints’s defensive improvement is real.
- Frustrating as it was to lose Richard Sherman, there’s no evidence that Thursday games cause more serious injuries, although the fact that a lot of players find them unpleasant to play in is worth listening to.
- The Colts completely squandered Andrew Luck, and it’s far from obvious that Luck will ever be able to get close to what he should have been now. It’s a really sad story.
- In honor of the day after 11/11, how much more Browns could this be? And the answer is none. None more Browns.
- Jeff Fisher sighting! In addition to the staggering improvement of the Rams — Goff, who was Ryan Leaf bad last year, has been genuinely one of the best in the league last year, and that’s not just normal first-to-second year development — Case Keenum has gone from “awful” to “perfectly serviceable.” And let’s not forget the immense value of Wade Phillips — the Rams, who have had a lot of defensive talent going to waste for years, have gone from 15th to 3rd in defensive DVOA. Although I can understand why Elway wouldn’t want one of the best defensive coordinators of all time to interfere with the defensive vision of the new head coach, who presided over the 19th best defense in the entire National Football League in his one year as a defensive coordinator.