Wednesday Morning QB (NFL Week 10)

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The NFL is through the halfway point of the season as team prepare for their playoff run and potentially a run at the Super Bowl. That is only becoming tougher for some teams who have struggled to find their feet in the first half of the season. These teams are trying to use this second half to make up the ground they lost as they try to adjust and fix their issues before it is too late. Meanwhile other teams are just hoping that they can continue their strong start to the season through the second half of the season. That is easier said than done as the NFL season is extremely unpredictable with anything possibly happening to derail a strong first half. That was seen in a big way this past week as the Arizona Cardinals saw a big blow to their playoff hopes. The Cardinals had the best start out of any other NFL team in the first half moving to a 7-1 record and sitting at the top of the league. Heading into the next half of the season they seemed like the early favourites to win the Super Bowl. They hold a stingy run defence that ranks among the best in the league while the rest of their defence is solid but not great. Their offence is much the same as they are not a powerhouse the likes of New Orleans, Denver, or Green Bay but they do enough and score enough points to get the wins they needed to climb up the standings. That formula may not be the most sound as they were not overly great at anything but were good enough at everything to win games. Now they will have to try to be good at everything without one of their key pieces. Against the St. Louis Rams the Cardinals saw their new steady hand at quarterback go down. Carson Palmer left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury and later in the week was placed on the Injured Reserve, ending his season. It’s not that Palmer was the be all and end all of the Arizona offence in fact he ranks 27th in the NFL in passing yards, 19th in touchdowns, and 24th in passer rating. They are underwhelming numbers to say the least as Palmer is just average. What he did bring to the Cardinals though, was his ability to lead a young team and provide the steadiness of a veteran quarterback. What he had done better than most in the league was not make stupid mistakes and put his team in a bad spot that are hard to overcome. He was the steady hand that has helped this offence to improve and move the team to the top of the league. The loss of Palmer is going to be an interesting storyline to watch for the rest of the season as Drew Stanton now takes over at quarterback. Stanton has been in the league since he was drafted out of Michigan State in 2007, yet he only has a total of 280 pass attempts in that time. He has been a career backup before now and he could be the reason that the Cardinals fail to make the playoffs. Then again he could be the reason why the Cardinals make the playoffs at the end of the year. For many Stanton is not the collapse of this team as they believe Stanton has what it takes to keep this team at or at least near the top of the team. They have been a defensive first team in the first half of the season to begin with so if the offence takes a back seat with a new quarterback it might not be the worst thing. That is fine enough to think about but the thing that Palmer did so well could be the downfall of Stanton. When an inexperienced quarterback takes over a team they are prone to mistakes and that is what Palmer continued to avoid. If Stanton falls into that patter the Cardinals’ plans at a Super Bowl may be gone faster than they could truly begin. It is an interesting part to the second half of the season as the cards try to continue their run to the playoffs with a new quarterback and a lot of questions heading into their most important stretch of games this year.


Fifth Quarter:
(Thoughts on Week 10 in the NFL)

The Return of the Instigators
Earlier this year the NFL saw a very dark period that is still creeping up and creating damage to the brand of the league which could only get worse as the league prepares for the potential return of Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice with their court cases coming to a close

Beginning of the end for Trestman
It was not a good night for Chicago football as the Bears were dominated by their longtime rivals, the Green Bay Packers, and after the loss the sentiment grew to fire Marc Trestman in only his second year in the NFL

Another one down for the 49ers
The 49ers have not been the team they used to be from the last few years and a lot of that has to do with key injuries that only got worse as they saw Aldon Smith go down in what seems like a season-ending injury only hurting their depth on the defensive side of the ball

Incognito back in the NFL
A year after he was thrown out of the league due to a bullying scandal as a member of the Miami Dolphins Richie Incognito may be ready for a return as the Denver Broncos invited him to a workout as a contract may be next


Key Scores:
Cleveland Browns 24 – 3 Cincinnati Bengals
– The Cleveland Browns not only won but they made a statement in their divisional matchup on Thursday night with as their defence showed its might and the offence did enough to beat the Bengals and take over first place

Dallas Cowboys 31 – 17 Jacksonville Jaguars
– The Cowboys and Jaguars took a trip overseas for the last London game of the season as the Cowboys recovered from a bad week with Tony Romo back in the lineup showing just how important he is to the team

San Francisco 49ers 27 – 24 New Orleans Saints
– The Saints were coming off of a big win against the Green Bay Packers showing that their offence was back but they fell in the next game continuing an inconsistent season as the Niners took the win with a game-winning field goal

Green Bay Packers 55 – 14 Chicago Bears
– One of the best rivalries in the NFL has not been what it used to be as the season series has been one where the Packers have dominated including this one where they recovered from a bad loss in Week 9 to easily get by the Bears


Next Week:
Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns (Sunday November 16th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Browns are riding high right now as they hold first place in their division for the first time since 1999 but that can be a dangerous place to be as they take on the Texans who may not have the best record but are still a team that can beat the Browns

Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers (Sunday November 16th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Falcons and Panthers were expecting a different outcome this year as they have not seen the offences they were expecting and are now in desperate need of a win to get back into the hunt as they face each other in Week 11

Cincinnati Bengals vs. New Orleans Saints (Sunday November 16th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Bengals and Saints are coming off of bad losses in Week 10 only after putting together some promising wins and they look to get back to the winning in Week 11 when they face each other trying to get back on track

New England Patriots vs. Indianapolis Colts (Sunday November 16th; 8:30 pm ET)
– Andrew Luck takes on another legend in the game as he continues to try to solidify himself as the best young quarterback in the game by facing off with Tom Brady and hoping that he can take another win over a living legend

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