Wednesday Morning QB (Week 8)

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The quarterback is the most important position in the NFL with the evolution of the passing game but it is far from a static position.

Quarterbacks in the NFL have been a constantly changing thing as the position evolves from the start of the passing game until now.

When the passing game began the quarterback was expected to go under centre, drop back, and throw the ball.

It was the very basics of a passing game and not complicated as the quarterback was only about how accurate they could throw.

Then the passing game began to evolve and the introduction of Air Coryell in San Diego brought a new evolution of quarterback.

The new system was all about spreading the defence and now the quarterback needed a strong and accurate arm.

They needed to throw the ball far downfield and so strong armed quarterbacks became the popular thing to find.

Then quarterbacks were supposed to be more athletic in order to run the bootleg and throw on the run with defences getting better at collapsing the pocket.

The newest evolution of the quarterback has been the duel threat quarterback that has dominated the NCAA for the last decade.

These quarterbacks have the arm to throw downfield and the accuracy to make the difficult throws.

What makes them different is their ability to not only get out of the pocket but run the ball and keep the defence on their toes.

The new evolution of the QB has yet to completely take hold as pocket passers like Drew Brees and Tom Brady are still the best in the league.

There are more of these new athletic quarterbacks coming into the league now than there have ever been before and they have had some mixed results.

QBs like Cam Newton and Russell Wilson are leading the charge of these new quarterbacks with plenty of rushing yards to go along with their passing yards.

One of the main reasons why these quarterbacks haven’t yet taken over the league is the fact that not all of these quarterbacks have been successful.

This year has been a perfect example of that as there have been multiple exciting prospects benched.

It started in pre-season when Robert Griffin III was benched for the pocket passer, Kirk Cousins. Griffin came into the league in 2012 as one of the top prospects in the league after winning the 2011 Heisman Trophy as a member of the Baylor

Griffin turned Washington around in a single season making them a contender until the final weeks of the season.

That is when he tore his ACL and LCL ending a great rookie year that showed plenty of promise for the future.

When he came back the next year he wasn’t nearly as effective due to a combination of the injury, along with future injuries, and the a lack of protection up front.

This off-season brought a QB battle that not many expected as Griffin was benched for a more traditional Kirk Cousins and so far it has kept them in the fight for the division with Griffin nowhere near a return.

This week another mobile quarterback joined Griffin on the bench as Colin Kaepernick learned that he was no longer the starting QB of the San Francisco 49ers.

Kaepernick was a product of the 2011 draft but was an unexpected one as the Niners took him in the second round with the idea of letting him develop under Alex Smith.

Then he proved them wrong as his second year in the league saw him burst out to be a leader of the new generation of quarterbacks.

His ability to run kept defences on their toes and his arm was enough to stretch the field. He eventually took the starting role from Smith and every year continued to build his stats.

This year though something has gone terribly wrong with only six touchdowns to five interceptions.

For the lack of production he was benched after Week 8 and a promising career seems to be on the ropes.

There are plenty of reasons for these QBs not to be as effective as they fail to surprise anyone anymore.

More than that though is the fact that many are competing with old school coaches who want their QBs to stand in the shotgun or under centre without moving much.

The lack of adjustment forces athletic QBs to do things they are not used to and therefore failing.

If coaches are willing to tweak offences to let their QBs do things they are familiar with these quarterbacks can take over the league.

As of right now the QB position remains in a state of change with some teams staying traditional and others going new age.

Whether it permanently turns to these athletic QBs or they remain few and far between remains to be seen but as of right now the fight continues.

Fifth Quarter:
(Thoughts on Week 8 in the NFL)

Looking to 2016
The trade deadline is not the most active time for the NFL but that didn’t stop the Denver Broncos from getting anther offensive weapons trading three picks to San Francisco for 2-time pro bowl tight end Vernon Davis

The End of a Career?
This week Steve Smith went down with a torn Achilles and he will not return but what makes it worse is that Smith planned to retire this year and if he continues that plan it would be a terrible way for a great receiver to leave the game

Bell Done Again
Last year the Pittsburgh Steelers were on a roll until Le’Veon Bell was hurt and this year they will need to figure out how to get by that setback again as their workhorse in the backfield went down with a knee injury and was placed on the IR for the season

Jets QB Troubles
In a week of big injuries the New York Jets may be in the biggest trouble as they had been playing good football with Ryan Fitzpatrick under centre but he went down only to be followed by Geno Smith as the Jets now look for help at the most important position


Key Scores:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23 – 20 Atlanta Falcons (OT)
– After the Falcons began the season as one of the many undefeated teams in the league they reached a new low in losing to the Bucs who have not played great this year but did enough to beat the Falcons in overtime

New Orleans Saints 52 – 49 New York Giants
– It was a shootout that not many saw coming as Eli Manning threw for six touchdowns in his best performance of the year but it wasn’t enough to overcome the NFL record tying seven touchdowns thrown by Drew Brees

Cincinnati Bengals 16 – 10 Pittsburgh Steelers
– The Steelers finally had Ben Roethlisberger back in the lineup but it wasn’t enough to knock off the Bengals from the ranks of the unbeaten as Roethlisberger didn’t do enough to win and the Steelers lost their workhorse in Le’Veon Bell

Denver Broncos 29 – 10 Green Bay Packers
– In a battle of unbeaten the Packers were the favourites despite playing in Denver and the Broncos proved that to be a bad idea as the defence shut down Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning showed that he has plenty left in the tank

Next Week:
Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers (Sunday November 8th; 1:00 pm ET)
– For the second week in a row the Packers will play an undefeated team as they travel to Carolina to take on Cam Newton and the Panthers looking to recover from their first loss of the season against a team that is trying to keep their roll going

Oakland Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday November 8th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Steelers are now without Le’Veon Bell but Roethlisberger is back and hoping to improve on a good but not great performance from Week 8 while the Raiders are trying to show that they are for real after starting the season well

Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts (Sunday November 8th; 4:25 pm ET)
– The Broncos proved something in Week 8 easily beating the Packers and now they look to continue that roll as Peyton Manning returns to Indianapolis for the second time since being cut with plenty to prove in front of his old fans

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys (Sunday November 8th; 8:30 pm ET)
– The East is a mess and a wide open race as every game between each team is vitally important with the Eagles trying to turn things around before they are out of the running and the Cowboys trying to stop a free fall in Dez Bryant’s second game back

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