Wednesday Morning QB (Week 3)

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There is a debate that seems to always arise pretty early in the season as the NFL continues to evolve as a league and a sport.

The NFL has, like every full contact league, seen the effects of the revelations of what head injuries due to former players.

Although the debate about what effect they have seems to be ongoing, despite the obvious signs that the hits many took in their careers have left them in some serious pain.

As more people realize that the league has begun to see viewership decline and participation in minor league football decline.

It is a serious issue that no contact sport has been able to figure out but all are trying to do that and to do that they are beginning an attempt to lessen those blows.

The NFL has passed a number of rules in the last few years all aimed at reducing those hits that are likely to cause concussions.

They have looked to take head hits out of the game and prevent players from lowering their heads to hit with the crown of the helmet.

All of this has been an attempt to reduce those head injuries that have become a major concern for so many.

Along the way, though many believe they have done too much to stop the hits and that things are going the opposite way.

They believe that the league is starting to take the physicality out of the game altogether and that seems to have come through in rules specifically to protect the quarterback.

This is a process that began before the head injuries became a major concern for the league.

Quarterbacks have been growing in popularity and importance making the league look to protect them more and more.

They have passed rules to make sure that quarterbacks can stay on their feet the entire season without losing them.

They are the most valuable players in the league both on the field and in the bank accounts of the teams.

So the NFL began passing rules like stopping players from making contact with the head and stopping them from being hit in the legs.

It has left a small target zone for NFL defenders to hit but they still had that ability to find a spot to hit.

This offseason something else changed as the NFL passed a rule that states that players are not allowed to fall on the quarterback with their full body weight.

This was essentially a rule that was put in place because of the injury to Aaron Rodgers last year when he broke his collarbone after Anthony Barr landed on the QB who was rolling out of the pocket.

The new rule has been in effect for three weeks and the team that the rules was created about is now seeing the other end.

Clay Matthews has been flagged three times for roughing the passer and in each of the three hits, things have got progressively more confusing.

There is no doubt that the Week 1 penalty was just a dumb move by Matthews at an important part of the game.football-sidebar

The next two were more interesting as Matthews seemed to hit the quarterback with perfect timing and then followed through on the hit.

The penalty he received in Week 3 seemed like a clear routine hit on the quarterback after a great get-off from the ball.

Then the flag came and not many seemed to know what else Matthews could do to hit the quarterback.

There was no lift and drop or an obvious fall o the quarterback other than the weight that comes with a regular hit.

It was a strange call for so many and it blurred the line between a legal and illegal hit putting the game in a strange spot.

This week William Hayes blew out his ACL when he looked to avoid landing on the quarterback.

Some believe it is a good case as to how the NFL has gone too far in trying to protect players from hits.

This new rule will continue to come under scrutiny as it continues to be called and players try to adjust.

Whether they will ever be able to adjust is the big question with some of the calls looking like they are quite simply unavoidable.

Whether the league needs to make the adjustment in how they call things or the players need to avoid those hits eventually it will become a part of the game.

It is a constant battle between keeping physicality in the game but avoiding those costly injuries and that battle is far from over.

 

Fifth Quarter

Getting Rid of the Headache

The Pittsburgh Steelers have not had the greatest season so far only taking their first win this week. A big part of that has been the reported issues in the locker room between Antonio Brown not seeming happy and Le’Veon Bell continuing his holdout. The Steelers could be getting ready to get rid of the headache altogether as they are reportedly listening to trade proposals for their all-star running back. Bell doesn’t want to play under the franchise tag that the Steelers have kept him under of the last two years. With both sides not budging a trade could be the answer getting rid of the distraction of Bell and giving Bell a place to play.

Rookie QB Time

Teams will always have to deal with the struggle to find a quarterback that can be great in the league. They try everything they can and more often than not the answer is drafting a top QB and developing him. The problem is that the development of young QBs is almost impossible with pressure to start young quarterbacks coming from Week 1. For a number of teams, Week 3 turned into the last straw at the position. The Cleveland Browns brought in #1 pick Baker Mayfield while the Cardinals brought in Josh Rosen. They joined Josh Allen as the three rookie quarterbacks to see time. In Week 4 all three will start their games by bringing about new eras in every city, ones that will hopefully bring success.

The Most Satisfying Win

The Cleveland Browns have long been the worst franchise in the NFL and it all came to a head in 2017 when they failed to win a game. That 16-game losing streak in the regular season only stretched further when adding games at the end of 2016. Things were looking to turn around this year as they added a number of big-name players and drafted a promising QB in what seemed like a set-up for a potential comeback. They showed promising signs in Week 1 when they fought to a tie against the Steelers. In Week 2 a missed extra point prevented their first win in 19 games. After 365 days the Browns were finally rewarded for their patience and rebuilding earning their first win in a year and bringing a slight bit of hope to a long-suffering franchise.

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