Browns, Panthers Face Quarterback Controversies Coming Out Of Week Three
After accumulating a combined 0-6 record, with their quarterbacks amassing three combined passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions, the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers find themselves in similar holes: at the bottom of their divisions.
Behind the poor play of Brady Quinn in Cleveland and Jake Delhomme in Carolina, neither team has gotten much going on offense. The Browns have only scored two touchdowns all year, and one wasn't an offensive score: Josh Cribbs scored on a punt return in Week One. The Panthers have done slightly better, scoring four TDs, two on the legs of star running back DeAngelo Williams.
Both teams have had plenty of kicking success, with Cleveland's Phil Dawson 4-for-4 in field goals and Carolina's John Kasay 3-for-3, but teams don't win games on strong kicking alone.
Cleveland coach Eric Mangini has already tried to shake things up, inserting Derek Anderson in the second half of last week's 34-3 loss to Baltimore and naming him the starter for this week's game against Cincinnati. While Anderson went a solid 11-for-19 for 92 yards against the Ravens, he also threw three interceptions.
Carolina coach John Fox continues to reiterate that Delhomme's starting status is safe. Currently, the only other quarterbacks on the Panthers' roster are A.J. Feeley and Matt Moore, neither of whom have done much in the NFL. Moore is 6-for-11 this season with an interception, and Feeley hasn't seen game action since Dec. 12, 2007, when his Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Seattle Seahawks 28-24. In that game, Feeley was 19-for-42 with four interceptions.
Fans continue to call for the head of Delhomme in Carolina, and Anderson hasn't shown signs of reverting to his 2007 form in Cleveland, putting both teams in a sticky situation. Regardless of each team's strength in the backfield (Williams in Carolina and Jamal Lewis, when healthy, in Cleveland), neither team is going to dig itself out of the hole without better play under center.
It may be in either team's interest to trade for a quarterback to try and get through the season. Regardless of the name status of Anderson and Quinn in Cleveland, neither quarterback appears to be as reliable as Mangini would hope. The Browns can't switch between two mediocre quarterbacks and expect to win games.
Perhaps somebody should put a call in to the Minnesota Vikings, who currently have a quarterback surplus. With two former starters in the NFL, Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, backing up the ageless Brett Favre, it may be worth it for one of the teams to take a chance and try swinging a deal.
As for the other team? I know it's been suggested by everybody else in the world, and not to sound like a broken record who can't come up with his own suggestions, but Jeff Garcia is available...
Another quarterback who's currently looking for work is Gus Frerotte, who went 8-3 as the Vikings' starter last season, before going down with a back injury. One of those two, however, may end up heading to Oakland to replace the struggling JaMarcus Russell, whose 39.8 quarterback rating is worst in the NFL.
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