Tim Tebow to Start and Other NFL Week 7 Quarterback Story Lines
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At first glance, Week 7 doesn't seem to have a multitude of great matchups.
New England, Buffalo and San Francisco are contenders who have a bye this week.
A game like Colts-Saints looked good when the schedule was made, but now looks like a potential blowout win for New Orleans.
There is not even one game that will feature two teams that are currently above .500.
This week is all about quarterbacks.
The story lines for this week are mostly about quarterback changes being made. Some because of poor play by the previous starter, some because of injury and some looking at the future.
Washington at Carolina
John Beck is the new Redskins quarterback.
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The glass slipper finally slipped off the Redskins' feet last Sunday.
Going into Week 6 they actually led the NFC East. Could it be that Mike Shanahan was right to make Rex Grossman the starter after getting rid of Donovan McNabb?
No, last week Grossman played the type of game that got the doubters to say "I told you so." His passing performance: 9-of-22, 143 yards, a rating of 23.7 and four interceptions. For this he was benched in favor of John Beck.
Who is John Beck?
He's a 30-year-old California native who played his college ball at Brigham Young. Before Sunday's game against the Eagles his only other NFL action was playing in five games for Miami during their 1-15 season in 2007.
His career passing stats: 68-of-122, 676 yards, a 64.1 rating and only one touchdown.
He could be a threat as a runner. In 11 career rushing attempts, he has scored two touchdowns.
The Redskins need to help him by establishing the run. The Panthers are 31st in rushing defense.
Seattle at Cleveland
Will Charlie Whitehurst lead the Seahawks in Cleveland?
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Two weeks ago, before a bye week, the Seahawks went into the Meadowlands and upset the Giants. This week they go into Cleveland.
The Seahawks are 2-3, and with San Francisco on a bye, a win would put them only two games back.
The Seahawks have a favorable schedule. In the last 10 games, they play six at home. In addition to Cleveland, they play the Bengals, Redskins, Cardinals and twice play the Rams. Difficult home games include Baltimore, Philadelphia and San Francisco. If they can pull some more upsets, they might make some noise.
The Seahawks don't have a quarterback controversy—yet.
Tarvaris Jackson will be a game-time decision. If he can't play, Charlie Whitehurst will get the call.
Whitehurst filled in well in New York. He was 11-of-19 with 149 yards and a TD in less than a half.
If Whitehurst plays and leads them to a win, you can be sure there will be those who will want to see him as the permanent starter.
Denver at Miami
It's Tebow time in Denver.
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Broncos fans who have been clamoring to see Tim Tebow be the starter will finally get their wish.
Tebow will get his first 2011 start in Miami. He will be playing in the state where he became an iconic figure at the University of Florida. There are sure to be hundreds of Tebow supporters decked out in his jersey in attendance.
It may almost seem like a Bronco home game.
The poor, winless Dolphins, with their much-maligned head coach Tony Sparano, will be the competition.
In reality, these are cellar-dwelling franchises. The Broncos have won only once, and besides Tebow and Reggie Bush, there is no compelling reason to watch this game.
The opinions on Tebow are mixed. Like some politicians, people either love him or hate him.
History will tell if he will be a success, or not. He might get a win in Miami, but he will need more weapons than the Broncos currently have to get this team out of the AFC West cellar.
Kansas City at Oakland
Carson Palmer got his wish—to get out of Cincinnati.
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What a difference a week makes.
One week ago, the Raiders were going into their first home game since the death of owner Al Davis.
In that win over Cleveland, quarterback Jason Campbell went down with a broken collarbone.
Apparently feeling no confidence in backup Kyle Boller, the Raiders made a trade straight out of the Davis playbook.
They shipped a 2012 first-round pick and a 2013 second-round pick to Cincinnati for disgruntled/retired QB Carson Palmer. Maybe the price was too high, but it was a chance Oakland had to take.
The Raiders are 4-2 and hope to remain in contention.
Last week Carson Palmer was watching games; this week he's the Raiders starting quarterback.
Can he shake the rust off and lead Oakland to the playoffs?
St. Louis at Dallas
Sam Bradford is expected to start.
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The Rams showed so much promise last year. After a 1-15 season in 2009, they were in the division race until the final game of 2010.
This year they haven't won a game.
Are they that bad, or has the schedule just been tough?
Yes, and yes.
The bad: The Rams are last against the run. They are 23rd in rushing, 25th in passing. The passing game has produced only three touchdowns.
The schedule: Philadelphia, New York Giants, Baltimore, Washington and Green Bay. This week Dallas, next week New Orleans.
It will get better in the second half of the season, but playoff hopes are already gone.
Sam Bradford is a young quarterback with a bright future in the NFL. He suffered a high left ankle sprain against the Packers. However, he should play in Dallas. If not, journeyman A.J. Feeley is his backup.
The Rams made a trade to get WR Brandon Lloyd from Denver.
Will he be the go-to-guy who Bradford has been needing?
Green Bay at Minnesota
Christian Ponder: The future is now.
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The more things change, the more they stay the same.
For Donovan McNabb, different venue, same result.
After spending just one year in Washington following 11 seasons as the Eagles signal-caller, McNabb lasted exactly five games as the starter in Minnesota.
Now the Vikings will start No. 1 pick Christian Ponder.
Ponder, out of Florida State, was a surprise pick at No. 12 in the 2011 draft.
It is up to him to pull the Vikings out of the hole that the Brad Childress-Brett Favre debacle put them in.
Going up against Green Bay might not be the best game to break a rookie QB in.
On the other hand, it should get easier after playing the best.