NFL Week 7 Picks: Grading Tim Tebow and 5 Other Fresh Quarterbacks

Craig HortonCorrespondent IOctober 24, 2011

NFL Week 7 Picks: Grading Tim Tebow and 5 Other Fresh Quarterbacks

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    Six quarterbacks made their first start of the 2011 NFL season in Week 7. The Raiders, Rams, and Seahawks did so because of injury.

    The Vikings started first-round pick Christian Ponder in a look to the future.

    The Redskins, looking for better play from the position, utilized John Beck.The Broncos ushered in the Tim Tebow era.

    How did these new starters do?

    Here are the grades from their first (and maybe only) start.

John Beck

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    John Beck started for the Redskins after benching Rex Grossman. It was his first start since 2007 in Miami.

    If the Redskins were looking for better play from the quarterback, they got it Sunday.

    Beck put up respectable numbers in Carolina. His stat line: 22 of 37 for 279 yards. He threw a late TD to Fred Davis to make the score look a little better. He had a rating of 80.8, passed for 14 first downs and rushed three times for 10 yards and another touchdown.

    On the negative side, he threw one interception, lost a fumble and the team was only 5 for 12 on third down.

    In his defense, Santana Moss and Tim Hightower were injured. The loss of Hightower effectively eliminated the Redskins running game. Hightower gained 88 yards, the rest of the team (including Beck) gained a net of four yards.

    Even though the result was a loss, Beck played better than Grossman did last week. At least for now, he will probably remain the Redskins starter.

    Grade: C+

Charlie Whitehurst

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    Two weeks ago the Seahawks stunned the Giants in the Meadowlands. Charlie Whitehurst filled in for Tarvaris Jackson and led the upset.

    The Seahawks had a chance to go into Cleveland and keep San Francisco in sight in the NFC West.

    Whitehurst got the start for the injured Tarvaris Jackson. For Seattle's sake, Jackson better heal fast.

    Whitehurst was 12 of 30 for 97 yards, had an interception and a 35.0 rating.

    The Seahawks gained only 137 total net yards, were two of 12 on third down and had a time of possession of 17:04.

    It didn't help that RB Marshawn Lynch missed the game with a back injury.

    When your defense only gives up two field goals, there is no excuse for losing. For that reason there is only one grade a quarterback can be given.

    Grade: F

Kyle Boller

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    After losing QB Jason Campbell last week, the Raiders traded for Carson Palmer. Palmer, who had been demanding a trade out of Cincinnati, had not played all year.

    Instead the Raiders started Kyle Boller. He didn't finish the game.

    His dismal performance: seven of 14 for 61 yards, three interceptions and a rating of 22.3. One interception was returned for a Kansas City touchdown.

    He was benched in favor of Palmer, who replicated his performance by throwing three interceptions of his own. One of those was returned for another Kansas City touchdown.

    With a game like that only one grade can be given.

    Grade: F

A. J. Feeley

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    A.J. Feeley got his first start since 2007 for the Rams versus the Cowboys.

    Too bad he doesn't play defense. The Rams gave up 294 rushing yards in Dallas—the most rushing yards the Rams had ever given up.

    Feeley didn't play totally awful. He was a respectable 20 of 33 for 196 yards and only one interception.

    It would be unfair to blame him for the loss.

    Grade: C

Christian Ponder

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    Christian Ponder made his first NFL start against the Green Bay Packers.

    If he was scared, he didn't show it.

    His first pass went for 71 yards to Michael Jenkins. The Vikings out-gained the mighty Packers 435-421. He threw two touchdown passes. He finished with 219 passing yards.

    He needs to work on his accuracy. He completed only 40 percent of his passes (13 of 32) and had two interceptions.

    If not for Head Coach Leslie Frazier electing to punt on the last Minnesota possession, he might have pulled off the biggest upset of the year.

    Once he gets some confidence, he will lead them to some wins.

    Grade: B



Tim Tebow

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    It is straight out of Hollywood.

    A young quarterback, making his first start of the season, goes back to the state where he had won a National Championship in college.

    He gets behind by 15 points, leads a fourth-quarter comeback, and wins in overtime.

    It's just a day in the life of Tim Tebow.

    For all those who said he would fail, most of the day they looked to be right. Tebow was less than 50 percent, passing (13 of 27), and he was sacked seven times.

    When the Broncos got the ball at their own 20 with 5:23 remaining they trailed 15-0. They had gained only 158 total yards at that point. It looked like they were about to lose to the winless Dolphins.

    Then Tebow and the Broncos took off going 80 yards in eight plays for a touchdown.

    They recovered an onside kick, then Tebow led a 10-play, 56-yard drive for another touchdown. There were 17 seconds left. Tebow ran himself for the two point conversion to tie the game and send it to overtime.

    The Denver defense won it by recovering a Dolphin fumble at the Miami 36. Two plays later, Matt Prater kicked a 52-yard field goal for an 18-15 win.

    What Tebow may lack in fundamentals, he makes up with effort.

    Grade: A