If you want proof that QBs get too much credit for wins, take a look at the Browns.

There was simply no reason for Cleveland to continue to play Brian Hoyer.   He’s been average all season, and dreadful lately.

The justification?  “He led them to 7-5.”

Well he just led to them loss #6.

He’s been putrid for three straight weeks.  The Browns win this week with even below average quarterback play.  Pretty much anything but as bad as you can possibly get wins the game for them.

Cleveland hasn’t been winning because of Brian Hoyer, it’s been winning in spite of him.  Quarterbacks can be the reason a team wins or loses, but they can also be very much secondary to the outcome.  Too bad for Cleveland this week that Hoyer wasn’t more in the background instead of less.  They might have won.

This Week’s Sucked And Won

Peyton Manning, QB (DEN).  14-20 for 173 yards 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.  This wasn’t just a bad game for Peyton Manning, this would have been a bad game for pretty much anyone.

If you want proof that you have to look at sack statistics carefully, consider the Giants-Titans game this week.  Now, nothing against the Giants, because there are games like this all the time in the NFL, but against a pretty crappy Titans team, they got themselves 8 sacks.

At the end of the year, you may wind up looking at their defensive stats and scratch your head and say, “why wasn’t this team better.”

Sacks can be tricky stats.  They don’t always mean a defense is playing well.  A player can accumulate a lot of sacks against weak offensive linemen but get shutout the rest of the time and at the end of the year it may look like they played well.  Don’t be fooled.  Look at all the stats and if a guy seems like he has an awful lot of sacks despite not playing very well, look and see if he didn’t get most of them in meaningless situations.

Shocking realization of the week

LeVeon Bell became only the second player in NFL history to have 3 straight games with 200+ yards from scrimmage.  The other?  Hall of Famer Walter Payton.

Congratulations to LeSean McCoy on becoming the Eagles all-time leading rusher.  I have to admit, as an Eagles fan, I was surprised he came up on this record so quickly.  It doesn’t seem like LeSean has been around all that long compared to guys like Brian Westbrook and Wilbert Montgomery.  I guess time flies.

This Week’s Great But Lost

A.J. Green, WR (CIN).  11 catches, 224 yards and a touchdown.  He accounted for 75% of the Bengals’ passing offense and 55% of their total offense overall.  He’s the best wide receiver in football right now. Period.

In the ha-ha FU category, the St. Louis Rams on Sunday trotted out six team captains for the coin toss in their game against Washington.  The six players were the ones acquired by St. Louis from Washington in the draft day trade for Robert Griffin.   St. Louis punctuated its F-U by shutting out Washington to post back-to-back shutouts for the first time since the 1940’s.

Thursday Pick:   Arizona (+4.5) @St. Louis (Stations)

Arizona @St. Louis o/u 40.5 (Stations)

I am absolutely stunned to see St. Louis favored by this many points against an Arizona team that has had the best of the matchup over the years.  It won’t shock me if the Rams win the game, but it’ll be low scoring and it’ll be close.  4.5 is too many for either side to be favored by.

It probably goes without saying, as well, that I like the under here.  Both defenses are terrific, and even though the Rams two shutouts were against the Raiders and Washington, Arizona isn’t putting up more than 20 against anyone these days.

Arizona Cardinals 17 St. Louis Rams 16


“Good victory tonight.  Ten victories has always been a benchmark. Maybe it will be 11 this year.” – Packers coach Mike McCarthy.  Sorry, coach, but can you imagine the mutiny in Green Bay if you blow the end of the season of only wind up winning 11 games?

“I just don’t feel like we’re us.” – 49ers RB Frank Gore, after losing to the lowly Raiders.

“Football’s an emotional game.  We had a discussion. I’ve already had another discussion with him. Football gets fiery out there. It’s good.” – Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, after it appeared he had several angry exchanges with DT Jared Odrick.

“But other than that, no, it doesn’t impact you at all. You’ve got to go defend the offense, you don’t defend the player, particularly a midget.” – Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, no whether it matters if the nexst opponent Cleveland starts Johnny Manziel at QB.  He later apologized.

“That was a great run, one of the best half-yard runs I’ve ever seen in my life.” – Colts QB Andrew Luck, on the Colts’ winning touchdown play against the Browns.

“I don’t want to necessarily say the young guys have to learn that.  This wasn’t their first football game. They know it.” – Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis, on whether Jacksonville’s youth caused them to let up a week after getting a win.

“From my vision, I thought he regained possession of the ball, but I’m not making that call.  Go on to something besides the officials. I don’t have anything good to say.” – Chiefs coach Andy Reid.

“I like Kirk. He did some good things when he was in there. Obviously, the turnovers plagued him pretty hard. But that doesn’t mean he’s not going to get another opportunity this year. Does not mean that at all.” – Washington coach Jay Gruden, on the latest bum he plans on playing at quarterback.

“You need to tell the Philadelphia police that they need to put an APB out, because Sanchez is out there trying to impersonate a good quarterback.”  Seattle DE Michael Bennett, trash talking after beating the Eagles.