Monday Morning Quarterback: Week 9
San Diego ChargersKansas City Chiefs
The Chargers have been struggling but they got well against the Chiefs. This is especially true of Philip Rivers, who completed 18-of-20 passes and was razor sharp in throwing for 220 yards and 2 TDs without an interception. Matt Cassel completed 19-of-29 passes for the Chiefs.
While Cassel had a solid completion percentage, he could not throw a touchdown pass and looked indecisive when Kansas City needed him to be at his best. Cassel also lost a fumble and he is not dependable.
Denver BroncosCincinnati Bengals
Peyton Manning has been the most decisive player on the field throughout the last four weeks. That was once again the case against Cincinnati as he completed 27-of-35 passes for 291 yards with 3 TDs. Andy Dalton had a bounce-back game in throwing for 299 yards for the Bengals.
Manning had a brief blip in the second half when he threw two interceptions. He was able to bounce back from those errors. When the Bengals had a chance to take charge in this game, Dalton could not create any separation.
Baltimore RavensCleveland Browns
Joe Flacco did not do much for the Ravens, but he avoided mistakes and that’s what the Ravens needed to win this game. He completed 15-of-24 passes and he threw a fourth-quarter TD pass to Torrey Smith that allowed the Ravens to seize control of this game. Brandon Weeden is playing with a lot of guts for the Browns.
Even though Weeden is trying hard and was not cowed by the Ravens’ once-ferocious defense, he could not make big plays when the Browns needed them. He threw two interceptions and he did not get the Browns into the end zone.
Green Bay PackersArizona Cardinals
It was a strange game for Aaron Rodgers, who completed less than half of his passes while throwing for 218 yards and 4 TD passes. Rodgers was not as bad as those numbers sounded because he was victimized by uncharacteristic drops from the Packer receivers.
John Skelton is a virtual statue in the pocket. He has limited mobility and he can’t get away from pressure. Skelton threw for 306 yards, but he completed 23-of-46 passes. He only threw 1 TD pass and he was sacked twice.
Houston TexansBuffalo Bills
The Texans are not going to play their best game every week and neither is quarterback Matt Schaub. He completed 19-of-27 passes for 268 yards and threw 2 TD passes. The Bills depended on Ryan Fitzpatrick to keep them close and he did for most of the game.
Fitzpatrick showed he is capable of moving the Bills up and down the field, but he could not get them into the endzone. While this was not necessarily his fault, he was unable to make big plays when the Bills needed him most.
Indianapolis ColtsMiami Dolphins
Andrew Luck has already lived up to the hype of being the best No. 1 draft pick at the quarterback position since Peyton Manning, but he rose above expectations by throwing for a rookie record 433 yards against the tough Dolphins. Miami rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill was no slouch either. He threw for 290 yards and did not throw an interception.
There was not much to complain about from either team’s perspective. The only thing Miami head coach Joe Philbin can say is that Tannehill needs to figure out how to help his team hold on to the lead by sustaining second-half drives.
Detroit LionsJacksonville Jaguars
The Lions played a solid game from start to finish, and that’s been a rarity this year. Matthew Stafford looked comfortable for most of the game and he completed 22-of-33 passes for 285 yards and he did not throw an interception.
Blaine Gabbert was competitive for the Jaguars, but that’s not good enough to keep his team in the game. He threw 2 TD passes, but not until the Lions had taken firm control of the game. Gabbert tires hard, but he lacks know-how. Stafford did not throw a touchdown pass.
Chicago BearsTennessee Titans
The Bears had an explosive game and Jay Cutler did his part, but it was also about defense and special teams. Cutler took advantage of Tennessee’s porous defense by throwing for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns, all to Brandon Marshall. Cutler did a good job of pressing the Bears advantage throughout the game.
Matt Hasselbeck was in over his head against the Bears’ ferocious defense. He threw an interception to middle linebacker Brian Urlacher that was an easy catch and the future Hall of Famer was able to bring it back for a touchdown without much effort.
Carolina PanthersWashington Redskins
Cam Newton has certainly had his share of struggles this season, but he has been performing somewhat better in recent weeks. He was solid against the Redskins, throwing a touchdown pass to wideout Steve Smith and also running for a touchdown. Robert Griffin III was under duress for much of the game, but he played with remarkable poise in trying to lead the Redskins on a comeback.
RGIII could not throw a touchdown pass and was not as sharp as he had been in some games after taking some brutal shots. While he did some positive things running and throwing, he did not do enough to overcome Carolina’s physical defensive play.
Tampa Bay BuccaneersOakland Raiders
Josh Freeman continues his resurgent season. He did not need any heroics to lead Tampa Bay’s explosive offense. He completed 18-of-30 passes for 247 yards with 2 TDs and he did not throw an interception. Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer threw for 414 yards and 4 TDs in the defeat.
Palmer had an explosive day, but it was not enough to get the Raiders the much-needed victory because he threw 3 interceptions.
Seattle SeahawksMinnesota Vikings
The Seahawks continue to get solid play from rookie quarterback Russell Wilson in home games. Even though Seattle fell behind early, Wilson played with poise and confidence as he threw for 173 yards and 3 TDs without throwing an interception.
While Christian Ponder got off to a solid start early in the season, he has fallen off badly. He threw for 63 yards and an interception against Seatle. Since Ponder is so unproductive, the Vikings have become a one-dimensional offense.
Pittsburgh SteelersNew York Giants
This was a matchup of elite teams and elite quarterbacks. Ben Roethlisberger was sharp in completing 21-of-30 passes for 216 yards. Both of his TD passes came in the fourth quarter when the Steelers came from behind on the road to win the game.
Eli Manning did not have the kind of game that Giants fans are used to seeing from him. He completed just 10-of-24 passes for 125 yards and he did not throw a TD pass while throwing an interception. Manning has had two consecutive unimpressive games.
Atlanta FalconsDallas Cowboys
Matt Ryan continues to play at an MVP-type level. While he did not throw a touchdown pass against the Cowboys, he completed 24-of-34 passes for 342 yards and he did not throw an interception. Once again, Tony Romo had a productive night against a good defense. He threw for 321 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys.
While Romo was under pressure and did a good job of avoiding interceptions, he did not take advantage of the opportunities the Cowboys had when they had to settle for two short field goals in the first quarter.