We are at the mid-season mark and already we have teams talking about moving on from their supposed franchise quarterbacks.
Let’s take a look at who may be leaving their quarterbacks behind.
Carolina Panthers placed Cam Newton on season-ending injured reserve this week, leaving many to question if we will ever see Newton in a Panthers uniform again., especially since they have quarterback Kyle Allen, an undrafted free agent who has played well for Carolina in relief of Newton. He has completed 60.7 % of his passes for 1,291 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions in six games.
The Panthers have gone 5-1 in the games in which Allen has started.
This week, I got a chance to talk with Antwan Staley (@antwanstaley) about the AFC South.
It seems the NFL has been plagued with more quarterback issues than usual, and this division definitely has it’s share of those. From Andrew Luck leaving the Colts to the Jaguars going all-in on Nick Foles only to lose him to injury to Marcus Mariota getting benched for Ryan Tannehill, what more could go wrong?
So I figured, who better to ask about what’s going on in the AFC South then my friend Antwan?
Staley is a football writer, an @EastCarolina alumni, a self-proclaimed “Hip Hop historian” and Chicken Wing Connoisseur. He has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. He has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders.
The most coveted award in college football, the Heisman Trophy. Aside: Do players still strike the Heisman pose anymore as a celebration? I don’t think I’ve seen that in a while.
But in the land of Turnover Chains and other celebrations, I’m assuming that the Heisman pose is a thing of the past? Please, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
Back to the topic at hand. Remember way back when, when there was a debate as to which quarterback would have the best career? Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota??
This conversation reached a fever pitch back in 2015 when they were both drafted by their respective teams. They were going to turn the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tennesee Titans around, and get them back to being playoff caliber type teams.
The Tennessee Titans have promoted Arthur Smith to the role of offensive coordinator. Last year’s offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur left the team after one year as he was hired as the new head coach for the Green Bay Packers.
Today the team announced that they have promoted Mr. Smith from the position of tight ends coach to offensive coordinator. Arthur Smith has been with the team through four head coaches, Mike Munchak, Ken Whisenhunt, Mike Mularkey, and Mike Vrabel.
The fact that all of these head coaches have kept Arthur Smith on staff speaks volumes about how well he has been respected by the other members of the coaching staff.
The Tennessee Titans had a tumultuous year, with injuries, weird wins, and stupid losses. They beat “good teams” like the Philadelphia Eagles and lost to “bad teams” like the Buffalo Bills. (Sorry to my original hometown team, I still love the Bills).
And then there is the Indianapolis Colts who just seems to be the Tennessee Titans’ kryptonite, at least when quarterback Andrew Luck is playing.
The Titans can’t figure out how to beat Indianapolis when Luck is at the helm. Now the Colts are moving on to the playoffs and the Titans are cleaning out their lockers.
The Titans won a road game at MetLife Stadium in rainy and cold New Jersey. The victory was extra sweet as the Titans have not had a shutout game since December of 2000 when they beat the Dallas Cowboys 31-0.
The wintery weather may have cost the Titans some points, as there were some dropped passes and a missed field goal kick. But behind Derrick Henry’s strong run game, the team prevailed. Henry had a great game with two touchdowns, 33 carries, and 170 yards.
The Titans defense was also strong; the defense was able to hold the Giants star rookie running back Saquon Barkley to only 31 yards. The Titans defense had two turnovers during the second half of the game, with safety Kevin Byard getting his third interception of the year, and linebacker Kamalei Correa forcing a sack-fumble on Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning. The fumbled ball was picked up by defensive tackle Jurrell Casey.
Coach Vrabel stated at the post-game press conference that he was proud that his team did not have any turnovers in the “tough conditions on the field”.
The game was prolonged unnecessarily by the NFL refs who seemed to want to review far too many plays, and it took them a long time to reach decisions. The fans out in the cold had to have been frustrated by the delays. While we are on the subject of delays, the Titans did get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for having two “delay of game” calls in a row; rather strange.
All in all, it was another Derrick Henry show, with the running back breaking the record for most rushing yards in back to back games. He beat Earl Campbell’s record of 405 yards with 408 rushing yards.
The Titans will face the Washington Redskins next week at home on Saturday with a late afternoon kickoff time of 3:30 CT. Tennessee is now 8-6 for the season and the team needs to win the next two home games for any chance to get in the playoffs.
The Titans were hyped at the end of this game and performed a “Remember the Titans” celebration dance routine. The hype and the teamwork needs to carry on for two more weeks, for two more victories for Tennessee to have a chance to get to the Super Bowl.
It was another ugly start for the Titans. Their possession of the game ended with quarterback Marcus Mariota being sacked. Since the Titans lost to division rival Houston Texans last week 34-17; one would think that the Titans would come out with guns blazing.
Every Tennessee player on the field looked like they were wishing they were somewhere else or they were in a trance state. Mariota had a pass intercepted in the first quarter; Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson returned the ball 31 yards and got a touchdown, giving the Jets a 10-0 lead.