Opinion Corner: Stay away from QBs this yearThe hot topic seems to be rookie quarterbacks.
By: Chris Aarhus, Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
I’ve certainly written enough about Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. Luck has led the Colts to an 8-4 record and likely a playoff spot, while Griffin III has the Redskins at 6-6 and pushing for a playoff spot. Seattle, at 7-5, has had solid play from Wilson and is also pushing for the playoffs.
This year’s group made a very solid draft. Luck was drafted No. 1 overall, Griffin was No. 2 while Wilson was taken in the third round, 75th overall.
Don’t expect that next year.
West Virginia’s Geno Smith is being talked about being the cream of the crop and he’s no RG3 or Cam Newton. He lacks the fundamentals often seen with NFL quarterbacks. He’s a raw talent, sure. But in the NFL, it’s proven time and time again that you have to be able to throw the ball down field on a consistent basis.
So if Smith isn’t the answer, how about Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley? He certainly has the intangibles, and for college production, he’s probably at the top of the list. In four years as USC’s starter, he’s thrown for 12,327 yards and 116 touchdowns to just 48 interceptions.
But USC’s record is 34-16 with him as a starter, not bad for an NFL quarterback. At USC, however, averaging four losses a year won’t win you many championships, only a bid to the Insert Cheesy Corporate Name Bowl.
Barkley is fast falling down draft boards. Experts say he’s a late first-round pick. He doesn’t possess great athleticism and his ability to throw the deep ball is questionable.
If your team is in need of a quarterback (forget about it, Vikings fans, as Christian Ponder’s job is tied to the job of GM Rick Spielman, so he’ll be starting all of next year), then you need to hope your team figures something out outside of the draft or waits another year. There are only 32 spots for the entire world, and the chance of getting a long-term starter out of this year’s crop is slim.
Dallas (6-6) at Cincinnati (7-5): The Cowboys have clawed their way back to .500. The Bengals are just better. Bengals 23, Cowboys 20
St. Louis (5-6-1) at Buffalo (5-7): The Rams defense has been pretty solid. Rams 21, Bills 17
Philadelphia (3-9) at Tampa Bay (6-6): The season ended six games ago for Philly. Bucs 20, Eagles 10
Atlanta (11-1) at Carolina (3-9): Expect the Panthers to keep it close. Falcons 31, Panthers 27
Chicago (8-4) at Minnesota (6-6): Both teams hurting from injuries. Home field makes a difference. Vikings 24, Bears 21
N.Y. Jets (5-7) at Jacksonville (2-10): Not sure why the Jets can win. Less sure why the Jags can win. Jets 17, Jaguars 13
Tennessee (4-8) at Indianapolis (8-4): Indy is 5-1 at home this year. Colts 24, Titans 17
San Diego (4-8) at Pittsburgh (4-1): Big Ben is back! Steelers 24, Chargers 20
Kansas City (2-10) at Cleveland (4-8): The Chiefs found some momentum last week after the Jovan Belcher tragedy. Still, the Chiefs are bad on the road and the Browns are actually 3-3 at home. Browns 27, Chiefs 26
Baltimore (9-3) at Washington (6-6): As good as the Ravens are, RG3 is red hot. Redskins 30, Ravens 27
Miami (5-7) at San Francisco (8-3-1): Two hard-nosed teams, but San Fran has more quality all the way around. 49ers 14, Dolphins 6
Arizona (4-8) at Seattle (7-5): The Cardinals’ slide continues. Seahawks 31, Cardinals 13
New Orleans (5-7) at N.Y. Giants (7-5): The Giants perform best after a loss. Giants 38, Saints 34
Detroit (4-8) at Green Bay (8-4): The Lions may turn this into a shootout if the Packers aren’t careful. Packers 34, Lions 20
Houston (11-1) at New England (9-3): Finally, ESPN gets a decent game. Patriots 34, Texans 28
Last week: 8-7
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org