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The Same Diatribe, But Worded Slightly Differently (Week 12 Game Review)
Posted By ChiefsWarpath.com On December 3, 2011 @ 11:58 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
The picture on the front page of nfl.com right now is of a player named Houston bringing down Tim Tebow. In principle, that sounds great to me. Unfortunately, it’s not Justin Houston, but rather Oakland defensive end Lamarr Houston.
Anticipate seeing a lot more of that next season. With San Diego faltering, the teams in the AFC West that will get national media attention will be those two–Denver and Oakland. Why Denver? Because soap operas always play well on network television. Why Oakland? Because they’re good. I hate it. You hate it. Pretty much everybody outside of the Bay Area hates it.
Hating it doesn’t make it any less true.
The Raiders followed their 2002 AFC Champ season with seven losing seasons, averaging four wins a year and never exceeding five. Their starting quarterbacks during the post-Rich Gannon era: Rick Mirer, Marques Tuiasasopo, Kerry Collins, Andrew Walter, Aaron Brooks, Daunte Culpepper, Josh McCown, Charlie Frye, Bruce Gradkowski, and JaMarcus Russell. Russell was the winningest of the bunch, going 7-18 as a starter.
Last season, Oakland acquired through free agency an average QB. The result? They had an average season. This year, when said average QB was placed on injured reserve, rather than chancing it with Kyle Boller, they made what was billed at the time as an awful trade for a great QB who hadn’t taken a snap in over nine months. He made his first start in silver and black on November 6. In September and October, the Raiders went 4-3. With him at the helm, they’re 3-1. If they beat Miami this week (not exactly a chip shot, but not far off), they’ll have their longest winning streak in a decade.
Many will question my decision to label Carson Palmer a great quarterback. Let’s not forget that, despite being hamstrung by a bad coach and what we’ve since discovered was probably a highly overrated receiver corps, he threw for over 22,000 yards and 154 touchdowns. For all of Chad Ochocinco’s largely self-induced hype, of his 10,984 career yards, only 625 have come from QBs not named Carson Palmer. With Palmer, he averaged 80 yards a game. Without? 40.
Kansas City’s defense just held one of the league’s more gifted offenses to 13 points. That’s great. Jackie Battle is averaging 4.4 yards per carry. That’s great too. Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston, and Jonathan Baldwin are the Chiefs’ best receiving trio in at least two decades. I’m thrilled that that particular deficiency was finally addressed.
None of it matters. No matter how good the rest of a roster is, as goes the quarterback, so goes the team. If he’s average, the team will be average. If he stinks, the team will stink. Any team that views Matt Cassel as a long term solution and Tyler Palko as an acceptable alternative will be met with limited success. In the past decade, each of the Chiefs’ division rivals has made bold, daring, and sometimes inexplicable moves to address this simple fact. Each has used at least one first round draft pick in the process. The highest the Chiefs have gone is half of a second rounder (ironic, since he plays about half as well as a second rounder). This has to stop.
I’d like to close this week’s entry in the grand diatribe with something a little different. I’d like all of you to start by standing up. Go ahead, do it. Trust me on this. Are you standing? Good. Now stretch your arms above your head as high as you can. Are you scraping your knuckles on spackle? No? Good. Now stop blaming Dwayne Bowe for not catching that ball.
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