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In this edition of BQBC, Cam and the Panthers topped Capo and the Niners, Russell and the Seahawks romped over Atlanta, RG3 and the Redskins stay stuck at three wins, E.J. and the Bills got manhandled by the Steelers and Terrelle’s Raiders took the L against the revived Giants.
Let’s start with Cam Newton and Carolina taking on Colin Kaepernick and San Francisco. This was the marquee matchup of the week, with both undefeated over the past month. This was two of the league’s best young quarterbacks facing off in what could be a playoff preview. This was a statement game – one in which the defenses ruled and every first down in the second half was a big play.
The Panthers won this one 10-9, their longest win streak (5 games) of the Newton era and perhaps the most impressive win since he arrived in Carolina. Neither quarterback lit it up, but it was Newton (16-32, 169 yds, 0 TD’s, 1 INT) who completed the big throws when it mattered and the Panthers’ defense sacked Capo six times. Ultimately it was Drayton Florence’s interception of Capo (11-21 for 91 yds., 0 TD’s and 1 INT) in the final minute that sealed it for the Panthers, who upped their record to 6-3. The Niners fell to 6-3 with the loss.
E.J. Manuel returned to the Bills’ starting lineup after missing the past month due to a knee injury (I’m gonna miss Thad Lewis). But his rusty play proved too much to overcome as the Pittsburgh Steelers devoured Buffalo 23-10. Manuel, who has yet to have a 300-yard passing day this season, finished 22-39 for 155 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the loss. The Bills are now 3-7.
In New Jersey, the Oakland Raiders continued their “0-fer” the NFC east – this time losing to the New York Giants 24-20. Terrelle Pryor, who is still hobbled by a right knee sprain he suffered last week during Oakland’s blowout loss to Philadelphia, was just 11-26 passing for 122 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. These numbers are acceptable in victory but hard to look past in defeat. The Raiders are now 3-6.
In the Thursday night matchup Robert Griffin III put up some gaudy stats (24-37, 281 yds., 3 TD’s, 0 INT’s) but it still was not enough for the Washington Redskins to overcome the lowly Minnesota Vikings. They lost 34-27 to drop to 3-6 on the season and are likely out of serious contention for an NFC wildcard birth.
After winning their previous two games by a combined eight points Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks got back to winning big by stepping all over Atlanta 33-10. The Seahawks (9-1) jumped out to a 23-3 first half lead and never looked back, with Wilson hitting on 19-26 passes for 287 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Michael Vick remained sidelined by with a bad hamstring in Philadelphia’s 27-13 win over Green Bay. But with Nick Foles throwing 10 touchdown passes over the past two games (both Eagles victories), it is unlikely that Vick will start again this season unless him getting healthy and Foles getting hurt happens.
Jason Campbell, who will likely finish out the season as the starter for the Cleveland Browns after a strong recent showing, sat idle this week, as did Geno Smith and the New York Jets.
In other news, Josh Freeman is lobbying to start (again) after claiming he is up to speed on Minnesota’s playbook. But after his last game (the bad loss to the Giants) and Ponder’s play on Thursday night, it will be tough to give him the start at this specific juncture. Still, there’s a lot of football left. We’ll see what happens.
Black quarterbacks continue to make history this season. Each week they defy odds, crush stereotypes and send critics scrambling for explanations.
Jason Campbell lead the Cleveland Browns over the Baltimore Ravens, 24-18. Campbell, whose first action of the season came last week during Cleveland’s 23-17 loss to the Chiefs, completed 23 of 35 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions in the win. Cleveland remains in the AFC North hunt at 4-5 and the starting quarterback job is now Campbell’s to lose.
The Seattle Seahawks moved to 8-1 after overcoming a 21-point deficit to defeat the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-24 in overtime. Russell Wilson was again the catalyst after completing 19 of 26 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns. He also had two interceptions and one rushing touchdown in the win.
Geno Smith and the New York Jets rebounded from last week’s humiliating loss to Cincinnati by beating the New Orleans Saints 26-20. Smith, who was just 8-19 for 115 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, put the Jets up for good on a 3-yard touchdown run late in the first half. From there the Jets’ rushing attack did the heavy lifting and their defense picked off Drew Brees three times. The Jets are now 5-4.
The Washington Redskins notched their third win of the season after defeating the San Diego Chargers 30-24 in overtime. Robert Griffin III (23-32, 291 yds., 0 TD’s, 1 INT) made the big throws in overtime and a goal line stand at the end of regulation saved the ‘Skins from falling to 2-6.
Cam Newton tied his longest professional win streak after leading the Carolina Panthers to their fourth straight victory – a 34-10 win over the disappointing Atlanta Falcons. Newton, who pushed Carolina’s lead to 24-10 on an 8-yard touchdown run six minutes into the fourth quarter, completed 23 of 37 passes for 249 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for the 5-3 Panthers.
The lone black quarterback to lose in week nine was Terrelle Pryor, whose Oakland Raiders were ripped by the Philadelphia Eagles, 49-20. After making history last week on Pryor’s 93-yard TD run, the Raiders allowed history this week by giving up seven touchdown passes to Nick Foles, who started in place of the injured Michael Vick. Did yesterday signal the end of Vick’s time as the starter in Philly?
With E.J. Manuel and Thad Lewis both sidelined with injuries, the Buffalo Bills lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 23-13 while Christian Ponder’s play in a dramatic 27-23 loss to Dallas may prevent Josh Freeman from regaining a starting job with the Minnesota Vikings this season.
Colin Kaepernick and the 6-2 San Francisco Forty Niners were idle.
In the Thursday night game, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers smoked the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-13. Newton’s been scary good over his past three games after completing 23 of 32 passes for 221 yards and no interceptions in the win. At 4-3 the Panthers are above .500 for the first time in the past five seasons and Newton’s play has some observers calling him the best young quarterback in football, although he has considerable competition for that honor.
Geno Smith and the New York Jets got stampeded by the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday. The loss dropped the Jets to 4-4 on the season and the inconsistent Smith only managed 159 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions (both for touchdowns) on 20 of 30 attempts. The game was so lopsided that Cincy’s (black) backup QB, Josh Johnson, played quality minutes in the fourth quarter.
Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco Forty Niners stomped the winless Jacksonville Jaguars 42-10. Capo accounted for three touchdowns – two on the ground and one through the air – and he was 10 of 16 for 164 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He also rushed for 54 yards and one touchdown on seven attempts.
On the game’s very first play from scrimmage, Oakland’s Terrelle Pryor faked a handoff to Darren McFadden, ran around the right end, and sprinted 93 yards to pay dirt – completing the longest run for a quarterback in NFL history, and setting the tone for the Raiders’ 21-18 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Not even halfway through the season the 3-4 Raiders currently sit just one win shy of their entire win total last season. Despite his paltry passing numbers (10-19, 88 yds., 0 TD’s and 2 INT’s), at this moment, he’s so good that you just have to take the good with the bad with him. His touchdown run also broke Bo Jackson’s Raider record for longest touchdown run from scrimmage in team history.
Jason Campbell and the Cleveland Browns almost surprised the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs, falling 23-17 in a hard fought contest. Campbell , who less than a month ago was the number three quarterback on the depth chart, made a strong case for being named the starter for the remainder of the season after passing for 293 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions on 22-36 passing. Had Cleveland been able to run the ball with any effectiveness, the Browns might be 4-4 instead of 3-5.
They made it a tough game for three quarters. But when it was all said and done, Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins got smacked by the Denver Broncos 45-21. The ‘Skins aren’t looking like the team that last season won the NFC East title, which earned them a spot in the playoffs and helped RG3 win the league’s NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year. Right now Griffin’s not the same player he was last season, and he deserves his share of the blame for yesterday’s loss – particularly after throwing for just 132 yards on 15 of 30 pass attempts, one touchdown and two interceptions. At 2-5, all is definitely not well in Washington.
Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles were stuffed by the New York Giants 15-7. Vick was back as the starter after missing the past two weeks with an injured hamstring, but he re-aggravated the injury early in the game, was replaced by an ineffective Matt Barkley, and now the Eagles appear to be a team in complete turmoil. Vick will probably be out for a lengthy period of time and the 3-5 Eagles have already announced that Nick Foles should be healthy enough to get the start against the Raiders next week.
Thad Lewis and the Buffalo Bills got steamrolled by the New Orleans Saints, 35-17. Lewis, making his third start in place of the injured E.J. Manuel, completed 23 of 39 passes for 234 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was also sacked four times and lost two fumbles, a week after helping the Bills pull off a dramatic overtime win against Miami. It is not yet known whether Manuel will be back next week or not.
Last night, Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks struggled mightily against a determined St. Louis Rams team that last week lost their starting quarterback for the season. But a goal line stance on the game’s final series secured a hard fought 14-9 victory for the now 7-1 Seahawks. Wilson was 10 of 18 passing for 139 yards, 80 coming on his second touchdown pass of the night to wide receiver Golden Tate, and the Seahawks finished the evening without a turnover.
And with Josh Freeman sidelined with a concussion he suffered last week against the Giants, the Minnesota Vikings were shellacked by the Green Bay Packers, 44-31. Even with a healthy Freeman, at 1-6, there’s no telling if he or any quarterback on the roster can turn things around in Minnesota.
Imagine how sad a place America would be if we all rooted for famous athletes, entertainers and elected officials purely on the basis of their race.
Now, stop imagining and let’s discuss the reality of the situation: Race is a big reason why people support who they support. But when examining why people support certain groups or individuals, oftentimes it’s clear that the reasons they give are little more than excuses to hide their own ethnocentrism.
Someone will surely challenge my wisdom on this. They’ll label my claim suspicious and say the intent here is to race rattle. They’ll call it assault on people that have simply exercised freedom of choice.
And they’ll stand firm, all while ignoring white America’s infatuation with any white person who excels at rapping, singing, playing basketball, boxing or winning a 100-meter dash. They’ll ignore black America cheering on any black person who can play golf, tennis, quarterback or win a gold medal at a winter Olympics. And they won’t even blink when millions of Mexican-Americans are driven into a frenzy at the mere thought that one of their boxing heroes can beat Floyd Mayweather in the ring.
They’ll also completely write off Skip Bayless’ on air admission last year that it’s natural for whites to pull for white athletes and blacks to pull for black athletes. Skip, they’ll say, was just being Skip. They’ll tell themselves he did it for the ratings. They’ll tell themselves anything but the truth. And they’ll find nothing wrong with Bayless continuing his cushy-but-controversial career as ESPN resident race-monger.
Obviously, this does not constitute the majority of fans. This does not include lifelong followers of professional sports franchises. Certainly there are athletes and entertainers that are admired because they’re just that talented. Of course it makes sense to root for the home team. And make no mistake, more often than not, people vote for politicians they truly believe have their best interest at heart.
Still, many people lie about why they support who they support. They fear social condemnation and occupational retribution if they dare be honest. They’ll lie because they’re all too aware that no one can prove their agenda. They know that, no matter how obvious it is that race is a motivating factor in who they cheer for, it cannot be proven without honest cooperation.
And America will continue to be all the worse off for it. We’ll continue to separate and categorize and label ourselves. We’ll continue to come up with any damned excuse we can think of to support and cheer for people we identify with, on the basis of race.
And we’ll continue our decades long descent to the days that the color of ones skin was the only thing that mattered.