No comment on the game since I was at the wedding, however, I promise that after two lackluster performances and one no-show, I will put out a “Giants” like effort for the Denver game.
Two threads however: On the Quinn for Anderson move.
Make no mistake about it, I don’t think Anderson is a top 10 QB in the NFL and I think Quinn would be. Despite that assessment, this isn’t how you switch QBs, as the browns seemed to not value to other aspects of this move that could affect the team much longer term:
1) The goal with this situation is to get some value from one of the QBs that the team decides not to keep in 2009, whichever QB that is. Benching Anderson after playing against the top 5 and #9 defenses (using the not perfect, passing yards) or 5 of the top 11 defenses using Football Outsiders Value over Average statistics) isn’t the right move. Clearly his performance doesn’t show his true capability against these defenses, without taking into consideration:
a. Winslow’s injuries
b. Edwards’ dropped balls
c. OL lack of continuity
d. Stallworth, Jurevicous etc. #2 WR injuries
Adding in just Braylon’s 13 drops, Anderson’s completion percentage jumps to a more respectable 55%. In addition, at two of those were potential TD passes (leading to a 11 to 7 TD/INT ratio – which is better than Peyton’s). If you assume 10 yards per catch (which is incredibly low based on the two long passes), it moves Anderson to the number 5 QB in yards per attempt.
Again, all of this may be an overly aggressive “Edwards based” adjustment, btut the other 3 factors listed above (including starting your #5, 6 and 7 WRs), and the incredibly defenses we’ve faced leads me to believe that Anderson hasn’t been having the terrible year most fans and reporters think he is.
All in all, making this move now, as opposed to waiting three weeks and letting him play against worse defenses (Denver, Buffalo, Houston) which may have improved his trade value, doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, except for one scenario. The Browns are looking to make Quinn look as good as possible, and he’s the QB they want to move.
2) Browns management “neutered” (as my dad used) Crennel, which has dual impact:
a. Lack of respect from players for Crennel to make personnel decisions on who plays
b. Future coaches may look down on leading the browns for fear of the same type of move for management. Don’t believe me, wait to you see the lack of quality coaches lining up to lead the Raiders)
Second thread: Holy shit, Steinbach got hurt
No additional mentions need to be made about how important OL continuity is to a team winning. If Eric’s out long term, the browns will again be down 2 starters on the OL, and be forced to use the 4th different starting line in 9 games.
1) Thomas, Steinbach, Fraley, McKinney, Shaffer
2) Thomas, Steinbach, Fraley, Hadnot, Shaffer
3) Thomas, Steinbach, Fraley, Hadnot, Tucker
4) Thomas, McKinney, Fraley, Hadnot, Shaffer