is simply painful to look at the New England Patriots’ remaining schedule when
you consider the quarterbacks they are slated to face.
list just got a little uglier with Monday’s news.
Patriot backup-turned-temporary-star Matt Cassel suffered a “significant” hand
injury and could miss not only Monday’s tilt in Foxborough, but the entire
season. That means Tyler Palko, journeyman from the University of Pittsburgh,
will make his first career start.
this is nothing new for the Pats.
recall last December 12, when Aaron Rodgers got a little too aggressive on a
scramble against the Detroit Lions, suffered a concussion, and happened to miss
the only start of his career the following Sunday night against the Patriots.
Flynn performed admirably in his absence, but the Packers lost a game they
should have won and almost missed the playoffs as a result.
we look ahead to their matchup with the Indianapolis Colts on December 4, where
they will face some combination of Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky, and Bert
Jones, let’s look back at some of the quarterbacks that have conveniently
missed their meetings with New England or played in them severely wounded.
first one that comes to mind besides Rodgers is Philip Rivers in the 2007 AFC
Championship Game. The Colts were defending champions that year and were a
legitimate threat to New England’s unbeaten season, yet they somehow lost to
Rivers and the Chargers in the Divisional Round.
the process, Rivers tore his ACL and essentially played the title game on one
leg, while also being without the services of LaDainian Tomlinson and having a
limping Antonio Gates as his top target.
to say, the Chargers couldn’t score enough points and saw their Super Bowl
dreams dashed, 21-12.
2007, New England faced seven backup quarterbacks during the season, with three
of those occurring because they injured the starter during the game. That
included one of the nastiest cheap shots by Vince Wilfork when he took out the
knee of J.P. Losman early in a Week 3 rout of Buffalo and forced rookie Trent
Edwards into the game.
in consecutive prime time games that they easily could have lost, all-world
quarterbacks A.J. Feeley and Kyle Boller each threw critical interceptions,
allowing New England to escape 5-5 Philadelphia and 4-7 Baltimore,
respectively. That kept the perfect season alive, and they were challenged just
once more in the regular season.
also faced Cleo Lemon twice, once immediately after the Dolphins lost Trent
Green for the season, and Kellen Clemens before injuring him and giving way
back to Chad Pennington, whom they injured in the season opener dubbed
add Seneca Wallace (Matt Hasselbeck injury) in 2008, Matt Moore (Jake Delhomme
injury) in 2009, and Shaun Hill, a respectable backup in his own right, in 2010
(Matthew Stafford injury), and one begins to wonder if there is more than just
a coincidence going on here.
the case of Rodgers, Rivers, Green, McNabb, and now Cassel, the starting
quarterback was injured the game before facing New England. Rodgers has not
missed another game in his career, Rivers has never missed a start, McNabb
returned two games later, and Green was done for the season.
perhaps nothing will be more unsightly and frankly, more unfair, then when the
Colts head to Foxborough potentially winless or at best 1-10 in what has been
one of the best matchups of the past decade.
with #18 conveniently shelved for the year and possibly his Hall of Fame career,
it is another New England cakewalk in the making.
Following the Indy game, the
Patriots will need to buckle down against the lethal Rex Grossman/John Beck
combo in Washington, Tim Tebow and his two completions Sunday in Denver, the
ever-dangerous Matt Moore and the Dolphins, and the beard-is-better-than-the-QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Bills.
Any chance any of those teams will
be lucky enough to face Brian Hoyer and not Tom Brady?