If you haven’t heard about Andrew Luck by now then we’re pleased that you’ve finally come out of your coma.
Luck is the all-world, can’t miss, best quarterback prospect to be coming down the pipe in decades and has become a sideshow of sorts with fan groups in the cities that house the truly rotten teams, praying for losses so that they receive the No. 1 draft pick and get to land the Stanford quarterback star.
But not everyone has signed up for the Luck is a sure thing, franchise-saviour-in-the-making-quarterback that he is being hailed to be.
That may be bad news for the fans in Indianapolis and Miami who lead the sweepstakes as neither team has a win this season.
Former NFL quarterback and current CBS/Showtime analyst Phil Simms is one individual who has spotted warts on Luck.
“I think the hype is a little too much,” Simms said on SiriusXM NFL Radio the other day. “I feel bad for him in that respect. I mean, what’s he going to do to match what they say he can do?
“There’s a lot to him. I think his best quality, by far, is he’s big and strong and he’s going to be able to move and run in the NFL. There’s no question. I mean, this guy is strong. The throwing? He manages a game. I see all that.”
Okay, now comes the big BUT and we’re talking Kim Kardashian size. In Simms’ view, Luck doesn’t have enough zip on the ball, that he’s going to come to the NFL with a minor-league heater.
“But the one thing I don’t see, I just don’t see big time NFL throws,” he said. ”I don’t care what anybody says. I’ve watched a lot of him. He never takes it and rips it in there. And you can say what you want but, man, you’ve got to be able to crease that ball every once in a while. We see it every week in these games.
“Hey, he can develop it but even in the USC game, you know, he’s very careful with it, guides it a lot. That’s what I see. There’s not a lot of rotation on the ball and there’s not a tremendous amount of power. Not that you need to have that power arm. I’m not saying you’ve got to have that exclusively but, man, it sure helps when you can do that because there’s four or five plays a game it is about arm strength. And sometimes quarterbacks who don’t have it, they pass those plays up. Why? Well, they go, ‘I don’t know if I can make that throw,’ so they throw it short. That’s why I’m a little more reserved in my judgment than everybody else.”
Imagine how you’d feel if your team goes 0-16, you draft Luck and he is the quarterback that Simms projects.
Now, that would suck.
WE’RE NOT BUYING
The Kansas Chiefs pulled a rabbit out of the hat on Monday night when they received an early Christmas present from Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers who fumbled the snap and lost possession in the final minute at the KC 15-yard line. The game was tied 20-20 and all the Chargers needed was to hold on to the ball and set up a chip shot-winning field goal.
Instead, the Chiefs would go on to win in overtime.
In certain quarters, Rivers’ miscue is being referred to having a Tony Romo moment — who can forget his fumble of the snap in the Cowboys’ playoff loss to Seattle in 2007.
But we think Rivers’ brain-dead moment is more in the lines of the one performed by New York Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik on Nov. 19, 1978 in a game against the Eagles. It is the stuff of legend.
The Giants were up 17-12, had the ball and the Eagles were out of timeouts. All Pisarcik needed to do was take a knee and the clock would run out. Instead, he fumbled a handoff to fullback Larry Csonka, the ball bounced loose and Eagles corner Herman Edwards scooped up the ball and ran 26 yards for the winning score.
With the win, the Chiefs upped their record to 4-3 but that is without doubt the shakiest winning record in the league. They came into the game with three consecutive wins after being blown out in their opening two games. But those wins came against a terrible Minnesota team, the hapless Colts and following a bye, they got the Oakland Raiders without a quarterback.
Now this gift from the Chargers.
The Chiefs have two soft games on the horizon as they are at home to Miami and Denver and by then could be 6-3 and feeling good about themselves.
After that reality should set in and five consecutive losses against the likes of New England, Pittsburgh, the Bears, the Jets and Green Bay.
“The great part about this team is that we continue to keep our heads and continue to work,” quarterback Matt Cassel said. “Our mentality is you just try to get one win and then two wins and three wins. Now we are on a four-game win streak. Everybody is excited about that, but we know there is a lot of season left to be played. We’re happy about where we are at right now.”
Enjoy it while you can.
SUGGS ENJOYS BAD GUY ROLE
One of the great quotes of this season comes courtesy of Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and it occurred back in the opening week when after the Ravens beat the Steelers to a pulp he said of Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: “God can have his soul, but his butt belongs to me.”
This Sunday, the Ravens and Pittsburgh have a rematch of that game (a 35-7 Baltimore win), this time at Heinz Field on the Steelers home turf.
The Steelers have come a long way since that game and currently are 6-2 and hold a half-game lead over the 5-2 Ravens. Suggs knows it’s a big game and he stands by his statement from the opener.
“You all know the numbers. There’s nobody that does it better than me,” Suggs said Wednesday.
In his career when playing against Big Ben, Suggs has 15.5 career sacks, the most of any player. Six of those sacks have come in their last two meetings.
“It’s just what this game means to both teams’ cities and the football world,” he said. “There’s the Super Bowl and then there’s Ravens-Steelers.
“It’s going to be fun. I’m pretty sure they’ve got something in store to make sure I don’t have a day. I love being the bad guy. Whatever they’re going to do, we will act accordingly.”
And if the Ravens win, count on Suggs to supply the post-game colour.