Thursday, October 21, 2021

Looking beyond the Super Bowl for the NFL’s Super Bowl

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The re-balance of American and college football is giving fans a lot to contend with. All week long we have been treated to a pre-eminent champion experiencing a severe lack of drama and with a losing record while another megastar lost at home to inferior opposition. There is no serious pressure on either of these talented teams. An instant divorce has taken place. New quarterbacks in the homes of Matt Leinart and Joe Flacco could prove the difference.

Leinart-to-Brady: it is not so far fetched. It may not happen this year, but it could happen next year. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger has had off-season neck surgery and is not throwing the ball well, so Reggie Johnson, who is no longer with the Steelers, is expected to start for Sunday’s game at Indianapolis. Another backup, Vince Young, replaced a very injured Brett Favre in Minnesota and thoroughly stifled New Orleans’ once formidable defence in one of the games of the year.

Johnson and Young, however, are second-stringers: we’re talking about John Unitas or O.J. Simpson. Leinart, meanwhile, was sent down to the Oakland Raiders’ practice squad on Tuesday for unknown reasons and next week against San Diego in Oakland will be the first time the point-scoring machine has played in front of ordinary fans since he entered USC.

Look out San Diego: Leinart just might be ready to win a Super Bowl.

Telling statistics:

*Sebastian Janikowski leads the NFL with 20 field goals made

*Elvis Dumervil (new York Jets) is the only player in NFL history to record at least six sacks and an interception in the same game

*The Cowboys’ Tony Romo has found the end zone on 31 of his 55 pass attempts

(0-17 overall)

*The Cowboys are yet to record a 100-yard rusher

*Dallas has not scored a touchdown of at least 50 yards in three years

(No sacks in four straight games)

*The Broncos’ Tim Tebow needs 12 points to tie Craig Morton’s NFL rookie record

(18 touchdown passes, four interceptions)

*Jay Cutler threw a career-high seven interceptions in Chicago last week

*Josh Norman returned an interception 87 yards for a touchdown

vs Tennessee

*The Jets’ Nnamdi Asomugha became the seventh player to have at least one interception returned for a touchdown

to beat the Raiders

*One of Joe Flacco’s interceptions was returned for a touchdown

vs Buffalo

*Pittsburgh’s Rashard Mendenhall has 215 yards from scrimmage so far this season

*The Jets’ Gary Guyton has recorded a forced fumble and recovered a fumble

against St Louis

*Philadelphia has recovered six fumbles on the year

*The Broncos have forced 22 quarterback turnovers already

*The Browns, ranked 24th in the league, are still undefeated

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