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Scapegoat in Review

By Mark Solway | October 24th, 2006

There is a groundswell of disdain for Mark Brunell who lead us to our most recent playoff appearance and win. Now most rational minds know that the QB gets too much of the credit when things are going good and too much of the blame when things are going bad. However, that doesn’t change the way we feel…..and we feel pissed off! When a team is losing fans get impatient and the back up QB becomes the most popular guy in town. It doesn’t necesaeily matter that the O-line might not be blocking well, or the the receivers aren’t getting open….The QB gets the blame anyway. Now I’m not telling you guys anything that you don’t already know. I’m simply hoping to put it into perspective so as to reduce the level of vitriol on this board. Lets look at teams who are in a similar situation as us. Lets take teams with either 5 losses or 2 wins and see where we stand in comparison to those teams. The teams are; Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Houston, Oakland, Gree Bay, Tampa and San Fran. Now as far as starting QB’s go that would leave; J.P Losman, Brett Farve, Jon Kitna, Gradkowski, Carr, Alex Smith, Roethlisbergr/Batch, and Brooks/Walter. For sake of this argument its probably not fair to include the QB’s who have missed more than one game due to injury, so exclude Roethlisbergr/Batch, Brooks/Walter and Gradkowski. The remaining QB’s rank; 2 Jon Kitna DET 1853 264 167 9 9 42 81.2 8 Brett Favre GB 1481 238 134 9 5 75 78.8 9 Mark Brunell WAS 1465 206 132 7 3 74 90.4 14 J.P. Losman BUF 1314 197 122 6 6 56 78.9 16 Alex Smith SF 1285 183 109 8 4 75 86.4 19 David Carr HOU 1217 172 121 9 4 53 97.9 So, Mark is a top ten QB so far and has thrown the least amount of INT’s and has the second highest QB Rating of the others here. In fact Peyton Manning and Marc Bulger are the only starters who have thrown less INT’s. He has thrown for more yards and has a higher QB rating than Tom Brady, Matt Hassleback and Mike Vick. Lets not forget also that Brunell recently set a record for consecutive completions in a single game, and on Sunday against Indy the only way that we moved the ball was behind Brunells arm….and not Portis’ legs! I’m not willing at this point to register for thirty message boards but I’m sure that if you went to the Bills, Lions, Texan’s, San Fran’s website you would hear the same things from there fans. But is it David Carrs fault that the Texan’s stink? Or Alex Smiths? The only thing that sets these other teams and QB’s apart from Brunell is that none of these teams were in the playoffs last year nor were they expected to really compete this year. But lets take a look at some QB’s from teams that did! What do Hassleback, Brady, Grossman, Palmer, Leftwich and Roethlesbergr all have in common? They all played in the playoffs last year and opened the season with playoff expectations……..AND! They all are rated lower than Mark Brunell! No one would disagree that Palmer is a good QB….lets compare his numbers to Brunells. 9 Mark Brunell WAS 1465 206 132 7 3 74 90.4 11 Carson Palmer CIN 1418 196 122 9 4 51 90.9 They look awfully similar don’t they? Look, Brunell angers me at times as well. But given the hatred that he receives here on this board and given our record, I would expect his stats to look less like Carson Palmers and more like Jake Plummer. Nor am I opposed to putting in Jason Campbell. But Brunell isn’t our problem. It goes much deepeer than that! Portis isn’t what he was a year ago…neither is Cooley. The Line seems to not be playing with the swagger they once had. The defense is a baffling mystery. How do you go from that TB game in the playoffs to giving up 25 at home to the Titans? There are reasons to worry. Personnel decisions and coaching are looking poor to date. If there is one thing I’m not worried about its Brunell. If anything he has been the lone bright spot on our offense. Chad…

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