by Jeff Taylor
I knew I should not have clicked.
Anyway, here is what the braintrust at S-PIN said about Jake’s performance in St. Louis:
Is David Carr’s presence helping Jake Delhomme?
Sean Salisbury: To a certain extent having a competent backup quarterback will keep any starting quarterback sharp, but that’s not why Delhomme had such a big game. The reason is because he and Steve Smith are healthy and on the field at the same time, which hasn’t happened much since they went to the Super Bowl a few seasons ago. It’s going to be incredibly exciting to see these two hooking up on the field all season.
Joe Theismann: Having a guy behind you who can take your job will spur you to play better. This is the first time in Delhomme’s career as a starter that he has had real competition for his starting job. That will spur him to play better. He knows he’ll be in trouble if he has two or three bad weeks in a row.
Huh? Salisbury is closer and Theismann is insane, but how could both “experts” fail to note a healthy Carolina running game?
There is no greater indicator for a Delhomme performance. Give the guy a ground game and a healthy Steve Smith and his confidence level soars. Jake then also does not try to force big plays when they are not there. The backup QB has nothing to do with it. The Panthers averaged a 103 yards a game on the ground last year, good enough for 24th in the league.
That will not cut it, especially with John Fox’s style.
On Sunday the Panthers racked up 186 yards on the ground, fourth-best of the week. They average 175 for the year and they’ll go 12-4, down around 150 you are looking at 10-6, and so on.
I know that doesn’t have the fake drama of QB vs. QB soap opera but that is the point. ESPN has less and less to do with actual sports by the week.
Update: The net’s power rankings are out — and Carolina trails the Jets, who were blown out. Do these people even watch the games?