Ghosts of Quarterbacks Past


The most important decision facing the Washington Redskins’ brass, this off-season, will be what they do with quarterback Kirk Cousins. They have three options: franchise him for a lot of money, sign him to a long-term contract for a lot of money, or let him test the open market, where they risk losing him.

Washington fans are notoriously-tough on their signal-callers. Two years into Cousins’ stint as a starter, the town still hasn’t embraced him with both arms. Critical reception has ranged from euphoric to lukewarm to “let’s run this asshole out of town.”

The Redskins’ front office – AKA, the ones who when all is said and done will be blamed – has played their cards pretty close to the vest. They’ve waited and waited, and now it’s too late to entertain the thought of a team-friendly extension. If they want to retain Cousins, it’s going to be very expensive.

What would the immediate future look like, if they let him walk? The only other quarterbacks on the roster are veteran backup Colt McCoy and unproven rookie Nate Sudfeld.

Fans who believe the Redskins can simply plug another warm body into Jay Gruden’s offense without missing a beat need to read the rest of this article with both eyes open.

Week 16 saw an unusual number of second and third-string quarterbacks take NFL fields, around the country. It was a motley crew of replacements, with an equally-diverse batch of resumes. Some are wet behind the ears. Some have prior starting experience. Some have even had brief cameos with superstar-status (RGIII anyone?).

Here is a sampling of what Saturday’s pu-pu platter had to offer. Since it’s the Christmas season, we’ll go with a Dickens theme.

The Ghost of Christmas Past – A quartet of Matt’s

That would be Matt Cassel, Matt McGloin, Matt Barkley and Matt Moore. The rust was evident.

Moore had the best week of the bunch; the Oregon State product passed for over 200 yards, posted a QBR of 70.3 and adequately-handed off the ball to Jay Ajayi.

Cassel and McGloin came off the bench in injured-relief of Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr, respectively. The latter’s injury is especially-devastating, for a 12-3 Raiders team, bound for the post-season.

As for Barkley, well, he had no problem letting the ball fly 40 times. Unfortunately, for the Bears, he had trouble distinguishing friend from foe, as the Redskins picked him off a whopping, five times.

The Ghost of Christmas Present – Tom Savage

That sound you hear is the final nails being driven into the coffin of the Brock Osweiler-era. It’s an expensive coffin, one that will cost the Texans at least $37 million by the time it’s buried under the ground.

In a game and a half’s worth of action, Savage hasn’t been anything special. He has completed 63.1 percent of his passes, with an 82.6 rating. In 84 career pass attempts, he has yet to throw a touchdown strike. However, those numbers look practically-Peytonesque, next to the 59.6% and 71.4 stinkeroo put up by Osweiler this year.

More importantly, Houston is 2-0 since the switch. For now, the *gulp* division champions will lean on Savage. Fortunately for him, the bar is set extremely-low.

The Ghost of Christmas Future – Cody Kessler

Anytime you’re feeling bad for your sports team, just remember, it could be worse: you could be a Cleveland Browns fan. Just think, the highlight of their season will probably be their week 15 win over the San Diego Chargers, a win that helped them stave off the dreaded prospect of an 0-16 season.

Kessler, for his part, played less than a quarter in relief of Robert Griffin III, who had left the game with a concussion. Injured quarterbacks have been a weekly occurrence for the Browns, this season. No fewer than six men have seen time behind center – including Kessler, who has also missed time with various ailments.

Playing on an offense bereft of talent, Kessler – the Browns’ 3rd round pick in 2016 – has shown moxie and glimpses of promise. He has at the very least earned a chance to compete for the starting job next season.

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