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Don Banks Snap Judgements From Week Nine


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INDIANAPOLIS -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight from Week 9 as we await a Patriots-Colts showdown that features much more "down'' than we're used to in recent years.....


• Last year, the unheralded Derek Anderson seemed like the NFL story that was too good to be true. Alas, this year we've found out that it was. I imagine by now, sitting 3-5 at midseason and falling farther and farther out of the AFC North race, the Cleveland Browns know what they have to do. They have to start Brady Quinn at quarterback. They have to use the second half of this once-highly anticipated but ultimately disappointing 2008 season to find out what they have in their 2007 first-round pick.


That's the reality that should be dawning on Browns head coach Romeo Crennel after watching his club blow a 27-13 late-third quarter lead at home against Baltimore, which scored the game's final 24 points to win 37-27 and sweep the season series against their bitter division rivals.


The collapse against the Ravens was hardly Anderson's fault alone, but he certainly can't be absolved of blame. Anderson finished 17 of 33 for 219 yards passing, with a pair of touchdowns. But when Cleveland needed him most, he was at his absolute worst.


After taking a 27-13 lead on a 7-yard Anderson touchdown pass to Jason Wright with 6:13 left in the third quarter, the next five Cleveland possessions produced four three-and-outs, and a game-sealing interception of Anderson by Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, who returned the pick 42 yards for a touchdown and Baltimore's final 10-point of victory. More than anything, I think that incredibly ill-advised pass, which was intended for Wright with 2:52 remaining, is going to be the mistake that costs Anderson his starting job.


On those five Browns drives, when the Ravens were grabbing what for Cleveland was a must-win game by the throat, Anderson navigated the Browns offense for all of a combined 22 yards. And sadly for Browns fans, that's nothing new. This season, Anderson has completed less than 50 percent of his passes (121 of 243, or 49.8 percent), with just nine touchdowns, seven interceptions, and a quarterback rating in the high 60s.


Quinn at this point deserves a chance to see if he can inject some life into a Browns passing game that entered Sunday's Week 9 ranked 26th among the NFL's 32 teams, averaging just 167.9 yards per game. Cleveland has been more than patient with Anderson, but his inability to take advantage of a Baltimore secondary that was ravaged by injuries in Week 9 should be the final straw.


Cleveland just slipped to 1-3 in the AFC North, and now has lost twice by double digits to a Ravens team that won just five games last season and hired a rookie head coach in John Harbaugh. Crennel's team is now two full games and the head-to-head tiebreaker behind Baltimore, firmly entrenched in third place in the division. That's not the way the story was supposed to go this season for the Browns, whose 10-win renaissance of 2007 now seems like a cruel set up to disappointment this time around.


The Browns should start Brady Quinn next week at home against the Broncos, a team that can definitely be thrown against. Maybe Cleveland can still salvage some of 2008, and find out if its future lies in Quinn's hands. Anderson's Cinderella story looks over in Clevelan

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This season, Anderson has completed less than 50 percent of his passes (121 of 243, or 49.8 percent), with just nine touchdowns, seven interceptions, and a quarterback rating in the high 60s.


Crazy. I wasn't aware that statistics could be BQ Fags, as well.

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It's time to end the DA Madness.


Savage needs to suck it up and admit his mistake. He gambled with DA and lost and now we are playing for chemistry and to spoil other people's seasons.


And to see what OUR young QB can do.


Look at the names outperforming DA, guys ranging from 4 year vets like DA to rookies:


Rodgers, Orton, Orlovsky (!), Edwards, Flacco and Ryan.


It's time to see Quinn and for all our sakes, we better hope the Quinn gamble doesn't end up like the DA gamble.

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Halle-freaking-lulah, Don Banks.


It's time. I fear we'll hear the "short week" excuse, but that's crap. Quinn has been in this offense for a long time. Give him all the reps Mon-Wed and do the damn thing. We have to figure out what we have, one way or the other... and there doesn't seem to be any real benefit left to trotting Anderson out week after week.


Give him an 8-game commitment, short of totally shitting himself for four games or so. It's time.


It's time? It's freaking been time for about 5 weeks. The benefit of trotting Anderson out for a few more weeks (and losses) is to prove Crennell needs to get canned at the end of the season. Hey guys, didn't the coaching staff let you know the game is 60 minutes long, not 45?

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