The Designed Rush, Week 5: Winning Despite Your QB, Presented By Todd Collins And Max Hall

On a day where we couldn't escape the horror of the number 10, it was a horrible performance by a number 10 that gave it a bizarre grace note.

Cardinals rookie Max Hall was the winning quarterback for a team that scored 30 points to beat the defending Super Bowl champions without scoring a single offensive touchdown, yet his was performance was not the most noteworthy showing by a woeful passer who stumbled his way into victory.

No, that dubious distinction belongs to Todd Collins, who went through the Bears win over the Panthers much like Inspector Gadget would a police case: bumble around ineptly and amusingly, only for others to do the work for you and earn you more credit than you deserve.

Here was Collins' final line from Sunday: 6-for-16 for 32 yards and four interceptions. And yet the Bears demolished the Panthers. It wasn't even remotely close. Obviously, it would be more astonishing it it came against a team playing somewhat better than the Panthers, who got nearly as putrid QB play out of Jimmy Clausen and Matt Moore, who combined for three interceptions and fewer than 100 yards passing.

With quarterback talent diluted by the league having 32 teams, as well as concerns about head injuries likely to lead to more benching in the future than years past, such performances may become more commonplace for winning teams. It's not as though we haven't seen days similar to Collins' in recent years.

It was just last season that Derek Anderson was the winning quarterback for Cleveland against Buffalo despite him completing just two of 17 passes for all of 23 yards. His final rating of 15.1 in that game, mind you, practically dwarfs the 6.3 that Collins posted yesterday in a 23-6 winning "effort" in Carolina.

While the Football Outsiders guys will certainly tut-tut everyone within shouting distance that quarterback rating is an imperfect measurement of performance, it is certainly still interesting to note how close Collins came to being the first quarterback in more than 30 years to win a game despite a 0.0 quarterback rating. The last to accomplish that was the Giants' Norm Snead, who went 3-for-14 for 26 yards and two interceptions in a 12-9 victory over the Redskins in 1976.

Caleb Hanie robbed Collins of his chance to join Snead in the record books on Sunday when he was brought in to relieve the 16-year veteran in the third quarter. Should Jay Cutler be unable to go next week as well, it will be almost certainly be Hanie again under center. A shame, of course, because it would one of the true joys in all the history of the sport to watch the Bears go for something you would probably get an Xbox achievement for in Madden: notch a victory with the quarterback holding a zero rating.

NFL Player Tweet Of The Week

Hello WORLD! Thank u Lord 4 waking & blessing me w/another beautiful day. I WILL rejoice & b glad n it.less than a minute ago via MogoTXT

 

Terrell Owens had a tweet appear on his account at around noon on Sunday. Though it didn't appear during a game, it did fall within the 90-minute window before kickoff where player Twitter use is also banned. This made for story fodder for several prominent new entities, including Yahoo! and USA Today, both of which conveniently ignored when Troy Polamalu did the same thing a few weeks back. Other than the rule being enforced equally, it matters little to me whether or not players use Twitter during a game. I suspect few other fans care at all either, at least for any reason besides seeing someone punished for an infraction. I will say, however, that Owens breaking the rule made for hilarious subtext for the constant ads for "The T.Ocho Show" being broadcast all day Sunday.

Totweetmuch_medium

Though when you make the subject of tweeting that prominent, I have to wonder if Owens won't take the fine intentionally to gin up some more cheap promotion for the show

Truth About Advertising


I went to an amazing haunted forest attraction two weekends back and it totally got me in the mood for Halloween. My girlfriend loves horror movies, so it's not like I can really avoid it this time of the year, anyway. But that was all ruined when I caught this Snickers ad late last week. Too much, Snickers. Just way too much. Thanksgiving season started for me as soon as saw this. I may not even eat any candy the rest of the year.

SAY! WERE YOU AWARE YESTERDAY WAS 10/10/10!?


One thing I hate about the Internet is how geeked out everyone gets about halfway amusing calendar date alignments. OHMIGAH, it's Sequential Day! 08/09/10! WWWHHHAAAA, Palindrome Day! 01/02/2010! CRAY-CRAY! We all know how numbers work and that, given enough time, they will reach these numerological oddities. That there have been at least two dates this year when everyone loses their shit about how the complete date forms some sort of boring pattern, I was more than ready not to deal with the constant references to 10/10/10 yesterday.

"Hey everybody, it's 10/10/10. Did you know there are actual NFL players with the number 10 on their assigned jersey? THAT'S INSANE! WHO COULD'VE THOUGHT IT POSSIBLE? NFL discourse on TV totally isn't for the mentally abeyant. We respect your desire for actual insight. Just kidding, LOOGIT THE TENS!"

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, WHAT IS WRONG WITH CHRIS JOHNSON?


I have a feeling this is going to be showing up on ominous NFL head injury safety footage for years to come. I guess the best we can hope is that Cop Speed is merely spastic and not actually displaying the early signs of brain damage. I'm not going to worry too much just yet, however. Chris Johnson was mentally focused enough to later in the game celebrate on the Cowboys star in the end zone a la T.O. a few years back. Sheer brilliance, that.

Facepalms of Note


Barring a miraculous turn-around, Mike Singletary could very well see his job in jeopardy by the end of the season. Which is a shame for fans who don't like the 49ers because he is truly a delight to watch seethe. Very versatile in his outrage game. He might be berating Alex Smith on the sideline. He could be dropping trou to prove a point in the locker room. He almost certainly is running out to midfield to give the death stare to a referee who won't give him a timeout immediately. But even in the tiniest details, he exhibits his disgust and rancor so well. Look at the expression he gives Frank Gore after the running back's first fumble on Sunday night. So much sass in that eye roll. Jim Caldwell can't do that shit.

A Delicious Bundle Of Gripes

-Yesterday, not only did Redskins receiver Anthony Armstrong become the umpteenth receiver to celebrate a touchdown by doing the Dougie, but he tried to take credit for the phenomenon catching on in the NFL. In an interview after the game, Armstrong claimed he's been doing the celebration since he was playing with Dallas' Arena League team. That's plausible enough, I guess. After all, Lil' Will, the originator of the move, is based in Dallas. Still, rest assured, Anthony Armstrong, that Braylon Edwards or anyone else who has pulled out the Dougie this season did so because they watched you do it in the Arena League. No one cares about you or your Arena League exploits.


- Besides, the Carlton dance destroys the Dougie any day. Take it away, Alphonso Smith.


- From a thoroughly obnoxious and contrarian Jason Gay piece from the Wall Street Journal about Monday night's Vikings/Jets showdown, comes this gem:

Mr. Favre is the beet-and-goat-cheese salad of sports: Despite how many fans claim they're utterly sick of him, they never truly get enough. He sells the jerseys, packs the house, thrills the networks. He's the bodily manifestation of the Berra-ism, "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded." Mr. Favre is hopelessly contradictory (he's staying, he's going), objectively fun to watch (would you rather see Jimmy Clausen chuck it around?), and last year he marched Minnesota within an interception of a Super Bowl, which is why the Vikings once again shamed themselves and chartered south to beg his services.

That's a praiseworthy addition to the annals of Favre journoporn. Even when it comes from a place of contempt, Brett Favre inspires the most whacked-out plaudits from the press. I'm not even sure Peter King, the dean of the Favre deer stand press corps, has managed to compare Favre to a beet-and-goat-cheese salad. A dozen different types of coffee, yes, but a salad? No, and for that you shall be made immortal, Jason Gay.

-Speaking of Coffee, the Glen Coffee arrest broke late last week and thus never really got the attention that the bizarre and disquieting story deserved. Coffee, of course, decided to abruptly retire from football in August just before the beginning of his second season with the 49ers. He said he was heeding "God's call" and joining the ministry. And while there's nothing inherently wrong with leaving a career behind to pursue religion, when you're found not two months later in a car without registration and carrying a concealed semi-automatic weapon, then perhaps there's something a little more troubling going on.

- On a less harrowing note, if you're going to go so far as to don the lucha libre mask at an NFL stadium, please don't kill the illusion for the rest of us and start poking around on your cell phone. No es macho! Besides, your stupid Cardinals won anyway. Try to pretend like you didn't all vacate the bandwagon at once, Arizona fans.

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