Quarterback Carousel

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By Stefan Anderson

Just over a ¼ way through the 2015-16 NFL Season and the quarterback play has been tremendous thus far. With Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady at the forefront for the MVP award, the league has been on notice for the QB.

Show and Prove

But there are two quarterbacks who are making their distinction known this season after speculations have placed them in the “good but not good enough” category. Andy Dalton of Cincinnati Bengals and Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, not only lead two of the six remaining undefeated teams but have done so in fashionable manner.

Dalton, coming into his fifth season, where quarterbacks normally sink or float, is showing that he is poised to take the Bengals to the next level. Throughout his five games this season, Dalton leads the NFL in passing yards with 1,518 and 3rd in QB rating only behind Rodgers and Brady.  Trailing by 10 going into the final period, Dalton put together his toughest performance Sunday afternoon against the Seattle Seahawks, putting Cincy on his shoulders as they forced OT and eventually won their 5th game of the season.

Ryan, who is second in the passing yards with 1,456 has had his struggles with turning the ball over but has been able to help keep the Falcons alive when needed. Atlanta has forced comeback wins against NFC East foes Washington, Philadelphia and New York.  Despite the help of rookie running back Davonta Freeman and superstar wide out Julio Jones, Ryan is still in the driver seat leading his team to victories.

Both sitting at 5-0, Ryan and Dalton are showing that they could make the change this season. But to withstand the pressure of being elite is tough, but they are certainly taking the proper steps.

Insurance Policy

Having a valuable backup quarterback is a commodity in NFL and many teams take that guy with the clipboard for granted until their star QB is down. Matthew Hasselback and Ryan Fitzpatrick have shown that patience is a virtue and despite the obstacles it may come with to always be prepared for the opportunity.

Hasselback, once lead Seattle to the Super Bowl in 2005 and has yet to see a start since 2012. With Andrew Luck sitting for the Colts, Hasselback came in and helped Indy reach two wins when it seemed as if their season was hanging on a thread. Hasselback’s 495 passing yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions show the importance of being ready.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is known as a solid quarterback but once who is also turnover prone, but in his tenure with the Jets has shown to a good fit. With the injury to Geno Smith and the reconnection of offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, Fitzpatrick has found his resurgence and has New York sitting at 3-1.  Fitzpatrick has the opportunity to compete this season with the Jets top ranked defense and weapons on the offensive end , the Harvard alum could taste the postseason for the first time in his 11 year career.

Welcome Back ?

By Stefan Anderson

After facing all the turmoil and adversity that one can have, Ray Rice has finally reached his decision. Following an indefinite suspension and being released by his home for over six seasons, the Rutgers standout received his justice his suspension was appealed and Rice was reinstated into the National Football League.

Now that the 3 time pro bowler has been reinstated in the league, which NFL team is willing to let by bygones be bygones and add an exceptional running back to their roster. Rolling the dice on Ray Rice could cost franchise lots of money or fans depending on the location of the organization. But it always takes that one dedicated teams that doesn’t worry about outside factors and could use a premier running back to help make their roster better.

Teams willing to take on Rice following his domestic abuse incident is not completely over. Among the teams that are willing to sign former 1,000 yard rusher, include the Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons and The New Orleans Saints, who are all on the cusp of the playoff race and could use the talents of Ray Rice.

Some teams that have not been mentioned that could Ray Rice include:

Buffalo Bills: The Bills are currently knocking on the door for the AFC Wild Card and could certainly use Rice’s expertise and rushing attack after losing their premier rushers Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.

Detroit Lions: Ranking 30th in rushing yards in the league, the Lions could propel themselves to a NFC North division title with the added rush of Ray Rice. The 3-time pro bowler could give the Lions an added dimension, Rice could catch passes out the backfield along with providing rushing between the tackles what they have been searching for with Bush and Bell.

Arizona Cardinals: Second to last in rushing this season , the Cards still maintain the NFL’s best record, but if the Cards were to add Rice to their roster they can become a real contender for the Lombardi Trophy. Rice could help the Cards control the clock and game as they continue to air it out and control offenses with their stingy defense. Taking some pressure of the inexperienced Drew Stanton would be a tremendous addition and the best fit in my opinion.

Ultimately, Ray Rice would have to get back in NFL shape in a short amount of time, but his talent alone will enhance his chances to get back on the field. Would love to see him back on the field before seasons end looking forward to seeing how this plays out.