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The NFL preseason isn't exactly the height of excitement. But when fewer than one out of five voters claim they don't watch any of it, and 40 percent of SportsNation is more interested in it than baseball's pennant races, well, it's difficult to ignore. At least the first full weekend of games offered some quarterback debuts to make way too much out of.

The Good: Mark Sanchez didn't get the start in the Jets' first preseason game, but he wasted little time completing a 48-yard pass when he did get on the field and will start the team's next game. Matthew Stafford survived his first game behind the Lions' line and even threw a touchdown pass (we grade on a curve when it comes to the Lions).

The Bad: Josh Freeman's numbers suggest he'll miss seeing Iowa State on the schedule, although Byron Leftwich wasn't any more prolific for the Bucs.

The Ugly: It's never good when the savior is cautioning people not to panic, as Jay Cutler had to after throwing a pick on an unmemorable day against the Bills (some would say it's also not good when Trent Edwards shows you up).


I actually think both Sanchez and Stafford will do well this year. They both seem to have "moxy", and are not afraid to try and fail.

-- teamjordan_2345

Childress im thinking you need some thicker glasses. Jackson once again looked right into the headlights and froze just like those northern deer. The guy you traded for shined with a hurt ankle. Keeping what performance in perspective. Jackson is not an NFL QB. The only reason this guy had any solid perfomances is because he was facing 8 and 9 man fronts to stop AP.

-- vikings42011

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It's one thing to look good throwing passes in seven-on-seven drills or posing in the pocket while wearing a red jersey (we see you, Matt Stafford). Any quarterback can look good in a red jersey -- well, maybe not Jared Lorenzen.

The real test for a quarterback trying to earn a starting job comes when the whistle blows for real and defensive linemen are trying to do things to him that would make Brock Lesnar wince. And you thought preseason games were a waste of money. Well, actually, you're right about that, but they do play a role in settling quarterback duels.

While the opening exhibition game between the Titans and Bills didn't offer much in the way of quarterback drama (no matter what Vince Young thinks), the first full weekend of games will be a different story. One of the biggest auditions comes with Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson and the Browns visiting Lambeau Field. SportsNation ranked Quinn No. 2 when it came to quarterbacks battling for jobs, behind only Oakland's Jeff Garcia. The bad news for the former Golden Domer is voters also ranked Anderson No. 3.

Hey, look at that. A post about quarterbacks that didn't mention Brett Favre or Michael Vick ... until now. Our bad.


I was never a huge Sanchez fan until he started coming into the restauraunt that I worked at as a night job. He is the most respectful and mature kid out of any football player I have seen come out of college in years. Im not just saying that because I have met him a few times. Im saying that because anyone who is in his shoes now a days seems to get soooooo big headed and lose focus of why they are where they are. I did not get this vibe from Sanchez at all.

-- jryanfrink

Rosenfels is HANDS DOWN better than T Jackson. If Childress will swallow his ego and let him start the Viks will win the division, if not then I feel Green Bay will win the division. Cutler is a spoiled baby and it will take him two years (at least) to become a man in the NFC North.

-- 3hypocycloids4cusps

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Some quarterback battles are worthy of Bruce Lee. Others more closely resemble Larry, Moe and Curly. But through it all, we're talking about summer entertainment. And when the other option is figuring out which punter a team will go with, we'll go with the contrived quarterback drama, thank you very much.

Browns coach Eric Mangini says he doesn't have a timetable for naming a starting quarterback. And the truth of the matter is that it probably doesn't really matter whether Mangini decides to start Derek Anderson or follows SportsNation's advice and goes with Brady Quinn when the Browns open the regular season at home against the Vikings (and their own quarterback to be named later).

Pick the right guy and maybe the Browns go 8-8. Pick the wrong guy and maybe they go 4-12 again. By December, people on the shores of Lake Erie may all be talking about Colt McCoy or Sam Bradford anyway.

But at least the Browns are choosing from two seemingly viable options, if only compared to how voters feel about the battles in Minnesota (Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels) and San Francisco (Alex Smith and Shaun Hill).


Mangini will be under alot of presser. I think he goes w/ Quinn, because Mangini will get less grief is he doesn't work out compared to going with Anderson.

-- justsandmann

has this ever worked? waiting until the last minute to decide on a starting qb? they must have their reasons, but if i was a browns fan. i would want this figured out and soon..

-- jaredlawson

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Chad Ochocinco is still a member of the Bengals, Anquan Boldin is still a member of the Cardinals and Brett Favre is still indecisive. So not much has changed since last we left the NFL, right? Terrell Owens is in Bills camp talking about the unfairness of any further delay in Michael Vick's comeback? Right, so maybe not everything is right where we left it.

As incredibly wealthy people move into college dorm rooms across the country for the rite of passage that is training camp (or orientation at Sarah Lawrence College, take your pick), there are more than a few familiar faces in new places. Back in May, SportsNation gave the Eagles the highest marks for their offseason moves, but considering first-round pick Jeremy Maclin remains unsigned as camp approaches, they may not even be among the best shoppers in their own city if the Phillies find a way to tack on Roy Halladay on top of the Flyers adding Chris Pronger.

Offseason acquisitions are one topic on the agenda for today's "SportsNation" (4 p.m. ET, ESPN2), but how does your scorecard look for moves like the Redskins signing Albert Haynesworth and the Bears trading for Jay Cutler?

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Hard-throwing rookie from the sunny coast of California signs a deal with $28 million in guaranteed money. Meanwhile, SportsNation is split on whether or not he'll be starting for his new team by early September. Sorry, Nationals fans, Scott Boras isn't about to let you off the hook that easily when it comes to Stephen Strasburg (silver lining: more quality time with Craig Stammen). We're talking, of course, about Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez.

But it is at least a little perplexing that while people badmouth Boras -- all right, that's not perplexing on its own -- nobody seems too concerned with the money headed to either Sanchez or Lions rookie, and No. 1 overall pick, Matthew Stafford. It's not like -- Akili Smith, Tim Couch, Ryan Leaf, Heath Shuler -- first-round quarterbacks are risk-free investments.


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