Thursday night football returns to the NFL this evening and it’s a game that Chiefs fans will take notice of for several reasons.
The Denver Broncos are in Cleveland to face the Browns. At 5-3, the Broncos are struggling to stay on top of the AFC West. Their defense is in shambles and so is their running game. It’s going to be quite a chore for Mike Shanahan to make something out of what is left of this 2008 season.
On the other side, the Browns will start Brady Quinn (right) at quarterback in place of Derek Anderson. They become the 13th team in the league this year to change their starting quarterback at least once because of performance and injury. The number will reach No. 14 this weekend when Shaun Hill becomes the starter in San Francisco and possibly No. 15 if Pittsburgh starter Ben Roethlisberger can’t go and he’s replaced by Byron Leftwich.
It wasn’t so long ago that Quinn was tops on the list for Chiefs fans when they talked about the team’s quarterback of the future. The Chiefs inquired about Quinn and his status with the Browns earlier this year – at the time Brodie Croyle was first injured – but found out that the folks running the Cleveland franchise have no plans to deal their young quarterback.
Now Quinn finally has his chance to play. Since joining the Browns last year, he’s appeared in just one regular season game: last year’s season finale when he hit three of eight passes for 45 yards and led the Browns to a field goal. His last start at quarterback was the 2007 Sugar Bowl, when Notre Dame got smoked by LSU 41-14.
He now has his chance to start again and he’s got eight games to convince the Browns they didn’t blow it last year by giving up two draft choices, including the team’s ’08 first-round pick, so they could grab him.
“Honestly, I’m not looking past this week,” Quinn said. “The biggest thing is getting a win this week. I’m not looking at eight games. I’m looking at one game.”
If Quinn can come out and produce in this audition, his name will drop off the radar screen of Chiefs fans. Maybe Anderson will pop up instead.
Head coach Romeo Crennel said the decision to replace Anderson with Quinn was his and his alone. He didn’t have much of a vote of confidence for his untested quarterback.
“Knock wood, I hope the guy doesn’t fall on his face,” Crennel said.
Chiefs fans will watch closely, although most of them will not be able to see the game since it’s broadcast on the NFL Network and many local cable operators do not yet have the all football channel available to most of their customers. Fans can watch portions of the game at NFL.com.
FROM THE PAGES OF CHIEFS HISTORY
On November 6, 1977, the Chiefs beat the Green Bay Packers 20-10 at Arrowhead Stadium in their first game after the firing of head coach Paul Wiggin. With interim head coach Tom Bettis running the team a crowd of 62,687 fans watching, the Chiefs offense had a nearly 10-minute advantage in time of possession, while the Kansas City defense held Green Bay to 199 offensive yards. The Chiefs had a one-yard touchdown run by RB Ed Podolak and a three-yard TD pass from QB Mike Livingston to WR Henry Marshall. Podolak finished the game with 98 yards on 18 carries, while also catching four passes for 51 yards. The Chiefs defense sacked Green Bay QB Lynn Dickey three times. After the game, Bettis announced that the game ball was going to go to a fellow in Mission with the initials P.W.
On November 6, 1994, the Chiefs beat the Los Angeles Raiders 13-3 in a Sunday night game at Arrowhead Stadium. In front of 78,709 fans and a national TV audience, the Chiefs defense dominated the game, allowing the Raiders only three pints, while forcing three turnovers and five sacks. Safeties Charles Mincy and William White had the interceptions, while DE Neil Smith had two sacks and DE Darren Mickell and LBs Derrick Thomas and George Jamison added one sack each. The only touchdown of the game came in the second quarter when QB Joe Montana hooked up with TE Derrick Walker on a 57-yard scoring throw. K Lin Elliott had a pair of field goals.
OPPONENT NEXT/SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Here’s a great story about Chargers G Kris Dielman speaking to a winless high school team out in San Diego.¬†¬† There’s some motivation there for everybody.
In San Diego they are still trying to find a way to build a new stadium for the Chargers, but one idea went down to defeat in voting on Tuesday.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
One of the heroes of the New York¬† Giants victory in the Super Bowl saw his season end on Wednesday as¬†WR David Tyree moved to the injured reserve list.¬†
AROUND THE REST OF THE AFC WEST
In the Bay Area they are speculating that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh maybe the guy Al Davis¬† hires to take over his franchise.
As expected the Raiders released CB DeAngelo Hall on Wednesday, despite the fact they gave him $8 million and gave up a pair of draft picks for him.
Denver’s Jay Cutler knows a little something about what Brady Quinn is going through with his first start tonight againnt the Broncos.