I’m Just Saying: How bad could Matt Leinart have really been?

Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback Derek Anderson leaves the field after the Cards game with the St. Louis Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ December 5,2010. Anderson was replaced in the second half as the Rams defeated the Cards 19-6. UPI/Art Foxall Photo via Newscom

I’m starting a new column and I’m calling it “I’m Just Saying.” Peter King has a column (Monday Morning Quarterback), so it only makes sense that a well-respected sports blogger like myself has a column as well.

What? I’m not well-respected? Who the hell is Anthony Stalter? Peter King is more established?

What-ev.

– Let’s hold off on the Giants-look-like-Super-Bowl-contenders-again talk after they beat a crap Redskins team. After their effort against the Eagles and Giants over the past few weeks, I’m fully convinced that Oregon could beat the Redskins on a neutral field.

– Hey Josh Freeman, I’d stay away from Brent Grimes the next time Atlanta comes to down. Dude is small but he’s often the most athletic player on the field.

– Lion fans are pissed about the unnecessary roughness penalty on Ndamukong Suh for the forearm shiver that he delivered to Jay Cutler’s back, but riddle me this, Batman: Was the play avoidable? Could Suh have chosen not to go GSP on Cutler and still gotten him down? What I’m asking is: Was it necessary roughness?

– I’m pretty sure I could think of two reasons not to start Brett Favre for every one reason that Leslie Fraizer comes up with. Let’s start with these: His touchdown to interception ratio this year is 10:17 and even after his effort on Sunday, one could make an argument that Ryan Fitzpatrick is better at this point in his career. That’s right – Ryan Fitzpatrick. So why not Tarvaris Jackson, Leslie?

– Is there any reason Marion Barber should get carries for the Cowboys with how good Felix Jones and Tashard Choice looked against the Colts? Sorry, is there any good reason I mean to write.

– You’re lucky the Colts wound up scoring anyway, Eric Foster.

– Hey Peyton: blue shirts, white helmets, my man.

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Suh only has self to blame for penalty against Cutler, Bears

DETROIT - AUGUST 28: Ndamukong Suh  of the Detroit Lions looks on prior to playing the Cleveland Browns in a preseason game on August 28, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Some Lions fans are missing the point regarding Ndamukong Suh’s unnecessary roughness penalty in the fourth quarter of the Bears’ 24-20 win over the Lions on Sunday.

Regardless of whether or not he hit Jay Cutler in the head or did something to deserve the penalty doesn’t really matter. What matters is that there were other ways to bring Cutler down besides breaking out a forearm shiver and Suh decided to go MMA anyway.

For those that missed the play, the Bears were down 20-17 midway through the fourth quarter and driving inside the red zone. Cutler scrambled for an 8-yard gain and as he was falling to the ground, Suh drove his forearm into Cutler’s back and may have grazed his head. (I say “may have” because it depends on who you root for. It’s either clear that Suh hit Cutler in the head or it’s clear that he just hit Cutler’s upper back. Ah, fans.)

Suh was flagged 15 yards for unnecessary roughness on the play, which gave the Bears a first-and-goal at Detroit’s 7-yard line. They scored on the next play and eventually went on to win, 24-20.

Following the game, Suh said: “I was just going out there to make a play, get the ball out. We were in a tight situation in the red zone. We have to stop them some way from getting a touchdown. Obviously he broke a tackle. I had a great angle to make a play and get the ball out, and that’s what I went after.”

Okay, but there are other ways to try and knock the ball out – ways that won’t draw a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. He could have grabbed Cutler with one arm and tried to strip the ball with his free hand. He could have given Cutler a bear hug (no pun intended) and tried to punch the ball out that way. He could have read Cutler his favorite bedtime story and hoped that the quarterback let go of the ball while falling asleep.

All good options (well, that last one is debatable), none of which involves throwing a forearm to, or around the back of Cutler’s head.

Lion fans feel they have a gripe and maybe they do. But the bottom line is that the play was completely avoidable on Suh’s part.

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