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Snap judgments

Maybe T.O. was right after all; QB issue in Baltimore?

Posted: Sunday October 15, 2006 7:20PM; Updated: Tuesday October 17, 2006 9:56AM
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NEW ORLEANS -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight in the wake of an entertaining, eventful and upset-filled Week 6 in the NFL ...

• Are we all big enough to admit that maybe Terrell Owens was right? Maybe the Cowboys were guilty of under-utilizing him in the season's opening five weeks. There's no doubt he routinely picks the wrong way to voice his concerns, and his timing is impeccably terrible. But in this case, his point was valid: getting him the ball is just good business for Drew Bledsoe and Dallas.

All I know is that T.O.'s five catches against the outmatched Texans produced three touchdowns in the Cowboys' 34-6 thrashing of Houston. That's not a bad ratio to aspire to when it comes to play-making in the NFL.

Steve McNair didn't make it through Week 6 without getting injured and can anyone say they're surprised backup Kyle Boller was needed in Baltimore by mid-October? The 33-year-old McNair might be known for his toughness, but he isn't exactly the Cal Ripken of NFL quarterbacks. In his last three seasons in Tennessee (2003-2005), McNair missed 12 of 48 starts, and has opened all 16 of his team's games only once in the past seven seasons, and just three times in his successful 12-year pro career.

Despite the Ravens starting 4-0 this season, McNair has hardly been on his game of late. In his most recent nine quarters, McNair has tossed six interceptions, fumbled twice, and absorbed five sacks with just two touchdown passes. As much as the Ravens reveled in his back-to-back game-winning fourth-quarter drives against Cleveland and San Diego, McNair has looked much more like the McNair of 2004-2005 than the 2003 league co-MVP version.

And, yes, if you're wondering, I think Boller's 226-yard, three-touchdown relief performance against the Panthers should spark some quarterback debate in Baltimore. Coming into the Carolina game, the Ravens had scored 15, 16 and 3 points in their past three games with McNair under center. Boller, who put 21 points on the board in three-plus quarters, would have been roasted in Baltimore last year for hanging up those kind of numbers.

• Even as cold as it was, not a bad weekend in Detroit, eh? The Tigers make the Series for the first time since Kirk Gibson wore the Old English D, and the Lions finally give Rod Marinelli his first victory as an NFL head coach -- at Ford Field, no less.

The Lions got 278 yards passing from Jon Kitna, 127 yards rushing from Kevin Jones, and 161 yards receiving on 10 catches by Roy Williams to nip reeling Buffalo 20-17. And did we mention the Lions defense forced three Bills turnovers?

Now that's how it was supposed to go in Detroit. At least that's what Matt Millen tells me.


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