Offensive line play is killing these expansion clubs. Jaguar rookie right tackle Brian DeMarco was devoured by Jet defensive end Hugh Douglas—also a rookie—and was seriously overmatched by the Pack on Sunday. Young quarterback Mark Brunell was sacked six times by New York and five times by Green Bay. Meanwhile, Panther quarterback Frank Reich has completed only 44% of his passes; and rookie Kerry Collins might get the start against the Buccaneers this Sunday. While Reich hasn't been sharp, it should be noted that 10 of his 84 passes have been throwaways to avoid sacks.
Carolina's two top running backs, Derrick Moore and Randy Baldwin, are a waiver claim and a converted kick returner, respectively, and the two leading Panther receivers, Willie Green and Mark Carrier, were castoffs of their former employers. Jacksonville's hoped-for big-play receivers, Ernest Givins and Desmond Howard, have caught 16 passes for a 10.4-yard average.
"You should have known it would be like this," Jet quarterback Boomer Esiason told Trudeau, his former backup, last week.
Reich, for one, says, "I did know. But we have an environment to thrive in, and we'll win here." Just not now. Not this year.
The End Zone
Happy birthday, Ram specialists. Snapper Jim Price, holder Mark Rypien and kicker Steve McLaughlin were born on Oct. 2.
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