Which Backup Quarterback is Under the Most Pressure?

Backup Quarterbacks with Key Opportunities

11/18/12 in NFL   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

It wasn’t that Jason Campbell’s Sunday night performance against the Texans was one of the weaker displays of quarterbacking in recent years – he didn’t get sacked once or turn the ball over at all – it was just a frustrating reminder of why NFL teams need good backups.  Especially when your Quarterback happens to be as fragile as a Jay Cutler. 
 
Yet Cutler wasn’t the only recent casualty amongst NFL hurlers, and after last week’s quarterback massacre, a good amount of playoff-race and even a few longevity questions require asking.
 
This weekend, those answers will begin to develop.
 
October 7, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) looks on from the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 16-14. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE1. Beginning of the Foles Era?
 
At 3-6, the Eagles are pretty much a sure thing to miss the playoffs for the second straight year, and it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if both Andy Reid and Michael Vick aren’t invited back in 2013.  In other words, it’s time for a change in Philly, and thanks to some flashes of potential, there’s hope that rookie QB Nick Foles could be the answer they’re looking for.
 
The former Arizona Wildcat put together an impressive preseason, completing 40 of his 63 passes for 533 yards with 6 Touchdowns and 2 Interceptions, good for a Quarterback Rating of 110.1.  Then last week against Dallas after Vick went down, Foles went 22 for 32 for 219 yards with 1 Touchdown, 1 pick and 1 lost fumble.
 
But this weekend he’ll have the game to himself, and what better opportunity to win over the crucial Philly fans than by winning a game on the road against division rival Washington and fellow rookie Robert Griffin III?
 
A strong performance could lead to some hope for Philadelphia’s future, but a struggle could lead to the Eagles faithful riding him out of town before he even realizes the QB spot is his to lose.
 
November 4, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich (4) warms up before the start of an NFL game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE2. Leftwich’s Return
 
Byron Leftwich’s last NFL regular season start came in week 3 of 2009 for the Buccaneers.  It was a game where Leftwich played so poorly that he was pulled for rookie Quarterback Josh Freeman and then didn’t see the field the rest of the year.
 
Now in his second stint with the Steelers, Leftwich is making his return as a starting Quarterback at a pivotal time in Pittsburgh’s season.  The Steelers’ playoff hopes look pretty promising as they’re currently tied for the top wildcard spot in the AFC with a 6-3 record and no one below the top 6 in the AFC has a record of .500 or better.  But Sunday night they’ll host bitter-rival and division leader Baltimore.  A victory without Roethlisberger wouldn’t only be a significant statement, but it would make for a tie at the top of the AFC North.  A loss drops the team to an underwhelming 6-4 with a game in Baltimore still to play.
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