<
>

Ranking the Beast backups

9/1/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Hopefully by now you've read our groundbreaking analysis of the NFC East backup quarterback situations. With what happened in Dallas last season, it seemed like an appropriate topic. But some of my faithful readers (you know who you are) have asked me to rank the backups in the Beast. Here's what I came up with:

1. Philadelphia -- I don't necessarily think the Eagles made a wise decision in signing social reformer/Wildcat quarterback Michael Vick, but he'll immediately become the best backup in the division once he's fully reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Who are defensive coordinators more worried about? Jon Kitna or Vick? See.

2. Dallas -- I think Kitna could come off the bench and do a nice job for a few games. Over the course of a season, he might take too many sacks. But for a three- or four-game stretch, he could perform really well. The Cowboys were held hostage by the backup quarterback spot in '08. They weren't going to let it happen again.

3. Washington -- I think Todd Collins is about as dependable a backup as you'll find in the league. He led the team to the playoffs during a thrilling stretch in '07 and he does a nice job protecting the football. He's the perfect caretaker quarterback if something happens to Jason Campbell. And I like that Jim Zorn's leaning toward Chase Daniel. The former Mizzou Tiger has made the most of his limited opportunities in the preseason. The end is near for the Cult of Colt.

4. New York -- David Carr could get you through a game or two, but he'd be the last guy in the division I'd want behind center for a seven- or eight-game stretch. If Eli Manning goes down, the Giants are cooked. I can't say that about the other three teams' situations.