Around the League 11/1/06

Scout.com takes an inside look around the National Football League.

How important is good quarterback play? It's no coincidence that the Colts are 7-0 and have the league's highest rated passer in QB Peyton Manning (107.9)

The Chiefs have even salvaged their season with backup Damon Huard, who has thrown eight touchdowns against one interception and is third in the NFL with a 100.4 rating while leading Kansas City to all four of its victories.

Nowhere was quality quarterback play on display better than Monday night, with Patriots QB Tom Brady picking apart a previously-daunting Vikings defense. In fact, Brady appeared to leave the Vikings' coaches and players in awe.

"He does a lot of things at the line of scrimmage just to try to see where you're coming from, see if you'll give him any indicators, kind of double count and then he readjusts his protection," said Vikings coach Brad Childress. "He got back into the shotgun and knew exactly what he was looking at. He has the ability, and he has skilled receivers. He gets the ball out of his hand pretty quickly."

Said Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield: "I've played against him a few times and I've never seen him do what he did to us (Monday night)."

Pittsburgh rode a stout defense and excellent quarterback play to the Super Bowl last season. But the Steelers are 2-5 and on the brink of being out of playoff contention midway through the season in large part due to terrible play from Ben Roethlisberger.

The third-year signal-caller has thrown a league-high 11 interceptions against six touchdown passes with a passer rating of 70.7 -- 26th in the NFL and below names like Alex Smith, J.P. Losman and two guys benched weeks ago in Kurt Warner and Daunte Culpepper.

But Steelers coach Bill Cowher said he has no plans to switch to backup Charlie Batch, and said he doesn't believe Roethlisberger's poor outing Sunday was related to a concussion suffered in the previous game.

"Based on last week and talking to him and the week of practice that he had, there was no question about him playing," Cowher said. "What happens when you lose, a lot of things come under the microscope, as they should. But all the speculation about him, about me, that becomes a part of it. You've got to be able to deal with it."



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