Column: Batch Performance Puts Naysayers In Doubt

For those of you who don't believe Charlie Batch is a high quality starting NFL quarterback (yes, high quality) following his performance on Sunday, your ticket on the Detroit Lions' bandwagon has just expired. Batch shattered nearly every Lions' passing record on Sunday, despite losing so many receivers to injury that his backup and potential scion, Mike McMahon, was tossed into the game as an additional wideout.

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Nate Caminata - LionsFans.com

Normally, I try to present myself as a calm, amiable football fan who views things optimistically while always lending naysayers, pessimists, and the occasional realist an ear.

Perhaps the Lions' 0-9 start following Sunday's 45-38 loss has fueled the fire and damaged my collective inhibitions, but certain fans have to be put in check.

For those of you who don't believe Charlie Batch is a high quality starting NFL quarterback (yes, high quality) following his performance on Sunday, your ticket on the Detroit Lions' bandwagon has just expired.

Batch shattered nearly every Lions' passing record on Sunday, despite losing so many receivers to injury that his backup and potential scion, Mike McMahon, was tossed into the game as an additional wideout.

However, Batch's performance in Arizona hardened the nutshell for the Detroit Lions season. Having already eclipsed 2,000 passing yards for the season (2,062) despite starting just 7 games, and being active for only eight, Batch is the lone brilliance during a poor, and forgettable 2001 NFL campaign. And I haven't even mentioned that that this is Charlie's first year in the West Coast Offense.

Yet some fans, and even analysts, believe the Lions should throw in the towel on their former "savior."

On Sunday, Batch, also without the help of a credible running game (see: Leno joke), put each and every one of those 38 points on the board himself via a team record and evident career-high 436 passing yards and three touchdowns. And he did it with style. How do ya like them apples?

He led the scoring drives. And he found the receivers in the endzone.

Yes, occassionally, Batch made a poor throw. It happens to even the best quarterbacks throughout the league, especially when you throw the ball 62 times!

If Kurt Warner, Brett Favre, or any other highly touted NFL quarterback tossed 62 passes, their numbers wouldn't reflect or reach near the precedence of Charlie Batch's gaudy statistics on Sunday. With three 300-plus passing yard contests this season prior to his explosion, we may have only scratched the surface of Batch's potential.

This isn't Rodney Peete, Erik Kramer, or Scott Mitchell. Batch is already unequivocally better.

An often pledged argument is that Batch doesn't have winning intangibles? How many does he need to qualify? And who determines what winning intangibles are?

Batch has been tossed into game determining drives a countless number of times this season, but not all by his own doing. And in each of those contests, Batch was let down by his defense ... sometimes even after he had led an 'apparent' game winning drive. So don't hand me "winning intangibles," Sir Madden. Batch has a hand full with several more to spare.

If the Lions' pitiable defense steps up against a weak and equally pathetic Cardinals' offense, Charlie Batch -- and only Charlie Batch -- dominates this contest and the naysayers keep their mouths shut.

The resounding, and undebatable point is that the Arizona Cardinals scored 45 points on Sunday against their former head coach (Vince Tobin) and a pathetic Detroit Lions defense. And it has been happening all season long ... Batch just happens to be a scapegoat for each loss.

And his 436 excuses will never be good enough.


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