Now, There Really is a Quarterback Debate

Whether George Seifert wanted one of not, he now has a quarterback controversy. What many folks hoped would happen a week ago when Jeff Lewis struggled against New England, came to fruition against Baltimore, as the Panthers dug out of a 17-0 hole (put there largely by Lewis) to win for the first time in seven pre-season outings.

It wouldn't have mattered even if John Kasay hadn't hit that 23-yard field goal with 11 seconds left for the Panthers' 20-17 win over the Ravens, Chris Weinke showed enough to be considered for the starting quarterback's job.

It has clearly been Jeff Lewis' job to lose since the release of Steve Beuerlein, he may have just done it. Lewis spent the few days since his poor performance against New England guaranteeing a better performance against Baltimore; talking about how he was going to immerse himself in football (what has he been doing for the past three years?). None of it worked. Lewis was a pathetic 6-11 for 19 yards and three (count 'em) three interceptions!

In fairness, Weinke's success will probably be overblown, but, against the Ravens he did give fans something he didn't against New England...something to compare Lewis' performance to.

Weinke's final numbers were 15-25 for 190 yards. He led the final drive that resulted in the Panthers' winning points. Yes, he did show some poor decision-making, but, there is little doubt that, at this point, he has a much better upside than Lewis.

What I would like to see in the pre-season finale against Cleveland August 31st is Weinke running the first unit. Lewis has appeared incapable of doing it the last two games.

I would also like to see what running backs Chad Dukes and Nick Goings would do behind the first line. Both have shown the kind of fire you're looking for in football players. Tshimanga Biakabutuka, meanwhile, had another forgetable night, but, in fairness, it came against the Ravens first unit. That's why I would like to see these other guys get a chance against the opponent's best.

Lewis, on the other hand, you can sit as far as I'm concerned. He's never impressed me in ability or leadership, and, coming off a week during which he guaranteed a better performance, stepped backwards instead.


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