There has been some outcry about the Panthers playing ping-pong with their quarterbacks -- John Fox announced Monday that Matt Moore would be the starter Sunday against San Francisco again.
Moore started the first two games; rookie Jimmy Clausen has started the past three. Neither has won a single start, and both have been very unimpressive while leading the NFL's worst offense.
I understand the logic of my colleague Tom Sorensen and others -- they believe that Clausen has to learn on the job, that he'll be better-equipped to lead the team in 2011 and so on (assuming Moore's gone then; he may be, given that this is the last year of his current contract).
But Clausen, to me, looks pretty overmatched for this job right now. Moore throws more interceptions, yes, but that's partly because he tries to complete more passes. He tries to do things.
Clausen is the king of throwing it away -- he'll chuck it out of bounds on third-and-10 instead of trying to keep the play alive and get a first down. He also has some serious problems holding onto the football (seven fumbles so far this season).
I'm not saying Clausen doesn't ultimately have a brighter future than Moore; likely he does.
But there are a whole bunch of guys in that locker room who would really like to win a game -- just one, for pete's sake -- and right now I think Moore moves the team a little better and has a little more idea of what it takes to win an NFL game. Even with the two losses this year, remember, he's 6-4 as a starter in the league.
So if Moore falters in the first half and throws three picks? Go back to Clausen, absolutely. They're both going to play some more before the season is through. This decision certainly isn't a final one.
But at the moment, I would agree with Fox: for this game, on this week, Moore gives the Panthers a slightly better chance to win than Clausen does.
6 months ago