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There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today. Live from the PlayShow-yet-not-overly-ostentatious studios of CBS Sports Radio here in beautiful New York City, sitting on top of the 10th floor of 345 Hudson Street, welcome on in to a Monday edition of the Zach Gelb show, coast to coast across all of our great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates, Sirius XM, Channel 158, and that free Odyssey app. 855-212-4CBS, I'm going to jump on in.
855-212-4227, you can always get at me on Instagram, where I'm straight flexing, or via the good old cesspool of Twitter, at Zach Gelb, that's Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B. And we're coming to you live from the Rocket Mortgage Studios, whether you're looking to purchase a new home or refinance yours, Rocket Mortgage could help you get there. For home-owned solutions that fit your life well, Rocket Cannon producing this extravaganza for the next four hours is no other than Hot Take Kiki. Hot Take Kiki. There's always one take that is universal in the NFL offseason. I said it, you said it, we all said it this past offseason. Oh, the AFC is loaded. Oh, the AFC, you're going to need 11 wins to guarantee yourself a spot in the postseason, and if you get 10, you may be SOL when it comes to the playoffs. I've seen football now for four weeks, and it's not an AFC game tonight between the Rams and the San Francisco 49ers, the AFC was drastically overrated this offseason. Like whoever wins the AFC South will just get a participation trophy into the NFL postseason, because that's going to be at most nine wins, it's probably going to be eight wins. I can't have any confidence in the Titans, even though they did what a lot of teams do and beat up on the Indianapolis Colts and Frank Reich is going to be fired at the end of the year, maybe during the season. Jacksonville, okay, you lose to Philadelphia, I can't kill you, but no one in that division is a really good team.
And then if you just say, okay, one division is down, maybe the other three will pick up the slack, that's not the case. The greatest division of all time, the AFC West, is in a bad spot. It's Kansas City, and then everyone else once again. And I was a sucker for it, thinking the Chargers were going to win the AFC West this year. And I know the Chargers win, they get to 2-2, they were up 20 points against the Texans, and then stopped playing football, and then had to turn up the Jets late. I'm not going to give the Chargers an abundance of credit for beating a terrible Houston Texans team. The Broncos may be the worst 2-2 team I've ever seen in the history of the NFL. And their wins have really been embarrassing. And they lose to the Raiders, who had no life offensively, had no life as a team heading into this one, they were 0-3. And the Raiders took care of business up against the Broncos, and they were in control for most of that game. So this AFC West is vastly overrated.
Then you take a look at the AFC North, Steelers, you finally go to Kenny Pickett, what took you so long? You got a little jolt of energy, but your great defense, which is overrated and overpaid and missing TJ Watt, they lose to the Jets, the stinking Jets. Cincinnati can't block anyone. The Browns, we thought they could weather the storm without Deshaun Watson, and then they lose to the Atlanta Falcons. And a team that I like, a team that I think was good, a team that I picked to go to the Super Bowl in the Baltimore Ravens, can you protect a lead at home? You thought week 2 was bad when they blew a 35-14 lead up against the Miami Dolphins, how about what they did yesterday?
You're up 20-3. You blow one lead at home, fine. You blow a second lead at home, what a disaster. And that Ravens loss was so ugly because they didn't score a point in the second half. They were up 20-3, and when you're at home, bad weather condition, I have a ton of respect for the Buffalo Bills, but you gotta win that game.
And hardball at the end of the game, and I'm fine with being aggressive, but there's a difference in being aggressive and then just being stupid. When your offense did nothing in the second half to go for it on fourth and goal at the two, when you could have taken a three-point lead, this is not second-guessing, this was me in the moment, I didn't like it. And not only that, you annoyed your defense, and yes, Josh Allen moves the ball down the field, they end up winning the game, but at the end of the game, there was no communication from the Baltimore Ravens. Do we let them score? Do we not let them score?
That was sloppy. So after four weeks of this NFL season so far in the AFC, this great AFC that was supposed to be so dominant and so wonderful and so spectacular, you have really two great teams, then some teams that look like they could be good teams, and then a lot of bad teams that because this division and this conference is so all up and down, you have a lot of two-and-two teams that have false hope and are worse than probably what their two-and-two record suggests. I don't want to crap on the Dolphins, the Dolphins have been surprising, the Dolphins have been good, the Dolphins are three-and-one, but you don't know when Tua Tunga-Viloa is going to come back, and no one realistically expects the Miami Dolphins to go to a Super Bowl this year or even an AFC title game.
And you get one Mulligan, maybe two Mulligans a year in the regular season, the Bills and the Chiefs already used their Mulligan, the Bills, they were the better team up against Miami, they didn't win the game. Praise Miami, this was now in week three. Also in week three, Kansas City said to Frank Reich, you know what, we feel bad for you. You tie against the Texans, you can't beat the Jaguars in Jacksonville, and we know you're going to get your doors blown off up against Tennessee next week, so we will try to have our kicker basically throw the game away. And that's what happens in week three, so I give Kansas City a pass because Kansas City redeems themselves when they just annihilated last night the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I'm ready right now, and you know me, I love football. All throughout the football season, I'm like a fat kid in a candy store, jumping up and down.
I host an eight-hour show on Sunday where I lock myself inside this studio, and all I do is watch football, football, football, and more football, and since I have no life, after I leave the show at 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific, I go home, order up some Chinese food, park my fat ass on the couch, and I watch the Sunday night game. So I love football, and very rarely, especially in this business, when all we do is talk football 365 days out of the year, well, I say fast-forward through the football season, but if we don't get Kansas City against Buffalo in the AFC Championship game, I'll be stunned, and the only way we don't get it is if you see a god-awful injury to either Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen. It is so clear through the first few weeks of the season that Buffalo and Kansas City are the two best teams in the AFC. I can't say the entire NFL, because Philadelphia has done a heck of a job through the first four weeks, and they had to find a way to climb out of some adversity down in the bad weather, in the rain, at home, down 14.
They come on back, and they do end up covering the spread of six and a half, win the game by nine, up against Jacksonville. But in the AFC, Kansas City, with some dominant victories, up against the Cardinals to start off the year when Mahomes threw five touchdown passes, we saw Mahomes just do whatever he wanted last night, up against a great Tampa Bay defense, and even when they were down ten twice up against the Chargers, who have offensive weapons, Mahomes was able to come back and win that game on a short week on Thursday Night Football. And you look at Buffalo. Buffalo, we know, has the potential to be the most well-rounded team in the league, to be down 20-3 in Baltimore yesterday, and to find a way to win that game. I know some people and a lot of people are going to hammer the Ravens, and it's well-deserved. You've got to give credit to Buffalo for that victory yesterday, and it shows you that maybe, just maybe, this year, for the Buffalo Bills, things are different. Because that is a Bills team, and I've watched them for the last two decades, games that they're supposed to win, or games that they look like they're out of it, they never get back into it, and even if they do get back into it, they don't find a way to win the game, to win that game yesterday, when you didn't show up for a first half, when you're probably still all caught up in the heat of Miami, losing to the Dolphins, when you outgained them by so many yards, to be down 20-3 up against a Ravens team that has one of the better players in the league, and then your defense flicks that switch, your offense, when needed to, comes alive. That is an impressive, really resilient victory yesterday for Buffalo, and most likely, the last 5, 10, 15 years, they don't win a game like that. And it just shows you in this league, when you have a franchise quarterback, when you have a great quarterback, and we know Josh Allen is a top four quarterback in the NFL, if you want to take Brady, Mahomes, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, you pick who you want, rank them anywhere in the top four, he's one of the top four quarterbacks in the league, when you leave the door open, he's going to find a way to come on back, and good for Jordan Poyer.
Both their safeties out, we know Michael Hyde is out for the year, Poyer was out up against the Dolphins, to come on back and make that play up against Lamar Jackson, that was a heck of a win for Buffalo. But I'm trying to think about it right now, and I asked this question on ION Football yesterday, I'll ask it again, who's the third best team in the AFC? And you could tell me it's the Ravens, you could tell me it's the Dolphins, you could tell me it's the Chargers, you want to tell me it's Cincinnati, fine. But there's not a third team in the AFC that you feel really confident about. And through the first four weeks of the season, I don't think much is going to change the rest of the way, as long as Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes stay healthy.
And I got to give credit to that Kansas City defense, because that is really the one flaw of Kansas City, is their defense, and their defense has played fine through the first few weeks of the season. And for Buffalo, we know their only flaw is really not having someone else to run the football other than Josh Allen, with Josh Allen being the leading rusher for the Buffalo Bills three out of the first four games of the season. But that Bills team is well rounded, they have a tremendous defense, you add Von Miller, we know the offensive pieces that they had outside of the running back spot, and Josh Allen is one of the creme de la creme quarterbacks in the NFL. So this loaded AFC, where the AFC West, the fourth place team was going to have nine or ten wins, the AFC North probably could go send three playoff teams potentially as well, this is not a conference that we thought it was going to be. And you could have a lot of good teams or teams that the way that it shapes out, you look at the record like, oh yeah, they're good, they're fine.
But there's not a lot of great teams. And the only two great teams that I've seen so far in the AFC, Chiefs and then also the Buffalo Bills. And what I mean by that is that teams I could see out of the AFC go into the Super Bowl in Phoenix in February. Those are the only two teams right now that I could see representing the AFC in the Super Bowl come February. It's Buffalo and then it's Kansas City. Like Ryan, tell me if I'm wrong here. Can you see any team right now, other than the Bills and the Chiefs, that you would feel confidently about getting to the Super Bowl out of the AFC once you get into the postseason?
Right now, today, no. Like the Dolphins, no. We don't even know when their quarterback's going to return.
Baltimore, severely disappointing. And let me tell you, the team that you were very high on, the Denver Broncos, they suck. And now they're going to have to navigate life without Javonte Williams, you're going to have Melvin Gordon running the football. All that guy does is fumble.
They have a solid defense in Denver, but that offense is loss. Nathaniel Hackett looks in over his head. Russell Wilson, which is weird because he's in his early to mid 30s.
He's looking a lot older than that. He is not looking like an elite quarterback that you traded and paid for. That team you were very optimistic on, they stink. Like, I know you're going to tell me, oh, they're two and two. I don't know if you change your feelings from week three to week four because last week you told me, oh, they're two and one. That could be one of the worse or one of the more disappointing two and two teams that I've ever seen. They just lost to the Raiders, the Raiders who couldn't beat anyone through the first three weeks of the season. The Broncos have major, major problems out there, Kiki.
Yeah, they do. They're not a good team right now. It's very frustrating as someone who believed them in the preseason. But yeah, they're bad.
You can't even say they are who the record says they are because they're two and two. And their two wins are against the Texans and the 49ers where Jimmy Garoppolo was running out of the back of the end zone and didn't even realize it. And the Houston Texans, they stink. They may be one of the worst teams I've ever seen. Only when this team left? Brutal. Absolutely brutal. Who you believe in in the AFC?
855-212-4CBS, 855-212-4227. I think you're crazy right now if you tell me that there's a team that you could make the case for that is not named the Buffalo Bills or the Kansas City Chiefs. What say you?
At Zach Gelb on Twitter and Instagram. When we come on back, Cooper Rush is now 3-0 as the starting quarterback for this year. 4-0 in his career because he did get that win up against the Vikings last year. Dak Prescott about to make a return. We'll see if it's this week or the week after. Dak should be the starting quarterback. But how much pressure is on number four? We'll get into that next. How about them Cowboys? Zach Gelb shows CBS Sports Radio. Wherever you are, whenever you want. And did we mention it's all free?
Download the Odyssey app today. You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show. When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys, they will not win the Super Bowl this year. They will not get to the Super Bowl this year. I would be still stunned that they're even winning multiple playoff games this year. But that football team, I thought was dunzo. I thought they were finish, finito, turn out the lights, the party's over. The fat lady was singing after week one when they lose to Tampa Bay 19-3.
Not only that, they then lose their quarterback. It was an ambiguous date on when he would return. Originally the reports were six to eight weeks.
Then that got a little bit condensed. And there's a chance that he does play this week. I was reading from Adam Schefter that they're optimistic that Dak's going to be able to return on Sunday up against the Rams. And at 4.25 p.m. Eastern game on Fox. And that's the date that they're targeting for a potential Dak Prescott return. Now they may lose to the Rams. They may lose to the Philadelphia Eagles.
And then you're sitting there and it would be 3-3. But after that you get a bad Detroit team. Which a lot of people are like, oh it's the media darlings. Oh, it's the hard knocks heroes of the Detroit Lions. I know that they are banged up with injuries. Amman Ra's St. Brown out yesterday. You have DeAndre Swift out.
DJ Chark out as well. That is not a good football team. I laughed when people were trying to sell me on the Detroit Lions going into this season. And then after that you may have one of the worst offenses I've ever seen in the Chicago Bears. So a bare minimum, this team, regardless of when Dak Prescott's coming back against Cooper Rush or not, they're going to be a football team that is 5-3 heading into the bye.
Because right now they're 3-1. You beat Detroit, you beat Chicago, you get to 5. Even if you lose the Rams and the Eagles, you get to 5-3. And in NFC, we talk about the AFC being weak. You talk about the NFC, the three teams that we thought were really good, the Rams haven't shown me anything through the first three weeks. Tampa Bay, who I think is still going to the Super Bowl because their offense will figure it out, their offense has been abysmal through the first four weeks.
And you look at the Green Bay Packers, Bailey Zappi was in at quarterback for the Patriots and they needed a game winning field goal in overtime. And then you have the Philadelphia Eagles. Fly Eagles, fly baby.
How about them birds? They're looking like a damn good football team. So yeah, with the haves and the have-nots in the NFC, the Cowboys will be a playoff team this year. And they owe a big thank you to first off their defense.
Let's not get carried away here. That defense is one of the better defensive units in the NFL. But they owe a big thank you to Cooper Rush.
Because regardless if Cooper Rush plays this weekend or not, they have weathered the storm. Now, it's up to Dak Prescott to not mess it up. And when you're paying that quarterback in the $40 million range, and when you have a very good but not great quarterback, Dak right on the top ten line. Some weeks he looks like a top ten, maybe up to seven, top seven quarterback in this league. And then there's other weeks where he just doesn't have it.
Like you look at that playoff game last year, or if you look at some of those games up against elite opponents when it comes to Dak Prescott. But if you get this football team back next week at three and one, I know it's only three and one, I know it's very early in the season. You should be able on this schedule to find six more wins. You get nine wins in the NFC, you're going to the postseason. It was good enough for Philadelphia last year to get into the playoffs and be that seventh seed as nine and eight. And you have a good defense. The offensive line shaky. Run game is inconsistent.
CD Lamb is solid. But in an NFC that is not strong, if the Cowboys don't make the playoffs this year, it would be pathetic. Especially when you have Cooper Rush weathering the storm. But there is pressure on Dak now because if Dak comes back.
Oh, can you imagine on Monday? Dak comes back and the Rams finally start to get into form and they win like 40 to 21. Jerry Jones won't help himself. Because two weeks ago Jerry Jones goes, I'll welcome a quarterback competition. I would love quarterback controversy because that means Cooper Rush is balling out. And then he had to walk that back last week because McCarthy got annoyed. When Dak is healthy, when Dak is ready to go, he's going to be the starting quarterback.
But Ryan, you know it and I know it. On maybe the best interview that we have inside the Odyssey family, Jerry Jones on one of five three, the fan, it's the best bang for your buck in the history of sports radio. He goes on eight times a week. It feels like if Dak comes back and just looks terrible. I don't think Jerry Jones would be able to contain himself with bringing up the name Cooper Rush because, you know, every talk shows you'd be the dumbest talk shows in America, even though Dak should be the guy. Dak's the guy you paid. Dak is your quarterback. They would be bringing back up the name of one Cooper Rush. I cannot wait, cannot wait for the day that he's going to say my 40 million dollar a year quarterback needs to play more like Cooper Rush. You know, it's coming like blowing against the Rams.
He struggles. And then you put the Eagles the next week, like if Dak comes back and he's going to have to shake some rust off, coming off the injury, hand injury, you're not going to be right back to form right away, especially when the initial time timeline was that he was going to miss six to eight weeks. And he may only miss three weeks. The Cincinnati game, the Giants game and then and then the commanders game.
So either that timeline was wrong or it was quickly expedited. And Dak said, the moment I feel somewhat OK, stitches out, boom, let's go, let's get back on the field. But these next two weeks, if you go one and one, you'll sign up for that. Because we talk about all the time this difference between a good team and a great team in the NFL, the Cowboys aren't a great team. But they can be a good team.
They could be a 10 win team. But now, number four, there's no excuses. I don't want to hear, oh, well, Michael Gallup is still banged up, but I know he made his return yesterday and got a touchdown. I don't want to hear, oh, you don't have Amari Cooper anymore. The offensive line isn't playing well.
I'm not asking you to get to the top of the mountain. I'm just asking you to be better than Cooper Rush and lead this team to the playoffs. And Cooper Rush, Cooper bleep and rush.
He's 3-0. Out of all the things that we've seen this NFL season rhyme. And there's been a lot of stunning things this NFL season.
There are a lot of teams that you look at and you go, yuck. I think maybe the most surprising thing so far is the Cowboys without Dak Prescott. The Cowboys with Cooper Rush. They're 3-0 with Cooper Rush and 3-0 without Dak Prescott. Is there something that is more stunning this year in the NFL than the drama Dallas Chokin' Cowboys, not looking like the drama Dallas Chokin' Cowboys for the last three weeks with Cooper Rush at the quarterback spot? I can't think of one. I don't have anything that's even close.
Well, for me, being as high in the Broncos as I was, I am shocked at how bad they are looking. You've had two all-time bad takes. I hate to turn this against you. Only two? But I really want to put out a poll question.
What is the worst take from hot take hickey? And I think we could actually put three responses in there. Number one, Carson Wentz is better than Josh Allen. Number two, you said Frank Reich is a top seven coach in the league.
And then number three, I hate to bring this up and I hate to expose your old takes. It really pains me to say this. You thought Nathaniel Hackett was going to be a top three coach in the NFL after this season. Not great. He may be the first coach fired potentially this year. But if I told you after the first four weeks that the Broncos would be two and two with what we thought was a really tough division, what we thought was a really good conference. I know they haven't played the best competition in the world, but with all the changes that they made this offseason, new coach, new quarterback, it wouldn't be the most stunning thing.
The competition they played is pretty soft. The Raiders, we didn't project them to be as bad as they were coming into this game, but the Seahawks stink. The Texans stink. The Seahawks have confidence.
I talked to Will Disley yesterday. After that victory, he said, we believe in Geno Smith. We believe in Pete Carroll. There's no coach in the NFL that I'd rather play for than Pete Carroll. And he said, I can't wait until we keep on winning more and more and more games.
He was talking about playoffs yesterday, an eye on football, playoffs. You kidding me? That's what Will Disley was saying. And I'll tell you this.
You know what? I have one that tops it. I have one that tops Cooper Rush being 3-0 this year as the most surprising thing so far to the first four games of the NFL season. Geno Smith playing better football statistically than Russell Wilson.
That's the one. Thank you for bringing up the incompetence of the Denver Broncos, because that is the one that is the most stunning thing through the first four weeks of the season. That Geno Smith has actually played good football. I thought the Seahawks are going to be a dumpster fire. I thought they were going to be a disaster. Now, let's not get carried away. I don't think they're making the playoffs.
I don't think they're any good. But the fact that they are 2-2 and they beat the Broncos and Geno Smith, he's looking pretty good. Just don't let your teammate punch him in the mouth. Make sure he's starting the rest of the year. I got to give a little tip of the cap there to Geno Smith, and I think you do as well. Absolutely.
That's a great one. It's not great for people in the Russell Wilson camp or any Broncos fans. Look at the stats, and it's Geno Smith beating Russell in almost every category. Not good. They paid him over $200 million. They gave up all those draft picks and Russell Wilson so far.
He's looking pretty, pretty, pretty bad in the mile high over in Denver. And you know what? They keep on chanting, incomplete, whenever their defense makes a stop. They may have to chant that for the offense. Incomplete. A lot of bad throws.
A lot of drops. A lot of sloppy football with the Denver Broncos. But I got to give credit to the Cowboys to beat 3-0 without Dak, 3-1 on the season. And also, man, this pains me to say this because I thought in the year of 2022, this guy was not a good football coach. Mike McCarthy. Mike McCarthy may not have had his team prepared for a playoff game last year, and he admitted it publicly afterwards, which I still can't believe. But Mike McCarthy, to get something out of Cooper Rush, Mike McCarthy to be OK keeping Dang Quinn when everyone's talking about, if it's not Sean Payton, maybe Dang Quinn replacing him. And Mike McCarthy getting this team to win back-to-back-to-back games without Dak is pretty impressive. I don't know if he's still getting massages during team meetings and he's not showing up.
Maybe that's why they're having success. But whatever Mike McCarthy is doing right now, it is working. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. I hate to keep on bringing up the bad takes from Hot Take Hickey, but Hot Take Hickey also said this year it's the perfect tease if we do these teases on the fly. The next topic we're talking about is Baker Mayfield. There was a man by the name of Hot Take Hickey who said that Baker was going to be a top five quarterback this year in the NFC, and Baker Mayfield may be a bottom five quarterback now in the NFL. I watched that entire Cardinals and Panthers game yesterday. You thought the Cardinals offense looked bad. Just wait until we react to what Baker Mayfield did in the game, and we'll do so when we return on the Zach Gelb show.
So get started and download the free Odyssey app today. You're listening to the Zach Gelb show. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio.
I have a statement to make right now. Not that I was ever the strongest Baker Mayfield believer in the world. I was just curious going into this season how Baker would respond, and I thought last year the conversation about Baker Mayfield was a little bit unfair because in 2020, and yes, Nick Chubb was great. Yes, Kareem Hunt did a really solid job. That was a run-oriented team first. I wanted to see if Baker Mayfield, who always to me was a good quarterback, was never going to be a great quarterback, if Baker could go back to being 2020 Baker and how much last year was the injury and the shoulder injury that he suffered in week two compared to Baker Mayfield just being a bad quarterback.
And what I've seen through the first four weeks, I'm ready to say it. Baker Mayfield stinks. And you look at the start yesterday where Arizona is begging you to have a two-three score lead going into halftime, their offense for Arizona punted the football three and out. These are the tries in the first half. Turnover on downs, punted the football three and out. Threw a pick six, then turnover on downs. Field goal, punt. When we got to halftime in that game yesterday and the Carolina Panthers are only up by seven, I said, let the fat lady sing. This is going to be another loss to the Carolina Panthers in the second half.
And they fall to one and three. Because that quarterback throughout that game, he's too short. He gets the ball batted down at the line of scrimmage or the ball gets tipped up in the air and it goes to the other team. He is just not a good quarterback. And once again, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to say last year was the injury and that was the real downfall in his play last year.
And he was more like the 2020 Baker. That was just going to be a good quarterback. You need a strong run game. And you can make 9,000 excuses that you want in Carolina. You could question the play calling by McAdoo. You could question if Christian McCaffrey ever is going to be consistently able to stay on the field. You could say, oh, DJ Moore is not getting up.
No nonsense. Eventually, if you are a quarterback in this league, and a starting quarterback in this league, you don't get 9,000 excuses. I gave him a mulligan last year. I wanted to rule out that poor play because of the injury. But so far in Carolina, Baker Mayfield lost to Jacoby Bressett. Baker Mayfield lost to Daniel Jones. The one quarterback that you beat was Jamis Winston, who threw 9,000 interceptions and is playing with a broken back. And then you're going up against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, who've been in an inept offense for the first four weeks. And their defense isn't the greatest thing in the world. And that offense for Arizona could do nothing. And you can't even put up an offensive touchdown. And the only touchdown that got on the board in that first half was an interception, a pick six, that was thrown by Kyler Murray.
When you were given three-and-outs, turnover on downs, punts left and right, a pick six, you've got to have more than a 10-3 lead at halftime. And when I saw that yesterday, and at the end of the game, it was not surprising that they lost 26-16, I said to myself, he is just not a good quarterback. He has been brutal. And there's no more excuses for Baker.
I don't want to hear him. The guy is just not a good quarterback. He is not a starting quarterback in this league that you say, wow, I got to have him. And in this league, you know if you either have the quarterback or you don't.
And if you have to think about it, if you're skeptical about it, it means you don't have the quarterback. Ryan, I know you're optimistic on Baker going into the season. He stinks. He is brutal. It is painful to watch this guy play the quarterback position right now in the year of 2022 in the National Football League. Last segment, you're talking about surprises, right? Cooper Rush playing well, Chino Smith outplaying Russell Wilson.
This is another one. Like you said, I was high on Baker Mayfield. I thought he would kind of show, like I said, 2020 Baker, now that he's healthy, he could be a good quarterback. And man, not as he's playing bad. He's playing worse than honestly I ever thought. And he may be playing the worst football of his entire career. And there's some dark times in Cleveland, even last year with the injury.
Four touchdowns, three interceptions. This is looking bad, inept football. Like you said that they can't like get any drives sustained. It's tough to watch.
And their schedule hasn't even picked up in intensity yet. No. The next three weeks, you get San Francisco, the Rams, and the Bucks. Yikes. They're one and three.
Yep. In an NFC where if you get nine wins, you're a playoff team. And they improve the offensive line for you. I know you got traded late in the summer. So if you want to tell me that not everyone's on the same page, it doesn't matter in terms of looking this bad.
Like I would be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt for a little bit. And I know you laughed. I saw you laugh when I said he's too short. There's some guys that are short in this league that play well. We saw Drew Brees be an all-time great passer. Russell Wilson, even though he's not playing great right now, but he's had a very good career in the NFL. Baker Mayfield, and look, Kyler Murray even made some plays yesterday.
I know that offense isn't a good spot, but he's not the tallest guy in the world. It's amazing how that defensive line for Arizona just knew they could do whatever they wanted, whether it was Zach Allen, whether it was J.J. Watt, up against Baker Mayfield yesterday when he was throwing the football. It was one of the worst quarterback performances when you factor in the entire game and how many opportunities they could have had to go up with a big lead at halftime and to only get a field goal? A field goal from your offensive unit when Arizona's gifting you good field position.
They're gifting you opportunities to really put them in a deep hole, and you could only be up seven and halftime, and it's because Kyler Murray threw a pick six? Man, I read today that Sam Darnold was eligible to come back. Now, he's still not ready to go, and I'm not a big fan of Sam Darnold, but in three, four weeks if Carolina's throwing Sam Darnold out on the field, it wouldn't surprise me whatsoever. And that's another quarterback that stinks. You want to look at some of the quarterbacks that Carolina's had recently.
It is absolutely brutal. And I didn't think their quarterback position could get worse than what they had last year. When you had Sam Darnold, who was the guy, the former West Virginia quarterback, Will Greer.
Will Greer. You had PJ Walker, like whoever they threw out there. PJ Walker started games in the NFL last year.
I went to college with him. I love PJ. There may not be a bigger PJ Walker fan in the world than me. That guy should not be starting games in the NFL. Jody Mack honestly asked me yesterday an eye on football, Ry. He goes, should they have gone to PJ Walker without bad Baker Mayfield's looking? PJ Walker was a starting quarterback at Tepon. Baker Mayfield won a Heisman. A Heisman trophy, Ryan.
But that dude yesterday just did not look like he belonged on an NFL field. Which is crazy when in 2020 he did something that the Browns haven't done in forever. They made the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and won a playoff game for the first time since 1995. That playoff victory was when Bill Belichick was coaching the Cleveland Browns and Bill Parcells was coaching the Patriots.
That's how long ago we're talking about. And look how quickly this has spiraled out of control. Where now if you have Baker Mayfield as a starting quarterback in the NFL, you know your team's going to stink. And that's where the Carolina Panthers are at right now.
And I get it, you could question the coaching. They improved the offensive line this past offseason. On paper you have DJ Moore who's not getting the football enough. And now that's Baker not getting the football enough to Odell.
And Baker not getting the football enough to DJ Moore. McCaffrey, you never know what percentage of health he's at. You should have enough pieces to be able to weather the storm even if you want to tell me, oh well he had like a month to get ready for the season and a month to learn the playbook in Carolina. If you had LA, Tampa, San Francisco to start the year, okay.
And you showed me some signs, I would maybe give you the benefit of the doubt. But when you're playing Jacoby Brissett, Daniel Jones, Jameis Winston, and Kyler Murray who did nada in the first half, you can't be as bad as Baker Mayfield has been and shown zero leadership, zero skill, and he gave me zero feeling that this guy is going to turn it around. That was as bad of a quarterback performance and I've seen a lot of bad quarterback performances. I'm sure there's other ones that could top it.
But that was painful to watch. And you only had three games yesterday in the four o'clock window. And the Panthers have a few of those games in the next few weeks. So they are going to be in the national spotlight. It's not like you get sandwiched in at one o'clock where you have seven, eight other games.
You only got two other games for the next few weeks in these four o'clock windows. And there's going to be a lot of attention because Baker's polarizing. Some people don't like Baker. I've actually been a fan of Baker. I wanted to see Baker Mayfield succeed. I was defending Baker Mayfield at times last year.
I thought he was unfairly treated. But when you go 197 passing yards on 36 passing attempts, you throw two picks, you have about 800 balls batted down at the line of scrimmage. You're just not a good quarterback.
There's no other way around it. Tell me all the excuses that you want. If you make excuses anymore for Baker Mayfield, this is what it sounds like to me.
Womp, womp, womp, womp, womp, womp, womp, womp. Once again, the first four weeks of the season, you're going up against Jacoby Bressett, Daniel Jones, Jameis Winston. And then Kyler Murray, who if it wasn't for Baker Mayfield, would have had one of the worst first half performances I've ever seen yesterday. That game in the first half set offense back like 400 years.
That's how bad it was. But for Baker, it's getting late early in Carolina. And they don't have any options at the quarterback position. But there is zero reason to believe that at the end of the year, he's going to make me think, oh, I got to give him another shot. Because remember, he's a Frazier at the end of the year, either with Carolina or on another team. And that is a dude, say what you want about him. He's a hard worker.
He's a proud guy. But right now, he's been embarrassing through the first four games of the season. It has been pathetic. It has been painful. It has been awful to watch.
It pains me to watch the Panthers right now, and it pains me to watch the ineptitude of Baker Mayfield at the quarterback position. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. We'll take a time out. When we come on back, we'll update you on the biggest stories in the world of sports. We call that segment the News Brief with some audio next. Don't mention it's all free download the Odyssey app today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-27 21:33:48 / 2022-12-27 21:50:41 / 17