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What now?

For any Rutgers fan, watching the end of the fourth quarter of yesterday's NFL game between the Giants and Bengals had to trigger a feeling of deja vu.

The Giants could not get a stop on the Bengals, who scored with only a few minutes remaining to take a single digit lead. Cincinnati gives up decent yardage on the subsequent kickoff, and the Giants have the ball in excellent field position. That's the time where the best quarterbacks earn their stripes.

At times in his pro career, Eli Manning has faced far worse scrutiny than Mike Teel could ever imagine, even though their situations are somewhat analogous. But Manning was the #1 overall pick in 2004 for a reason. Even at his worst, Eli could always be counted on to drive his team down the field and give his team a chance to win the game. Mike Teel can manage a game as he did for the first 55 minutes vs. Navy, but at this point, does anyone actually expect him to drive down the field when a game is on the line?

Another key difference is that Manning was throwing to receivers who stepped up their games when it counted, while I don't really trust any RU WR not named Kenny Britt at the moment (and based on the Navy game, I doubt McNulty or Teel do either). What's clear is that Manning has "it". Mike Teel, for his all accolades, for the 12 win season two years ago, does not. "He just wins games" no longer cuts it when, no, he is not winning games anymore. As a total amateur, I am hesitant about trying to diagnose what exactly is the underlying cause of Teel's flaws. However, comments by the Midshipman who intercepted the pass seem to support the observations of myself and many other fans.

I'm not pretending that the analogy is 100% spot-on. Manning is a Super Bowl MVP, and Teel's flimsy pro prospects are in absolute freefall. However, I would be very appreciative right now if a certain QB in East Rutherford would find it in his heart to call Mr. Teel and offer some words of encouragement.

"I saw their tight end line up outside. They ran that play earlier in the game," Pospisil said. "Coach jumped me on the sidelines and said they may try to run that play again at the time. Their quarterback seemed to lock in on (Brock). When they ran it earlier, he made a great play, and had a big first down. I assume he was thinking I was going to make the same mistake."

Simply put: Mike Teel locks in to receivers, makes extremely poor reads, makes poor decisions, and lacks adequate touch on his passes. It's becoming readily apparent that one major reason he looked so stellar in camp is that the secondary looks extremely uncoordinated in pass coverage, and the defensive line has had trouble generating a pass rush since the first half of the Fresno State game.

Greg Schiano is not going to discipline Teel for taking a swing at Glenroy Lee after his crippling interception on Saturday. However, Teel may not play vs. Morgan State merely to get some time to clear his head. It sounds like Jabu and CPE will split reps. However, I have to ask again, why not at least see what Dom Natale is capable of? Jabu has proven he is not a capable QB in a pro-style offense. The competition should be between CPE #1 and Natale #2.

Pete Tverdov's injury is not serious, but George Johnson is more up in the air at this point.

I very much believe that one reason the season has unfolded the way it did owes to scheduling mishaps. Where would Rutgers be right now if they could have started off against Morgan St. and Army, and were able to build up some confidence before the meat of their OOC slate? Now it looks like that UNC QB T.J. Yates may miss the year following an injury against Virginia Tech. UNC had been up big but collapsed following his injury, and that loss may be devalued even more if UNC struggles for the rest of the season without their starting QB.

Brian Leonard again did not play yesterday. Not only are the St. Louis Rams bad, they might be one of the worst NFL teams in recent memory. Given how terrible they are in every conceivable aspect, it's fair to question the judgment of their coach Scott Linehan, who is unwilling to activate Leonard if his shoulder injury prevents him from playing on special teams.

Darnell Stapleton had a chance to start yesterday, if Pittsburgh OL Kendall Simmons was not able to play due to his wife being in labor. Simmons did play, in what was a miserable effort for the Pittsburgh OL.