I think he should have been benched. Its not like he got hit really hard. Ball was just NOT taking care of the football. Did we lose the game because of this benching? Not in and of itself.
Cons to benching Ball: Moreno got run more, even when he was a little hurt. Did it damage him more? Didnt seem like it. Ball would have brought fresh legs to the party. Other cons? I cant find any.
Pros to benching: You found out that CJ wasnt ready to play. Peyton seemed to be telling him something to do on every play. He tells Moreno and Ball sometimes too, however CJ never seemed to be an option in Peytons mind to throw to or be much of a factor.
Ball, Moreno, Hillman, and CJ got sent the same powerful message: Fumble, youre out. Take care of the damn football or SIT OUT. Anyone notice that fumbalina Knowshon doesnt fumble anymore?
This game while very important is not what we're playing for. Send this message now, and it may payoff when we play NE again in a possible playoff matchup.
Ball is realizing he let his team DOWN. He watched when they had to stick CJ in there vs him. Who was taking the practice reps at number 2? Ball. Who needed to go back into the game battered and tired? Knowshon, and BALL knows this was his fault.
Our Oline crushed the Patriots front seven. Think Ball likes having to look at them after that sissy fumble?
Benching him may not have paid off in this game, but we ran the ball down their throats the whole game and will most assuredly be planning on doing the same thing next time...which means BALL will be remembering his flub. Hold on to the ball BALL.
Those who run the football (and dont fumble) in the playoffs win games.
CJ needs to be better prepared. Im thinking pass protection may be taking a hit when hes in there not to mention not getting the reps in practice.
This week Im sure he will be more of a focus, and this is good.
All in all............I think it was the right choice to bench him.