3 NFL Players Benched This Season (Who Didn’t Deserve It)

They took one for the team….or the team took one for them.

They took one for the team….or the team took one for them.

(Photo: Derick E. Hingle / USA TODAY Sports | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012)

The past few weeks have been disastrous for underperforming quarterbacks. Michael Vick, Mark Sanchez, John Skelton, and Blaine Gabbert have all been told to ride the pine recently, and with good reason. Inversely, some players have had to hit the bricks without even dropping a stinker. Here are three guys who got the axe this year through no fault of their own. Sorry dudes, them’s the breaks.

Alex Smith – San Francisco 49ers

Alex Smith is a warrior. He was a scrappy 20-6 in the previous two seasons, not to mention leading the team to an NFC Championship game. In his week 10 clash with the Rams, Smith got his bell rung and left the game – but not before throwing a touchdown pass with blurred vision, as a badass is wont to do. How was he rewarded? By getting benched for Colin Kaepernick, a fleet-footed second-year out of Nevada. There’s no denying Kaepernick’s skills but leaving a win on the shelf, as he did this week at the Rams, does nothing but embitter Smith and reflect badly on the (slightly) crazier coach Harbaugh.

Kevin Smith – Detroit Lions

The other disrespected Smith is Kevin, of Lions’ running back fame. Smith was never supposed to be the next Barry, but he bounced in and out of lineups with Jahvid Best injuries and had some solid performances. He was dropped but subsequently re-signed by the Lions and started in Mikel LeShoure’s stead in week one and two, while LeShoure was sitting out a suspension for toking the reefer (that’s what the kids say, right?) Smith got into the end zone twice in a week 1 win over the Rams, and ran a decent 56 yards against a very tough Niners defense. Week 3 rolled around, Leshoure returned, and Smith was forgotten – relegated to no more than three carries in any game this season. When asked about it, Smith replied “I’m never surprised.” Aww, Kev.

Matt Flynn – Seattle Seahawks

Trivia time: Which Green Bay Packer owns the single game record for both yards and touchdowns? Nope, not creepy old Brett Favre or Mr. Discount Double Check. Not even Bart Starr. It’s the unassuming Matt Flynn, who rode that 480 yard, 6 TD performance to a Vince Wilfork-sized contract in Seattle. So why on Earth did the Seahawks take a QB in the third round? By all accounts Russell Wilson won the starting job in the preseason fair and square, and while we aren’t disputing that, the guy can’t win on the road (besides this week and a win over the mediocre-at-best Panthers), and if replacement refs make the right call against the Pack, this team’s playoffs hope get much cloudier. Could Matt Flynn beat the Dolphins in Miami? A lot of Seattle fans would like to know.

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