Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Here's an idea for a new hit show: "I'm an Elite Receiver but My Quarterback Stinks, Get Me Out of Here!" (It's a working title).
Or how about "Receiver Rehab," where some of the top pass catchers in the NFL come together to talk about their feelings.
All I know is if these four playmakers had but one wish this holiday season, it would be for a shiny new QB to throw them the ball.
Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers - Wallace would be the first one voted out of the receiver house (assuming the show was set in a house and had voting). The other three members simply wouldn't be able to empathize with him. After all, he'll have two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger back soon, possibly as early as Week 13. But Wallace did earn a temporary spot in the club these last two games. Wallace's line with Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch under center: 14 targets, five catches, 33 yards, including one reception on seven looks Sunday against the Browns, a game in which Pittsburgh had eight fumbles and Batch threw three interceptions.
Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers - Smith is the elder statesman of the group. He's used to this frustration from 2007, when he averaged just 11.5 yards per catch from Matt Moore, Vinny Testaverde, David Carr and Jake Delhomme, and 2010, when he caught 46 of 99 targets for 554 yards from Moore, Jimmy Clausen, Brian St. Pierre and Tony Pike. Smith likely thought he had departed from the house for good after Cam Newton dazzled last season, but he's landed right back here with an inconsistent 2012 season. Newton has struggled as a sophomore, only hitting Smith for one touchdown. Smith does have three 100-yard games but he's had 61 or less five times. Unfortunately, Newton still has loads of potential so Smith's plight will fall on deaf ears among this group.
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs - Bowe has had to reach for misguided passes from both Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn this season. As a result, he hasn't hit the 100-yard mark since Week 4. That's also the last time he caught a touchdown. In his last seven games, Bowe has been targeted 56 times; exactly half have been incomplete. He has averaged 46.4 yards per game in that span. Bowe's an impending free agent, so he might get his wish in a few short months.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals - Poor Larry. His prime is being wasted in the hands of players like Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley, Richard Bartel, Derek Anderson and Max Hall, each of who has taken snaps for Arizona since Kurt Warner retired. Fitzgerald compiled 3,932 yards and 35 touchdowns on 293 receptions in three seasons from 2007-10. In his last two, he's had 2,548 yards on 170 catches with 14 touchdowns and he's on pace for 80 receptions, 912 yards and six scores this year, which would give him a three-year total of 3,460 yards and 20 touchdowns on 250 catches. If his pace holds steady this season, Fitzgerald will actually have accumulated 23 more targets in the last three years than he did from 2007-10.
Lindley actually gave fantasy owners some hope in his first start Sunday, when he hit Fitzgerald three times for 31 yards on the team's opening drive. Sadly, Fitzgerald's final nine targets were incomplete.
With no All-Pro QB returning from injury, no potential star passer on the roster and no way out (Fitzgerald signed an eight-year, $120 million contract in 2011), Fitzgerald wins (or loses). His situation is the worst.