Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeSportsAssessing the Performance of Every NFL Starting QB: Surprises and Concerns

Assessing the Performance of Every NFL Starting QB: Surprises and Concerns

Cover 7 | Thursday is a daily NFL destination that offers comprehensive analysis of the biggest football stories. Every Thursday, Mike Sando dives into an emerging storyline surrounding NFL quarterbacks.

Life in the NFL can be overwhelming, with its constant ups and downs. Occasionally, it’s necessary for me to take a step back and reassess how I perceive teams, players, coaches, and situations. With one-third of the regular season complete, I’ve reevaluated the performances of the 32 starting quarterbacks, comparing my preseason expectations to their current performance. While five quarterbacks have surpassed expectations, four have not been as bad as feared. Additionally, several quarterbacks have faced increased scrutiny in the past six weeks.

Let’s begin by acknowledging that it’s only October, and a lot can change in just a few weeks. But here are my observations so far:

1. Better than expected:
– Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins: He is healthy and performing at a record-setting pace, contributing to the Dolphins’ offense ranking second in NFL history for yards through six games.
– C.J. Stroud of the Houston Texans: He has shown even more accuracy and poise as a pocket passer than anticipated, despite not having the best supporting cast.
– Jared Goff of the Detroit Lions: He has continued his strong play from last season, and the improved performance of the Lions’ defense has allowed his efforts to lead to more wins.
– Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers: Despite an elbow injury, Purdy has not been a hindrance to the 49ers’ offense, which was dominant until facing the Cleveland Browns in Week 6.
– Matthew Stafford of the Los Angeles Rams: His return to full health has kept the Rams competitive, even when Cooper Kupp is unavailable.

2. Not as bad as feared:
– Zach Wilson of the New York Jets: Wilson has reduced his mistakes and has helped the Jets secure wins against strong opponents.
– Baker Mayfield of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mayfield’s statistical production aligns with his promising rookie season, contributing to the Buccaneers’ surprising 3-2 record.
– Sam Howell of the Washington Commanders: Despite taking numerous sacks, Howell has not been the downfall of the Commanders’ offense, which ranks 11th in offensive EPA per game.
– Joshua Dobbs of the Arizona Cardinals: Dobbs’ limitations have not prevented the Cardinals from having a respectable offense, ranking 15th in offensive EPA per game.

3. Tier 1 exemption group:
These quarterbacks may not light up the field every week, but their overall performances cement their status as top-tier players, regardless of a six-game sample size.
– Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs: Mahomes ranks fifth in EPA per pass play and remains a formidable threat, despite a slight dip in deep pass efficiency.
– Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills: Allen ranks third in EPA per pass play and has displayed his best performances in crucial games.
– Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers: The Chargers’ offense ranks sixth in EPA per pass play, partially due to Herbert’s contributions, although he had a rough outing against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6.
– Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals: Burrow’s struggles can be attributed to his calf injury and facing tough defenses, but it’s too early to make definitive conclusions about his long-term potential.

4. Awaiting next step:
These young rising star quarterbacks have not yet reached their full potential but have the potential to ascend to the top tier with time and development.
– Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles: Despite increased turnovers, Hurts has helped the Eagles maintain a strong offense, primarily due to their rushing attack.
– Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars: Lawrence has faced challenges, including dropped passes and a recent knee injury, but there is optimism that he will improve with time.

5. Environmental concerns paramount:
These teams are aware of their quarterbacks’ limitations and understand the need for improved support.

6. Patience, please:
These rookie quarterbacks have experienced a rough start but have the potential to develop into successful players over time.

7. Concerning for various reasons:
The first six weeks of the season have raised questions about these quarterbacks, whether due to performance or external factors.

It’s important to note that these assessments are not final judgments, as the season is far from over. These observations serve as a snapshot of each quarterback’s performance up to this point.


Most Popular