Football is back and life is good. Let’s attempt to predict the future.
What follows are my best guesses for every starting quarterback’s defining Week 2 storyline. This will be accomplished through a superlative format, identifying who is most likely to accomplish whatever.
Please don’t confuse this as an all-encompassing preview of the position, as the goal is merely to get a solid preview of the game’s most important position and attempt to learn a thing or two along the way.
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Most likely to be overwhelmed from start to finish: New York Giants QB Daniel Jones
The familiar problem was pressure, although the culprit wasn’t quite the usual suspect. PFF’s 32nd-ranked offensive line entering the season wasn’t terrible in Week 1, as Jones was pressured on a modest 11 of 43 dropbacks. Still, the third-year signal-caller struggled to help his cause regardless of how his line performed, posting mediocre 22nd and 16th ranks in PFF grade under pressure and when kept clean.
Jones was PFF’s 10th highest-graded passer in 2020 when kept clean, as he’s capable of making all the throws when everything is perfect. Unfortunately, he didn’t execute to his usual level against the Broncos’ admittingly awesome defense in Week 1 and don’t be surprised if the troubles continue against the Football Team’s similarly beastly defensive front in Week 2.
Most likely to pull out an ugly win: Washington Football Team QB Taylor Heinicke
Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip, IR) is out for the foreseeable future. Injuries suck, man.
Heinicke will be under center Thursday night against the Giants. He executed just one touchdown drive (largely thanks to Terry McLaurin) in relief of Fitzpatrick but did display the sort of plus mobility he demonstrated in January’s losing effort to the Buccaneers in the playoffs.
The bigger story was the fact Heinicke dropped back to pass on just 18 of his 34 snaps (53%), which isn’t far off from the mark Lamar Jackson (51%) posted inside the league’s most run-heavy offense last season. Heinicke has posted 3-33-0, 3-22-0, 6-46-1 and 3-17-0 rushing lines in his four extended career appearances in the NFL. He can move, but the man, like virtually every other quarterback we’ve seen play the game, isn’t on Jackson’s level when it comes to spearheading an offense’s rushing attack.
Only Patriots-Jets (42.5) has a lower game total than Giants-Football Team (43). It makes sense Washington (-4) is favored but just don’t expect them to take home the victory in style without the artist known as FitzMagic.