This is a look into the more notable QB performances in the league for Week 1 of the NFL season. Not every game is accounted for, only those with a significant story from the first week.
Aaron Rodgers vs. Mitchell Trubisky
To kick off the NFL’s 100th season, they decided to have one of the leagues best and oldest rivalries play in the first regular season game. This seemed like a good idea (unless you asked a Patriots fan) until the game was actually being played. If it was possible, this game ended up being even more boring offensively than the Super Bowl. But if you like defensive football this was the game for you. Of course that means it wasn’t a great game for Rodgers and Trubisky.
Rodgers went 18-30 with 203 yards passing and 1 touchdown. This wasn’t anywhere near the caliber game that you expect from Rodgers. To his defense however, the Bears Defense is supposed to be the best in the league. How can it not be with the likes of Khalil Mack and Kyle Fuller? With that in mind, it is very possible that this was a fluke performance for Rodgers and he should be back to his former self next week against Minnesota.
Trubisky on the other hand, well most of us saw this one coming. He went 26-45 with 228 yards passing, 1 interception and no touchdowns. His defense gave him plenty of opportunities to get back on the field but nothing was ever made of these opportunities. Unlike Rodgers though, there is little hope for a sudden turn around in performance when he goes to Denver next week.
Marcus Mariota vs. Baker Mayfield
Going into the first week of this season, everyone seemed to be on the Browns bandwagon. Maybe they wouldn’t win the Super Bowl but they were going to be ten times better than they usually are bow that they had Mayfield and OBJ. Well the Titans showed up and ruined that party pretty convincingly.
Mariota put on a pretty convincing performance against the Browns defense. He went 14-24 with 248 and 3 touchdowns. He was able to connect with six different receivers while also giving the run game a good chance. He also rushed for 24 yards on his own. While this was not near the best QB performance of the week, it was a pretty solid one. Hopefully he can keep up this solid game playing next week against the Colts.
Mayfield on the other hand, seemed like he couldn’t get anything going. He went 25-38 with 285 yards and one touchdown. While he threw for more yards than Mariota, he hurt himself a lot by throwing 3 picks. He was able to connect with OBJ 7 times for 71 yards but it just wasn’t enough and the Browns crumbled under the pressure. He may have the chance to redeem himself against the Jets next week but only time will tell.
Lamar Jackson vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick
This was the story of the Sunday afternoon games. While everyone expected the Dolphins to not have a good season, no one was expecting them to get blown out by 49 points. The defense didn’t even bother to show up it seemed and the Ravens took full advantage of the situation.
Lamar Jackson isn’t just a running back people. The second year QB showed up and decided to prove everyone wrong by going 17-20 with 324 yards and 5 touchdowns. These stats were enough to earn him a perfect passer rating for the day. With any luck, Jackson will continue this tare for the season. And considering how the other teams in the Raven’s division played yesterday, they may be in for a very good year. The Ravens’ next game is against the Cardinals.
There was no magic for Fitzpatrick on Sunday. He went 14-19 for only 185 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. During this game, he became the first QB to ever play and throw a touchdown for eight different teams. His performance showed exactly why he’s played for so many different teams. It is very possible the he won’t be starting next week against the Patriots.
One more QB note, Josh Rosen did come in to play a few snaps for the team but only went 1-3 for 5 yards. With the way things seem like they’re headed for this team, he may once again end up getting traded after his current team gets the first overall draft pick and decides to draft the QB of the future.
Patrick Mahomes vs. Nick Foles/Gardner Minshew
This game went about as everyone expected it to go. The Chief’s offence showed up and reminded everyone just how much of a powerhouse they are. Despite losing Tyreek Hill fairly early in the game, their receiving corps didn’t miss a beat in large part due to Sammy Watkins.
Though Mahomes had a bit of an injury scare and a very bad no-look pass attempt, he had a good night going for 25-33 with 378 yards and 3 touchdowns. This is a standard night for the second year starter so no surprises really. However, his numbers will most likely improve next week against the Raiders.
The big QB story of this game is Nick Foles. After being a back up in Philadelphia and leading them to a Super Bowl win, he has finally earned a starting position in Jacksonville. However, while throwing his first touchdown, Foles was injured and broke his clavicle. There’s no estimate on when he’ll be back as of now but it will most likely be a very long time.
After his injury, Foles was replaced by back up Gardner Minshew who has never played in an NFL game until this point. Despite this, he had a pretty decent showing going for 22-25 with 275 yards and 2 touchdowns. There’s no real telling how he will be starting going forwards but it looks like he’ll be the guy against the Falcons next week.
Eli Manning vs. Dak Prescott
It’s amazing what a QB can do in a contract year. Despite offseason contract disputes and issues, the Cowboys were more than ready for the Giants when they showed up in Dallas on Sunday. They made sure to put on a show for the fans in the stadium as well as for the fans at home.
Though he only threw one touchdown, Manning had a pretty decent night going for 30-44 with 306 yards. A lot of people expected Manning to continue to fall off and mostly be there to prepare Daniel Jones to eventually take over for him. But Eli showed us all that for the time being he’s still the guy. He looks to continue this against the Bills next week.
Dak Prescott was the big story of the night. Instead of holding out for a new contract like many players have been doing lately, he decided to take a different route and just prove his worth. Prescott went 25-32 with 405 yards and 4 touchdowns. With these numbers, he earned a perfect passer rating. After the game, team owner Jerry Jones said that Dak’s new contract was “immanent”. Which, if he continues to play at this level is well earned. The Cowboys game will be against the Redskins.
Matthew Stafford vs. Kyler Murray
Another year, another opening week with a game ending in a tie. In the beginning, it as all Lions with the Cardinals offense looking lost on the field. But eventually they found their pace and surged for the comeback that just barely fell short.
Stafford started off pretty well, throwing 2 touchdowns in the first quarter until he settled down to an average game. He went 27-45 with 385 and 3 touchdowns overall. While he stayed in it for most of the game, it may be the story of Stafford’s career: barely good enough. He’ll have a bigger challenge in the Chargers next week and he’ll need more help than he got this week.
Kyler Murray did not have a good start to his first game as a NFL starting QB. At one point, he ended up getting sacked by one of his own O-Liners, something you don’t see every day. At the end of the day though, he was 29-54 with 208 yards and a touchdown. You have to give the rookie a lot of credit for hanging in there and helping his team battle back. He may not be breaking any records this season but he’ll probably only get better starting with their next game against Baltimore.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Jameis Winston
I don’t think there has been a worse quarter back game than this one. Despite winning and scoring over 30 points, the 49ers could really only thank their defense for their success. But even then, they may have only done well because the Buccaneers offense was terrible as well.
After a pretty ugly preseason campaign, Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t seem to have improved. When the opposing QB has more touchdown passes to your team than you do, there is a problem. Jimmy G only went 18-27 with 166 yards and 1 touchdown. Now it’s very possible that he may just still be struggling to return from last year’s season ending injury but for right now he’s not looking like the young Tom Brady that everyone expected him to be. Hopefully he will start improving starting next week against the Bengals.
Jameis Winston is not looking so famous right now but infamous. While he technically through 3 touchdowns, 2 of them were to the other team. All in all, he went 20-36 with 194 yards and 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions. While Garoppolo was bad, Winston was somehow worse. Unfortunately, there’s little hope that he’ll be better against the Carolina defense that didn’t let Jared Goff throw a single touchdown pass.
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Tom Brady
What was supposed to be one of the best games of the weekend ended up being one of the least eventful. Usually, Big Ben and Brady put on a good show against each other but this week the usual Roethlisberger didn’t show up. Now the Steeler’s have never won in Foxboro in the Brady era but normally they put up a bigger fight.
Big Ben only went 27-47 with 276 yards and an interception. Sure, everyone was expecting the Steeler’s offense to have to work out some kinks after losing Antonio Brown during the offseason but the Patriots defense was all over them. And while everyone was expecting JuJu to be double teamed, Gilmore covered him alone with little issue. There’s no doubt that the Steeler’s will improve as the season goes on but this was a tough one to lose. Their next game is against the Seahawks.
Though there were some doubts about the Patriots offense this year, Tom Brady once again showed us why he’s been so successful for so long. He went 24-39 with 341 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also threw a few deep balls, something that a lot of people questioned his ability to do at 42 years old. While the Steeler’s looked like they could have definitely used AB last night, the Patriots didn’t seem to. But the Patriots are the ones that will have him going forward. There is little reason to worry about the Patriots against the Dolphins next week.
~Mary Evers (For_Evers_Young)