After the NFL Preseason’s fist week, it’s apparent teams aren’t going to wait on starting first-round draft pick quarterbacks. The Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars and even the San Francisco 49ers must think hard about whether to leave their prized rookie quarterbacks on the bench. Doing so could end up wasting a quality season.
Check out an update on how the rookies performed in Week 1 as well as where the Saints are with their quarterback battle. Don’t forget to check out the latest 2021 NFL Preseason odds at out online Bitcoin sportsbook.
2021 NFL Preseason Week 1 Recap
- When: Thursday, Aug. 12 – Sunday, Aug. 15
Rookie Quarterbacks Shine
The top pick in the draft, Jaguars’ QB Trevor Lawrence, completed 6-of-9 for 71 yards. His per pass completion wasn’t bad at 7.9. He did suffer a couple of sacks and committed a fumble. Still, some of Lawrence’s throws were downright Joe Montana like. No way Meyer doesn’t start Lawrence in Week 1. New York Jets’ quarterback Zach Wilson completed 6-of-9 for 63 yards.
His per completion came out to 7.0. Wilson also should start in Week 1. When it comes to 49ers’ signal-caller Trey Lance, Bears’ rookie Justin Fields, and Patriots’ first-round pick Mac Jones, things are different.
San Francisco, Chicago, and New England would rather start veterans this season, but Fields and Lance made a case to get Week 1 nods. Lance threw for 128 yards. He only completed 5-of-14, though, which may hurt his drive to get the start. Also, he got sacked 4 times. Still, his per pass completion of 9.1 impressed. He also threw a TD pass. Plus, if the Niners start Lance, they can trade Garoppolo.
Chicago’s Justin Fields said he felt like things were moving slowly. Someone must tell Justin he tore it up in a preseason game. That doesn’t mean what he did on the field didn’t impress. It means Fields can’t expect the pace of the game to remain slow in Week 1. If the Bears want to challenge Green Bay and Minnesota for the NFC North Division, Fields, at least after Week 1, should be their starter. He completed 70% of his passes, threw for 142 yards and a TD, and didn’t suffer a sack or a pick.
New England rookie Mac Jones also made his case. The difference between Jones and Field? Jones threw for 4.6 yards per completion. He played it safe, which is okay, but the Patriot invested a ton to get back to the playoffs. If Jones doesn’t pick up the per pass completion yardage in the second preseason game, he won’t get the call over veteran Cam Newton.
Neither Saints’ QB, Hill or Winston, separated from the other
Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston played well enough to get the starting nod over the other. The real news, though, was how rookie Ian Book completed 9-of-16 for 126 yards and a 7.9 yards per completion average. With the performance, Book showed he may be Sean Payton’s quarterback of the future, which means unless Winston truly revives his career, Book could end up starting next season.
The fact is that no matter if Hill gets the starting nod or not, Taysom is safe. He’s too useful for Payton to ditch. Winston, though, must prove he’s a starter that can lead the Saints to the playoffs. If he doesn’t this season, and we’re assuming Jameis gets the starting nod, which he should, the Saints will trade or cut him in favor of Book.
Sure, things can change in Preseason Week 2. For now, though, Winston looks like the starter, Hill is the backup, and Payton will groom Book for the 2022-2023 season.
Lock making Denver’s decision on who start Week 1 difficult
Denver traded for Teddy Bridgewater and the assumption was that he’d start ahead of Drew Lock. What we assume doesn’t always come true. Don’t get us wrong. Bridgewater looked great completing 7-of-8 for 74 yards. But Lock dominated completing 5-of-7 for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns, proving that Denver’s quarterback battle isn’t over.
Keep an eye on the Lock versus Bridgewater QB battle. Some NFL analysts rate Denver’s defense a top five unit. The secondary should be one of the best in the league, which means if the Broncos make the right decision at quarterback, they could be an AFC West dark horse.