Week two is complete, with only nine teams remaining undefeated. The New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Angelas Rams, and Dallas Cowboys look dominating. On the end of the spectrum, the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, and New York Giants look dismal. However, it’s still early and tides shift on any given week due to major injuries to top tier players, especially the following QBs:
• Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) Elbow injury – Out for the season
• Nick Foles (Eagles) Clavicle Fracture – Injured Reserves
• Drew Brees (Saints) Thumb ligament tear – Out 6-8 weeks for surgery
• Sam Darnold (Jets) Mononucleosis – Out 3-4 weeks
• Trevor Siemian (Jets) Ankle injury – To be determined
• Marcus Mariota (Titans) Quad injury – Undetermined
• Cam Newton (Panthers) Midfoot Sprain – Undetermined
Fear not. There are rare occasions when backup QBs rise to the occasion, achieve the unachievable, and become the Super Bowl MVP (i.e., Nick Foles, SB 52). However, the odds are not in their favor. The QB injuries trend is concerning since it’s merely week two. Even with the QBs being highly protected by league rules, the injuries keep mounting. For some QBs who remain healthy, their poor outings thus far are also cause for concern.
It’s not sunny in South Florida, nowadays. The Dolphins are arguably the worst team in professional football. In two games, they’ve only scored a total of 10 points, while allowing 102 points to their opponents. Miami’s top concern is their lack of defense. However, with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for a total of 274 yards, one TD, and four INTs in two games proves there is enough blame to go around. Fitzpatrick’s 39.9 passer rating is just as embarrassing as the massive amount of points the Dolphins give up per game.
The Minnesota Vikings $84 million QB played below par against Green Bay last Sunday. Kirk Cousins completed 14 of 32 attempts for 230 yards, one touchdown (TDs), and two interceptions (INTs) with a 43.8 passer rating. The Vikings are leaning heavy on RB Dalvin Cook, with 23 touches in each of the last two games and Cousins only attempting 10 passes in week one. If Cousins’ week two performance bleeds into the following weeks, Vikings fans will not see better days ahead. It’s also fair to speculate that with Cook’s current usage, he could find himself injured, again.
The 2015 League MVP, QB Cam Newton, is not remotely in-season form. Over the last two games, he’s yet to throw a single TD, sporting a 71.0 passer rating. With Cam playing poorly, the Carolina Panthers are winless. It’s worth noting that Cam was sacked three times in both games and the team’s 3rd down conversion rate needs work (8/25). The Panthers have the tools and talent. Cam just needs to return to his usual QB1 form, sooner rather than later.
Tampa Bay’s QB, Jameis Winston, is repeating his usual up and down pattern of play. In week one, he threw for 194 yards, one TD, and three INTs, with a 45.4 passer rating. The Bucs don’t have a high-end backfield and when Winston fails, the team loses. During Thursday night’s tilt against the Carolina Panthers, Jameis completed 64% of his passes, with a 103.4 passer rating. His performance was just enough to help Tampa Bay win their first game on the year.
Eli Manning is also on the chopping block. The New York Giants continue to maintain that he is their guy. In Eli’s last two games, he’s thrown for two TDs and two INTs, with a 78.7 passer rating. To be fair, the Giants’ woes do not fall squarely on Manning. However, the 38-year-old veteran is simply not inspiring the team, nor the fans. It won’t be long before rookie QB, Daniel Jones, makes his NFL debut. Time will tell.