Week 1 is almost in the books for the NFL, and all of the teams that started new quarterbacks have played their 60 minutes. For some, this was their first experience starting for their respective pro teams. For others, it was their first chance to see the field after being buried behind other quarterbacks. It’s time to analyze and see who lived up to expectations, and who couldn’t meet the level that the hype set them up for.
Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos
You can read about Siemian’s mistakes, and why he may not be the starter for long in Denver, right here. In his first start as a Bronco, and only his second time seeing the field (his first was when he took a knee for the team last year), Siemian looked subpar, and maybe average at best. He completed 18 of 26 passes (69%) for 178 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. Some of his completions were smart and precise throws, but the bad outweighed the good in his first game. Siemian threw two interceptions, both of which could have been avoided with a better decision. While the Broncos pulled out a 21-20 win, the game could have gone a bit smoother if Siemian had not made his mistakes.
Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots
In Garoppolo’s first of four scheduled starts for the Patriots, he was arguably the most impressive new starter on the field in any game this weekend. He completed 24 of 33 attempts (73%) for 264 yards and a touchdown. While he was the victim of a strip sack in the first half, Garoppolo made smart decisions for the most part, showing good pocket awareness and displaying his ability to scramble for first downs against a vaunted Cardinals defense. He was even able to lead a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter, setting kicker Stephen Gostkowski up in a good spot to boot their way to a 23-21 win. Garoppolo will look to build on his performance at home the next three weeks, hopefully with his starting tight end and left tackle (Rob Gronkowski and Nate Solder) back in action for him.
Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans
Osweiler’s first game as a Texan went as expected, with the giant completing 22 of 35 passes (63%), as well as two touchdowns and an interception. He was also helped by a strong defense that shut out the Chicago Bears in the second half, leading to a 23-14 win. His first touchdown was an impressive back shoulder throw to DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone over cornerback Kyle Fuller. Osweiler’s second came on an 18-yard screen pass to rookie wideout Will Fuller, who had a coming out of his own in his first pro game (5 catches, 107 yards, touchdown). Having a strong stable of offensive weapons in the form of Hopkins, Fuller, and Lamar Miller will only benefit the new Houston quarterback.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
If Garoppolo’s performance wasn’t the most impressive of this bunch yesterday, it definitely belongs to the former North Dakota State Bison and second overall pick of 2016. Wentz completed 22 of 37 passes (60%), two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. His two touchdowns were beautifully thrown: the first was a nice ball to Jordan Matthews where only he could reach it, and the second was a nice 35 yard drop in the bucket to Nelson Agholor. The Sam Bradford trade did wonders for the young signal caller, as he was able to showcase his abilities throughout the game, leading to a 29-10 drubbing of the Browns. He did fumble twice, but lost neither of them. Now that Doug Pederson has named Wentz the starter going forward, he will look to build on his strong game next week.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
The beginning of what many believe to be the Dak Prescott era in Dallas occurred, and it was not much of a showstopping performance as some believed it would be. Prescott performed as well as anyone could expect a fourth round draft selection this year to do: he completed 25 of 45 attempts (56%) with no touchdowns or interceptions. Prescott had some nice throws, such as his first completion to Dez Bryant, which came when he rolled out of the pocket and avoided two linemen to hit him on the sideline for a first down. Prescott had the chance to win the game, but Terrance Williams made the mental mistake of staying inbounds with less than 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter, allowing the Giants to collect a 20-19 win.
Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns
The RG3 Reclamation Tour made its first regular season stop, and it was not as impressive as people were expecting. Griffin completed a measly 12 of 26 passes (46%) for 190 yards with zero touchdowns and an interception. While he had some impressive plays, such as deep completions to Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman in tight coverage, they were overshadowed by the sheer number of incompletions. Late in the fourth quarter Griffin injured his non-throwing shoulder and was subsequently placed on injured reserve today. He will be sidelined for at least 3 to 4 weeks before resuming any activity.