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 Post subject: 2018 was the vaunted “year of the quarterback
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2020, 03:20 
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Joined: 24 Apr 2019, 09:49
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,” with the Buffalo Bills and four other teams selecting passers in the first round of the NFL Draft. Not every draft prognostication pans out in the end, so how did that claim hold up in year one? These quarterbacks were supposed to be a special batch of talents, and their first NFL exposure did not disappoint. We saw explosive runs, wonderful deep passes, and surgical precision. How did Josh Allen compare with his contemporaries? Let’s dive into the performances.Baker Mayfield14 games (13 starts)310/486 (63.8%) passing, 3725 yards, 27 TDs, 14 INTs, 25 sacks, 6.95 NY/A39 carries, 131 yards (3.4 YPC), 7 fumblesAny way you examine it, the first overall pick was clearly the best rookie quarterback playing in the NFL this year. His arm talent was evident, he was reading defenses at a more advanced level than his peers, and his competitive fire created seven wins for the Cleveland Browns, who had only managed one the previous two seasons combined.What’s more impressive is that Mayfield improved dramatically after Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were fired. Working with Freddie Kitchens really showed what he could handle in the NFL. In eight games away from Jackson, Mayfield threw 19 touchdowns against eight interceptions and only took five sacks.Moving into year two, Mayfield might have a new coaching staff around him, but if they’re compatible with his fiery personality and style of pocket passing, the sky’s the limit.Sam Darnold13 games (13 starts)239/414 (57.7%) passing, 2865 yards, 17 TDs, 15 INTs, 30 sacks, 5.99 NY/A44 carries , 138 yards, (3.1 YPC), 1 TD, 5 fumblesDarnold had an uneven, but generally positive season—showing off his talent for escaping pressure and finding success outside the structure of a play. An injury sidelined him for three games, but Darnold returned with a hot streak, throwing six touchdowns against a single interception in the final four games of the year. He showed a particularly strong connection with fellow rookie Chris Herndon; the tight end notched 39 catches for 502 yards and four touchdowns in his first season.After four seasons, head coach Todd Bowles was fired, so the New York Jets are looking around for a coach who can continue Darnold’s development. In year two, Darnold needs to continue building a rapport with his receivers while cutting down on the dumb mistakes that lead to interceptions. For now, signs are positive in the Meadowlands.Josh Allen12 games (11 starts)169/320 (52.8%) passing, 2074 yards, 10 TDs, 12 INTs, 28 sacks, 5.35 NY/A89 carries, 631 yards (7.1 YPC), 8 TDs, 8 fumblesAllen’s season was marked by the elbow injury that forced him to miss six weeks of the season. When he returned, Allen scored 13 of his 18 total touchdowns. Forced into a starting role thanks to Nate Peterman’s performance, Allen showed occasional flashes of talent interspersed with stretches of missed reads and inaccurate passes. After a break, the game slowed down for Allen, who began to connect with rookie Robert Foster downfield, while taking apart defenses with his legs.Allen’s first NFL season showed that his physical talent is no lie, and he improved his mechanics dramatically from his college days , but going into year two, he needs to continue maturing as an NFL passer (and receive a stronger supporting cast) if he’s going to become the Cam Newton that Brandon Beane envisioned.Josh Rosen14 games (13 starts)217/393 (55.2%) passing, 2278 yards, 11 TDs, 14 INTs, 45 sacks, 4.47 NY/A23 carries, 138 yards (6.0 YPC), 10 fumblesNo rookie passer suffered as much as Rosen. The Arizona Cardinals quarterback had his offensive coordinator fired mid-season, replaced by a first-time play caller. His head coach did such a poor job that he was fired after a single season. His best receivers were a 35-year-old Larry Fitzgerald and a rookie who tore his ACL mid-season. Finally, his offensive line was a disaster, making him the most-sacked rookie quarterback.Rosen hung in there, avoiding a disaster season like we’ve seen from players such as DeShone Kizer and Nathan Peterman, but still finished with the worst performance of the top five rookie quarterbacks. Arizona had the worst offense in the NFL and one of the worst offenses in the last decade. Heading into year two, he needs support from a new coaching staff and player additions to help him right the course and deliver on the potential that made him the top recruit out of high school.Lamar JacksonRegular season:16 games (7 starts)99/170 (58.2%) passing, 1201 yards, 6 TDs, 3 INTs, 16 sacks, 6.08 NY/A147 carries, 695 yards (4.7 YPC), 5 TDs, 12 fumblesPlayoffs:14/29 (48.3%) passing, 194 yards, 2 TDs , 1 INT, 7 sacks (3.86 NY/A)9 carries, 54 yards (6.0 YPC), 3 fumblesAs you might imagine, Jackson was considered the least-developed quarterback selected in the first round of the draft. Early in the season, the Baltimore Ravens worked him onto the field as a change-up, with direct snaps and reverses meant to use his speed while keeping Joe Flacco as the primary passer. That changed when Flacco suffered a hip injury mid-season.The Ravens eased Jackson into quarterbacking with an extremely run-heavy game plan, and he finished with nearly as many carries as pass attempts. Thanks to those designed carries, Jackson finished with the most rushing yards among quarterbacks this year, and he nearly led his team in rushing. Jackson struggled to decisively locate passing targets and only threw six touchdowns in the regular season, but did oversee a 6-1 season finish that made him the only rookie quarterback to qualify for the playoffs. His loss to the Los Angeles Chargers was an ugly day for three quarters. Jackson started a comeback with some nifty pocket movement and downfield passing, but a lost fumble ended that campaign.Jackson looks to have the helm moving forward, but still must improve his throwing mechanics and field reading to maximize his physical talents. ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — So much for the Tennessee Titans vowing not to take the Buffalo Bills for granted.That was safety Kevin Byard’s lament when reminded how the Titans followed up last week’s thrilling 26-23 overtime win over the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles with a 13-12 loss to the Bills on Sunday.“It shouldn’t have been a lesson because we talked about it all week, about not coming here and laying an egg,” Byard said. “But we did, and we lost, and we’ve got to get better.”Rather than enjoy their best start in 10 years, the Titans fell to 3-2 and blew a chance to take over sole possession of first place in the AFC South standings after Jacksonville (3-2) lost at Kansas City.“Respect has to be earned, not given, and we didn’t earn our respect today,” Byard said. “We didn’t do too much of anything good today on all levels.”Despite limiting the Bills to 223 yards of offense, the Titans gave up a final 11-play, 47-yard drive capped by Stephen Hauschka’s 46-yard field goal as time expired.It wasn’t all on the defense.The Marcus Mariota-led offense gained just 221 yards, had 15 first downs and settled for four field goals by Ryan Succop. Worse still , running back Dion Lewis and receiver Taywan Taylor lost a fumble, while Mariota threw an interception.For a Titans team that showed resolve in winning each of its last three games by 3 points, Tennessee showed it can also lose a close one.“You can’t have it one way when you win and another way when you lose,” first-year coach Mike Vrabel said. “The playing wasn’t good enough today. The blocking wasn’t good enough. Everything about the Titans wasn’t good enough, and that’s on me.”Mariota’s inconsistencies were apparent a week after he rallied the Titans from a 14-point third-quarter deficit by hitting Corey Davis for a 10-yard touchdown pass with five seconds left in overtime.Against Buffalo, he finished 14 of 26 for 129 yards and was sacked twice.The first sack, by Trent Murphy, came on third-and-9 at the Bills 31, forcing the Titans to settle for Succop hitting a 54-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.The second sack, by Jerry Hughes, came on third-and-8 at the Buffalo 29. Mariota fumbled, but was fortunate the ball bounced off his toe and went out of bounds. That led to Succop hitting a 50-yard field goal to put the Titans up 12-10 with 4:43 remaining.The Titans’ best chance of finding the end zone slipped through their fingers early in the fourth quarter.Facing third-and-4 at Buffalo’s 23, Mariota avoided the pass rush and scrambled to his left, where he lobbed to receiver Nick Williams, who was wide open in the end zone. Williams had the pass drop through his hands while attempting to make an over-the-shoulder catch. Again, Tennessee settled for a field goal by Succop.“You have to focus on the next play and drop whatever happened,” Mariota said of Williams’ drop.The game was the second this season in which Succop has accounted for all of Tennessee’s points. He hit three field goals in a 9-6 win at Jacksonville two weeks ago.Titans starting left tackle Taylor Lewan did not return after hurting his right foot in the second quarter.Lewan said he aggravated an injury from last season, and noted his foot was swollen last weekend. He said initial tests showed his foot wasn’t broken, but added he’ll have further tests on Monday.“It shouldn’t be a long-term thing,” Lewan said. “I just didn’t have any power and couldn’t push off.”


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