Two interesting quarterbacks to watch for the rest of the NFL season
A look at two interesting quarterbacks well worth watching…
There are a number of quarterbacks in the league having up and down seasons.
Some are in systems which look unlikely to improve this year – Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers springs to mind as an example of someone with more potential than he’s been able to showcase this term.
Then there are those who simply aren’t going to cut it in the league much longer if they continue playing the way they are – Jimmy Garropolo of the Las Vegas Raiders is top of that particular list after his 10/21, 126-yard stinker against the rising Detroit Lions.
Most important of all however, are the quarterbacks who could still lead their respective teams to glory.
And these next few weeks will be key in shaping their chances for the rest of the season.
Worth a watch: Brock Purdy (49ers)
Let’s start with Brock Purdy. Mr. Irrelevant (a name given to the final pick of the draft, as Purdy was last year), begun this season performing as the quarterback the San Francisco 49ers came to trust after his stunning breakthrough in 2022.
The 49ers started the season in incredible fashion, with Purdy leaving everyone he faced in the dust, throwing nine touchdowns without a single interception.
Then came the gritty Cleveland Browns.
Brock Purdy this season:
First five games: 9 TD, 0 INT
Last three games: 3 TD, 5 INT
The 49ers have lost 3 straight 👀 pic.twitter.com/MmjYvmO94g
— ESPN (@espn) October 29, 2023
Purdy lost his two best offensive weapons in Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey to injury in the first half against the Browns and ultimately lost his first ever game as a starter in the NFL.
Purdy followed this loss up with two more this October against the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals, throwing only a single touchdown and two interceptions in both of these games.
Throughout those three losses Purdy had accumulated an average 77 passer rating, which was a huge drop off from his 122.4 rating from this season’s first five games.
Purdy has really missed Samuel, and although McCaffrey hasn’t missed any time since that first half injury against the Browns, Purdy is still falling short; even with Brandon Aiyuk’s huge start to the season and George Kittle’s recent resurgence.
Brock Purdy's last three games:
0-3 Record 😬 pic.twitter.com/yYdUwGNGJ8
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 29, 2023
Crucially, Purdy’s offensive line may get a huge boost with the possible return of ten-time Pro-Bowler Trent Williams in week ten – a week which may also see the return of Samuel.
Purdy needs to utilise the 49ers’ bye week to recuperate from his concussion scares and lead his team to a first win since the 8th of October versus the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Following that game with the Jaguars, the 49ers have quite a tough schedule – facing the only current seven-win team in the Philadelphia Eagles and their strongest divisional rivals, the Seattle Seahawks twice.
The 49ers are currently the bookies third favourite to win the Super Bowl outright this season, but in order to make that a reality Purdy needs to carefully make his way through the 49ers’ tough fixture schedule with the confidence of his first five games this season.
Worth a watch: Justin Herbert (Chargers)
Next up is Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers. Herbert has a slightly different challenge on his hands to Purdy, as he cannot fall back on his defence in their current state.
The Chargers have the second worst defence in the league when looking at yards conceded per game, while the 49ers have one of the top ten defences judging by the same metrics.
Herbert has an average passer rating of 101.7 this season which is lower than Purdy’s 111.9 (which is second only to Tua Tagovailoa, who seems on course for an MVP season with the Miami Dolphins), but still a great rating through seven games for the Chargers franchise guy.
Justin Herbert balled out on SNF:
⚡ 31/40 completions
⚡ 298 passing yards
⚡ 3 TDs pic.twitter.com/bDPSvkiAD8
— NFL (@NFL) October 31, 2023
Herbert has had some huge games this season, including a monstrous 405-yard game with three touchdowns versus the Vikings.
On a 3-4 record as it stands, things are looking like the next few weeks will be make or break for this Chargers team.
With Keenan Allen, Josh Palmer, and Austin Ekeler all at full health, now is the time for Herbert to start a winning run with Los Angeles.
In three of their four losses the Chargers have lost by 3 points or less. A few more smart plays this season could have seen them sitting at 6-1 atop the AFC, but instead they have a very tough challengeon their hands to turn things around.
I believe that if Herbert can overcome the New York Jets and their tough defence on Monday Night Football in week nine, it could spark a huge season changing win against Jared Goff and the roaring Lions in week ten.
AFC West standings after Week 8:
1) Chiefs 6-2
2) Chargers 3-4
3a) Raiders 3-5
3b) Broncos 3-5
Next 3 games for the #Chargers:
Week 9 @ Jets (MNF)
Week 10 vs. Lions
Week 11 @ Packers
— Chargers Central (@BoltCentral) October 31, 2023
These next two games are huge for the Chargers’ season, and if we see the best of Herbert, it may spark a nice Playoff year for the Chargers; after falling to the Jaguars in last year’s Wild Card Round by a single point.
There are a number of other quarterbacks who are interestingly maneuvering their way through this season with Zach Wilson, Derek Carr and Daniel Jones all piquing my interest as players who have some huge weeks coming up – not only for their teams’ seasons – but for their NFL starting futures!
We’ll come back to those guys in the coming weeks if they begin to claw their teams up the standings, but for now it’s all eyes on Messrs Purdy and Herbert.