2021 Quarterback Battles: Who has the Edge?

2021 Quarterback Battles: Who has the Edge?

by August 25, 2021 0 comments

With two weeks of preseason in the books, NFL teams will begin officially naming their starting quarterback soon. Before they do, let’s predict which direction each team that has a battle will go. There are a few close ones here, but also lots where guys are starting to pull away. Overall, it should be fun to watch.

New England Patriots: Cam Newton vs Mac Jones

All eyes are on Bill Belichick as we see him faced with a quarterback decision for the first time in 20-ish years. While the fans may be clamoring for the rookie Jones, Newton has been fantastic in preseason play. He has gone 12-for-16 with 152 yards and a touchdown, but the play goes past the stats. His arm talent is clearly back to near-vintage level. The ball has been consistently thrown on a rope, and (most importantly) accurate. That does not mean Jones hasn’t been good; he’s probably been up to the great level that Newton is on. However, Belichick has mentioned in the past that Newton is the starter and it’s clear in-game that Jones has a bit more learning to do.

Chicago Bears: Andy Dalton vs Justin Fields

The NFL world exploded after Fields’ preseason performance against the Miami Dolphins in which he threw for 142 yards and had two total touchdowns. His second preseason performance was not nearly as good (9-19, 80 yards). He’s been better than Dalton, and clearly has much more raw talent. Unfortunately, head coach Matt Nagy doesn’t care about raw talent. Talking about Dalton he said, “We need to see him in the regular season.” Whether this makes sense or not, Dalton will most likely be the Week 1 starter for the Bears. For how long that lasts is now the big question. 

San Francisco 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo vs Trey Lance

Buckle your seatbelts, this one is getting interesting. Lance hasn’t been great statistically but when one takes a deeper look, you see an NFL starter. The throws he makes are fun to watch. and the arm strength is off the charts. The biggest knock on Lance coming out of North Dakota State was his accuracy, but it has been much better than advertised so far. There have been about three throws that I’ve seriously questioned when watching his tape. One of them (the interception against the Chargers) was probably more of the receiver’s fault. As for Garoppolo, he’s gotten over minimal reps in preseason only throwing nine passes so far. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has publicly mentioned that he has not decided on a starter yet, but it’s looking more and more like this could be Lance’s job. 

New Orleans Saints: Taysom Hill vs Jameis Winston

The second warmup game against the Jacksonville Jaguars has made this matchup a little clearer. Winston went 9/10 against the Jags with 123 yards and two touchdowns. Hill hasn’t been bad by any means, but Winston seems to be outperforming him. The former Florida State quarterback is also the more proven quarterback, so naturally, it makes sense to have him be the starter while Hill returns to his dangerous Swiss Army Knife role. 

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