NFL Rookie Quarterback Impressions: Week 8
The 2021 NFL Draft brought in quite a talented group of rookie quarterbacks into the NFL. Nearly halfway into their debut seasons, here is how this class of quarterbacks faired in Week 8.
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
The much-heralded first-overall pick out of Clemson has yet to meet his lofty expectations in the NFL.
Lawrence and the Jaguars were defeated by the Seattle Seahawks 31-7 in Week 8. Lawrence also threw another interception, bringing his season total to nine in only seven games.
This was a rough follow-up performance for Lawrence after he picked up his first career win back in Week 6 against Miami.
One positive for Lawrence in Week 8 was that he completed a career-high 32 passes, even in defeat.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, there have not been many great things to say about Lawrence’s rookie campaign thus far. Jacksonville fans will surely hope things soon change for the better.
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Much of the talk surrounding 12th-overall pick Justin Fields, as well as the Bears as a whole, has been about how coach Matt Nagy’s play calling has limited the team.
Well, with Nagy being away due to health and safety protocols, Fields finally was able to flash some of his unquestioned potential against the 49ers.
The Ohio State product threw for 175 yards, while also running for a career-high 103 rushing yards, in addition to two total touchdowns.
This effort from Fields was not enough, as the Bears still were defeated 33-22.
The question going forward is if Nagy will now recognize Fields’ upside as a dual-threat quarterback, a trait that made many in Chicago high on Fields coming out of college.
With the Bears sitting at a 3-5 record, there is still hope for a turnaround this season, but both Fields and Nagy will need to perform more consistently for this to happen.
Mac Jones, New England Patriots
Mac Jones has widely been considered the most productive of the rookie quarterbacks thus far, but he struggled a bit this past week against the Chargers.
The Patriots picked up an impressive 27-24 victory over Los Angeles, but Jones himself was not necessarily the reason why. Bill Belichick opted to focus more on the run game to get the job done.
For Jones, who completed only 51% of his passes in the game, this was the least impactful game of his young career, and he failed to register a touchdown pass in the game, despite the victory.
However, this is not necessarily a reason to panic. On the season, Jones has thrown for nearly 2,000 passing yards and nine touchdowns, while completing 68% of his passes.
Jones has been mostly consistent, so this may have been an outlier performance. The Patriots will hope this is the case, as they remain firmly in the playoff race at 4-4.
Davis Mills, Houston Texans
Since being forced into the lineup by Tyrod Taylor’s injury, Davis Mills has exceeded expectations for the Houston Texans.
Mills, a third-round draft selection, played well against a talented Los Angeles Rams defense in Week 8.
He threw for 310 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and completed a staggering 76% of his passes, although he also threw an interception as well.
However, Mills has yet to win a game in Houston, currently holding an 0-6 record in games he’s started in.
The Texans, as a team, do not exactly have a ton of talent, and Mills has mostly done what he can under center.
Yet, if Mills wants to keep the starting job long-term, he’ll need to play with more consistency, and earning his first career victory would likely help his cause.
Joe Tuman is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.