Rookie Quarterback Impressions: Week 3

Story posted October 1, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Daniel Maiorana

Three weeks into the NFL season and the new kids on the block have yet to make a name for themselves. Fans saw Justin Fields and Davis Mills make their first NFL starts and continued to witness other quarterbacks play mediocre football.

Justin Fields

Fields isn’t to blame for his subpar debut as an NFL starter, as he was heavily underused by head coach Matt Nagy. Only completing 6-of-20 passes and rushing for only 68 yards, Fields was left on the field with no support.

Fields was maybe a little nervous making his first-ever start, as he didn’t showcase the ground game many know he has. 13 of the 20 times Fields dropped back to pass, the Bears only deployed a five-man protection and he was sacked nine times against the Cleveland Browns. It can’t get much worse from here, but don’t be too optimistic for the Bears’ offense under a coach like Nagy.

Davis Mills

Not too shabby, eh?

During Thursday Night Football, Mills threw for 168 yards and a touchdown en route to a loss to the Panthers.

Mills played a solid game against a good Panther’s defense, but it will take some help from the ground game of Houston to get Mills more comfortable under center.

Unlike other rookie quarterbacks, Mills was an early third-round draft pick while other starting quarterbacks were all top-15 picks. However, with the highest passer rating among starting rookie quarterbacks at 95.5, Mills proved to head coach Nick Caserio that he is worthy of a starting position for the season.

Trevor Lawrence

As the No. 1 draft pick has yet to reach his true potential in the first three weeks of the season, fans are still waiting for Lawrence to transfer his college playing ways to the NFL.

Yes, the Jaguars aren’t the dominant force that Clemson was during Lawrence’s time in college, but that’s a challenge he must accept and conquer.

Showing shades of excellence with a pinpoint pass to DJ Chark connecting for his only touchdown pass against the Cardinals, Lawrence continues to trust his arm which is a positive. Throwing two interceptions on the other hand is not a positive.

Needless to say, Lawrence has yet to live up to his expectations, but as he continues to adjust to the professional defenses in front of him, more highlights are sure to come.

Mac Jones

Coming out of college, Jones has been known to struggle on deep throws. In his Week 3 start against the Saints, this phenomenon was no different. A whopping three interceptions and a 55.2 passer rating was definitely his worst performance in the league so far.

He was 1-8 on passes 15 yards and deeper in the first half alone, four of them being overthrows.

The Patriots’ offense will continue to rely on the short game of Jones until he becomes more comfortable to take those deep ball throws. If Jones wants to establish himself as a successful quarterback in the NFL, he will have to get his deep passing game up to the same level as his short game.

Zach Wilson

Staying on track in the worst way possible, Wilson continued to tally up the picks in his Week 3 start against the Broncos. Although Wilson wasn’t the most accurate, his receivers didn’t help his Week 3 campaign whatsoever.

Wilson is surrounded by an offensive line, wide receiver corps and play calling that does anything but help his game. A scary stat to say the least, the Jets had a whopping 162 yards of total offense against the Broncos.

When there is no foundation for Wilson to work with, fans can’t expect much from him. If the Jets want to get more from their No. 2 overall pick, they will have to create an environment that is hungry for success.

 

Daniel Maiorana is a first-year student studying broadcast journalism. To contact him, email dkm5903@psu.edu.