By Tomas McDermott
This season, there has been a lot of turmoil at the quarterback position. With more quarterbacks getting injured, the cost to the teams is palpable. There have been several season-ending injuries for quarterbacks, and so many others have been injured as well. With the heart and soul of their teams injured, how do their backups fair? The results have been interesting.
After Daniel Jones tore his ACL, Tommy DeVito had to step up. Tyrod Taylor was injured at the time, so he was the only option. Tommy Cutlets started well, going 3-1 and having eight touchdowns to one interception as a starter. Brian Daboll said he was going to start DeVito for the rest of the season. Then, he fell back down to Earth. Defenses figured him out, which showed against the Saints. He only had 177 passing yards, and the offense was stagnant. Against the Eagles, he continued to play poorly. He had 55 passing yards in the first half and scored three points. Daboll went against his word and benched DeVito. Italian-Americans nationally were distraught.
On Aaron Rodgers’s fourth play as a Jet, he tore his achilles. The carousel of quarterbacks for the Jets has been miserable. They started Zach Wilson for the first 11 weeks until benching him for Tim Boyle. Statistically, Boyle is one of the worst NFL quarterbacks ever. He threw one touchdown but threw four picks. The Jets benched Boyle against the Falcons and started Trevor Siemian. Against the Texans, they went back to Wilson. He had a career game, throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns. They benched Wilson again for Siemian for their game against the Dolphins. They started Siemian for the rest of the year, and he played like a fourth string quarterback. Throughout this carousel, the offense had no stability and could barely do anything.
During the Browns’ week 10 comeback win over the Ravens, Deshaun Watson got a season-ending shoulder injury. They started rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson in week 11, and he eked out a win against the Steelers. In week 12, Thompson-Robinson got a season-ending hip injury, and he was replaced with career backup PJ Walker. In week 13, the legend of Joe Flacco started. The Browns picked him up in week 11, and he led them to the playoffs.
Kirk Cousins tore his achilles during week nine. The Vikings traded for Joshua Dobbs, a former NASA astronaut. He wasn’t slated to start week 10; instead, it was rookie Jaren Hall. Hall became concussed in the first quarter, and Dobbs began playing despite joining the team five days prior. He won the game and had three total touchdowns. He kept it up against New Orleans, securing the win with two total touchdowns. After these two performances, Dobbs was known as "The Passtronaut." Unfortunately, Dobbs couldn’t maintain this high. He played well in a Broncos loss. He had a terrible performance against the underachieving Bears, throwing four picks in a loss. He played badly once again, getting benched in the fourth quarter whilst scoring zero points. Nick Mullens managed to get the 3-0 win against the Raiders. Mullens would start the rest of the way, going 0-4 to end off the year.
After getting paid heavily, Joe Burrow started off badly. He was 5-4 but was heating up. Against the Ravens, devastation occurred. They lost not only the game, but also Burrow for the rest of the year. The starter against the Steelers was Jake Browning, an undrafted quarterback. He lost his first two games but had an amazing overtime win against the Jaguars. He won against the Colts and Vikings but threw three picks against the Steelers. He didn’t play that well against the Chiefs either, which lead to the Bengals being eliminated from the playoffs.
The Colts' future looked great with rookie Anthony Richardson at the helm. He started his rookie year off well, until disaster struck. He injured his shoulder against the Titans and was out for the rest of the season. His replacement, Gardner Minshew, did a solid job filling in for Richardson, making the pro bowl and going 7-6 as a starter and being one play away from making the playoffs.
Most of these backup quarterbacks have something in common. They start hot, become hyped up, and then fall off a cliff. This happens because the defenses haven’t seen much of the backup in the first few games. The defenses notice his tendencies, and he regresses to mediocrity. It really makes a person think about whether the quarterback position should be worth as much as it currently is.