New Starting Signal-Callers Across the League
The 2023 NFL offseason has been one to remember, with many stars relocating to new franchises. Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr, and Jimmy Garoppolo were the big-name quarterbacks to find new homes, with the most significant impact on NFL picks. In addition, first-round rookies Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Anthony Richardson will likely be day-one starters. Jordan Love is not with a new team, but he is stepping into the starting role for the first time.
Last season, quarterbacks with new teams did not go as planned (Russell Wilson). The 2023 season will feature plenty of new starters across the league. Will they succeed? Which quarterback will have the most success?
Spotlight on South
The AFC South will have two new starters: Stroud on the Houston Texans and Richardson on the Indianapolis Colts. Second-round rookie Will Levis could eventually become a starter for the Tennessee Titans as well. However, don’t expect any of these teams to contend in the South. The Jacksonville Jaguars, led by Trevor Lawrence, are the clear favorites to win the division in NFL expert picks (-150). The sportsbook has the Titans as the second favorite (+350). If Tennessee is pushing for the postseason, it would likely be with Ryan Tannehill, not Levis.
The entire NFC South will have new starting quarterbacks. Carr will take over the New Orleans Saints, Young is the new face of the Carolina Panthers, Desmond Ridder will be a first-time starter for the Atlanta Falcons, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will start Kyle Trask or Baker Mayfield. Hopefully, this means better quality after every team in the division finished with a losing record last season. Don’t get your hopes up, though. The Saints are the only team with a projected win total of over eight, per NFL odds.
Love hopes to become a Green Bay Packers legend, showing promise in limited action last season. However, most NFL predictions expect the Packers to fade in the 2023 season, especially with the NFL North improving. Green Bay is the last choice to win the North (+500).
Jordan Love in Week 12’s 33-40 loss against the NFC Champions Philadelphia Eagles ⤵️
🧀 113 yards
🧀 1 TD & 0 ints
🧀 93.3 QBR
🧀 146.8 Passer Rating pic.twitter.com/fPPrWB0FXd
— Hogg (@HoggNFL) January 29, 2023
The Washington Commanders will start Sam Howell or Jacoby Brissett, who was a free agent acquisition. Either way, it doesn’t look great for Washington. Howell could look like a deer in headlights as a first-time starter, and Brissett lacks postseason upside.
The Las Vegas Raiders should improve with Garoppolo at the helm. However, the AFC West is stacked. This could become the best division in football by a mile, assuming the Denver Broncos live up to the hype.
Whoever comes out of the NFC South will be among the most successful new starters. The Saints have an intriguing upside after their defense dominated last season. If Carr can turn back the clock, New Orleans could be cooking. The Panthers also have a good defense, but Young could lack the receiving targets to flourish. The Falcons’ offense should take another step with rookie running back Bijan Robinson, but will Ridder be good enough?
Desmond Ridder goes for the long ball to Drake London on tough coverage 😱pic.twitter.com/qpbmjSN7l2
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 8, 2023
Rodgers Head and Shoulders Above the Rest
Rodgers having the most success is the obvious answer, right? The other mentioned quarterbacks are not on contending teams. Their ceiling is making the postseason. Rodgers and the New York Jets have a lofty goal in mind – the Super Bowl. NFL lines have the Jets tied with the Dallas Cowboys as the sixth choice to win the Lombardi Trophy (+1400). New York is also the fourth choice to win the AFC championship (+750).
Is New York really good enough to make a deep playoff run? The Jets were on track for a postseason appearance last season before losing their final six games, with New York’s offense too bad to overcome. The defense was one of the league’s best, finishing second in allowed points per game, led by All-Pros defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and cornerback Sauce Gardner.
Rodgers has the tools to turn this offense around. Remember, running back Breece Hall was lighting the league on fire during his rookie campaign before a knee injury ended his season. Also, the Jets were without their best offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker for 10 games. New York has a strong running back room and a promising wide receiver corps with Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman.
Aaron Rodgers compared Garrett Wilson to Davante Adams today 👀
“He’s a talented guy. I threw him a pass today and kind of turned and was like, ‘Wow.'”
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) May 2, 2023
Offensive tackle play will be the Jets’ biggest concern. Right tackle Mekhi Becton has played in one game over the last two seasons, and left tackle Duane Brown turns 38 in August. There’s a good chance Vera-Tucker kicks out to one of the tackle spots. If Rodgers has protection, New York should be a contender in the AFC.