Quarterbacks Facing Make-or-Break Years
Daniel Jones QB Giants
Quarterbacks have such a short leash in the modern-day NFL; now entering his fourth season, this may be Daniel Jones' last chance to prove he is a franchise quarterback. Jones' two biggest assets are his mobility and intelligence; his coaches have stated that they will be building around that. With a really good offensive line and a ton of young talent on the outside; Jones has the pieces he needs to be successful. He also has two proven offensive minds as his coaches: Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka. While the Bills had a phenomenal offense in 2021, I don't see Daboll using the same system. I believe the Giants will adopt an offense more similar to Andy Reid's west coast scheme. Kafka will utilize Jones' intelligence and spread the field out with outside zone and lots of 11-personnel. The Giants' offense has too much potential not to take off in 2022.
Jameis Winston QB Saints
It is time for us, as the viewer, to see "Jameis Winston 2.0". He got off to a hot start last year but the "Jameis Winston 2.0" experience came to a halting stop after he tore his ACL early on in the year. He seemed more decisive, and more mature after learning from one of the game's top decision makers: Drew Brees. This year, Winston has a phenomenal supporting cast: Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Chris Olave, Jarvis Landry... the list goes on. The biggest thing for Winston is consistency; something he lacked when was guiding the Buccaneers. What he showed before his injury last year was really promising, I just want to see him put it all together and take the Saints to the playoffs. Their defense is going to be really good, and their offense has the pieces. The Saints' future is predicated on Winston's growth in 2022.
Tua Tagovailoa QB Dolphins
In a similar way to Daniel Jones, when a quarterback who doesn't have "elite physical traits" doesn't bloom in his first few years as the starter, he is instantly ruled as a bust. With Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle lined up at receiver, Terron Armstead protecting his left side, and Mike McDaniel calling his plays, Tagovailoa is in a high-pressure situation. Outside of not having the "greatest blindside tackle", Tagovailoa doesn't have many excuses. McDaniel is a creative offensive mind who will put his quarterback in a position to succeed. He is going to do everything in his power to help Tagovailoa be the best quarterback he can be. I am excited to see Tagovailoa run a west-coast system that doesn't require him to throw the ball 50+ yards downfield. McDaniel's system is predicated on the outside zone and stretching the field horizontally. All he will ask Tua to do is get the ball into the hands of their playmakers. The Dolphins have given him the firepower, it's all or nothing for Tagovailoa in 2022.
Carson Wentz QB Commanders
It is really tough to say that this is Carson Wentz's final shot at being a "franchise quarterback", but it is. While Wentz is absurdly talented and has shown that he is capable of playing at an MVP caliber; it's been five years. He is one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks I've seen play the position; there just hasn't been any real consistency since his torn ACL. Wentz hasn't been able to step up in high pressure scenarios and his accuracy has gotten worse every year. With the Colts last year, he was playing with an elite offensive line and running back, one of the best coaches in the NFL, and he couldn't clutch up in the last game of the season vs the worst team in the NFL. In Washington, he doesn't have the greatest weapons in the world, but he has enough to make some magic happen. If Wentz can't pull a rabbit out of his hat, he could find himself as a backup/situational starter for the rest of his career.
Jalen Hurts QB Eagles
I am a huge Jalen Hurts fan and believer, but this is a make-or-break year for him. I still think he is capable of being a top five NFL quarterback, but if he struggles this year, it won't be in Philly. Philadelphia is one of the hardest cities to play in in all professional sports. If Hurts doesn't win the division or a playoff game this year, he could be on his way out. With one of the league's best offensive lines, AJ Brown, Devonta Smith, Miles Sanders, and Dallas Goedert; Hurts has all the weapons needed for success. I want to see progression in accuracy and consistency from Hurts. We know he can make all of the big plays with his arms and legs, I just want to see him consistently make the small plays. I want to see him convert on money downs and make the proper throws in the red zone. I believe Hurts has it all in him, he just needs to show the world.