With a liturgy of preseason games behind us, it’s time to start making some bold predictions. I will NOT be using preseason games as my justification for this (so don’t expect me to be lauding Baker Mayfield or Tyler Bray too much). Instead I’m going off a very scientific method of stats and gut feelings. Don’t worry, I’ll provide my justification so you can feel free to set up your own BS-meter on any of these. Beneath it all I added some QBs I like and don’t like this year, for many it’s due to a reversal of last year’s great or bad year.
Since we are in the tail end of QB week, I bestow upon you, my 5 bold QB predictions for the 2018 NFL Season:
Phillip Rivers throws for at least 30 Touchdowns (putting him among the top 5 Quarterbacks) and throws for at least 4,300 yards (putting him among the top 5 Quarterbacks). In FakeTeams last rankings he was listed as the 13th best Quarterback.
Rational: This one comes across as bold, I’m essentially saying Phillip Rivers is a top 5 fantasy QB but it also isn’t all that bold when you consider this: Phillip Rivers has exceeded 30 touchdowns two of the last four years (the two years he didn’t he was at 28TDs and 29TDs). He has exceeded 4,300 yards each of the last three years. Finally, rumors out of Chargers practices is that he looks great, sure everyone looks great in camp but its good to hear.
Jimmy Garoppolo throws fewer than 21 TDs and lands outside the top 20 for passing TDs (among NFL QBs) but he throws for more than 4,000 yards landing in the top ten in passing yards (among QBs).
Rational: As we all saw last year, he does not turn the ball over but he also doesn’t pass for a lot of TDs (total 7TDs in 5 games). Meanwhile he threw for 1,500 yards over that time which would extrapolate out to 4,800 yards over a full 16 games played. Pick him up for the yards, not for the TDs.
My 100%, guarenteed lock 49er Hot Take for 2018:— The Monday Morning QuarterBLACK (@TheMMQBL) August 7, 2018
Jimmy Garoppolo will break the 49ers record for single season passing yards (4276).
Andrew Luck ALSO finishes in the top 5 in both Touchdowns and Passing Yards (also with at least 30 TDs and 4,300 yards).
Rational: When healthy in 2014 and 2016 he finished in the top 5 in passing TDs both years (scoring more than 30 both times) and passing yards in 2014 (finishing with the 8thmost yards in 2016 just 140 yards outside of the top 5). Who he is throwing to will be the big question mark but I have a hunch someone among the rostered WRs will step up to the challenge.
I can report that Andrew Luck took his first hit, and his arm is still attached.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 10, 2018
Deshaun Watson finishes with the most interceptions thrown in 2018.
Rational: He will have a lot of TDs and probably even a ton of yards but as we all know he likes to sling the ball. The critique of him coming into the NFL surrounded the 17 interceptions he threw during his National Championship winning 2017 season. Well, last year in 7 games played he threw 8 interceptions which extrapolates out to a full year total of 18 putting him 2nd last year behind (insert Browns QB here). Assuming the new Browns QB Tyrod Taylor doesn’t replicate DeShone Kizer’s actions, the interception crown will go from DeShone to Deshaun.
1.0 percent of Deshaun Watson's pass attempts were dropped last season - the lowest rate at the position (min. 150 dropbacks). #RegressionAlert— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) August 9, 2018
Lamar Jackson leads all QBs in rushing yards in 2018.
Rational: This one is 100% gut. I know word out of Baltimore is that Joe Flacco is the starter but something isn’t passing the smell test. The 1st round selection of Lamar, the time OC Marty Mornhinweg and QB coach James Urban spent with Vick in Philadelphia, the potentially rough start to the 2018 season for them, the recent diminishing play from Joe Flacco, finally the electric start Lamar has been off to in Training Camp. Sure there is every reason to believe the team sticks with Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco, the man doubled down on himself in 2013 and justifiably got his paycheck. There is also a scenario I see where Baltimore is sitting at 1-3 after their fourth game and starts to look to Lamar as the heir apparent 5 games into this season, after the team faces Cincinnati, Denver and Pittsburgh in back to back contests (all top ten passing defenses last year).
These moves from Lamar Jackson look awfully familiar https://t.co/7ff0kK3OWx— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) August 10, 2018
As you can see, I’m very bullish on Phillip Rivers and Andrew Luck this year. For good flavor, here are some other QBs I like this year: Dak Prescott (bounce back year with Zeke playing a full season), Drew Brees (bounce back year – still elite QB), Marcus Mariota (seems to do well every other year, could flourish under new OC) and Case Keenum (no INT’s, great supporting cast).
Here are some QBs I don’t like this year: Kirk Cousins (gut feeling), Russel Wilson (he gets sacked a lot which concerns me), Cam Newton (2nd most INTs over last 2 years, lowest completion percentage among starters), and Jared Goff (low completion percentage, regression year).
Which prediction is the most absurd?
This poll is closed
Rivers top 5 QB
Garoppolo with all Yards no TDs
Luck top 5 QB
Watson INT king
Lamar is moving on up