I think living in the Brady/Brees era has given us a false sense of how long quarterbacks can play at a high level. Brees at 38, even though the winning hasn’t been there, the stats are still the same and so is the arm talent. Brady at 40 looks like he’s well on his way for a 6th ring after throwing 8 touchdowns in the last two games.
Despite this, 4 veteran quarterbacks who’s teams were expected to compete for playoff wins and possibly the Super Bowl this year are struggling immensely, and the worst part isn’t the failing play but the lack of a back-up plan on any of the teams. I’m talking about Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger. Their teams are a combined 3-9, with Manning and Rivers’ squads remaining win-less.
Palmer frankly looks like his legs have left him. He has no ability to move in the pocket, and his arm strength shows up sporadically. In week one we saw many sideline breaking routes bounce at the feet of his receivers, but then in week two we saw a deep strike to J.J. Nelson for a touchdown. Unfortunately for Carson it has been more of the latter than the former, but the Monday Night game was a nail in his coffin. I think Palmer’s career is done and would frankly take Goff over him for the rest of the season.
Eli Manning falls to the ground every time the wind blows while everything has gone wrong in the start to the Giants season. Ben “Slant Route” McAdoo is feeling the pressure, and with a difficult schedule ahead climbing out of a 0-3 hole seems unlikely. Eli is forced to get the ball out in under 3 seconds on almost every pass play due to the o-line issues, and if not for Odell Beckham Jr. this offense would be the worst one in the NFL. At this point in his career, I think any Eli magic is unlikely. He’s a career average QB with two historic Super Bowl runs.
Phillip Rivers is 5-14 in his last 19 games. As much as I love him, It’s time for me to wake up, smell the roses, and understand that his ship has sailed. He commits too many turnovers and not enough big plays are being made to cover for it. He’s a furious competitor, but recently I think it maybe getting the best of him. The whole LA Charger experiment is going way worse than expected, and Rivers’ time as a Charger seem numbered.
Of all the QBs I mentioned, I believe in Roethlisberger the most to bounce back after a rough three game start. After teasing retirement in the off-season, this may be his last hurrah. Their two wins, @Browns and home to a Bradford-less Vikings were both un-impressive, and an away loss to the Bears was classic Tomlin-era fodder. #7 is missing throws, and the AB/Martavis/LeVeon trio has underwhelmed to start the year. This weeks match against the Ravens is a big game for them.
The Giants and Steelers both selected later round rookie QBs in 2017, but all 4 of these squads have no true succession plan. Things can go sour quickly, especially in Arizona where I don’t see Palmer playing next season. I am counting the Cardinals, Giants, and Chargers all out of the playoff race. Fans of these teams, start watching some college ball to scout your QB of the future.