OK. Real fast. If someone bet you $1,000 that Tom Brady would have a better statistical season than any of the other three quarterbacks in the AFC East this season, would you take it?
No. You wouldn’t. Even with the four-game suspension at the beginning of the season.
And that’s not saying anything bad about the other QBs, it just speaks volumes about the dominance that is Tom Brady. THAT, and the other QBs really aren’t that good.
To give some credit, all three guys have the potential to have stellar seasons.
Backup-turned-starter Tyrod Taylor had an interesting season last year. He started off hot and looked like the long-term answer at the QB spot for the Bills, but throw in some injuries and decline at the end of the season, and he had an OK year as a starter. In 14 games, he threw for 20 TDs and 8 picks, and while that isn’t something to write home about, it’s not really something to write off, either. He’s a great athlete and showed running ability last year:
But, as many have shown before him, you have to develop the arm to become elite.
Ryan Tanehill is the most confusing out of all four starters. He has the build, the mechanics, the promise, but the stats just don’t reflect that. He played all 16 games, which would be good, but it just makes his 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions all the more inexcusable. It’s not horrible, but it’s extremely average. On the bright side, he threw for a career-high 4,208 yards- a stat that has increased each of his four years in the NFL. If that’s the case, maybe his fifth year is his breakout year.
Lastly, we get down to the dude who didn’t know if he was going to even play this season until a few days ago. Ryan Fitzpatrick filled in for Geno Smith after he went fist-to-cuffs with a teammate and got his jaw broken, and it was clear that he wasn’t going to give up the position after a few games. He had career highs in yards and touchdowns last year, getting 10 wins in the process, so it’s fair to say that the 33-year-old deserved his money. Now in a one year deal, he has a lot to play for if he wants to get the check he held out for. One thing is clear with Fitzy, though: it’s hard to break his jaw with such a large beard in the way.
Also, if you’re saying to yourself that we forgot about Jimmy Garoppolo- we didn’t.
Audio: Sean and Brian break down the AFC East’s quarterbacks.