Which QB Can Bring His New Town the Crown?
The last two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks won in their first year with their new team. Last season Matthew Stafford finally got out of Detroit after 12 years of service to show the NFL loving universe that he was worth the #1 overall pick back in the 2009 draft. Stafford went on to lead the Los Angeles Rams to their first Super Bowl victory in two decades.
The year before that, Tom Brady left the Patriots after running the show in New England for 20 seasons. It was hard to picture TB12 in a new uniform but the picture of him hoisting the Super Bowl Trophy for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is easy on the eyes. Brady was the MVP of that game for the Bucs and won his 7th championship in his first year with his new team.
The question is will that become a trend in the NFL? Quite a few teams are banking on that idea as some franchises are playing copycat thinking they're one solid quarterback away from a championship. We know it can be done but the situation needs to be near perfect.
Here are the teams that took this notion and ran with it, signing/trading big time quarterbacks with big time money. Let's look at these teams and if their new quarterback can keep this new trend going.
courtesy of ClutchPoints
Russell Wilson - Perhaps the biggest acquisition of the off-season was the Denver Broncos acquiring Russell Wilson in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks. Clearly Russ was sleepless in Seattle so maybe now he can get some rest in a new city, with a new team and a fresh start with a quarterback who I believe is still top 6 or 7 at worst in the entire league. The Broncos are full of talent on both sides of the ball and have an new offensive minded head coach in Nathaniel Hackett who will work very closely with Russ on what type of offense will fit this team best. Denver is in one of, if not the toughest divisions in football. This can help or hurt their cause whereas on one hand they have their hands full with the Chargers, Chiefs and Raiders but then again this top level competition can help make them a tougher team come playoff time!
DeShaun Watson - If Russell Wilson isn't the biggest acquisition of the off-season then DeShaun Watson is! Watson is a tremedous improvement over Baker Mayfield and expectations have moved up a level for Cleveland Browns fans. Now, we do expect some sort of suspension to come down from the commissioner for Watson and we'll see how long that will be. But when he is on the field this man is a top notch quarterback, very much in the same category as Russell Wilson. The Browns were a playoff team the year before last. They have a solid offensive line, a great running game, an above average defense and a very hungry fan base. Watson could use a little more help with his pass catchers though. They do have Amari Cooper who plays like a #1 receiver every 3-4 weeks. Donovan Peoples-Jones has shown signs he can be a play maker. I like the ability of David Njoku at tight end but is that enough? Good thing their offense runs through the ground game. That will make Watson's job much easier.
Matt Ryan - The expectations of Matt Ryan and his new team in Indianapolis are not quite as high as those in Denver and Cleveland but the Colts didn't trade for Matty Ice for no reason. They believe that Ryan's veteran presence, leadership and ability to still sling it and lead an offense will make them a playoff contender. The Colts could make the post season this year. If not for Indy losing their last two games of the season in 2021, they would have been a playoff team with Carson Wentz. They were in the tournament the year before with Philip Rivers at QB. I think Ryan is the best of the three at each stage of their respective careers so who knows! The Colts have a really good defense and added key pieces like Stephon Gilmore and Yannick Ngakoue to go along with All Pro linebacker Darius Leonard. Their offense runs through Jonathan Taylor and their tough offensive line. Can Matt Ryan take this team deep in the playoffs? They have the players and personnel but the competition is fierce!
Carson Wentz - There's really not much to say here except this is Carson Wentz's third team in as many years. Troubling for a guy drafted 2nd overall and looked like an MVP in his second year with the Eagles. But Wentz had a meltdown in Philly after Foles got all the love for winning the Super Bowl and then two years later losing his job to a rookie in Jalen Hurts. Yea it hurts alright but that's the reality of the NFL. Now, after a year failed in Indianapolis, Wentz gets another shot at being a the franchise quarterback with the Washington Commanders. This could be his last shot at being a full time starter in the NFL. Not the best place to try and ressurrect your career but at least he's lucky enough to get that chance.
Mitch Trubisky and Marcus Mariota are also the starting quarterbacks for their new teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons respectively. But nobody expects big things from either QB or either team for that matter. Maybe a little in Steel City?! I'd say the team with the best chance to win the Lombardi Trophy with their new quarterback in 2022 are the Denver Broncos. Despite being in a brutal division, the Broncos have a complete team. A solid team all around with a Super Bowl winning quarterback. They may not be the favorite to win it all but I would put them in the discussion because I believe once this team finds their groove they'll become one of the best teams in football.
My Favorites to Win the Super Bowl