Two weeks of the 2020 NFL season have already passed and things have somewhat gone according to plan, besides a few upsets here and there.
I thought it would be an interesting exercise to evaluate each team’s current quarterback status entering Week 3, but not in the general sense. Instead of thousands of words of analysis on every single passer, I decided to attach a famous movie quote to each signal-caller that applies perfectly to their current situations.
Here are the results of my wacky idea.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys: "Show me the money!" - Jerry Maguire
In a contract season, it’s no surprise that Prescott wants (and deserves) franchise QB money. More consistency against top-tier teams would be nice, but he’s an elite passer that’s capable of changing games.
Dwayne Haskins, Washington Football Team: "Not quite my tempo." - Whiplash
Haskins has had a less than stellar start to his NFL career, in large part due to a bad O-Line and disastrous wide receivers around him. Even with these hurdles in place, however, he’s looked awfully slow as a processor and not very comfortable in a professional environment. These issues aren’t the be-all and end-all, but Washington needs him to show considerable strides as a sophomore.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles: "I see dead people." - Sixth Sense
It seems like an eternity since Wentz was in the 2018 MVP discussion. Stuck behind a makeshift offensive line, the Eagles QB has turned into a shell of his former self, mainly due to worsened mechanics and porous vision. The talent is still there, but it’s not looking good.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants: “Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night.” - All About Eve
Built like Bills QB Josh Allen but without the same elite physical tools, Jones is an absolute whirlwind out on the football field. He’s going to give you some excellent throws, particularly in quick rhythm situations, but he’s also probably going to make at least one major brain cramp per game. Limiting turnovers for the rest of the season will be key.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." - Gone With The Wind
Rodgers has used Green Bay’s selection of Jordan Love to light a fire underneath himself to start the year. It doesn’t matter if his team took a signal-caller in Round 1 to eventually replace him. Rodgers gonna Rodgers.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears: “I just wanted to take another look at you.” - A Star is Born
Trubisky pretty much is what he is at this point (not startable), but with limited options elsewhere and youth on his side, the Bears have decided to stick with him to begin 2020. A brilliant comeback performance in Game 1 might have people jumping back on the “Mitch Train” but I’d highly doubt it lasts.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings: "You shall not pass!" - Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Trying to limit his load by rushing on first and second down as much as possible, Minnesota has made it a priority to let Cousins only pass when needed—something that doesn’t match so favorably with his recent mega-contract extension.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions: "I volunteer as tribute." - The Hunger Games
Pour one out for my boy Matty.
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: "With great power comes great responsibility." - Spider-Man
Brady made the risky gamble of leaving Belichick for Florida’s new favorite team, and as a result, the expectations are out of this world. That’s not to say he can’t achieve them, but it's the Super Bowl or bust in Tampa Bay.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints: “Part of the journey is the end.” - Avengers: Endgame
Brees is still a quality facilitator with extraordinary football intelligence, but his arm is showing major signs of regression. I’m not sure how much time he has left.
Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers: “Go ahead...make my day” - Sudden Impact
Bridgewater is a fun player and even better person, but he has yet to show he can be anything more than a stop-gap option at QB. Exceeding expectations and leading this rebuilding Carolina squad to a bunch of wins would be incredible, but anything beyond average passer play should be considered an unexpected plus at this point.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: “I don’t play defense” - Space Jam
Like Stafford in Detroit, Ryan is still a top-notch passer capable of slinging the pigskin all over the football field. The problem is his defense just can’t give him a break.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks: "Wilsoooooooon!" - Castaway
In 10 years I’m sure “Let Russ Cook” will be quoted in every popular movie, but for now we’ll have to make do with Tom Hanks’ classic line.
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals: “Say hello to my little friend” - Scarface
He might be 5-foot-nothing, but Murray is a budding superstar and arguably the greatest all-around athlete in the NFL.
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams: “If you build it, he will come.” - Field of Dreams
A quality system quarterback that will execute what is needed of him but not much else, Goff has proven to be successful, when the right infrastructure is built around him.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers: "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?" - Dirty Harry
Garoppolo isn’t necessarily a bad QB, but he’s an average one with top-notch play-calling and an elite run game. Most passers would kill for a perfect situation like that.
Sam Darnold, New York Jets: “You don't understand! I could've had class. I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am today.” - On the Waterfront
Darnold may not have been successful even if he was given proper coaching and pass-catchers, but it wouldn’t have hurt to see him surrounded by better pieces than Jamison Crowder and Braxton freaking Berrios. Thanks, Adam Gase.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills: “Are you not entertained?” - Gladiator
A QB that provides viewers with an absolute rollercoaster of emotions, Allen has been phenomenal to start 2020, taking advantage of a brilliant WR room and looking vastly improved as a deep-ball thrower. Whether or not he can keep stringing together these performances against better defenses, however, remains to be seen.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins: "I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have is a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. - Taken
The year is 2097. FitzMagic is still taking the NFL by storm.
Cam Newton, New England Patriots: "I'll be back." - Terminator
Shunned by the NFL after a decorated career in Carolina, Newton has looked as healthy as ever in his first two games this season, proving that he is, indeed, back.
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans: “You complete me.” - Jerry Maguire
Coming in and completely changing the Titans entire offense, Tannehill has proven to be everything that Tennessee could have possibly hoped for when acquiring him in the 2019 offseason.
Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts: “They’ve done studies, you know. Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.” - Anchorman
Rivers is past his prime, but he can still facilitate the ball relatively well, especially to RBs out of the backfield. Unfortunately, he’s also good for about 1 or 2 crucial mistakes a game due to his aggressive, gunslinger mentality.
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars: "You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention." - Django Unchained
There’s a strong chance that Minshew isn’t the long-term answer in Jacksonville, particularly because of his less than ideal physical attributes, but the passer is simply a gamer. Blessed with unreal confidence, poise, and a meticulous mustache, he isn't someone you want to bet against.
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans: “I must break you” - Rocky IV
After Bill O’Brien’s many mind-numbing personnel decisions over the past few seasons, one thing has become clear for Houston: they don’t deserve Watson or his incredible skill set.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns: “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” - Star Wars IV
Mayfield had an atrocious sophomore season, but it’s shocking how many people have already written him off. With improved play-calling and protection, I don’t necessarily expect him to get back to his electric rookie form anytime soon, but he’s still far from “bust” territory.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens: "I feel the need...the need for speed!" - Top Gun
Only starting to unlock his full potential, Jackson is a literal human cheat code that plays the game at a different speed than everyone else. He’s not necessarily the most refined passer yet, but he’s made major strides, particularly as a far hash thrower, which should have teams downright scared to face him.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals: "I could do this all day" - Captain America
Surrounded by an atrocious Bengals offensive line, Burrow has already been beaten, battered, and bruised in just two games of action. With matchups games against the Steelers and Ravens yet to come, it doesn’t look like that is going to end anytime soon. His unreal toughness and poise will make dealing with immense pressure easier to handle, but this is going to be a difficult year for the promising rookie.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers: “It’s alive, it’s alive!!!” - Frankenstein
Roethlisberger’s awkward running stride and painful throwing motion both make it look like he should be in a hospital rather than on a football field, but the gunslinger just continues to get the job done. Appearing fully back from his 2019 season-ending elbow injury, Roethlisberger is 100% alive and seems prepared to give the Steelers a potential Super Bowl push.
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders: "I wish I knew how to quit you." - Brokeback Mountain
Despite being just average for years now, Carr has remained the Raiders starter almost by default over the past few seasons, as Las Vegas has refused to surround him with legitimate competition (an injured Marcus Mariota doesn’t count). That’s not to say he’s bad—Carr is a safe and efficient passer who won’t make many mistakes—but he’s holding Las Vegas’ talented weapons back in a deceivingly large way with his inability to push the ball deep. They might be better off without him.
Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers: "Look at me. Look at me. I’m the captain now." - Captain Phillips
Tyrod Taylor is technically still the starting QB (due to Los Angeles’ incompetent medical staff), but make no mistake—Herbert is the guy moving forward. Throwing for more than 300 yards in a big Week 2 matchup against Kansas City, Herbert looked great in his first-ever start, cementing his status as the future of the organization in the process.
Drew Lock, Denver Broncos: “If you believe in something, believe in it firmly” - Argo
I still don’t know if putting all the chips in Drew Lock’s basket is exactly a good idea, but if you’re going to commit to a young QB—especially a boom-or-bust type like Lock—you need to do everything in your power to give him the best chance possible. Denver did just that by drafting quality weapons like Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler this offseason, displaying a masterclass in how to surround an up-and-coming QB with the proper infrastructure needed to succeed at the professional level.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs: “A million dollars isn't cool. Do you know what's cool? A billion dollars.” - The Social Network
The best player in the NFL, Mahomes is worth every penny of the record-setting half-billion-dollar deal he signed this past offseason.