Seven quarterbacks made their first start for their new NFL teams in week 1 of the 2016 season. Some, like Carson Wentz and Jimmy Garoppolo, had a terrific performance they wouldn’t mind repeating. Others, like Robert Griffin III, had a day to forget.
7. Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns
The Browns losing all of their preseason games was probably enough of a warning that things are going to be difficult this season. They kicked off by losing 29-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Griffin, playing for the first time since 2014, completed only 46.2% of his throws, the only QB under 50% in the opening week, while posting a passer rating of 55, throwing one interception. He did go off on a few nice runs (5 carries, 37 yards), but this didn’t look like someone that about to have a great season.
6. Shaun Hill, Minnesota Vikings
Hill was a surprising start after the Vikings traded for Sam Bradford, but they probably wanted someone a bit more familiar with the system until Bradford catches up. The other good thing about Hill is that he doesn’t take risks. He finished with 236 yards while completing 54.5% of his throws, with no touchdowns or even getting sacked. He finished with a 77.3 passer rating, as the Vikings beat the Tennessee Titans without scoring an offensive touchdown.
5. Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos
Good thing? Siemian won his first start as the Broncos quarterback, and looked better and more confident as the game went on, completing 69.2% of his passes, throwing one touchdown pass. However, he did get intercepted twice, averaged just 6.8 yards per throw, and finished with a 69.1 passer rating. However, the Broncos don’t need him to be great. Only to not make things too difficult for the defense.
4. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Prescott, a rookie picked in the fourth round, is only starting because Tony Romo is injured. But he did look the part, especially in the first half. He didn’t turn the ball over, completed 25-of-45 throws (55.6%). However, his throwing distance was just 5.04 per pass, the lowest among the 28 QBs to start a game so far this season, and he couldn’t get the ball in the end zone. Prescott will have to work on his field vision, which seems to be quite narrow at the moment, not being able to see the big picture. He probably could have used his legs a bit more, finishing with 12 yards on 2 carries, but that could be on the Offensive Coordinator, not Prescott. He ended up with a 69.4 passer rating
3. Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans
Osweiler had his shaky moments in his first regular season game for the Texans, but his debut in Houston probably went a bit better than expected, posting a 89.1 passer rating. He threw two touchdown passes and one interception, throwing for 231 yards and completing 62.9% of his throws. A rather immobile quarterback, as long as the offensive line doesn’t make him run around and escape pass rushes, he should be fine.
2. Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots
Maybe the most interesting debut to follow, Garoppolo started his first NFL game surrounded by the best personnel someone can ask for, including Bill Belichik to tell you what to do. Garoppolo wasn’t brilliant, but effective, which is what the Patriots needed along with a little bit of luck. He completed 72.2% of his throws, averaging 8 yards per attempt, throwing one touchdown pass. He did fumble the ball twice and got sacked a couple of times, finishing with a passer rating of 106.1, 8th best in week 1.
1. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Second overall pick many thought will be the third string QB behind Bradford and Chase Daniel. Turns out he’s ready sooner than anyone thought, helping the Eagles against a weak Browns team (helping him look great). Wentz threw two touchdown passes, completed 59.5% of his throws, averaged 7.51 on each pass attempt and posted a 101 passer rating. Meanwhile, the number one overall pick, Jared Goff, is probably going to be on the bench for the entire season, except for cameos here and there.