Every year, NFL fans are teeming with hopeful expectations heading into training camp. Every year, NFL fans end up going viral for burning jerseys, punching television screens, and completely melting down over the poor performance of their favorite franchise’s signal-caller. For every Patrick Mahomes, there are ten Patrick Ramsey‘s. Let’s take a look at the Quarterbacks who are destined to disappoint.
Five Quarterbacks Likely to Disappoint in 2021
Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback Joe Burrow
The number one overall draft pick in 2020 had his rookie campaign cut off at the knee, literally. Suffering a season-ending setback, Joe Burrow tore his ACL/MCL/PCL in Week 11 while suffering other ligament damage well. Burrow was off to a solid start to his NFL career, passing for 13 touchdowns and five interceptions, Burrow was displaying the ability to compete at the pro level.
To understand why Burrow will be one of the quarterbacks likely to disappoint, look no further than the reason why he didn’t finish the season. The Bengal’s woeful offensive line allowed Burrow to be sacked 32 times in the ten games he started.
The Bengal’s leaky line isn’t the only thing working against the young quarterback, Head Coach Zac Taylor has to be one of the most underqualified Head Coaches in recent memory. Taylor got the Bengals job due to playing Madden with Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay. It showed in 2020, as often the Bengals looked like the Bengals, finishing 4-11-1 and failing to impress at any point.
To further solidify the certain struggles that Burrow will face in 2021, the Bengals used their fifth-overall 2021 draft pick to select Burrow’s buddy from LSU, Wide Receiver, Jamarr Chase. On the surface, this may seem like a strategy to bolster Burrow’s weapons.
In reality, the Bengals passed up on the best Offensive Tackle, Oregon’s Penei Sewell in the draft and missed an opportunity to protect their largest investment who’ll be recovering from a destroyed knee. As Chase streaks down the sideline, look into the backfield and know that poor coaching, poor management, and the Cincinnati Bengals are the reason Burrow will be on his back.
Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback Trevor Lawrence
Success in the NFL has so much to do with the situation a player is placed in. Some may say that Trevor Lawrence‘s talent transcends these limitations, believe it when you see it.
The Jaguars hired long-time College coach Urban Meyer to take over the team in 2021. Already, he has expressed dissatisfaction with the limitations of the pro game, he also has been subpoenaed in a discrimination lawsuit. So far not so good for Coach Meyer, which spells a shaky situation for this blue-chip passer. Bad franchises stay bad for a reason, and Jacksonville has been quite bad for quite some time.
Great talent can overcome many things, but without a solid supporting cast, the job just becomes that more difficult. Some feel Meyer will load the Jaguars with talent. If having three number three wide receivers was ideal, Lawrence would be in the perfect spot. As is evident, it is not. This doesn’t mean that Lawrence will be an atrocious player, simply he will probably not be able to light the world on fire with the hand he has been dealt.
LA Rams Quarterback Matthew Stafford
Expectations are the most common cause of disappointment. Exhibit A: Matthew Stafford and the LA Rams. When LA traded for two first-round draft picks, a third-round draft pick, and quarterback Jared Goff to Detroit for Stafford’s services, the table was set. The LA Rams sold the farm with the concept that Stafford would be the guy who can close the deal and bring them a Lombardi trophy.
Before the Rams made this trade, it’s fair to question if LA Rams Head Coach Sean McVay ever watched Matthew Stafford play in a big game. If he did, he would see that Stafford has only made it to three playoff games in his 12 seasons as an NFL starting quarterback. To steal a line from the poet Shawn Carter, three in twelve, I can divide, that’s one every four, the rest of those seasons were poor. Let’s examine those three starts, not one resulted in a win, and he only put together four touchdowns compared to three interceptions. Quite simply, Stafford plays small when the game is big.
Add into this the general production from Stafford doesn’t reflect a superstar quarterback. For every two touchdowns Stafford throws, he’s going to throw an interception (282 career touchdowns, 144 career interceptions) and his career quarterback rating (89.9) comes up short when compared to his less celebrated peers, Kirk Cousins (97.9), Derek Carr (92.1), and Jimmy Garoppolo (98.9). None of them had Megatron to lean on either. Good luck with that Super Bowl, McVay.
Carolina Panthers Quarterback Sam Darnold
A lot could be said here, but it doesn’t need to be. Sam Darnold was not a very good quarterback in college. He turned the ball over 36 times in 27 games at USC. The New York Jets saw this as an admirable trait for a quarterback and made him the third overall pick in 2018. Sam Sam the turnover man kept true to himself in the Big Apple, continuing that quality effort of giving the ball to the opposition. Now Darnold finds himself in Carolina. The predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers
Saying one of the quarterbacks likely to disappoint is an aging NFL MVP might seem like heresy, but the writing is on the wall in Green Bay, this isn’t going to end well. Relationships are fragile, many of us know that you can say or do something that crosses a threshold and makes it impossible to get back to where you were prior to that moment. This is the current state of the marriage of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
It all makes sense. After the Packer’s heartbreaking loss in the NFC title game, one can’t help but empathize with Rodgers questioning the direction of his team. When Head Coach Matt LaFleur decided to kick a field goal from the 8-yard line down eight points with 2:09 left to play and a chance at the Super Bowl hanging in the balance with the NFL MVP at the helm, the relationship was officially broken. Sure, you can fake it for maybe a year or two more, but what was done on that day cannot be undone, both sides are well aware.
So, here we are. Aaron Rodgers has made it painfully obvious that he wants out, the team is a sliver of itself without him, and the fans and his teammates are caught in the middle. In July, this is as disappointing as it can get. But hey, say they make it work, get the band back together and find themselves contending for a title again in January 2022. Rodgers will probably just lose that game too, he has lost four out of the five NFC Championship games he has appeared in. No matter how you slice it, there’s a great chance Rodgers will disappoint in 2021.