With a weekend of preseason action in the books, NFL lead writer Josh Zerkle and I donned our professor caps and gave out grades for each of the new starting quarterbacks around the league. From Peyton Manning‘s debut in Chicago to Matt Flynn’s unveiling in Seattle, we discuss our grades and the reasoning behind them in the video above.
While Josh seems content to grade on a bit of a curve, I guess I’m a bit more harsh with my assessments, only because the few snaps these guys played this past weekend are all we have to go on. Furthermore, every bit of performance by these guys matters immensely for the coaching staff needing to make determinations based on players’ execution on the field.
To sum up what’s above, I liked what I saw from Manning—his long throw across the field to Eric Decker in particular. That was a throw few quarterbacks even think about attempting, let alone are able to complete.
I also liked what I saw from Robert Griffin III, though he wasn’t asked to do much before giving way to Rex Grossman.
Meanwhile, Matt Flynn and the Dolphins’ duo of Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill were a mixed bag. Flynn seemed comfortable enough but content to play things safe. Moore looked like he was trying to give the job to Tannehill, who looked better than expected, albeit against lesser competition.
The teacher’s pet, so to speak, of the weekend was probably Andrew Luck.
The first overall pick not only lived up to his billing as an NFL-ready talent, but he looked experienced beyond his years in the way he was able to manipulate the pocket to buy time, yet keep his eyes downfield waiting for something to break open.
He also made one heads-up, veteran play by simply throwing the ball away while being chased outside the pocket. (That sounds simple, but every week, you see guys who have been in the league for years screw it up.)
Obviously, there’s a lot more to play out, and this is just a sliver of what we’ll see from these guys going forward.
Let us know in the comment section if you agree or disagree with our grades.