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Quarterback Battles

We are nearing the trade deadline for the 2023 NFL season already, and we have a ton of quarterback battles that are worth monitoring moving forward. Quarterback battles that could potentially change the entire course of a franchise for years to come. After all, the quarterback is considered the absolute most important position on the field. The bottom line is that a team can usually go as far as their quarterback can take them, the form of the Quarterback drastically impacts the NFL odds week to week. If you’re keen on betting and looking to see what odds are for teams with quarterback situations, you can check out this link! Now, let’s get into the biggest storylines from quarterback battles up to this point.

Let’s start out with one of the most obvious battles that’s currently ongoing in Tennessee with the Titans. The Titans have held firm that the veteran Ryan Tannehill is the starting quarterback despite his struggles as a passer these past few seasons. Last season, they drafted Malik Willis to potentially replace Tannehill down the line. However, after giving him only a few starts due to a Tannehill injury, they weren’t impressed. This caused them to draft Will Levis early on in this past NFL draft. With Tannehill out for what could be multiple games now, we’ll be seeing both Willis and Levis on the football field to potentially take over down the line. It’s yet to be seen which of the two youngsters can start to gain some separation, though it’s entirely up in the air on what might happen down there in Tennessee right now.

A different quarterback battle that’s going to be interesting down the stretch is the one with the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals went into the season without their starter Kyler Murray due to injury. He wasn’t expected back for multiple games, and the team really wasn’t expecting to contend for a Super Bowl this time around anyways. The thought was that Josh Dobbs would step in as a lower-level replacement, they’d lose games, get a high draft pick, and see what to do with Murray from there. Instead, Dobbs played better than anticipated, and the team played very competitively despite a lack in overall talent. There’s actually a genuine question of whether or not the team should throw Kyler back into the fire in what should be a tanking season for the organization. Will Arizona try and give Dobbs the remainder of the year while stacking up losses for a good pick? Or will they opt back to Kyler to instill faith in him and try to end the year on a positive note.

Unfortunately, the New England Patriots feel like they have a quarterback situation right now. Mac Jones is in his third year as the starter, and the offense is continuously underwhelming.  Now, he did just have a very good showing in an upset victory over the Buffalo Bills, but it just keeps happening once every few weeks. In the NFL, every single game matters, and the Patriots aren’t talented enough at the moment to lose a few games just so Jones puts up over 20 points. He's even been benched multiple times already this season, in favor of Bailey Zappe. The team also moved up UDFA Malik Cunningham briefly as a gadget type of quarterback with his own set of plays. Simply put, the Patriots need more consistent quarterback play if they want to take the next step forward, with Jones not yet showing the ability to do that.

Oh, and there’s an interesting situation going down with the Las Vegas Raiders and their quarterback. Jimmy Garoppolo was brought in to help them compete, and he’s done exactly what they’ve been hoping for so far. However, he’s missed a few games now with various injuries and it’s opened the door for the Raiders to get a glimpse of other options on the roster. The veteran Brian Hoyer didn’t exactly show that he deserves the job, throwing for 129 yards and two interceptions in his start. The rookie Aidan O’Connell is a more intriguing option for the Raiders to go down, especially if they feel like he has   higher upside than Garoppolo does at this point in time. O’Connell had a solid offensive day against the Los Angeles Chargers but was sacked at least six times and lost the game after a brutal red-zone interception towards the end of the game. This is another franchise that nobody quite knows the direction of just yet. On one hand, they have some good weapons on their roster, on the other, they don’t have enough to really win a Super Bowl. If they want to rebuild and tear it all down, O’Connell might take over at some point and really turn this organization towards a different path. If they still feel as though they can compete for a championship with a few more pieces, then Garoppolo will continue to get the keys to the offense until further notice. Of course, head   coach Josh McDaniel's having worked with Garoppolo in New England, might be helping keep him as the starter for a little while longer than previously expected.

Finally, we should be talking about the Green Bay Packers. Unlike the other quarterbacks in front of him, Jordan Love has the complete support of the coaching staff. The problem is that Love just hasn’t played well, and the Packers are 2-4. Had they not put together a great comeback against the New Orleans Saints in a game that Derek Carr left with an injury, they’d be 2-5. Love will be given every opportunity possible to succeed after spending so much time behind Aaron Rodgers. However, that staff isn’t going to have unlimited faith in him. Eventually, poor play will start to get tiresome down in Green Bay and they will look elsewhere to fill that void. Against the same Denver Broncos team that allowed 70 points to the Miami Dolphins, Love completed 21 of his 31 passing attempts for just 180 yards. He did throw for two touchdowns but threw a devastating interception which ultimately ended the game.