Does Your Favorite NFL Team Have a New Starting Quarterback?
Nearly half of the league's 32 teams will roll out a new starter this season
After falling a game short of the playoffs the season before with Carson Wentz as their starting quarterback, the Indianapolis Colts opened the 2022 season with high hopes after trading for 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan. Those hopes were dashed fairly rapidly as Ryan was a shadow of his former self and had just 14 touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions in his 12 starts. When Ryan was benched, Indy’s other two quarterbacks, Sam Ehlinger (three starts, three TDs, three picks) and Nick Foles (two starts, zero TDs, four picks), did not exactly light it up.
After finishing with the NFL’s second-lowest points-per-game average during the 2022 season, the Colts will be going with a new starting quarterback to start the 2023 campaign and have named first-round draft pick Anthony Richardson as their QB1. He will be Indy’s seventh different Week 1 starting quarterback in as many seasons. Though Richardson was “shocked” by the team’s decision to name him the starter, the 21-year-old doesn’t plan on giving up the gig.
“I want to be great,” Richardson said. “I want to be remembered. I don’t want to just be one of those guys like, ‘OK, he was in the league.’ I want my legacy to be forever, and I’m working. Just trying to work forever and build [toward] a championship here with this team and this organization.”
All of the rapid turnover at quarterback, the most important position in all of professional sports, in Indianapolis is a microcosm as nearly half of the teams in the NFL will start the upcoming season with a different starter than they opened with last September. By our count, 14 of the NFL’s 32 teams will have a new starting QB. They are:
- New York Jets: Aaron Rodgers (Zach Wilson)
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett (Mitch Trubisky)
- Cleveland Browns: Deshaun Watson (Jacoby Brissett)
- Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud (Davis Mills)
- Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson (Matt Ryan)
- Las Vegas Raiders: Jimmy Garoppolo (Derek Carr)
- Washington Commanders: Sam Howell (Carson Wentz)
- Green Bay Packers: Jordan Love (Aaron Rodgers)
- New Orleans Saints: Derek Carr (Jameis Winston)
- Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Ridder (Marcus Mariota)
- Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young (Baker Mayfield)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Baker Mayfield (Tom Brady)
- Arizona Cardinals: Colt McCoy (Kyler Murray)
- San Francisco 49ers: Brock Purdy (Jimmy Garoppolo)
In addition to the quarterbacks listed above, Ryan Tannehill could easily lose his starting job in Tennessee to Malik Willis or Will Levis and there’s an outside chance Patriots quarterback Mac Jones could be replaced by backup Bailey Zappe or possibly even undrafted rookie Malik Cunningham.
Considering the importance of the quarterback position, it’s not surprising that teams are very willing to make changes if they feel it is necessary. However, it is a bit surprising that so many teams felt like they needed a change. Maybe it shouldn’t be, as the end of an era at quarterback in the NFL is clearly upon us.
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