Pair of Unheralded Rookie Quarterbacks Star on “Monday Night Football”

Will Levis and Tommy "Cutlets" DeVito both led furious fourth-quarter comebacks

Quarterback Will Levis of the Tennessee Titans throws a pass.
Will Levis is not headed back to bench for the Titans.
Rich Storry/Getty

A weekend that was filled with upsets in the NFL was capped off by a pair of rookie quarterbacks, Will Levis and Tommy DeVito, leading their teams to surprise wins. The victories pushed the records of both the Tennessee Titans and the New York Giants to 5-8, and both came in the final moments of a simultaneous Monday Night Football doubleheader that was decided by three points combined.

Playing on the road in Miami, second-round pick Levis led two touchdown drives in the final minutes of the game to put Tennessee over the top in a 28-27 win over the high-flying Dolphins. The first-year Titan threw for 327 yards — the most by a rookie in Monday Night Football history — and severely outplayed former MVP candidate Tua Tagovailoa (23-of-33 with 240 yards and zero touchdowns), who was without top target Tyreek Hill for much of the game due to an ankle injury. 

“We knew we had an opportunity to do something special tonight on national television. Probably our last prime-time game. Hope America liked what they saw,” Levis said after the game. “I was just sticking to the game plan. Throwing to the open guy, trusting that I didn’t necessarily need to be forcing anything. That happy medium of pushing it down the field but throwing to the open guy.”

Meanwhile in the Meadowlands, undrafted New Jersey native Tommy Cutlets was able to dice up Green Bay’s defense during a 57-yard drive to set up a game-winning field goal by Randy Bullock. A threat with his legs all evening who set up a goal-line touchdown plunge by Saquon Barkley, DeVito finished 17-of-21 for 158 yards with a touchdown.

“I think in every game we’ve played this year, we showed that we never gave up on any snap, no matter what the score was,” DeVito said. “Never looked up at the scoreboard. Just kept on fighting each and every play, each and every game. And it’s starting to come to fruition with these games in the past now, and just going to keep trying to go 1-0 each week.”

Thanks to Levis’s success, it’s possible more Nashville coffeeshops will start serving up mayo-infused morning brews, his beverage of choice. And in the tri-state area, expect the cutlets to continue to be dished up in droves like they were by the DeVito family on Monday night in the parking lot at MetLife Stadium. (For the record, we’d prefer the cutlets.)

“We’re giving the whole Italian show,” DeVito’s father Tom told The New York Post. “It’s gonna be craziness. We’re gonna give ’em the Italian theater they’ve been asking for. Three hundred chicken cutlets, got Italian sandwiches, baked ziti, sausage and peppers, rice balls — everything Italian. I’m gonna have my guys setting up sandwiches with Italian headbands on. We got an Italian flag with Tommy’s picture on it. They’ve been begging for it. We’re gonna give it to ’em.”

Coffee and cutlets aside, fans of the Mayo Man and the Cutlet Kid should remember there have been a number of backup quarterbacks who’ve touched the sky this season only to crash back to earth after a couple of starts. The most recent example is Minnesota’s Josh Dobbs, who was unable to sustain his rise to stardom despite being an actual NASA rocket scientist. Dobbs, who started the year with the Vikings, was able to fill in admirably for Kirk Cousins when he first arrived in Minnesota, but has hit a rough patch and was benched in favor of Nick Mullens in the fourth quarter of a 3-0 win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. Hopefully DeVito and Levis can avoid that fate.

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