NFL’s own Gill Brandt gives us his opinion on who’s stock is rising, and who’s stock is dropping like a two ton heavy thing (That was a reference to a song put out by a band that has Queen in their name, and no. It’s not Queen.).
Quarterbacks are supposed to struggle in their first full seasons as NFL starters. Mahomes, to put it simply, did not. He threw 14 touchdown passes before finally tossing his first interception of the year in Week 5. He blazed through the season at a blistering pace, leading an offense that scored at least 26 points in every game and finishing with the third 50-touchdown campaign in NFL history, joining Peyton Manning (55 in 2013) and Tom Brady (50 in 2007). Unlike Philip Rivers and Jared Goff, he did not lay an egg against the eventual-champion Patriots in the playoffs. The only thing New England — or anyone — could do to stop him was keep him off the field by controlling the ball against Kansas City’s 31st-ranked defense.
Mahomes will only get better from here. As well as he played in 2018, don’t forget that he’s still only 23 years old and actually does not have a lot of experience, given that he sat on the bench for most of 2017 and only started two full years at Texas Tech. History tells us that the 30-start mark is when NFL quarterbacks really start to get a feel for the game and know what they’re doing. So, yes — it’s likely that we haven’t even seen yet just how good Mahomes can be.
The one that is falling is a surprise to me, but hard to argue with.
Ten dazzling years as a starter in Green Bay helped Rodgers earn a four-year extension worth $134 million in August. And then, for a variety of reasons, he suffered one of the worst full-season performances of his NFL tenure, posting a sub-100 passer rating while making 15-plus starts for just the third time in his career. The difference in performance is best encapsulated in his touchdown rate. In his first 10 seasons as the Packers’ starter, Rodgers threw 2.20 touchdown passes per game. In 2018, that number plummeted to 1.56 per game. He only threw two picks this season, but his completion rate of 62.3 percent suggests he was throwing the ball away far more quickly than usual to avoid sacks.