By: Corey Hietpas
As we’ve seen before, QB Play can dramatically shift from year to year. QBs are human, defenses adjust, receivers get hurt, and coaches change every year. These factors among many others go into how a QB runs their offense year after year. We as fans can forget that all these team and mental changes can affect a QB and an offense as dramatically as they do, and we expect the same or increased level of play from our team’s QB. With that in mind, I wanted to look at a few of the starting QBs who could be considered “overrated” due to these changing factors or other reasons. Below I list 3 QBs that I feel fit this overrated category entering the 2021 season.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
I’m sorry Bills’ Mafia. Even though Josh Allen makes my list of overrated QBs, he is one of my favorites to watch in the NFL. He brings excitement to every pass, and he saw it all come together in a phenomenal 2020 season. When comparing to 2019, Allen had nearly 1500 more passing yards, 17 more passing TDs, 1 more interception, and he increased his completion percentage by 12% and his yards per attempt by 1.2. Basically, he was better in every major statistical category for QBs. This was a historically good rise for Allen. Considering all this, my argument for him being overrated is mainly that he’s due for regression. In my opinion, we’ve seen the lowest level of play and now the highest level of play from Allen. It feels like he’ll settle somewhere in between, but he’ll likely be closer to his performance of 2020 than 2018 or 2019. I also believe the lack of a rushing attack is going to start negatively affecting the offense more. Allen is a great runner himself, but the Bills’ RBs are just not good. Teams now recognize this and will game plan accordingly. Opposing defenses were caught off guard with Allen’s increased ability as a passer and were taken advantage of as a result. Now that they have a full season of film on the new and improved Josh Allen, they can adjust and be more prepared for an aerial assault when facing Buffalo.
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
I want to start this by saying I love Ryan Tannehill. He’s been impressive with the Titans after a rough start to his career in Miami. Adam Gase almost ruined another one, but Tannehill wound up in Tennessee and has now lead his team to back-to-back playoff appearances. During these two seasons, we’ve seen a hyper-efficient passing offense from Tennessee that stems from the Derrick Henry rushing attack. Derrick Henry runs all over you, and then Ryan Tannehill takes advantage with his play-action passing attempts. It’s been magical these recent years. Sadly, I think we see Tannehill and the Titans’ offense as a whole crash back down to Earth this year. Yes, they still have Derrick Henry and AJ Brown, but that is all they have in terms of weapons. This offseason, we saw the departure of Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith. Although not stars, these two players were important for Tennessee’s offense. Davis was a good second outside receiving threat and Smith is dangerous with yards after the catch. With only one real receiving threat in AJ Brown, opposing defenses will be able to focus on stopping the almighty Derrick Henry. Let’s be real, Henry can’t be stopped, but he can be limited. With this likely scenario happening, the Titans’ offense will heavily depend on Tannehill being able to shoulder a bigger load while maintaining his recent production. When forced to pass, we saw the Titans’ offense struggle more than normal. A recent example of this was the game against the Packers in 2020 as the Titans fell behind quickly and never got back in the game. On top of all this, the Titans’ just lost their brilliant offensive coordinator of the last two years, Arthur Smith. With the departure of Arthur Smith, Corey Davis, and Jonnu Smith, I envision Ryan Tannehill struggling in 2021.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
First of all, I haven’t seen many people on the “hype train” for Daniel Jones, yet, but I can see a portion of fans falling into a “Jones is going to be good” trap. Not only is Saquon Barkley coming back from injury, but the team has added Kenny Golladay from free agency and Kadarius Toney with their first-round pick in the 2021 draft. On top of adding this talent, the Giants will now be in year two of Jason Garrett’s offense. We normally see a new offense take a year or two to get fully established with a new team, and we are now entering that phase for the Giants. Even considering these factors, I have no faith in Daniel Jones developing into a serviceable starting NFL QB. The biggest red flag is the ridiculous amount of turnovers Jones has had over his first two years as the starter. In just two seasons, Jones has 22 interceptions and 17 fumbles lost for a total of 39 turnovers. That total should be even higher as he has had 12 more fumbles that were recovered by the Giants in that span. That is reason enough to cast doubt on any Daniel Jones love, but to add even more, he has shown regression as a passer. His yards, completion percentage, and his average yards per pass attempt are very similar from year one to year two, but his passing TDs dropped from 24 in his rookie year to 11 in his sophomore season. One way to lose your starting job quickly is to have a lot of turnovers and not throw TDs. Do not fall victim to any narrative of Jones leaping forward in his third year.
What do we think NFL fans? Let me know! You can find me on Twitter at @corey_hietpas.