What if I had told you, after final cutdowns, that your three highest-rated quarterbacks in Week 1 would be Alex Smith, Sam Bradford, and Jared Goff? You would have thought that unlikely, at best, but here we are.
The first week of the season is quirky in any number of ways, but the quarterback play definitely took the cake for me. I’d love to toot the Falcons’ horn in this particular post, like our friends at Arrowhead Pride did for their team, but I’ll fully admit to be being blown away that Smith hung 40 on the Patriots and Bradford was so surgical, even if he was playing a Saints defense that is best described as nonexistent. Couple that with relatively poor play from the likes of Tom Brady and Drew Brees, and we’re in weird territory.
Of course, Brady was lousy in Week 1 a year ago, and we’ve seen a large enough sample size of both Smith and Bradford to know that it’s unlikely they’ll continue their deep strike ways. This will even out over the course of a season, of course, with Smith and Bradford probably having quality years and Goff dropping down at least to the middle of the pack. With so many of the NFL’s leading lights getting really old, though, it’ll be worth watching to see if Brady, Brees, Carson Palmer and Ben Roethlisberger continue to scuffle a bit or if they’ll go back to their usual, respective levels of quality.
Matt Ryan, meanwhile, was good and will continue to be good-to-great the rest of the way. That’s consistency you can bank on.