After a crazy season impacted by COVID, guest writer Rob takes a look at his biggest QB surprises for the 2020 season.
With the Super Bowl over and free agency looming, we can finally put a bow on 2020. It was an unprecedented season by any measure. However, COVID 19 didn’t stop the NFL from providing some of the best, and worst surprises in recent seasons. With that in mind, we should pause and take a look back at some of the biggest surprises from the most unprecedented season in NFL history. Let’s start with the 5 biggest surprises from the quarterback position.
Justin Herbert- Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert burst onto the scene in Week 2. Herbert was forced into action after the unfortunate needle stick to Tyrod Taylor’s lung. Then the rookie proceeded to rewrite the record books. In doing so, has perhaps raised the bar for future rookie signal-callers in terms of expected production.
Herbert was considered a project coming out of Oregon as a bit of a “see it and throw it” quarterback. But the Chargers play-callers put him in a position to succeed. Seems a novel concept to throw it to your best player in Keenan Allen, but that’s exactly what they did. Herbert’s 4,336 yards and 31 passing touchdowns may be hard to replicate in year two. I fully expect a small step back since the rest of the league now has adequate film to study. But for the time being, the position looks set in Los Angeles for many years.
Aaron Rodgers- Green Bay Packers
Ok, a top-tier season from Rodgers might not be a surprise. But let’s put it into context. He did it at age 37 during a season where the team just drafted the heir apparent in Jordan Love. The team didn’t add offensive weapons, and had question marks over the ability of the offense speaks volumes to the competitor Rodgers is.
His 48 touchdown to only 5 picks was a career-best. More impressively he did it with only one true threat at wide receiver in Devante Adams. Rodgers also built a nice rapport with TE Robert Tonyan proving once again an elite-level talent can elevate the guys around him.
Carson Wentz- Philadelphia Eagles
Not all surprises are good, right? The fifth-year signal-caller had struggled with health, injuries to seemingly all of his skill options, and questionable coaching. It would be fair to argue however that despite all these issues, few saw the absolute implosion that took place in 2020. Mid-season fantasy pundits were pumping Wentz as a buy-low option. The hope was that he would be able to take advantage of a very soft second-half schedule. How did that work out?
By mid-season, the Eagles were flailing. The coach and QB relationship damaged beyond repair, with the team turning to rookie Jalen Hurts. Ugly isn’t the word for it. With Wentz reunited with Frank Reich in Indianapolis, a career renaissance is in the works.
Josh Allen- Buffalo Bills
The third-year gunslinger, who ironically was a Wyoming Cowboy in college, added to his resume as one of the brightest upcoming stars at the position. Allen was already solid. An absolute cheat code fantasy-wise, considering his rushing upside. But who can honestly say they saw an almost 11 percent jump in completion percentage? Generally accuracy wise a guy is who he is once he gets to the NFL. For example, see Lamar Jackson, so to see a double-digit increase in accuracy is bananas.
It certainly helped that Buffalo added an absolute monster in Stefon Diggs. Allen wasted no time in using him, throwing the ball that way an insane 166 times. Allen is a big guy and takes lots of hits. But if his health holds up, and Buffalo continues to provide him with stud talent at wide receiver, there is no reason not to expect Mahomes/Allen to be this generation’s version of Manning/Brady. Which brings us to…
Tom Brady- Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It seems too obvious to list Brady here. But think for a moment what he accomplished. No offseason. A new team. New playbook. A new conference. All at an age where most of us start daydreaming about retirement. The man is an absolute oddity.
Brady posted his highest touchdown total since 2007 and also ran in 3 because, why not? Everyone knew going into the season that Brady had his best stable of weapons in his career. Godwin and Evans are undisputed studs and the addition of Antonio Brown didn’t hurt. Yet experts continued to dismiss Brady as too old, no arm strength left, or a product of the Bill Belichick system. Not only did Brady prove the doubters wrong once again, but he put the exclamation point on the strangest NFL season in history with the first-ever home Super Bowl win. That to me was the best, biggest surprise of 2020.
So those are Rob’s biggest QB surprises for the 2020 season! We are going to be providing you with dynasty content all offseason. So check us out as well as our social media channels. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And, as always, if you want something more specific to your league- reach out!
Image Credit: Robert Hanashiro – USA TODAY Sports