NFL Quarterbacks Analysis of Starters vs. Backups: Still OK or Wiped Out?


Teams pay big bucks to their starting NFL quarterbacks as it is the most important position on the field. When considering their replacements if injured, most front offices think this word – serviceable.

In creating this article, our thought process relates to no more than three games a backup will play or even just a half in a contest. The fact is every team no matter how much talent they have is going to suffer if the regular starter is out a significant amount of time.

Don’t kid yourself about all the rhetoric about New England being fine with Jimmy Garoppolo in for Tom Brady. If Graoppolo is that good, the world will be caught off guard. Aside from the Patriots, whose situation was forced on them, here are one person’s  thoughts on what are the five best and worst starting quarterback and backups situations in the NFL.

In Good Hands for Short Term

Arizona – Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Though Palmer had a rough postseason, a hand injury was likely culprit and he should have at least one more elite season in him. If Drew Stanton is thrown into action, he understands the Cardinals offense and is a quality deep thrower.

Carolina – Cam Newton and Derek Anderson

Newton has moved up to top shelf quarterback and with various skills, it is impossible to compare Anderson to him. However, the former Oregon State QB knows Ron Rivera’a offense, can make the necessary throws and with Carolina built around the running game, does not place as much pressure on him to perform.

Cincinnati – Andy Dalton and AJ McCarron

Dalton is never going to be a Top 5 signal caller, but he is the best the Bengals have and the team believes in him. Last year when McCarron was required to play for Cincinnati, he gave a good accounting of himself, was confident and only lacked experience to generate touchdowns instead of field goals.

Kansas City – Alex Smith and Nick Foles

The Chiefs were headed to be in the bottom group until they picked up Foles. Now Kansas City has legitimate backup if something happened to Smith and while Foles is no franchise ball chucker, on a better team than the Rams, he can perform well to beat the NFL odds.

Minnesota – Teddy Bridgewater and Shaun Hill

The Vikings have good depth everywhere and if Bridgewater would go down in a particular contest, Shaun Hill has shown through the years he’s not going hurt you if his time is limited and he has a knack of making plays.

Oh My God, Now What!

Dallas – Tony Romo and Dak Prescott (currently)

We have seen what happens to Dallas when Romo goes down and it is not Jimmy Johnson shouting in glee “How ’bout them Cowboys!” Not that Kellen Moore was really a great option, but now that he’s out, Dallas can only hope to pry Josh McCown for lower salary from Cleveland. No Romo, no good for NFL picks at Just Bet or anywhere.




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