MIAMI – I always say that I can’t thank you enough times and for that I thank you again, because thanks to you, today we begin our 19th season of “Diagonals Guru”.
You know, but I missed you and I really appreciate your loyalty and follow-through.
As usual every offseason, rookie quarterbacks take the spotlight, and as always, it’s important to remember that a story without context doesn’t do much good.
All of these youngsters have endless talents, but as has been the case throughout NFL history, the environment in which they arrive is vital in determining whether or not they will be successful.
That is why it is important to analyze each case individually.
We know Trevor Lawrence is going to start immediately for the Jaguars. Coach Urban Meyer is still a question mark as far as his transition to the NFL is concerned and the Jacksonville Jaguars have just lost rookie running back Travis Etienne for the entire season, the offensive line has not looked good in setup and matchups. the defense has not recovered from the brain drain since they made the playoffs in 2017.
Lawrence has won on all levels, but he will not win with the Jaguars in the short term, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts from the mental side, as it will be something new for him.
For his part, Zach Wilson will also be an inning starter with the Jets and is another who doesn’t necessarily have the best environment around him.
Quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp tragically passed away after being run over. The offensive line was already a problem and Mekhi Becton has had some issues with his weight and is now out indefinitely with a concussion. Carl Lawson, the brand new free agency acquisition, is out for the entire season, as is Vinny Curry.
The Jets have been a dysfunctional franchise in recent years and now they will have a rookie coach in Robert Saleh.
It seems even unfair to ask a lot of Wilson, who after a somewhat hesitant start, showed interesting things this preseason. He has plenty of talent, but sometimes that’s not enough. Keep in mind that Aaron Rodgers inherited a team that had won 13 games the previous year, had “learned” three years behind Brett Favre and still won just six games in his first season as a starter at Green Bay.
It is simply not easy to win the NFL as a rookie quarterback and even less if your environment is not ideal.
Trey Lance will be a backup in the San Francisco 9ers and honestly, I’m not surprised, because it makes all the sense in the world.
I clarify that I love Lance and I think he has the highest ceiling of all these rookie quarterbacks, but the reality is that before this preseason, he had played a game in two years and we knew that, despite all his natural talent, he was still green. .
Those who watch football on social media will see the highlights and think that Lance has to be a starter yes or yes, but the reality is that although he had a couple of brilliant moments, he flirted too much with disaster and San Francisco has proven to be able to win. with Jimmy Garoppolo when he’s healthy.
Also, if Garoppolo plays well, there would be the benefit of trading him for a good price rather than selling him low now, coming off another injury-inclusive season.
Meanwhile, the fans in Chicago have a giant illusion with Justin Fields and I don’t blame them. He has all the physical attributes and although he still has to improve from his pocket, the reality is that his mere athleticism transforms him into a headache for rivals.
So in Chicago they raised the cry when they named Andy Dalton as the starter for Week 1. I appreciate the right decision, since you can always go to the rookie if necessary, but if you try with him from the beginning and he has some problems, it is already more difficult to sit it.
The Bears make their debut against the Los Angeles Rams, who have an extraordinary defense, and it would be hard for me to imagine Fields shining against them. Dalton will get the first chance and if he doesn’t do well, which is likely given he’s lacking mobility and Chicago’s offensive line hasn’t looked good, then Fields’ turn will come.
Which leaves us with Mac Jones with the New England Patriots, who surprised coaches with his study habits and how quickly he internalized the playbook. He may be the quarterback with the fewest physical attributes of the five picked in the first round of the draft, but the one who will lead his team to the playoffs first.
He has a historically good coach in Bill Belichick, a top-tier offensive coordinator in Josh McDaniels, a reliable running offense and potentially an elite defense. In other words, the team does not depend on an act of Houdini from their rookie quarterback to think about success and that is why the Patriots will be contenders for the Postseason.
Now, team success doesn’t necessarily tell us which quarterback is better. It just reminds us that context is vital in any story.
There are a few generational talents who can overcome a toxic environment, because their talent is that special, but there are not many. Time will tell if we have any of them in this class.
For now, as is customary in each first week of the regular season, we go with our divisional forecasts for 2021, so they write them down and then tell me how much I was wrong at the end of the year:
AFC East: Bills
AFC West: Chiefs
AFC South: Titans
AFC North: Ravens
AFC Wildcards: Browns, Patriots and Dolphins
I wouldn’t be surprised if they make the playoffs: Broncos, Chargers, Colts and Steelers.
NFC East: Washington
NFC West: 49ers
NFC South: Buccaneers
NFC North: Packers
NFC Wildcards: Seahawks, Rams and Saints.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they make the playoffs: Cardinals, Bears and Cowboys
Super Bowl LVI: Chiefs beat 49ers (I confess that until the last moment, I had the Rams winning their division and in this instance).
I have to admit that I had a hard time picking the last wild card in the AFC, where the Steelers, Chargers, Colts and Broncos could safely keep that ticket. At the same time, the NFC is more open than ever when it comes to wild cards and I was about to place every team in the NFC West (in my opinion, the strongest division in the NFL) in the Playoffs. Who tells you, maybe it happens.
We were all anxious for this new season to begin, so I leave you with a clip of unforgettable moments to continue feeding the anxiety in this edition of THE PLAY OF THE WEEK.
* Home teams are second
As I always say, it is never good to play every game. In other words, there are some that are best missed. Therefore, I decided to add this section, to publicize my six favorite teams with a bet line. Opinions are welcome, since the idea is to add an attribute that is beneficial to readers. The order of the teams is not accidental and the predictions do not affect the total statistics.
1-SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
SUICIDE POOL ‘ELIMINATING CHALLENGE’
There are many of us who are in this type of competition. In this case, the bet line does not matter. Just do not repeat any equipment throughout each week. Of course, these forecasts will not affect the overall statistics either. In parentheses, the teams chosen so far.
1-SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
FIXED WITH BET LINE
At the request of many, we add the landline with a line from Week 11 of 2013.
1-SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
I have always said that I am not a fan of teasers, since they come from the word tempt and are called “sucker bets”, but, at the request of several of the readers, we added this section. Here, as there are three teams, the line is modified by 6 points, but you must hit all three to collect. Below, I name the three teams with the altered lines in parentheses.
1-NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (+9 and a half)
2-MIAMI DOLPHINS (+8 and a half)
3-PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (+9 and a half)
OVER / UNDER
At the request of several of the readers, we include an entry and exit match for each week.
1-ALTAS DE EAGLES-FALCONS (47 and a half)
2-SEAHAWKS-COLTS LOWS (49 and a half)
Total stats (With + Without + Teaser + Highs and Lows + NCAA): 0-0
With Bet Line: 0-0
Without Bet Line: 0-0
Surprise of the Week (no line): 0-0
Fixed of the Week (no line): 0-0
Fixed of the Week (with line): 0-0
Power 6 (with line): 0-0
Teaser 3: 0-0
Ups and downs: 0-0
Suicide Pool (no line): 0-0
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