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Predicting Every NFL Team’s Week 1 Starter

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After an offseason full of big moves and big-time talent dotting the NFL Draft, more than a few teams have quarterback competitions brewing. Here, TGH will make a prediction for each team’s Week 1 starter as mandatory minicamps ramp up.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills- Josh Allen

Josh Allen was an MVP candidate last year and is not in danger of losing his job to Mitch Trubisky any time soon.

Miami Dolphins- Tua Tagovailoa

Tua did struggle last season, but it was his first NFL action. He has an entire preseason this year, though, and is not entering under the shadow of Ryan Fitzpatrick. This year, Tagovailoa will be asked to prove himself Week 1.

New England Patriots- Cam Newton

The Pats may have drafted Mac Jones, but it is doubtful he will be ready Week 1. Newton is a former MVP who struggled throwing the ball last year, but still rushed effectively. Jones will likely not be able to beat out Newton during training camp.

New York Jets- Zach Wilson

The Jets spent their second overall pick on Zach Wilson and traded away Sam Darnold to the Panthers before the draft. In other words, Wilson has to start, barring an injury.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens- Lamar Jackson

Just two years removed from his MVP season and after another disappointing playoff loss, Lamar Jackson is still the starter in Baltimore.

Cincinnati Bengals- Joe Burrow

He was sporting a very big scar in his first publicity photos, but Burrow has healed from his injury and ready to play.

Cleveland Browns- Baker Mayfield

Mayfield is the first quarterback to lead the Browns to a playoff victory since Vinny Testaverde in 1994. They are not moving off of him now.

Pittsburgh Steelers- Ben Roethlisberger

Despite some declining arm strength and mobility, Roethlisberger refused to retire and remains the Steelers’ best chance to win.

AFC South

Houston Texans- Tyrod Taylor

Deshaun Watson is still embroiled in civic lawsuits and could very well end up on the Commissioner’s Exempt list. He also reportedly still wants a trade, but if his legal troubles continue, the Texans may not be able to trade him. If this is the case, then he will probably sit out. Veteran journeyman Tyrod Taylor will likely take the reins in this situation. He can serve as a good bridge quarterback in the event Watson cannot start Week 1.

Indianapolis Colts- Carson Wentz

Head coach Frank Reich is surely very excited to be reunited with Wentz. Last time these two linked up, Wentz was on his way to an MVP as the Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl driving on the road he paved. This duo is ready to pick up where they left off.

Jacksonville Jaguars- Trevor Lawrence

Lawrence has been the most highly touted prospect in the country since he was leaving high school. The CFP Champion and first overall pick is ready to prove all the hype was worth it.

Tennessee Titans- Ryan Tannehill

Tannehill has sneakily been one of the best quarterbacks in the league since he joined Tennessee. The efficiency will continue or improve now that he has Julio Jones on the outside.

AFC West

Denver Broncos- Teddy Bridgewater

The Broncos have been embroiled in trade talks for Darnold, Watson and Aaron Rodgers. It seems as if none of those wishes will come true before Week 1, though. Teddy Bridgewater will win the starting role if they do not pull off a blockbuster trade.

Kansas City Chiefs- Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes has led the Chiefs to two straight Super Bowls, winning one. He also signed a 10-year contract worth half a billion dollars. It is safe to say he will start.

Las Vegas Raiders- Derek Carr

Everyone knows that Jon Gruden is never happy with his quarterback. But Derek Carr is no slouch, and, like Tannehill, has been quietly been very good. Barring injury or a huge trade, Carr is their best option.

Los Angeles Chargers- Justin Herbert

Herbert set rookie record after rookie record in Los Angeles. The offensive rookie of the year now gets to see what he is made of over a full season.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys- Dak Prescott

Prescott was on pace for a 6,000-yard season before his gruesome injury. Now that he is upright he is ready to continue to torch defenses.

New York Giants- Daniel Jones

The Giants have all but said this is Daniel Jones’ “prove it” year. This offensive unit is absolutely stacked and Jones will likely have from Week 1 until about midseason to show that he is the Giants quarterback of the future.

Philadelphia Eagles- Jalen Hurts

Hurts definitely outplayed Wentz last season and earned the starting spot. There will be more quarterback competition at the Eagles’ camp, but Hurts should come out on top. He may or may not be the franchise quarterback that will be under center for 10 years, but he should start Week 1.

Washington Football Team- Ryan Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick gets yet another shot in his journeyman 17-year career. Playoff starter Taylor Heineke probably should start, to get more NFL-reps under his belt, but that seems unlikely. The team will go with the veteran arm.

NFC North

Chicago Bears- Justin Fields

Andy Dalton was signed to be the quarterback Week 1, but after Justin Fields fell to them, their plans will change based on training camp. If Fields outperforms Dalton by an inch, he will be the starter.

Detroit Lions- Jared Goff

For the first time since 2009, the Lions will not have Matthew Stafford under center during Week 1. But they traded for multiple picks and a very expensive Jared Goff, so they have to see what he still has in the tank Detroit.

Green Bay Packers- Aaron Rodgers

The Packers have made it abundantly clear that they will not trade Rodgers before the season. Rodgers can take all the fines he wants during camp, but he is too much of a competitor to sit out completely or miss time in retirement so he can sign with another team. Rodgers’ coaches and teammates will convince him to suit up Week 1. 2022, however, is a different story.

Minnesota Vikings- Kirk Cousins

After the Vikings drafted Kellen Mond, the clock was officially started on Cousins. But he will not be better than Cousins after just one camp.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons- Matt Ryan

The Falcons could have drafted a quarterback with their top-five NFL Draft pick. Instead, they drafted unicorn tight end Kyle Pitts, which essentially means they doubled down on Matt Ryan.

Carolina Panthers- Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold escaped New York and found a team that may unleash his talents. Considering his option is coming up, the Panthers need to see what he has immediately.

New Orleans Saints- Jameis Winston

Winston has the arm to be a star in the NFL, the problem is his decision making. Coach Sean Payton can smooth those out better than he can save a flat arm in Taysom Hill.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Tom Brady

Tom Brady won an unprecedented seventh Super Bowl last season. He will continue his journey with the entire team that helped him win it in 2021.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals- Kyler Murray

Murray is a star athlete, but needs to take a step forward on an absolutely stacked Cardinals team this year. Questions will be asked if he does not.

Los Angeles Rams- Matthew Stafford

The Rams paid a draft fortune, but shed a salary cap fortune, to acquire veteran Matthew Stafford. He did not come to Los Angeles to falter in a camp tryout.

San Francisco 49ers- Jimmy Garappolo

Jimmy Garappolo will start Week 1, as he was the quarterback that took the team to a Super Bowl. Breathing down his neck, though, will be Trey Lance. He is an unpolished but athletic prospect that San Francisco traded for in order to oust Garappolo eventually. Training camp will show Lance’s inexperience this year.

Seattle Seahawks- Russell Wilson

Perennially in the MVP discussion, but never garnering a vote, Russell Wilson is the face of the Seahawks franchise. Relationships may have grown shaky in the offseason, but it seems fences were mended.

Featured Image courtesy of Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

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