Every starting quarterback in the NFL faces pressure to perform.
Just as every player’s skill set is different, so too is every coach, roster and front office. All of those factors contribute to the varying degrees of pressure a QB faces each season.
Here’s his breakdown:
Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers highlight Colin’s QB pressure cooker scale
In today’s Best for Last, Colin Cowherd plays “QB Pressure Cooker,” where he determines how much pressure QBs such as Derek Carr, Justin Herbert and Zach Wilson are under.
Colin’s thoughts: “He got his money. The Packers weren’t aggressive [in the offseason]. He’s got nothing to prove, and this could be his last year. I think he looks comfortable and feels comfortable. He’s got his Super Bowl, legacy, and they’re favored to win the division, so I don’t think there’s a lot of pressure.”
Hurts: “All his critics, he got them to the playoffs. The concern with him is there are accuracy issues. He cannot complete 59% of his throws. He has to get Jeffrey Lurie and Nick Sirianni to believe he can complete 60%. He’s a low-accuracy quarterback. In this day and age, that’s a hard place to be. But I do think getting to the playoffs bought him some space.”
Carr: “He did get Davante Adams. But again, new GM, new coach, tough division. I think if they go 10-7, [that’s good.] I don’t think anybody’s picking them to win the division. Most people aren’t picking them to be a playoff team. Here’s where his pressure comes from: They’ve got some really good offensive pieces, and don’t need to make the playoffs, but he has to perform.”
Herbert: “The pressure’s high on the coach. It’s established [Herbert’s] good. The question is, are they going to become a go for it on fourth-and-10 team again? I think the staff faces enormous pressure because he was the best quarterback who didn’t make the playoffs. If they struggle in late-game situations, Brandon Staley is going to have to answer for it.”
Murray: “He’s good, it’s established. He saved the franchise, and has gotten better every year. I think Kliff Kingsbury has higher pressure than him, because his teams get worse every year late. I think that’s on Kliff. I think the pressure with him is they’re going to pay him and he wants to perform. I’m paying him tomorrow if I’m the Cardinals. If you don’t, who are you starting next year?”
Lance: “Shanahan [creates] a winning culture. They beat Green Bay in the playoffs with Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s 22 years old, and he’s had a year now to get ready. Over 400 days. This coach wins games with every quarterback. So if he struggles, it’s not on Kyle, it’s on Trey Lance.”
Wentz: “This is his last shot. [Colts owner] Jim Irsay said it was a huge mistake [to acquire him]. He’s under .500 as a starter his last two years. [The Commanders have] got an owner issue, and you’ve got to win that division. I think they have the best defensive personnel up front in the division. So I think there’s real pressure on him.”
Fields: “It’s Chicago, it’s the Bears, so there’s always pressure. But they’ve been so bad at quarterback — it’s not like Trey Lance-intensity. They haven’t won a playoff game in 12 years, but I do think you’ve got to show me something. Remember, next year is a great quarterback draft, and if he struggles, there are going to be some people with the Bears who are like, ‘Hey, it’s a mistake.'”
Russell Wilson: “It’s a rookie coach. Let’s say they don’t win the Super Bowl, but they get into the playoffs, you can say, ‘Well, Andy Reid.’ They have a new owner, new coach, if he was going to [Bill] Belichick or [Sean] McVay [it’d be different]. It is a good roster, so he has to win.”
Zach Wilson: “Accuracy issues, wildly inconsistent. The Jets are going to give him one more year. This is not a good team, they’re probably going to finish fourth in the division. They will potentially have a top-10 pick in the draft next year, and it’s a great quarterback draft. If he continues to be talented but erratic, don’t kid yourself. The Jets want to find their next Namath, they moved off [Sam] Darnold, they’ll move off him. New York is impatient, and Wilson was just too volatile last year.”
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