By Ed Kracz
NFL Contributor for The Balance

A new wave of quarterbacks has begun crashing mightily upon the shores in National Football League cities such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Dallas. And anyone who knows the NFL understands that, without a solid quarterback, your favorite team is simply washed up.
Thanks to last year’s draft class, the Rams, Eagles, and Cowboys are well-positioned for future success. That success may already have arrived, even though Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott are only in their second seasons.
There was plenty of talk prior to the 2016 draft that Goff and Wentz weren’t worthy of being picked first and second in the National Football League Draft.
That talk was wrong. Just as it feels all wrong that Prescott somehow lasted until the fourth round when Dallas finally plucked him.
The Rams took Goff first overall. The Eagles took Wentz second overall.
Look at them now. More importantly, look at their teams.
Led by Wentz, the Eagles are sitting at a league-best 8-1 and the odds-on favorite to win the NFC and make the Super Bowl. Wentz is the frontrunner to be this year’s Most Valuable Player. His 23 touchdown passes – to just five interceptions – has him on pace to break the Eagles’ single-season record for TD passes, which is currently held by Sonny Jurgensen, who tossed 32 back in 1961.
Jurgensen did it in 14 games, but Wentz has five more games to get nine more to do what Jurgensen accomplished.
As for Goff’s Rams, they are sitting pretty at 6-2. He has 13 TDs to four interceptions.
Goff and Wentz became the first two quarterbacks taken first and second overall to throw four touchdown passes on the same weekend, as the Eagles put up 51 against the Denver Broncos and the Rams torched the New York Giants for 51.
There is a good chance the Eagles and Rams could meet in the NFC Championship Game. As it is, the two teams will play meet on Dec. 10 in L.A., a sort of early Christmas gift for NFL fans as they will get a chance to see an offensive showdown between the No. 1 and 2 picks in last year’s draft.
Don’t count out the Cowboys, either. They have already lost to the Rams, but they still play the Eagles twice, beginning on Nov. 19 in Dallas then ending the season on New Year’s Eve in Philly.
It’s not just Goff, Wentz, and Prescott breathing new life into a position that has been dominated for years by the old guard of Super Bowl winners such as Tom Brady, Eli Manning, and Drew Brees.
Houston rookie Deshaun Watson was doing marvelous things for the Texans before tearing an ACL last week. And, while Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay and Marcus Mariota in Tennessee, have yet to live up the billing of being the first and second quarterbacks taken in first and second overall in 2015, they each possess the skill set to take their team a long way at some point over the next 10 years.
This new wave comes along at the right time, given the fact that the careers of such players as Super Bowl winners Tom Brady, Eli Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger are winding down.
Here is a look at the ages of the league’s quarterbacks:
(Age when 2017 season began)
The Old Guard
40: Tom Brady, Patriots
38: Drew Brees, Saints
37: Carson Palmer, Cardinals
36: Eli Manning, Giants
35: Philip Rivers, Chargers; Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
34: Jay Cutler, Dolphins
33: Aaron Rodgers, Packers; Alex Smith, Chiefs
32: Joe Flacco, Ravens; Matt Ryan, Falcons
Middle of the road (26-30 years old)
29: Sam Bradford, Vikings; Kirk Cousins, Washington; Andy Dalton, Bengals; Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
28: Cam Newton, Panthers; Tyrod Taylor Bills; Russell Wilson, Seahawks
27: Andrew Luck, Colts
26: Derek Carr, Raiders
The next wave (25 and under)
25: Blake Bortles, Jaguars
24: Carson Wentz, 24, Eagles; Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings; Dak Prescott, Cowboys; Trevor Siemian, Broncos
23: Paxton Lynch, Broncos; Marcus Mariota, Titans; Jameis Winston, Buccaneers
22: Jared Goff, Rams
21: Deshaun Watson, Texans

After a bad day of offense, here’s hoping Monday night delivers fireworks

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler (56) sacks Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) during the second half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

By Ed Kracz

NFL Contributor

Maybe Monday night’s primetime NFC East matchup between rivals Philadelphia and Washington will be easier on the eyes than what took place around the National Football League on Sunday.

Don’t look for any offensive short-outs between the Eagles, who are the only team in the league with only one loss at the moment, and the Redskins, who are trying to prevent being swept by the Birds this season after losing the season-opener on their home field back in early September.

At least hope for some offense. That was very much a missing ingredient in Sunday’s full slate of games.

There were six teams who failed to score an offensive touchdown. That’s just simply offensive.

There were another five teams who scored only one touchdown. That’s just mystifying in a day and age where the rules are tailored to encourage points.

The Titans and Browns slogged through 60 minutes of football where neither team was capable of finding the end zone. Tennessee won an all-field-goal game, 12-9. And it took overtime to decide. Fans should demand their money back for having to watch that slop. Of course, Cleveland fans are used to watching such anemic offensive play after failing to draft an NFL-caliber quarterback in forever.

Sunday was no different, with head coach Hue Jackson deciding to start DeShone Kizer again after benching him last week, only to change course during the game, yanking out Kizer for Cody Kessler. The Browns are now 1-22 since trading away the No. 2 pick of the draft last year to the Eagles, who selected quarterback Carson Wentz. There aren’t enough thank-you notes in the world for Philly fans to send Cleveland for that deal.

The Chicago Bears won their second straight game to get to 3-4 and did so with their starting quarterback, rookie Mitchell Trubisky, completing just four passes in seven attempts. The Bears held the ball for just 21 minutes, 25 seconds, gained a paltry total of 153 yards and yet still found a way to beat the Carolina Panthers 17-3.

Three teams had big fat zeroes next to their name – the Colts, Broncos, and Cardinals.

The last time three teams laid goose-eggs on the same day was back in December 2012.

OK, Arizona lost it starting quarterback, Carson Palmer, to a broken arm, and he will miss the next eight weeks at minimum, so maybe they get a pass – no pun intended.

The Broncos need to think about making a quarterback change, before it’s too late. The Broncs are swimming in a sea of mediocrity at 3-3 and Trevor Siemian is at the helm of an offense going nowhere. They have scored 108 points in six games. Only three teams have scored fewer, and, yes, the Browns are one. Denver’s defense is too good to let this season slip through its fingers.

Then there are the Colts, whose offensive line allowed 10 sacks to Jacksonville – or should we say, Sacksonville.

It’s a wonder that Indy QB Jacoby Brissett managed to escape injury. And isn’t that why Brissett is playing quarterback in the first place, because Andrew Luck could not stay healthy behind an offensive line that has more leaks than Donald Trump’s White House?

So cross your fingers and hope the Monday nighter at least delivers some touchdowns, and some drama.


Tuesday’s Chair Week 2 ,2014


OK here we are week 2 of the NFL, 2014 and it’s time for Tuesday’s Chair.

Well, I could talk about Adrian Peterson…but really what’s the point?

Let’s talk some football…

So, we will start with last night’s game, depending on what side of the fence your on, it was either a great come back from the Philadelphia Eagles, or a huge let down from the Indianapolis Colts…. I fall on the Colts side.

I’m not sure if there’s a point in writing about a game that very well may have been fixed. Ok not really…but if it wasn’t, the officials were biased for some inexplicable reason. The Colts were driving, up seven and in the red zone. Brandon Boykin had one of the most blatant defensive holds you’ll ever see on T.Y. Hilton. As if the officials weren’t doing enough to screw over the Colts, the coaching staff made some horrible mistakes after that. They ran the ball twice with Trent Richardson, who did nothing on one of his attempts. Andrew Luck then went incomplete on third down, and the Eagles took over and never relinquished possession. Of course, the Colts may have had some time for themselves if they didn’t waste a defensive timeout.  It made zero sense, and maybe I am beginning to wonder if Hamilton’s job should be in jeopardy.

The Eagles were able to win this game because of the officials, but LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles also played a huge part. The Colts simply couldn’t tackle them. McCoy rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries and also caught four balls for 23 receiving yards. Sproles, meanwhile, had numerous long gains. He generated 178 total yards and a score. He set up the tying touchdown and the decisive field goal as time expired.

Ok a quick glance at Sunday…Yep another crazy week on the way to the win column, both in fantasy and real world… I know I was surprised as well to learn there was a difference.

Ravens 26, Steelers 6

All anyone wanted to talk about prior to this game was the Ray Rice story. It seemed like the only thing Baltimore players did this entire week was answer questions about Rice. With that in mind, I didn’t think there was much of a chance the Ravens would be completely focused for this matchup, and I wasn’t alone. The Rice hoopla just seemed like it could capsize the team’s season.

Bills 29, Dolphins 10

Panthers 24, Lions 7

Bengals 24, Falcons 10

Browns 26, Saints 24

Patriots 30, Vikings 7

The Vikings didn’t seem like they missed Adrian Peterson whatsoever when they effortlessly marched down the field on the opening drive. They went seven plays and 80 yards into the end zone, capped off by Matt Asiata’s 25-yard reception from Matt Cassel, who opened 4-for-4

Cardinals 25, Giants 14

Cowboys 26, Titans 10

Redskins 41, Jaguars 10

Chargers 30, Seahawks 21

Rams 19, Buccaneers 17

Broncos 24, Chiefs 17

Packers 31, Jets 24

Texans 30, Raiders 14

Bears 28, 49ers 20

Ok that’s it for Tuesday’s chair week 2 in the NFL 2014

Don’t forget to tune into the LIVE Broadcast of THE BALANCE

Saturday Morning 9AM-11AM