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

Colts Vs. Patriots Preview


Injury Report:


Erik Walden LB; quad, probable


Chandler Jones DE; hip, out

Brandon LaFell WR; strept throat, questionable

Colts Vs. Patriots. Manning Vs. Brady? Nope. This time its Andrew Luck, the leagues best young quarterback. Colts team with an explosive offense Vs. a Patriots team with a complete turnaround season.

After a 41-14 loss to Kansas City in week 4, the Patriots sat at 2-2; wondering what the future held. Could they still compete? Patriots future hall of hame quarterback Tom Brady went as far to say “I don’t think we’ve played well for a long time”. Since that statement the Patriots have been 5-0. That stretch be highlighted by a 43-21 win over the Denver Broncos.

As for the Colts they’ve been torching it all season long, besides bad 51-34 win against Pittsburgh; they’ve had a great season offensively, leading the league in yards per game (451.2), points per game (32.2) and passing yards per game (337.4). This will present some issues for a Darelle Revis led Patriots secondary.

The game deciding match ups will be receivers vs corners. T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne will face an impressive Patriots secondary with Darelle Revis and Brandon Browner. Vontae Davis and Greg Toler will face a less impressive Patriots receiving core led by Julian Edelman. This will be the deciding factor. Whoever can score more points through the pass game. Brady Vs. Luck. 2 fantastic passing quarterbacks with good receivers.

As for these defenses, the Patriots are banged up, missing Jerod Mayo and Chandler Jones. Although New England is 11th in the in total defense, but do allow 22.0 points per game. For Indianapolis they’ve been solid all season, but not wonderful. They are first in the league in 3rd down conversations allowed with a lowly 32, but are allowing opposing offenses to score 23,4 points per game.

In the past the Colts have taken a beating from Brady and the Pats. New England ended the Colts season last year in a 43-22 blowout, and Andrew Luck threw interceptions. However this year I think things will be different. The Colts are a different team, and have improved on both sides of the football; they’re going to cause problems for that Patriots defense. This game is going to come down to 4th quarter performances. Who wants it more? Who will outplay the other? We will see Sunday night, 8:30 on NBC.

Week 2: Fantasy Football Talk by Jared Calhoun


By Jared Calhoun


Why you shouldn’t draft Patriot’s RBs or WRs and Week 2 Buy Lows and Sell highs!

The preseason does not matter.

Patriots ruin your fantasy team. (Except Tom Brady)

I only drafted two Patriots players this year through 5 leagues. I drafted Rob Gronkowski in a league where I got him in the late 4th round and Kembrell Thompkins as a late roun pick in a very deep league. Our most recent example over hyped Patriots players, Thompkins and Sudfeld, had ‘breakout’ preseason performances against 2nd and 3rd string defenses had only to fall on their face in their week one preview. There was so much hype on both those players you would have through it was the next Gronkoski and Megatron themselves.

Then you have Danny Amendola who couldn’t even make it a half before getting hurt. No one denies his production, but I don’t want a player on my team that isn’t dependable. SELL HIGH WHILE YOU CAN! Julian Edelman comes in and vultures two TDs. He is obviously a reliable target of Brady’s mind. If you got Edelman in your draft or off of waivers, I’d start him as a number 3 or weak number 2 receiver. I would use him over the likes of Dwayne Bowe and Torrey Smith this week . Torrey Smith has the same match up Mike Wallace did last week in Joe Hayden where he put up an awful statistical day just last week. As a late round pick or a pick up there is some serious value here in Edelman.

Then you look at Ridley, yes he had a productive season last year. The key word here is last year. So he probably lost you your week because of his coaches lack of commitment and his performance. Shane Vereen comes in and plays hurt for the rest of the game over him. Ridley is lucky he will get his job back because of the lack of talent behind him and Vereen, but who is to say they run the ball at all because of their fumble worries.

Sell High!

Micheal Vick
If you have a top ten QB and Vick, see if you can pawn him off for a solid running back or receiver upgrade. This offense will put up huge points but he could also be out for the year tomorrow.

Peyton Manning
I’m not saying he won’t be awesome the rest of the year, but check with that Flacco or Freeman owner to see if they would upgrade you at running back. QBs are everywhere, including waivers. Maybe you could grab a player like David Wilson or Giovanni Bernand.

Buy Low

Trent Richardson

He absolutely torched the respectable Miami defense on the first drive and then they stacked the box, so the Browns played the odds and went to the air with Weeden. That didn’t work out too well for Richardson or the Browns. Look for them to lean on what works. Richardson has good historical stats against the Ravens, and now they are without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

Giovanni Bernard

This guy didn’t get much action and had 2 long plays called back on penalties. I knew the Browns wouldn’t make him the primary running back over Benjarvus Green-Ellis week one, but it will come. They took Bernard over every other running back in the draft because they believe he is special. This is a great time to give someone “safer” or an extra WR for Bernard. Green-Ellis averaged under 3 yards per carry on 33 carries. This isn’t a new trend for him. That screams replacement.