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

The Balance Air Date 1/23/2016


On todays show we talk to Turn Four Promotions and Sylvia Porter promoter of Anderson Motorspeedway in South Carloina. Also Dustin Albino writer for Speedway Digest talks #NASCAR and gives a report from media week in Charlotte.

Derrick Schultz from Fox Sports 975 Query & Schultz show talk #NFL Championship weekend and The Brady/Manningg matchup as well as Newton/Palmer matchup

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Colts Ended Season on Embarrassing Note


The Indianapolis Colts played their worst game since the 2-14 season on Sunday against the Patriots. They were dominated at every turn, and on every down. Both sides of the football, the Patriots dominated.

On the offensive side, Andrew Luck played terribly. He had a season low 126 passing yards, no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. His throws seemed short, and inaccurate the entire game, but not that it mattered. Receivers couldn’t get separation and T.Y. Hilton had 2 defenders at his side at all times. The run game was the same, but they seemed to have alittle more sucess than usual. They finished with 83 total yards, and 51 from Boom Herron; who averaged 5 yards a carry.

The defense was the real embarrassment. Allowing the Patriots to score 45 points, on 397 total yards of offense. Lead by Colts-killer LeGarrette Blount, who yet again stampeded the Colts front 7 for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns. Its not that Blount out ran anybody, but the Colts just could not tackle, and Blount was just an unstoppable train. The Colts however did limit Gronk to 28 yards and a touchdown.

Tom Brad had a pretty pedestrian game, with 226 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. But that’s all they needed was a pedestrian game form him with the under par performance of Luck and Blounts’ great game.

Later on allegations came out against the Patriots stating they were deflating footballs, and it affected the game. The NFL stated that its normal to have a least one, but the situation become “abnormal” or “rare” to find multiple like that. Regardless of the verdict, they could’ve played with a nerf football and still lost the game. Either way the Colts got outplayed, and deserved to lose.

The Colts have got a bright future ahead of them, and for a team that young; reaching the AFC Championship is a big deal. This offseason will be a big one for the Colts. A new Andrew Luck contract coming, and a decent amount of money to spend, they’ll look to make improvements.


Why the Colts can win the AFC



This week has been an distracting week for the Colts. The Josh McNary rape allegations, Trent Richardson and Xavier Nixon missing the team flight to Boston due to tardiness and ‘personal issues’ and then talks of a massive Andrew Luck deal.

It seems as if things just wont line up for the Colts, and with these distractions; analysts are scared to even mention a Colts victory. Yet when do the Colts play best? When the world is against them and the odds are stacked highest.

Indy will be facing their biggest challenge so far this season. A New England Patriots team that has dominated them in every category in the Luck era. Each Colts loss hasn’t even come close, all of them being a margin larger than three touchdowns. This week the Colts have every single reason to lose, and that is why they’ll win.

Last week every single analysts on ESPN NFL Gameday picked the Denver Broncos handily over the Indianapolis Colts. This is the type of thing that fuels Indy and its players. Last week it did, and after hearing all week about how ‘the Colts don’t have a run game’ or ‘Luck cant beat the Pats’ they’re motivated. Motivated to get this New England Demon off their backs, and reach the Superbowl.

Prediction: This game is going to come down to Luck, obviously. If he can take care of the football, the Colts have an easy shot at victory, but lets be honest their will be some turnovers; but they need to limit them. Boom Herron will be a big X-factor (has 18 catches this postseason), and time will tell if Bill Belichick’s plan will consists of  slowing down Boom. Brady will have a tough tie against the Colts secondary Sunday. With Davis and Toler Vs Edelman and Amendola, The Colts have got the physical size advantage; but they’ve got Gronk. Who is Brady’s favorite target and is a tough cover for Laron Landry and the Colts linebackers. It would be easy for me to say the Colts will get blow out again and young talent will be defeated by experience and tricky play calling. But I cannot, because Luck is about to knock Brady right out of his Ugg boots, and finally the demons will be gone. Colts 24-21.

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.