Passing The Baton Season 2: 2021 Season Through 6 Weeks

Lessons were learned. It feels like a year since our season opener article. Tyrod has yet again suffered an injury, and unlike the last time it doesn’t look like he’s yielding the gig to his replacement. Russ is out for a stretch of time after tearing some tendons in his finger.

Thankfully, Geno is his backup so the Seahawks continue to get PTB love in his absence. Mahomes and the Chiefs are going through it. But Kyler is undefeated and Dak looks MAGNIFICIENT. Welcome back friends, let’s check on our Asiatic kings and how they’re faring a little over a quarter of the season.

PATTY

3-3 as a starter

Statline: 167-242 passing for 1887 yards | 18 TD 8 INT

KC – and by virtue the half a billi dollar man – has been going through it this season at 3-3. Mahomes being the center of the team thanks to just how much capital is invested in him is going to have to put on these Aaron Rodgers-esque put the team on my back type of performances if the Chiefs are to accomplish anything significant in terms of the postseason moving forward. Unlike Aaron Rodgers, I think most of us understand there’ll be quite a few INTs on the stat sheet but as long as we can get a nice 2:1 ratio we’ll live with it. With the Broncos coming down to earth and the Raiders having a shitshow with their old head coach, maybe the Chiefs can rally to get an AFC Wild Card spot.

RUSS

2-3 as a starter

Statline: 90-125 passing for 1196 yards | 10 TD 1 INT

Russ hurt his finger during the Seahawks’ Week 5 matchup, and it appears he’ll be out around a month. Seattle wasn’t having the best go of it despite Russ’ statline of only 1 interception to 10 TDs. Seattle has long been on the wave of not putting much behind Wilson since the Legion of Boom/Marshawn era. All that does is set up for – at best – the team to make the playoffs and lose in the second round. His backup, who we’ll get into later, is a PTBer so we’ll be rooting for him to steady the ship in the meantime but there’s really nothing to see here with Seattle – especially with the Cards being undefeated and the Rams being 5-1.

LAMAR

5-1 as a starter

Statline: 131-194 passing for 1686 yards | 9 TD 5 INT | 6 Rushing TD

First, congrats to Lamar on getting his jersey retired at Louisville! The whole hood and Black delegation is behind Lamar. The regular season really doesn’t matter, at least in terms of him winning MVP or having a super sexy statline. All that matters is how good the Ravens look and being able to look ahead to how they’ll fare in the postseason. The Browns are good but facing a ton of injuries at the moment, the Bengals are the little engine that could, and the Steelers are staring a rebuild dead in the eye. Let’s all pray for HEALTH for Lamar specifically but this should, hopefully, we a great year of prosperity for the former MVP. PTB will certainly be following along.

KYLER

6-0 as a starter

Statline: 144-195 passing for 1741 yards | 14 TD 4 INT | 3 Rushing TD

WYE’s own Dwa Vocalz called before the season that Kyler would be the MVP and through 6 weeks it sure looks that way. As the remaining undefeated team, Kyler has been the key to the Cardinals success making Kliff and GM Steve Keim look like geniuses. What’s really cool about all the dual threat QBs in the league is that they all do it in different ways. Kyler’s athleticism is not the same as Mahomes’ or Lamar’s but it works nonetheless. Acquiring long-time Philadelphia Eagle, Zach Ertz, is just another weapon at Kyler’s disposal and as long as they’re healthy it should be a treat to see this team in the playoffs. Hopefully, when they do lose it doesn’t come in bunches and it’s something they can use to get better and learn from come winter.

DAK

5-1 as a starter

Statline: 158-216 passing for 1813 yards | 16 TD 4 INT

While I don’t like saying many good things about the Cowboys, the Dak storyline the past couple of seasons has been a beautiful tale. From Jerry not wanting to back the Brinks truck, to the injury and now coming out as an early MVP favorite; this return is everything Dak could’ve asked for and more. Dallas has found ways to get better as the season has progressed too. Defensive back Trevon Diggs is a ballhawking star in the making on a defense we all thought would be their Achilles heel. Tony Pollard has emerged to form a legitimate 1-2 punch in Dallas’ backfield. Add Dalton Schultz, Blake Jarwin, and Ced Wilson to the Amari and CeeDee receiving group and this is a dangerous offensive unit behind one of the best O-lines in the league. Dallas’ undefeated ATS record will come down at some point, but the ever so annoying Cowboy fanbase has to be loving life right now.

TEDDY

3-3 as a starter

Statline: 139-198 passing for 1514 yards | 10 TD 4 INT

After feasting on the Jaguars, Giants, and Jets through the first three weeks, the competition increased over the last three resulting in an 0-3 record. But, this is who Teddy is. He’s good enough to have you beat the teams you should beat and what you hope is he can stay competitive against teams that are on the same plane or higher. They’ve had some injuries that they’re dealing with but I’m just not too crazy about this current regime in Denver overall. It’s funny because John Elway is such a revered figure but there’s gotta be a lot of questions swirling about his ability to lead them post-Peyton. One could argue Teddy has been the most competent QB they’ve had since and Peyton was notoriously not the same QB with all the neck problems towards the tail end of his Broncos career. Send help.

JALEN

2-4 as a starter

Statline: 130-208 passing for 1480 yards | 8TD 4 INT | 5 Rushing TD

It appears as if Jalen has survived the first Squid Game in the Eagles flirtation of acquiring Deshaun – looks like it’ll be Miami sometime early next week. The Eagles have a laundry list of things to get sorted before they start looking at the QB position though. The receiving corps is young, the running back position doesn’t quite seem locked up, and they’ve turned the page at TE shipping Ertz to Arizona. If there isn’t anyone particularly noteworthy in the draft or in free agency next year, they’re just better off taking the growing pains of Jalen developing. Best case scenario is you have a cheap QB allowing you to spend elsewhere until its time to pay up. Worse case scenario is you have a decently attractive opening for a veteran QB or face of the franchise first round pick.

JAMEIS

3-2 as a starter

Statline: 70-116 passing for 892 yards | 12 TD 3 INT | 1 Rushing TD

The Jameis strategy for Sean Payton and the Saints has been one of caution as his attempts far lag his starting QB peers. This seems to be working for the most part as Winston has 12 TDs to only 3 picks. Three of the Saints’ five games have been clean sheets for Winston, and while the opportunities haven’t been plentiful they definitely allow him to take deep shots down the field. Coming off their Week 6 bye, it’ll be interesting to see if they keep with this strategy or open it up a bit more. A little bit later in the year they have face the Bills, Cowboys and Bucs in a four week window which’ll definitely test Jameis and New Orleans’ mettle.

TYROD

1-1 as a starter

Statline: 31-44 passing for 416 yards | 3 TD 0 INT | 1 Rushing TD

At this point its safe to assume the Texans are sticking with Mills for the foreseeable future. Rumors haven’t necessarily tied them to acquiring Tua in the Deshaun Watson trade so they’ll likely ride this out for the high draft pick. If all of that ends up happening, it’ll really be the nail in the coffin of a heartbreaking run for Tyrod of showing promise only to get injured and give way to a team’s franchise QB. He’s in the Teddy Bridgewater class of being a competent stopgap but I hope he can stay healthy and at minimum be a solid backup QB for a team moving forward.

JACOBY

0-3 as a starter

Statline: 103-158 passing for 858 yards | 4 TD 2 INT | 1 Rushing TD

Tua came back for Week 6 but he may not be there for long. He may not even be a Dolphin after Week 6 with rumors circulating that the former Crimson Tide QB may be headed to a third team in Miami’s acquisition of Deshaun Watson. If that’s so, it may not be the last we see of Jacoby starting for his hometown team. From my very limited understanding, it appears Deshaun is eligible to play in 2021. It remains unknown as to if the Dolphins would play him right away after trading for him but his legal troubles from this off-season are scheduled to face a resolution in 2022. At this time either the ball would be in the NFL’s court to decide if they’re also levying a suspension on Watson or not. But the Dolphins would be wise to have some element of a contingency plan in place for that, which may mean more Brissett in Miami until Watson serves his time.

FIELDS

2-2 as a starter

Statline: 53-99 passing for 632 yards | 2 TD 3 INT | 1 Rushing TD

He’s a rookie. It was beneficial for Nagy to make this move sooner than later because he gets to use Fields’ growing pains to potentially buy himself more time on the job. In my lifetime, Chicago hasn’t ever gotten the QB situation locked down completely with the Cutler years probably being the closest they’ve come. Given the ownership Rodgers and the Packers have had on them and the rest of the NFC North, the injuries the Bears have, and the overall lack of dynamic playmakers; patience will be needed for Justin Fields and his development. But if you ask me…this is a perfect landing spot for Eric Bieniemy and it keeps Fields in the same offense. Just some food for thought.

LANCE

0-1 as a starter

Statline: 25-48 passing for 354 yards | 3 TD 1 INT | 1 Rushing TD

San Francisco seems to be playing this right. We all know the writing on the wall, hell the Niners were very upfront about their plans at QB. They’ve gotten Trey some action, dipping his toe into playing while not putting themselves in a position just yet to be all-in. If the record gets out of hand, they’ll probably go to him full-time and officially start the Trey Lance era in the Bay.

GENO

0-1 as a starter

Statline: 33-49 passing for 340 yards | 2 TD 1 INT

PTB is most definitely rooting for Geno in his showcase while Russ is out. While I highly doubt even if he balls out that he’ll be able to parlay it into another starting gig; nothing is wrong with a cushy backup job – just ask Chase Daniels. But we definitely need more Black backup QBs too, representation – across the board – matters.


BIENIEMY

You know we couldn’t end PTB without discussing my mans. And I have quite a bit to get off my chest. Before I start clowning the likes of the Jets, Falcons, and Lions for not hiring Eric B, here’s what worries me: we gotta work twice as hard to get half as far. What that means is that even though he has presided over a MVP QB, Super Bowl champion, and MVP, and led his team to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances as offensive coordinator; the Chiefs’ struggles as a team – despite being the second-best offense in the league – will be the “reason” team governors look elsewhere. Of course, as we’ve been over, other dudes like Arthur Smith and Dan Campbell have had to show and prove less offensive genius to get their jobs. But you know how they be doing. They’re waiting til there’s even the slightest sign that Eric Bieniemy is overrated or has been figured out to use that as justification to not hire him to lead. Don’t get me started on the mess in Jacksonville. Who could’ve been better to lead a potentially generational QB? Who could’ve helped Trevor Lawrence best utilize the offensive weapons they have down in Duval? Let’s keep that in mind for this offseason when Urban either quits or is given a pink slip. Remember who put the bug in your ear first.

There were rumors of Bieniemy possibly being the guy at USC. The Chiefs’ OC did get his coaching start in the college ranks serving as the running backs coach for his alma mater, Colorado, and UCLA before joining the NFL ranks in the same capacity with the Minnesota Vikings. He would return to the Buffaloes in his first stint at any level as an offensive coordinator. Perhaps this trend would continue, where he’d prove his head coaching mettle in college with the goal to make it to the big leagues. But – and I’m clearly in no position to be able to decide for him – that shouldn’t even need to be a route when he’s already shown what NFL governors apparently deem to be enough evidence. Hell, go look at Dan Campbell’s coaching resume for crying out loud.

The Chiefs are dead last in the NFL in defense. Think of all the bad football you’ve seen so far through these five weeks, and now put in there that Bieniemy and Mahomes have that holding them back. I’d consider 3-3 to be equal to 6-0 having that anchor attached to your team. But we’ll see how it all plays out. Just know the Jets, Falcons, and Lions with their combined 3-12 record could at least have a coach in tow that we have more promise and faith in.