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Put Up Or Shut Up (NFL Quarterback Edition)

Updated: Jul 13

Before he passed away my grandfather would say “Fish or get out of the boat”. As we approach the start of the 2023 NFL season there’s 5 QB’s where that same analogy would also apply. Some QBs how paid or their teams have invested in their success with very little return on that investment. Here's a look at my 5 NFL quarterbacks that have a lot to prove this year as we approach the training camp.

mac jones

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5. Mac Jones, QB - New England Patriots

If there was one word to describe what the New England Patriots' offense has looked like (post Brady), that would would be "PITIFUL". They struggled to get the ball down the field and Mac Jones was significantly below the league average in completion percentage (65.2 %). The 2023 Patriots offense are looking to make a leap forward with the hiring of former offensive coordinator, Bill O'Brien. O'Brien's last stint in the league as an offensive coordinator saw him manage one of the best offenses in the league. In addition to a new offensive coordinator, the Patriots signed free agents WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, RB James Robinson, and TE Mike Gesicki to add to a solid core of weapons around Jones. At this point Mac Jones is out of excuses and it's time for him to build on his rookie season where he actually made the Pro-Bowl.

jordan love

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4. Jordan Love, QB - Green Bay Packers

This offseason, the Packers moved on from Aaron Rodgers by trading him to the New York Jets. This in itself comes with added pressure to live up to the “shoes” that were left behind. Rodgers aside, Jordan Love now has to prove the Packers right for putting their trust in him. 2nd year wide outs Romeo Doubs & Christian Watson have a tremendous role this season in making sure Love plays well. The Packers arguably have one of the best one, two punch backfield’s in the league with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion. I’d expect the Packers to lean on the running game while Jordan Love takes his rookie lumps in year 4 of his NFL career.

kirk cousins

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3. Kirk Cousins, QB - Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousin’s NFL career has been under a microscope since he came into the league in 2012. Everything from his game splits to his post game antics have been debated and discussed. After this season, Kirk is set to become a free agent. I personally feel as the Vikings can “win” with Cousins at QB. The offense has never been an issue, it’s been the Vikings defense that has let them down. Cousins is a 2-time Pro Bowler, but always seems to come up short in the playoffs. It was interesting that the Vikings chose not to extend him this offseason, but they did draft WR Jordan Addison instead of picking a potential successor that did fall in the draft (Will Levis). With that being said, Kirk is going to either make or lose himself a ton of money with how he plays in 2023.

dak prescott

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2. Dak Prescott, QB - Dallas Cowboys

Had this article been about coaches that need to have a better showing in 2023, what I’m about to say about Dak Prescott could be said for Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys. During the 2022 season, Dak lead the league in INT’s (15), struggled to push the ball downfield, and posted his 2nd career low in passing yards. The Cowboys handed out huge contracts to Prescott and Zeke Elliot (who’s still unsigned) and it’s about time his delivers what he’s paid for. Like Cousins, Dak is set to become a free agent after the 2023 season. The Cowboys would've been smart to extend Prescott this offseason, kick his salary down a few season to save cap space. But it's curious to why they haven't done so yet. If Dak Prescott and McCarthy don’t figure this thing out BOTH men will be looking for new teams in 2024.

aaron rodgers jets

1. Aaron Rodgers, QB - New York Jets

When you’re a future Hall of Famer that managed to “James Harden” your way to your chosen destination the way you did, I guess it’s safe to say you crack the #1 spot in this list. Aaron Rodgers now finds himself in a new city with some familiar faces. Nathaniel Hackett is the new offensive coordinator (an old Packers affiliate), WR Allen Lazard (an old Packers affiliate), and WR Randall Cobb (an old Packers affiliate) are all now a member of the Jets. The learning curve in theory should be significantly quicker for this new look offense. It has been a toxic past 2 years in Green Bay for Rodgers. So if he goes out there in New York and balls out, he shuts the mouths of several haters that are preying on his downfall. However, if he and the Jets go out there and “lay an egg” those haters I mentioned previously will multiply by 100x.

Honorable Mention: Tray Lance, Justin Fields, Tua Tagovailoa, Daniel Jones

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