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NFL predictions: Replacement quarterbacks all the rage

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones runs for the game-winning touchdown against Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones runs for the game-winning touchdown against Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)


With all the new rules protecting quarterbacks, the health at the NFL’s marquee position has improved in recent years. Then came this season, when quarterbacks have been missing games on a regular basis and teams are having to shuffle in new passers. And last week, new quarterbacks were the story of the league:

* The Giants’ Daniel Jones completed 23 of 36 passes for 336 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, plus ran for the winning TD in a 32-31 win at Tampa Bay. The Eli Manning era is over.

* Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew II led the Jaguars past Tennessee 20-7, completing 20 of 30 for 204 yards and two touchdowns. In three games, since Nick Foles was injured early in the season opener, Minshew has completed 73.9 percent for five TDs and one interception.

* New Orleans’ Teddy Bridgewater, whose career (and entire leg) was in jeopardy a few years ago after a catastrophic injury, quarterbacked the Saints to a 33-27 upset win in Seattle. New Orleans didn’t ask Bridgewater to do what it asks of Drew Brees, but Bridgewater was solid – 19 of 27 passing, 177 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions.

* Carolina’s Kyle Allen quarterbacked the Panthers to a 38-20 victory at Arizona, completing 19 of 26 for 261 yards and four touchdowns. Cam Newton was not missed.

Not all the replacement quarterbacks were stunning successes.

* Pittsburgh’s Mason Rudolph took over for Ben Roethlisberger, who will miss the entire season, and the Steelers lost to San Francisco 24-20. Rudolph completed 14 of 27 for 174 yards, two TDs and one interception. In two games, Rudolph has completed 26 of 46 (56.2 percent) for 286 yards, four TDs and two interceptions.

* The Jets’ Luke Falk completed 12 of 22 for 98 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in 30-14 loss at New England. Hurry back, Sam Darnold.

Let’s get to the predictions:

Eagles at Packers: Green Bay 21-20. One of these teams is 3-0. The other is 1-2. Philadelphia is the 1-2 team. Nobody saw that coming.

Titans at Falcons: Atlanta 27-20. Both franchises have become accustomed to winning, but both seem headed for consistent losing.

Patriots at Bills: New England 24-10. The Patriots have given up zero touchdowns in their last four real games. And this isn’t the Jim Kelly Buffalo team.

Chiefs at Lions: Kansas City 30-10. KC quarterback Patrick Mahomes is better than ever. Heck, Detroit is 2-0-1, so some would say the Lions are better than ever.

Raiders at Colts: Indianapolis 27-16. For my money, Jacoby Brissett is the story of the NFL. An unproven quarterback, taking over in virtual emergency status for a franchise quarterback who suddenly retired, and leading Indy to obvious contention? Not even Daniel Jones beats that.

Chargers at Dolphins: Los Angeles 31-3. Miami has suffered losses of 59-10, 43-0 and 31-6. In other words, the Dolphins are no more competitive than New Mexico State has been in college football.

Redskins at Giants: New York 17-16. The Giants are a non-contender with hope. Washington is a non-contender with no hope. Big difference.

Browns at Ravens: Baltimore 23-20. Huge game for Cleveland. Lose to the Ravens, and the Browns are three games back in the AFC North.

Panthers at Texans: Houston 27-17. Strange how life can be. Kyle Allen won last week at Arizona, where he grew up in suburban Scottsdale. Now Allen quarterbacks in Houston, where he played college football.

Buccaneers at Rams: Los Angeles 38-20. Tampa Bay is inventing new ways to lose games. How about this one. Miss two 32-yard extra points, then take a delay of game penalty so your kicker can try a game-ending field goal from 34 yards instead of 29 yards, and finally miss that kick barely wide right. And thus the Bucs lost to the Giants 32-31. You can’t make this up.

Seahawks at Cardinals: Seattle 34-20. Kyle Murray is fun to watch, but reality is starting to sink in. Arizona is overmatched.

Vikings at Bears: Chicago 19-17. The Bear defense is fantastic. But Mitch Trubisky remains a work in progress at quarterback.

Jaguars at Broncos: Denver 14-11. The Bronco offense is in trouble. Denver has scored 16, 14 and 16. Fourteen might be enough to win this one.

Cowboys at Saints: Dallas 20-17. New Orleans was great in winning Seattle. But Dallas is a big upgrade over the Seahawks.

Bengals at Steelers: Pittsburgh 26-20. Monday Night Football’s curse continues. Two 0-3 teams. Can’t even schedule the Steelers and get a good game.

Last week: 10-6. Season: 30-17-1.

Related Photos
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) runs 7-yards for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) runs 7-yards for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2883cf1cc210ecbe744c7a37e2bd92bd.jpg" alt="Photo - New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) runs 7-yards for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)" title="New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) runs 7-yards for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)"><figcaption>New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) runs 7-yards for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)</figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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