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4 quarterbacks who fell short of expectations in Week 1 of 2021 NFL season

NFL, NFL Week 1, Disappointing NFL quarterbacks in Week 1

The first week of the NFL season always gives us some unexpected performances from players all over the field. Some exceed expectations and some fall flat, and this is especially prominent at the quarterback position. If a quarterback doesn’t meet expectations, it often costs their team the game because of how important the position is. Let’s look at who didn’t meet expectations in Week 1.

4 quarterback disappointments in NFL’s Week 1

Quarterback #1: Aaron Rodgers

This one was obvious, right? After an offseason of contemplation and turmoil between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ front office, many expected the future Hall of Famer to look like his MVP self to show this organization they need him.

Instead, Rodgers played perhaps the worst game of his entire career, all while Jameis Winston looked like the NFL MVP on the other side. This wasn’t exactly the ideal start for a guy with something to prove to the organization in 2021. The game was hyped up as the game of the week, just for Green Bay to suffer an embarrassing 38-3 defeat.

According to passer rating, this was Rodgers’ fourth-worst game of his entire career. This is both impressive and shocking considering Rodgers has been playing NFL games since 2005. Rodgers threw 28 passes and completed 15 of them with zero touchdowns and two rough interceptions. This game is most likely just a fluke that Rodgers will recover from, but if it’s a sign of what’s to come, the Packers could be in a very awkward situation with Jordan Love.

Quarterback #2: Josh Allen

Josh Allen has played his way into being considered a top-five quarterback, at least according to most. Unfortunately, Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season wasn’t exactly a top-five performance. The Bills dropped their Week 1 game to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 23-16, in a game that could’ve been won if Allen stepped up. He just never really looked like himself throughout the game; he’d show flashes immediately followed by a turnover or a bad drive. It’s not something to get worked up about, and he said as much in his postgame comments, but every loss hurts.

Overall, his stat line doesn’t look terrible with 30 completions on 51 pass attempt for a 58.82% completion percentage, but it was an ugly game by his standards. His passer rating was 79.4, which would’ve put him in the bottom quarter of his 2020 games. Allen and the Bills will certainly bounce back with Super Bowl hopes at the end of the day, but losing a very winnable game in Week 1 has to sting just a little bit extra.

Quarterback #3: Ryan Tannehill 

The Tennessee Titans played a whole mess of a game against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1, losing 38-13 and just never really having a chance. Unfortunately for Ryan Tannehill, a chunk of the blame will fall on his shoulders for what happened. Is that entirely fair considering his offensive line would’ve let me or you sack Tannehill if we were lining up? Maybe not, but this Titans team has hopes of making a deep NFL playoff run. Tannehill will have to step up in weeks like this if that’s going to happen.

When it was all said and done, Tannehill passed the ball 35 times and completed 21 of those passes and one of them for a touchdown. The touchdown is good, but throwing an interception and losing two fumbles will quickly help you understand how the Titans ended up getting blown out. The circumstances around Tannehill weren’t great, but he’s going to have to overcome a bad offensive line (Chandler Jones had five sacks himself) for more than just 13 points and three turnovers if the Titans want to live up to expectations.

Quarterback #4: Matt Ryan

When the Atlanta Falcons drafted Kyle Pitts instead of a quarterback in the most recent draft, the idea was clear: One more try with Matt Ryan as the quarterback. Not many believed this strategy was going to go well, and the team may not even have believed it either. Well, the first week of the season was about as bad as it gets.

The Falcons faced the Philadelphia Eagles and were actually the favored team. Instead, Ryan and Co. fell flat on their face and suffered a humiliating 32-6 loss, failing to score a touchdown altogether.

Ryan certainly had his chances to throw his team back into this game, but ultimately he completed just 21-of-35 passes for zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. It was a rough game for the team as a whole and one they’ll look to bounce back from, but Atlanta is not looking like a team trying to make one final run with its longtime franchise quarterback. If things don’t turn around soon, the Falcons will be right back in the top five for the NFL Daft.