Four QBs With A Lot To Prove In Tonight’s Week 3 Preseason Action

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2014 | 0

With the 2014 NFL Preseason in full swing, many teams’ starters will see their most significant exhibition action when Week 3 continues tonight (Fri., August 22, 2014) with a full slate of five games.

There are several players who have question marks about where they currently stand, and not surprisingly, many of these players are quarterbacks. While some teams may be set at signal caller, less fortunate squads are still trying to figure what the future may hold for them under center.

Because of that, four quarterbacks have a lot of pressure on their shoulders heading into tonight’s games. With their performances set to tell us how far they have progressed, let’s look at the players who have much to prove this evening:

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers:

Returning from offseason ankle surgery, Newton saw his first reps of the preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday (August 17, 2014). He was solid if not spectacular in limited action, yet he’s insisted to media that he’s still not one hundred percent recovered from his procedure to tighten up his ankle.

He’ll be faced with the tough task of the New England Patriots defense tonight in what should be a sizeable amount of plays. If he can play similarly to how he did last year, Newton will go a long way towards proving he’s back and ready to resume his role as the most dangerous dual threat quarterback in all of the NFL.

But if he struggles to get his offense moving in hostile territory, the rumor mill will soon begin to question his true game readiness. That makes tonight’s Week 3 preseason game against the Pats a crucial one for “Superman.”

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions:

After Stafford and the Lions stormed out of the gate to take a huge lead in the NFC North in 2013, it was thought that the Lions had finally begun to capitalize on their massive promise. However, Stafford, star wideout Calvin Johnson, and head coach Jim Schwartz limped into the offseason by missing the playoffs altogether, causing a coaching change and putting the onus on Stafford for his erratic play.

Since working extensively on his mechanics this offseason, Stafford is apparently ready to return to his gun slinging ways with new toys Golden Tate and Eric Ebron fortifying his offense. He’ll face a Jacksonville defense that’s normally very friendly to opposition at home tonight, and some big numbers will certainly get his critics moving in the right direction.

If he comes out and shows flashes of his old self with a few interceptions and/or questionable throws, those that doubt his status as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL will be hating in droves. Monitor Stafford’s progress heading into a big year.


Michael Vick, New York Jets:

Like Stafford, Vick was blowing up the stat sheet last year before injuries forced him out of multiple games. He left the Philadelphia Eagles to start anew in New York, but the initial prognosis hasn’t been all that great.

The oft-injured Vick has apparently taken a backseat to second year man Geno Smith as the Jets’ starter, earning the ire of the New York coaching staff. But at this point in his career, Vick doesn’t mainly seems to care about keeping his frail and breaking down body in shape without much pressure on him, telling

“I’m kind of relishing the moment that I’m in right now,” Vick added. “I am not required to have to do a lot. Preserving my body right now is very important to me, and making sure I can make a strong push late in my career in case I am needed.”

Not exactly the words of a man who wants to get out there and make the electrifying plays he was once known for. Tonight’s game against hometown rivals New York Giants is going to tell us whether or not Vick has anything left in the tank.

NFL: 2014 NFLPA Rookie Premiere
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars:

No. 3 overall pick Bortles has impressed in his previous preseason action, going 18 of 28 overall and forcing Jacksonville’s hand by creating a quarterback controversy.

He was thought to sit his entire first year under the tutelage of veteran Chad Henne, but Bortles has been taking a significant amount of snaps with the Jaguars’ first team offense this week.

If he can put on a show against the Detroit Lions in the Motor City tonight, Bortles could instantly fast-track himself into starting his very first NFL game. He’s yet to have been faced with the pressure of a true NFL starting defense, but his initial results have been promising.

His performance tonight will gauge his readiness to play in the pros, making Bortles the one with the most to gain or lose tonight.

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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