Week 5 marks the end of almost a third of the NFL season for most teams. This season’s rookie quarterback class has had its peaks and troughs and has shown plenty of room to continue improving.
Most of these first-year flaggers (Trevor Laurent, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones) have started each of their team’s five games this season, while the others (Trey Lance, Justin Champs) adjust for more repetitions below center.
Let’s see how these rookies progress as their NFL careers continue to grow.
2021 NFL Draft Pick: First of all
Result of the game: 37-19 defeat against Titans of Tennessee
Line Status: 23 for 33, 273 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 INT, 32.0 QBR
Jacksonville’s loss to division rival Tennessee marked its 20th straight since last season, joining the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26 in a row) as the only franchises to have lost 20 consecutive games.
Despite mounting losses, Lawrence completed 70.2% of his passes on 8.4 yards per attempt in his last two outings. This year’s top overall pick believes shorter throws and his receivers improving to open have helped him become more comfortable as the Jaguars seek a turn.
“You can’t be desperate,” Lawrence said on Sunday of Jacksonville’s losing streak. “You have to keep working. We are going to win games. We are going to turn the tide.
And we all thought today was the day we were going to get that first victory and it wasn’t … fun once we do. “
Global choice 2021: Second
Result of the game: 27-20 loss at Atlanta Falcons
Line Status: 19-for-30, 192 passing yards, 0 passing touchdowns, 1 INT, 17.9 QBR
Although the Jets lost on Sunday, Wilson’s performance in Week 4 earned him Rookie of the Week on Thursday. His teammates couldn’t help but celebrate the call signal.
When the whole team turns you on>
Zach Wilson’s teammates loved him getting Rookie of the Week honors 🙌
– NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 7, 2021
– New York Jets (@nyjets) October 8, 2021
New York then flew over the pond to face the Falcons at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Wilson threw his ninth interception of the season at the top of the NFL and became the fourth QB to do so in each of his first five career games over the past decade. The Jets’ trip resulted in their third straight season starting 1-4 or worse in five games.
Global choice 2021: Third
Result of the game: 17-10 loss at Arizona Cardinals
Line Status: 15 for 29, 192 passing yards, 0 passing touchdowns, 1 INT, 33.9 QBR
At 21 years and 154 days old, Lance became the fourth youngest QB of the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to make his first career debut. Unfortunately for him and San Francisco, Lance’s first start came against the Cardinals (5-0), who remain the last undefeated team in the league.
The third overall pick of 2021 continues to gain comfort as he progresses to the pro level, but his legs seemed very flexible, judging by his 89 rushing yards. This is the highest single-game precipitation for a 49ers QB since Colin Kaepernick in Week 12 of 2016 (113).
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan praised Lance’s first career start.
“I thought he did some really good things,” Shanahan said after San Francisco fell to 2-3.
“It certainly wasn’t perfect, which no one has ever been. That top pick, I thought, had just sailed on him. He was going to the right place, but it slipped out on that first ride. overall I thought if we could I did a little better with him, I think he did a pretty good job of winning. “
Global choice 2021: 11th
Result of the game: 20-9 victory at Las Vegas Adventurers
Line Status: 12 for 20, 111 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 0 INT, 26.4 QBR
Fields won back-to-back wins as a starting quarterback for the first time in his young career. The biggest key – unsurprisingly – seemed to be Chicago generating a constant attack. Sunday’s victory marked the Bears’ second straight week with 20 points after making it just once in weeks 1-3.
Prior to Week 5, the team collectively recorded just one touchdown pass, so imagine Fields’ excitement when he pitched the first of his career.
Justin Fields’ first career surpassing TD 👏
– Sports center (@Sports center) 10 October 2021
The fields have collapsed on how the game has developed.
“At that point you can’t think of what’s hurting you, you’re thinking about running this game,” he explained. “Of course, Jesper [Horsted] was a bit open at the back of the end zone, the DB had his back turned so of course he couldn’t see the ball, so I just threw him and gave Jesper a chance, and well sure he fell with it. That’s what happened.”
Fans of the Bears, who have never seen a quarterback go through 30 touchdowns in a single season in franchise history, would certainly welcome more games like this.
Global choice 2021: 15th
Result of the game: 25-22 to Houston Texans
Line Status: 23-for-30, 231 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 1 INT, 66.4 QBR
New England overcame a 13-point deficit to beat Houston. The team’s 37 wins (including playoffs) under head coach Bill Belichick (since 2000) after trailing in double digits lead the NFL during this span.
Jones’ performance marked his fourth best NFL outing this season with a completion percentage of at least 70% (min. 20 assists). He broke down the other key elements of New England’s comeback victory.
“It was really good,” Jones said of the win. “I think the offensive line did a great job, and I think it all starts with them, so they doubted all week and there was this and that and they came out and they played really hard. together, and I think I only got hit once in the whole game, so just yell at these guys, and they’re one of the main reasons that happened. “
Such protection can only bode well for Jones’ continued growth as New England’s prominent new man.
The Patriots QB Mac Jones now have 135 goals, tied for most rookie QBs in his first five starts in NFL history (Joe Burrow). He completes just over 71% of his passes.
He certainly has areas for improvement, but he also has a lot to impress early on.
– Yates field (@FieldYates) 10 October 2021
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this story.