The first month of the NFL season has come and gone, so it is time to revise the Super Bowl predictions, identify who the top-five quarterbacks have been this season, take a side on the Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz argument and discuss who the most surprising player in the NFL has been through the first quarter of the season.
Without further ado, join us for our latest Today’s Pigskin roundtable.
Basing solely off the first four weeks of the season and nothing else, who are the top-five quarterbacks in the NFL?
Joey Ickes: The top-five quarterbacks to this point in the NFL season are Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Phillip Rivers, Drew Brees, Derek Carr. Big Ben is Big Ben, Matt Ryan is the first quarter MVP, Rivers is leading a top-10 passing offense without his top three receiving weapons, Drew Brees continues to be amazing, and Derek Carr’s defense has been putrid through the first quarter of the season, and all he does is keep bringing them back in games and has gotten them to 3-1.
Pat Yasinskas: Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers. Ryan is the early leader for MVP. He’s having the best start of his career, and the Falcons are looking like a team that could do a lot of damage. Dalton looks like he has taken the next step. Roethlisberger is the most consistent quarterback in the league.
Jacob Westendorf: Using just the first five weeks of the NFL season, the best quarterback in all of football has been Atlanta’s Matt Ryan. He is tied for the league lead in touchdown passes and has just two passes that have been intercepted. Along with him, Derek Carr is off to a good start this season for the Oakland Raiders.
Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz belongs in the conversation as well. Ben Roethlisberger is off to a great start putting up potential MVP type numbers. While his team’s record does not reflect it, Phillip Rivers’ performance has been phenomenal. He’s already lost two of his top weapons in Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead. He still continues to rack up yards and points, the team around him continues to struggle.
Nathanael Rutherford: This is tough but based off of the first four weeks alone and nothing else, my top-five in the NFL is: Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, and Derek Carr
Who would you rather have in a vacuum, Dak Prescott or Carson Wentz?
Joey Ickes: It might sound like a cop-out, but I don’t think you can go wrong with either here, neither has had even a single “rookie moment” to this point. Considering the fact that Wentz’ team has the No. 1 defense in the league to this point, and the fact that Prescott successfully led a short-handed handed Dallas team back from down 14 to win in Week 4, something Wentz has yet to be asked to do. I’ll take Dak.
Pat Yasinskas: Wentz, easily. He’s not playing like a rookie, and that’s why the Eagles suddenly are Super Bowl contenders.
Jacob Westendorf: Both players have gotten off to a good start this season. They have both been put in good situations, but since the question asks for a vacuum the answer has to be Carson Wentz. Wentz has a big arm, athletic ability and what has been most impressive early in the season is his football intelligence. He is making adjustments at the line of scrimmage like he is a seasoned veteran. Before the draft, there was some scuttle that Wentz had the potential to be like Cam Newton. He may not be as fast as Newton, but he does have the athleticism to match his big arm.
Nathanael Rutherford: I don’t feel like I can answer this honestly as a Cowboys fan. But, I will push all my bias aside and actually say Wentz. He looks a bit more polished at this point.
What player has exceeded your expectations the most through the first quarter of the season?
Joey Ickes: I would have to say Matt Ryan. After last season when he looked extremely uncomfortable in Kyle Shanahans offense, and the terrible numbers he put up, I had very low expectations for 2016. Yet he’s on track for his best season by far as a pro, and is likely the MVP of the league to this point.
Pat Yasinskas: I’ll continue to ride the Wentz train. I thought this guy would struggle tremendously, but he’s playing like a Pro Bowler, and I don’t see that changing.
Jacob Westendorf: Again, I go back to the rookie quarterback. Just before the season started, Carson Wentz was slated to be the team’s third-string quarterback and inactive on most days. Now, he is one of the front runners for rookie of the year. Wentz has dazzled with his play both pre and post snap. The hype has gotten a little out of control with comparisons to Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, but even still, Wentz has been phenomenal to start his rookie career. Considering I thought he wasn’t going to play at all, he has surpassed my expectations by leaps and bounds.
Nathanael Rutherford: To give the same answer I did for the last question, Carson Wentz. He’s far exceeded what I expected of him.
Revised Super Bowl prediction after first four weeks.
Joey Ickes: Give me New England over Seattle.
Pat Yasinskas: I thought Carolina was going to be the team to win it all, but the Panthers won’t even come close. Carolina is struggling and Denver is just too good. The Broncos defense will carry them to back-to-back championships.
Jacob Westendorf: Before the season, my Super Bowl prediction was the New England Patriots beating the Seattle Seahawks. I said that at the beginning of the year assuming the Patriots would get off to a slow start. The fact they are 3-1 with Tom Brady coming back only solidifies my belief in the AFC. The NFC is a little trickier. Seattle’s offensive line has been problematic early in the season. Luckily for Seattle, every team in the NFC also appears to have a fatal flaw. This should be a wide-open playoff race, but my prediction remains the Patriots bringing home a fifth Lombardi Trophy by defeating the same team they did to win their fourth.
Nathanael Rutherford: I thought before the season the Patriots would make it from the AFC, and that’s what I still think. I’ve changed my NFC prediction, however. I now think it will be the Cowboys. I’m kidding, I’m thinking it’s a Patriots-Seahawks rematch.