Could Brian Hoyer be the best quarterback in the AFC south?
On the surface, this may sound absolutely nutty. I mean, the guy was benched for Ryan Mallett of all people after the first game. But still, when you look at Hoyer against the other quarterbacks in the division, it’s arguable that Hoyer is having the best year so far.
First, let’s take a look at the other quarterbacks in the division and see how they’re doing. The guy who you would think would make this question completely irrelevant is Andrew Luck. But he has been nothing short of disappointing this season. He has 11 touchdowns, as many as Hoyer, but he has thrown nine interceptions (in just five games mind you).
The Colts are 1-4 in games he has started. Yes, two of their wins were led by Matt Hasselbeck when Luck was out with his shoulder injury. I still think that injury is affecting him, but to his credit he leads the division’s starters in yards per game at 280.
Now, how about the young guys for the other two division rivals. Blake Bortles has gotten leaps and bounds better since his rookie year, which was a disaster. The Jaguars still have a ways to go, as does Bortles. But to look at the positives, he is tied with Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers with 15 touchdown passes so far. He’s done this without much help from marquee acquisition Julius Thomas, who has only played in two games.
The Jags have a lot of young receivers like Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, whom Bortles is still trying to click with. The downside is he has thrown eight interceptions, including three against the Texans. Some of those are growing pains for a young quarterback, while others are simply because the Jags have no running game (other than what they got on Sunday) and Bortles has to force passes where he shouldn’t. With two wins, he is tied for the division lead in that category with none other than…Hasselbeck.
Marcus Mariota has been fairly good so far for the Titans. He missed Sunday’s game against the Falcons, and through five games he has nine touchdown passes and just five interceptions. He struggled against the Dolphins and some against the Browns and their tough secondary (when they have their alpha dog Joe Haden healthy, it is truly one of the better secondaries in the league). He has the highest completion percentage of any of the quarterbacks in the division, and it’s really not even close. He is at 64% while the rest are under 60%. He also leads the division in yards per attempt at 7.7.
Hoyer, despite some uneven play, has 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He has the highest quarterback rating in the division at 95.7, including three straight games with a rating over 100 (at Atlanta, vs. Indianapolis and at Jacksonville). During that stretch he threw seven touchdowns and just one interception.
After his dismal season opener against the Chiefs he played really well when the job went back to him and he even threw three touchdowns against the Dolphins, even though the game was over when he did. Overall though he has done a good job considering he doesn’t have a run game to take the pressure off him, and the fact DeAndre Hopkins has become a top receiver this season is something the quarterback deserves at least some credit for.