This one’s easy. What doesn’t show up in Luck’s stats is the fact that he took one of the worst teams in franchise history to the playoffs in his first season. If it’s stats you want, fine. Luck broke NFL rookie records of passing yards, wins by a No. 1 overall QB and game-winning drives.
Bortles technically sat at first, but after relieving Chad Henne — Henne was so bad he left Jacksonville no choice — in the second half of a Week 3 blowout loss to the Colts, Bortles was named starter for the rest of the season.
Despite predictably dismal initial numbers on a team with few offensive weapons and a dreadful line, Bortles proved one key component of success for an NFL quarterback: durability. He enters 2018 still sticking as the Jaguars’ starting quarterback.
The 29-year-old Green has cracked 200 receiving yards just once in his seven-year career. In seven of the last eight seasons, two Chargers tight ends have eclipsed 200 receiving yards. Unless the team brings back Gates, Green will receive a drastic increase in playing time and targets, something we have no evidence he can handle.
The Rams defensive line, with the notable pairing of Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, will be discussed early and often this season, but their outside linebacker situation is just as interesting—for the opposite reason. Their top veteran pass-rushers are Matt Longacre, Samson Ebukam and Ejuan Price.
Together, that trio has 7.5 career sacks. Though it sat out long stretches of the draft, Los Angeles added fifth-rounder Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and sixth-rounder Trevon Young to the unit. Since 2010, only three players picked outside the top 150 have recorded five or more sacks in their rookie seasons: Jonathan Newsome, Chris Jones and Pernell McPhee.