In a recent edition of the CBS Sports Fantasy Football Today Podcast, the host Adam Aizer along with fantasy football analysts Heath Cummings and Dave Richard debated the topic of three QBs and their status as starters for the upcoming 2022 season, specifically which of the three passers likely starts the most games for their team. The three names brought to the stage for the topic were the Atlanta Falcons’ Marcus Mariota, the Carolina Panthers’ Sam Darnold, and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mitch Trubisky.
Analyst Heath Cummings created a Twitter poll in lead up for the podcast episode, asking the fans which of the three passers they expect to finish the season with more starts under their belt in the 2022. The poll results came in favor of Mariota having more starts in 2022 than Trubisky and Darnold, with Aizer, Richard, and Cummings all voting in favor of Mariota starting more games than the projected starting QBs for the Panthers and Steelers.
Given the murky QB rooms of all three teams in the poll, there doesn’t appear to be a glaring obvious choice at first glance. All three QBs are former top three selections in their respective draft classes that have struggled to live up to that billing to begin their NFL careers, being that all three are on new teams instead of the original team that spent that draft capital to select them. In the case of Trubisky and Mariota, both guys are now on their third NFL team since entering the league.
In the case for Mariota, the Falcons selected Desmond Ridder in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, projecting to be more of a backup to start his NFL career and hopefully displaying a big enough progression to eventually push Mariota for the starting job. The Panthers followed a similar trend in the draft, selecting Ole Miss QB Matt Corral in the third round to sit behind Darnold as he develops, maybe eventually pushing for the starting job at some point in 2022 if Darnold struggles.
Kenny Pickett was selected in the first round at #20 overall by Pittsburgh with the full intention to compete for the starting job with both Trubisky and incumbent Mason Rudolph. Because of this, one can say that Trubisky’s chances of fending off Pickett are probably lower than the other two QB situations due to the investment in higher draft capital and the intentions that have been made since the pick for Pickett was made.
Still, if one were to argue for Trubisky starting more games than the other two names listed, such an argument could be supported based on numerous factors. For one, Trubisky plays on arguably the better overall team in Pittsburgh, thus likely leading to more immediate success and less of a chance to get pulled should the Steelers’ win early in the season compared to if Atlanta and Carolina struggle early. Darnold (17-32) and Mariota (29-32) both haven’t fared well as starting QBs, whereas Trubisky boasts a winning record (29-21). Another point could be made for the injury history against Mariota, having missed extensive time the past few seasons both as a starter as well as a backup QB with several different injuries.
Again, the poll topic posed by the CBS Fantasy Football crew here is an intriguing one, having old faces in new places trying to get their careers back on track. Time will tell which of the three ends up starting the most games in 2022 but given the competition Pickett is supposed to bring to Trubisky in training camp, both the show analysts and the fans chose to side with Mariota over the projected Pittsburgh Steelers starting QB.
What are your thoughts on this poll? Who do you think starts more games in 2022 and what is your reasoning? Will Pittsburgh allow Trubisky to keep the job if he plays well enough to start the season, or will they hand over the reins to Pickett regardless? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!