D.A.: Which NFL Team Is In The Best Position With Its Backup QB?  

A lot of teams are already on their backup quarterback, but some franchises – and fan bases – have more hope than others...

Damon Amendolara
September 20, 2019 - 4:09 pm

Little did we know #NFL100 would represent how many backup quarterbacks would play this season. Injuries and health concerns have taken down future Hall of Famers, Super Bowl heroes, aging NFL MVPs and young potential stars. With names thrust into the spotlight most fans had never heard of just weeks ago, let's rank the best backup situations among the franchises dealing with changes. 

6) Luke Falk
This isn't really fair to the former Cougar; he’s the third-stringer and has been shoved into a starter's role. The Jets are clearly in the worst position at QB on this list. However, it may not last long since Sam Darnold "only" has mono. His timetable is fuzzy, but most assume he won't miss more than six weeks. The problem is the Jets’ season will probably be over by then. 0-2 will likely be 0-6 after two games vs. the Pats, and matchups with the Cowboys and Eagles. Woof. 
Jets’ season prognosis: Over. 

5) Kyle Allen
The Panthers are playing it coy with Cam Newton's health, and Ron Rivera is so sick of the questions he left his press conference in a huff. But the Panthers simply cannot get to the playoffs if Cam doesn't play at 100 percent this season. Allen is not ready to take over the reigns of the offense yet. Unless Christian McCaffery starts taking snaps under center (and that's on the table with Norv Turner's infatuation), the Panthers are goners without Cam. Even with Cam playing, Carolina is still winless. 
Panthers’ season prognosis: Life support. 

4) Mason Rudolph
Clearly the Steelers have faith in him or else they would not have traded a first-round pick for DB Minkah Fitzpatrick. But can Rudolph keep this season afloat without Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell to help? The Steelers offense was already going to be a work in progress after the departure of those two, but now with Big Ben gone for the year, Rudolph has to elevate to a different level. It's going to be a struggle all season to score points for Pittsburgh, but with eight first-rounders on the defense, there are no more excuses for the Steelers D not to be one of the AFC's best. Rudolph might not have to win games himself, but he can't lose them either. 
Steelers’ season prognosis: Touch-and-go.

3) Jacoby Brissett
Technically, he didn't get the job in-season like the rest of these names. But Brissett is the Colts’ new starter because Andrew Luck retired due to a slew of surgeries, soreness and exhaustion. Brissett has a lot of respect around the league, but is he too limited to win regularly at this level? He has yet to crack 200 yards passing in either of his efforts, but he's thrown for five TDs. As long as he wins, no one will care about the stats, but Brissett is far less proficient downfield as Luck was. It'll take the rest of the roster to carry this team to the playoffs. 
Colts’ season prognosis: Stable. 

2) Teddy Bridgewater
The good news if he doesn't get the job done the Saints have a possible secret weapon. Drew Brees should only be out for six weeks with his injured thumb, so New Orleans can count on him in the second half of the season. The key is to not allow the first half to tank their playoff hopes. Bridgewater has led a team to the postseason before (but prior to his horrific leg injury). That has compromised his mobility, but he has learned the offense over the past 12 months with some great tutors. Fan favorite Taysom Hill is in Sean Payton's back pocket as well, a jack-of-all-trades that should give defenses more wrinkles. The Saints are in a decent position. 
Saints’ season prognosis: Hopeful. 

1) Gardner Minshew
Thursday night showed the type of playmaker the Jaguars have. The sixth-round draft pick is fluid in the pocket, throws a pretty ball, and has confidence in every pass (even if it's a bad one). Sure, Minshew gets more attention than his play probably deserves right now because of his mustache, outfits and swagger. But Minshew is playing far beyond what could be expected for a rookie in his first three games. He threw for 270+ yards in the opener vs. Kansas City, nearly led a comeback in Houston, and played extremely well vs. the Titans. Jacksonville might be out of it by the time Nick Foles is back in November, but Minshew will give them a chance to win more games than not. 
Jaguars’ season prognosis: Energized. 

Damon Amendolara, known by his fans as D.A., hosts “The D.A. Show,” from 9:00AM-12:00PM, ET, across the country on the nation’s largest 24/7 major-market radio network. “The D.A. Show” is known for its unique perspective on sports, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, colorful listener interaction, and candid interviews with athletes and coaches. Amendolara also appears regularly on NFL Network as part of the “NFL Top 10” documentary film series, CBS television and SNY TV. He is a Syracuse University grad and native of Warwick, N.Y.