NFL Predictions Week 4: Rookies Who Will Struggle to Make an Impact

Mike MoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2013

TAMPA, FL -  AUGUST 29:  Quarterback Mike Glennon #8 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up for play against the Washington Redskins August 29, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Rookies in the NFL are just about as predictable as the weather, and Week 4 of the NFL season will prove that.

Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon will be making his debut for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what seems like an impossible situation for him with a lowly squad.

DeAndre Hopkins and the Houston Texans will have a tough time moving the ball through the air against the NFL's best defense, the Seattle Seahawks.

Geno Smith showed some promise last week against the Buffalo Bills in a solid showing, but this week will be a much tougher test against the Tennessee Titans defense.

Let's find out why these rookies will struggle to make an impact this week.


Mike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Aug 8, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) and quarterback Mike Glennon (8) talk on the sidelines during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Baltimore defeated Tampa Bay 44-16. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-U
Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

With the benching of Josh Freeman final, per Ian Rapoport of, the Bucs will begin a new era with Glennon behind center against the Cardinals in Week 4:

The #Bucs have, in fact, made a move. They have decided this morning to go with QB Mike Glennon over Josh Freeman, source confirms.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 25, 2013

Glennon has yet to take a snap in a regular-season game in the NFL, so it isn't clear just how good he's going to be. One thing's for certain: He will need all the help he can get from his running back, Doug Martin, as he looks to adjust to the new, faster pace of the NFL.

The only problem is that Martin will be up against a stiff challenge in Arizona, which is ranked No. 3 against the run this season. And, since Glennon will be on a see-it-to-believe-it level with the Cards defense, Arizona will no doubt stack the box looking to stifle Martin's attempts.

As a result of a lack of production from Tampa Bay's backfield, the Bucs will be forced to air it out with their new quarterback in the hopes that he can win this game with his arm. That's an unfair responsibility to place on the shoulders of the 23-year-old, and mistakes are inevitable from a rookie QB.

While Glennon may be a good quarterback some day, Week 4 of the 2013-14 season won't be his time. Things will get even tougher if top potential targets Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson can't go or aren't at 100 percent if they take the field, as both receivers are listed as questionable, per


DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 15:  DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans walks off the field during the game against the Tennessee Titans for a pass completion in overtime at Reliant Stadium on September 15, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Hopkins has had a solid start to his career in the NFL with 18 catches for 243 yards and one touchdown. The rookie receiver has also accomplished a 117-yard performance in the Texans Week 2 win over the Titans.

But the Texans will need more this week as star receiver Andre Johnson continues to battle injuries and is listed as questionable with a shin injury, per

It's bad enough that Hopkins may have to deal with some big, physical corners in Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner of the Seattle Seahawks, but it'll look even more bleak if Johnson is unable to play and can't take the pressure off of Hopkins.

Either way, stopping Hopkins through the air will be a priority for the Seahawks and their top-ranked pass defense. That fact remains a huge issue for the 21-year-old and is the biggest roadblock to the rookie's success this week.


Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 22: Quarterback Geno Smith #7 of the New York Jets looks to pass against the Buffalo Bills during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 22, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Bills 27-20. (Photo by
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Smith had a solid game last week versus the Buffalo Bills with 331 yards and two touchdowns; however, mistakes continue to be an issue for the 22-year-old as he threw two picks in the game and has six overall.

Those six picks are good enough for the most by any QB in the AFC, and while the Titans haven't been particularly special in that category with just three picked-off passes in three games, they do have nine sacks, which ties them for ninth in the NFL.

That means Smith will be facing pressure all game long, and with more pressure usually comes more picks for the inexperienced quarterback.

The Titans as a whole have been solid on offense. They rank No. 10 and No. 13 against the pass and run, respectively, and have allowed the ninth-fewest total yards in the NFL to the tune of just 18.7 points per game (10th best).

This is a game that likely won't be pretty on offense with two strong defensive units in the mix, but Smith simply won't be able to do enough thanks to a stingy Titans defense.