2020 Stat Predictions for Every Projected Starting NFL QB

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2020

2020 Stat Predictions for Every Projected Starting NFL QB

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Quarterbacks generate more discussion than any other position in the NFL. They're the highest earners, receive the most credit for wins and shoulder the majority blame in defeat.

    Typically, a club's playoff chances live and die with the quarterback's overall performance during a given year. If he struggles or suffers an injury, his respective team should prepare for a rough season unless a competent backup can run the offense at a high level.

    Despite their position in the spotlight, quarterbacks also need help. Only a few can elevate an average supporting cast. Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes come to mind. 

    Most signal-callers rely on quality talent at the skill positions to post impressive passing numbers. Secondly, scheme fit matters. A gifted passer won't throw for 4,000 yards in a run-heavy offense.

    We'll provide stat projections for each starting quarterback—or each of two signal-callers in a position battle. The bottom-line figures are based on a player's recent trend in production, the level of talent within the quarterback's pass-catching group and the team's past or predicted offensive philosophy.

Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray

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    The Arizona Cardinals should go into the 2020 season with high expectations for their passing offense.

    Kyler Murray will take the field coming off a strong campaign as Offensive Rookie of the Year in which he threw for 3,722 yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. This season, he'll play with one of the league's best wide receiver corps, featuring DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

    The Cardinals acquired Hopkins from the Houston Texans. He's coming off a third consecutive term with at least 96 receptions and 1,165 yards. Fitzgerald still has more production left in the tank. The 36-year-old led the team in catches (75) and yards (804) for 2019. Kirk listed second, registering 68 catches for 709 yards.

    Don't forget the Cardinals drafted a trio of wide receivers last offseason, Andy Isabella (second round), Hakeem Butler (fourth) and KeeSean Johnson (sixth). If one of the three makes a jump in their second campaign, this group could occasionally go four deep, challenging defenses all over the field.

    Kenyan Drake provides a reliable option as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. He's hauled in 144 receptions for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns through 62 outings.

    Murray has it all at his disposal: a star wide receiver, a future Hall of Famer, budding talent and a pass-catching running back. If guard J.R. Sweezy and tackle Marcus Gilbert handle their protection duties on the right side, the Cardinals signal-caller will have time to carve up defenses with his weapons.

    Projected Stats: 365 completions, 556 attempts, 4,276 yards, 26 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 75 carries, 461 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns

Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan

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    With Matt Ryan under center, you can count on the Atlanta Falcons to move the ball through the air with consistency. The team has fielded a top-eight passing offense every year since 2011. During that period, the All-Pro signal-caller eclipsed 4,000 yards in each term.

    The Falcons lost two offensive playmakers during the offseason. They allowed tight end Austin Hooper to walk in free agency and released running back Devonta Freeman. Hayden Hurst and Todd Gurley will soak up snaps at those respective positions. 

    Gurley may not be able to log 250 carries in a season because of a knee issue, but he's still a threat to catch out of the backfield. The two-time All-Pro registered 31 receptions for 207 yards and two scores last year with the Los Angeles Rams. Don't be surprised if the coaching staff uses him on more pass routes to lighten his rushing workload for preservation purposes. 

    With offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter's pass-heavy scheme, the Falcons will feature Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. On his watch as a play-caller, Atlanta has ranked no lower than eighth in pass attempts.

    Ryan better warm up his arm for 600 or more throws in the regular season.

    Projected Stats: 402 completions, 619 attempts, 4,670 yards, 32 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 32 carries, 126 rushing yards, 1 touchdown

Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Lamar Jackson's projections will be all over the map.

    He's the reigning league MVP who threw for the most touchdowns (36) with only six interceptions. He also ran for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns.

    However, he doesn't anticipate a heavy workload as a ball-carrier for the upcoming campaign, per Clifton Brown of the team's official website. 

    "I doubt if I'm going to be carrying the ball a lot going on in the future," Jackson said. "We've got dynamic running backs. We're going to have even more receivers."

    Jackson made those comments before the draft, during which the Ravens added rookie wideouts Devin Duvernay (third round) and James Proche (sixth). The former offers 4.39-second 40-yard dash speed, while the latter can haul in difficult catches

    Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Marquise Brown had a screw removed from his foot, which may allow him to take on a bigger role in 2020. The Oklahoma product only saw the field for 51 percent of the offensive snaps last year.

    Jackson could rely on tight end Mark Andrews, his top receiver from the previous term, but he must show consistency as a pocket passer with more pass attempts. 

    As Jackson's responsibility in that role increases, so will his interception rate. He's earned the benefit of the doubt, though we should be cautious with more onus on throwing downfield. 

    Projected Stats: 318 completions, 485 attempts, 3,688 yards, 29 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 139 carries, 594 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns

Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen

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    Michael Wyke/Associated Press

    Josh Allen helped lead the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs last year, but his numbers don't look impressive on paper. He threw for 3,089 yards, 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions with a 58.8 percent completion rate. The 23-year-signal-caller also had a subpar postseason performance, completing 24 of 46 pass attempts for 264 yards. 

    Allen hasn't done much to answer criticism about his spotty accuracy, which came up in the 2018 predraft process after he completed 56.2 percent of his attempts at Wyoming.

    The Bills acquired Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings. He should elevate the aerial attack if Allen can find him in stride. The sure-handed wideout has a 68.4 percent catch rate, so it's on the young signal-caller to optimize his new weapon with a higher degree of pass accuracy.

    Allen can boost his completion rate with high-percentage throws to running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, who registered 66 receptions for 685 yards and three touchdowns at Utah.

    Allen's progression seems uncertain because of recent issues with ball placement. His ability as a ball-carrier can challenge defenses, but he's far from consistent in the pocket. 

    Projected Stats: 301 completions, 506 attempts, 3,411 yards, 22 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 97 carries, 441 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns

Carolina Panthers: Teddy Bridgewater

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    Bill Feig/Associated Press

    Teddy Bridgewater protects the football and throws an accurate ball (65.2 percent completion rate). That combination will allow him to lead the Carolina Panthers to a few surprise victories.

    However, don't expect Bridgewater to light up the box score every week. In his first two years as a starter for the Minnesota Vikings, he didn't throw for more than 14 touchdowns or reach 3,300 yards in a single season.

    With the New Orleans Saints in 2019, Bridgewater went 5-0 as a fill-in starter for Drew Brees (thumb surgery) and threw for multiple touchdowns in three of those five contests. He accumulated fewer than 200 yards in two of them. 

    Of course, wins matter more than individual statistics, but Bridgewater didn't carve up defenses with top-notch talents like running back Alvin Kamara, wideout Michael Thomas and tight end Jared Cook on the field. Don't expect big numbers within the Panthers offense, which may feature Christian McCaffrey and two average wide receivers in DJ Moore and Robby Anderson. 

    This isn't a knock against Bridgewater. He could have a solid 2020 campaign in Carolina. On the flip side, the 27-year-old isn't going to pile up chunk plays with a conservative arm. The Pro Bowl signal-caller averages just 173.9 passing yards per game for his career.

    Projected Stats: 313 completions, 483 attempts, 3,330 yards, 21 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 39 carries, 175 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns

Chicago Bears: Mitchell Trubisky

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    The Chicago Bears will push Mitchell Trubisky after a 2019 campaign in which he threw for 3,138 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

    Chicago acquired Nick Foles from the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's familiar with head coach Matt Nagy, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo from previous stints in Philadelphia and Kansas City. 

    The Bears signed wideout Ted Ginn Jr., who could have some speed left in his 35-year-old legs. Most notably, the front office landed big-bodied targets for the passing attack, adding tight ends Jimmy Graham (6'7", 265 lbs) and Cole Kmet (6'6", 262 lbs). 

    As a rookie, Kmet needs time to develop. At 33 years old, Graham is past his prime. He's no longer a strong red-zone threat, logging five touchdowns over the last two seasons in Green Bay.

    Trubisky goes into a high-pressure contract term with minimal upgrades to his pass-catching group. In Jacksonville, Foles took a backseat to Gardner Minshew II, who was a rookie sixth-rounder.

    Neither Bears signal-caller looks promising going into 2020, and aside from wide receiver Allen Robinson II, the offensive personnel looks average regardless of which emerges as the starter. 

    Projected Stats (Trubisky): 298 completions, 468 attempts, 3,078 yards, 19 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 55 carries, 363 rushing yards

    Projected Stats (Foles): 280 completions, 459 attempts, 3,009 yards, 17 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 10 carries, 32 rushing yards

Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Joe Burrow has the personnel to run away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

    The Cincinnati Bengals franchise-tagged wide receiver A.J. Green. Tyler Boyd is coming off consecutive 1,028-plus-yard receiving seasons. The team selected Tee Higgins in the second round of the draft. He's a 6'4", 216-pound wideout who developed into a viable big-play and red-zone threat, registering 118 catches for 2,103 yards and 25 touchdowns over his last two terms at Clemson. 

    Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin told 700 WLW's Lance McAlister that the team plans to open negotiations about an extension with running back Joe Mixon. Those talks could stop a potential holdout

    Assuming the Bengals keep all of their offensive playmakers intact for the 2020 campaign, Burrow will walk into a huddle loaded with talent at the skill positions.

    His mobility can also compensate for potential lapses in pass protection. In 2019, Andy Dalton and Ryan Finley took a combined 48 sacks. Left tackle Jonah Williams' return from a shoulder injury bodes well for the rookie signal-caller. 

    Burrow could have a slightly better rookie season than previous No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray because of the Bengals' wide receiver corps. The LSU product can attack defenses with a legitimate lead wide receiver if Green is healthy.

    Projected Stats: 341 completions, 512 attempts, 3,763 yards, 23 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 42 carries, 293 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns

Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield

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    Baker Mayfield took a step backward between the 2018 and 2019 terms. The team promoted Freddie Kitchens from offensive coordinator to head coach, yet the continuity didn't pay off for the young signal-caller whose quarterback rating dropped from 93.7 to 78.8.

    As the No. 1 overall pick from the 2018 draft, Mayfield may be feeling the pressure to perform at a high level. New Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski chose to tone down the spotlight on his quarterback during a SportsCenter segment with Scott Van Pelt.

    As the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, Stefanski, alongside Gary Kubiak, employed a run-heavy offense that ranked fourth in carries. Kirk Cousins listed 24th in pass attempts (444). The Browns may adopt similar tendencies.

    Stefanski may shift the offensive focus away from Mayfield and wideout Odell Beckham Jr. to running back Nick Chubb, who finished second in yards on the ground (1,494) last year. Kareem Hunt, having won the 2017 rushing title, is arguably one of the league's best complementary ball-carriers.

    Furthermore, wide receiver Jarvis Landry will be on the mend from offseason hip surgery. The front office added Austin Hooper and retained fellow tight end David Njoku. 

    Based on the Browns' personnel and Stefanski's recent tendencies in Minnesota, this offense will have a more physical approach and a renewed focus on the ground attack. Mayfield won't reach 4,000 passing yards, but he'll look much improved under the new coaching staff. 

    Projected Stats: 321 completions, 478 attempts, 3,802 yards, 23 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 24 carries, 127 rushing yards, 1 touchdown

Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott

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    The Dallas Cowboys have yet to reward Dak Prescott with a new contract. Team executive vice president Stephen Jones expects a deal to "ultimately get done," though.

    Once Prescott takes the field, his eyes should light up. The team re-signed top pass-catcher Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup will go into his third year after a 1,107-yard campaign. The front office selected wideout CeeDee Lamb with the 17th overall pick. 

    At Oklahoma, Lamb attacked every level of opposing defenses and averaged 19 yards per reception as a collegian.

    The Cowboys offensive line took a hit with Travis Frederick's decision to retire, but Joe Looney is a strong candidate to become a Band-Aid at the position. He started all 16 games at the pivot during the 2018 campaign while Frederick sat out with Guillain-Barre syndrome.

    In 2019, Prescott posted career highs in passing yards (4,902) and touchdowns (30). Now, he has a stacked group at wide receiver plus running back Ezekiel Elliott.

    By the way, new head coach Mike McCarthy has overseen 13 top-10 passing offenses in 19 years. Under him, Prescott should have another impressive season to justify a potentially forthcoming massive deal. 

    Projected Stats: 375 completions, 576 attempts, 4,707 yards, 27 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 64 carries, 328 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns

Denver Broncos: Drew Lock

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    Drew Lock should be a popular pick to take a significant sophomore leap.

    He has only started five games, which provides little evidence of imminent progress. However, he'll play within an offense that's full of potential.

    Lock is acquainted with wideout Courtland Sutton and tight end Noah Fant. Last year, the former hauled in 72 passes for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns, while the latter led all rookie tight ends in receptions (40) and yards (562).

    The Broncos also added speed and versatility to their wide receiver group, selecting Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler in the first and second rounds of the draft, respectively.

    Jeudy possesses the technical skill and big-play ability to develop into a No. 1 wideout. He's going to break off clean routes and leave defenders behind with 4.45-second 40-yard-dash speed. Hamler looks like a blur in the open field. Once the Penn State product touches the ball, he's a threat to score.

    Melvin Gordon lists eighth among running backs in receptions (224) and receiving yards (1,873) since 2015. If the offensive line falters in protection, Lock can comfortably dump the ball off to him or Phillip Lindsay to move the chains. 

    Lock has the pieces around him to put together a strong 2020 campaign. 

    Projected Stats: 314 completions, 471 attempts, 3,645 yards, 24 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 27 carries, 104 rushing yards

Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford

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    Before Matthew Stafford went down with back and hip injuries after eight contests, he was on his way to an impressive 2019 campaign. The Detroit Lions signal-caller had thrown for 2,499 yards, 19 touchdowns and just five interceptions through Week 9.

    In addition to primary receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr., wideout Danny Amendola and tight end T.J. Hockenson will have a year of experience with Stafford, giving the veteran four solid perimeter targets. 

    As one of the better pass-catching running backs in the 2020 draft, D'Andre Swift could have an immediate impact on third downs. At Georgia, he recorded 73 receptions for 666 yards and five touchdowns.

    Although Stafford will have the talent around him to put up big numbers, he needs solid pass protection behind an unsettled offensive line. The Lions are projected to field new starters on the right side at guard and tackle. Detroit signed offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai. He's started 20 games in four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. The team allowed Graham Glasgow to walk in free agency.

    In 2019, the Lions ranked 19th in pass protection, per Football Outsiders, so there's legitimate concern for Stafford, who's coming off a significant injury. When upright, he'll throw accurate darts, but that's a big if because of the changes within the offensive line.

    Projected Stats: 377 completions, 578 attempts, 4,696 yards, 28 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 23 carries, 86 rushing yards

Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers

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    The Green Bay Packers' 2020 draft strategy spoke volumes. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers' impact on the offense may be on the decline.

    They selected running back A.J. Dillon (second round), hybrid fullback-tight end Josiah Deguara (third) and three offensive linemen in the sixth round. The team seems prepared to gear toward a run-heavy attack.

    While in contact with an agent of a wide receiver on the open market, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jim Owczarski confirmed that the Packers would lean heavily on their ground game for the upcoming campaign.

    With Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and Dillon in the fold, Rodgers will likely see a drop-off in pass attempts, which lowers the ceiling of his passing productivity. And if Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown and Allen Lazard struggle to take a significant step forward in their development, Davante Adams would be the only reliable pass-catcher in the offense.

    Jace Sternberger, who played 60 offensive snaps and landed on injured reserve with an ankle injury last year, is the front-runner to replace Jimmy Graham at tight end, per The Athletic's Matt Schneidman.

    With 51 touchdown passes and only six interceptions over the last two seasons, Rodgers is still a top quarterback, but the Packers did little to upgrade his supporting cast, and the offense has legitimate question marks at wide receiver and tight end. 

    Projected Stats: 323 completions, 506 attempts, 3,745 yards, 25 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 41 carries, 227 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns

Houston Texans: QB Deshaun Watson

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Deshaun Watson has thrown for 26 touchdowns and completed at least 67.3 percent of his attempts in each of the last two terms, but his passing production may take a slight dip without star wideout DeAndre Hopkins.

    The Houston Texans traded Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, acquired Brandin Cooks from the Los Angeles Rams and signed Randall Cobb.

    Cooks has suffered multiple concussions during his career and had a down 2019 campaign, recording 42 receptions for 583 yards and two touchdowns. Yet head coach Bill O'Brien feels "really good" about the wide receiver's well-being going forward.

    The Texans can't rely on Will Fuller V to play through a full 16-game slate. He's missed 22 contests through four terms because of various injuries. 

    As part of the Hopkins trade, Houston acquired running back David Johnson. He's caught 208 passes for 2,219 yards and 15 touchdowns for his career, though the 28-year-old also has durability issues. The dual-threat tailback missed all but one game in 2017 because of a wrist issue that required surgery and sat out three outings last year with back and ankle injuries.  

    Watson, who has a 101 quarterback rating for his career, should post solid numbers if the wide receiver corps can stay relatively healthy, he'll have a decent 2020 campaign.

    Projected Stats: 327 completions, 498 attempts, 3,802 yards, 24 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 94 carries, 589 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns

Indianapolis Colts: QB Philip Rivers

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    After recording 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 2019, Philip Rivers is looking to bounce back with the Indianapolis Colts.

    He'll take snaps behind a stout offensive line that provided ample time in a clean pocket for its quarterbacks last year. Jacoby Brissett and Brian Hoyer had an average of 2.6 seconds (tied for the second-most) between the snap and oncoming pressure or their throws in 2019. Rivers averaged 2.4 seconds with the Los Angles Chargers. 

    Aside from wideout T.Y. Hilton and 30-year-old Jack Doyle, who averages nine yards per catch for his career, the Colts have some question marks within their pass-catching group, though.

    Will wide receiver Parris Campbell progress in his second term? Can rookie second-rounder Michael Pittman Jr. contribute right away? Both have high potential, but they're unknowns.

    The Colts selected Jonathan Taylor in the second round of April's draft. According to head coach Frank Reich, the rookie will pair with Marlon Mack as a "one-two punch" out of the backfield, per ESPN's Mike Wells

    "It's a grind, and when you run the ball as much as we run it, it's really good to be able to change that up," Reich said. "I think their styles will really complement each other very well."

    Indianapolis may lean heavily on the ground attack to take some pressure off Rivers' 38-year-old arm.

    Projected Stats: 343 completions, 520 attempts, 4,178 yards, 24 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 12 carries, 20 rushing yards

Jacksonville Jaguars: Gardner Minshew II

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    Last year, Gardner Minshew II outperformed Nick Foles. The Washington State product finished with 3,271 yards, 21 touchdowns and only six interceptions, though he fumbled 13 times.

    With experience, Minshew will probably learn to protect the football. He needs help from his offensive tackles in pass-blocking sets. According to Pro Football Focus, Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor gave up eight sacks apiece. The former came off a shortened 2018 term because of a torn ACL, while the latter took his lumps as a rookie. 

    On a brighter note, Minshew built a strong rapport with DJ Chark Jr., who put together a breakout 2019 season, logging 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns. Chris Conley averaged 16.5 yards per catch in his first year with the Jaguars. Dede Westbrook solidified a role as the slot receiver. 

    The Jaguars added second-rounder Laviska Shenault Jr. to the wide receiver group. He could line up all over the field and possesses big-play potential because of his speed and imposing 6'1", 227-pound frame.

    Minshew can light up the scoreboard with the collective talent at wide receiver. If the Jaguars continue their push to trade running back Leonard Fournette, the offensive line must improve to take some heat off the young signal-caller.

    That's a big caveat, so temper your expectations for Minshew Mania in 2020.

    Projected Stats: 297 completions, 482 attempts, 3,379 yards, 22 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 73 carries, 322 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns

Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes

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    In an appearance on HBO's The Shop, Patrick Mahomes said something that should frighten defenders across the league. He didn't learn to read defenses (specifically, their tendencies) until midway through last season. 

    To translate, Mahomes was just out there playing football on instincts and skill. Going forward, he'll scan the field with a higher understanding of what's in front of him and an increased level of anticipation. 

    In 2018, Mahomes became the second player in NFL history to throw for 50 touchdowns and 5,000-plus yards. He helped lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a title, winning Super Bowl LIV MVP honors.

    Now, Mahomes could potentially take another step in development, which means the sky's the limit for the star quarterback. On top of that, he didn't lose any of his notable pass-catchers from last year.

    The Chiefs restructured Sammy Watkins' contract, per Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports, and re-signed Demarcus Robinson. Wideout Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce will garner the most targets as go-to playmakers.

    Plus, the Chiefs drafted running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who ran crisp routes and hauled in 55 receptions for 453 yards and a touchdown at LSU in 2019. 

    If Mahomes isn't your favorite to win league MVP for the upcoming term, adjust your projection.

    Projected Stats: 391 completions, 582 attempts, 5,067 yards, 34 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 51 carries, 245 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns

Las Vegas Raiders: Derek Carr

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    Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

    On paper, Derek Carr has all the tools to post impressive passing numbers in 2020.

    The Las Vegas Raiders kept their offensive line intact. The unit ranked sixth in pass protection last season, per Football Outsiders. Tight end Darren Waller is coming off a breakout campaign in which he caught 90 passes for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns, and he should remain a top target.

    The Silver and Black drafted Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards in the first and third rounds, respectively. Lynn Bowden Jr., another third-rounder, will line up at running back, but he has experience at wideout, hauling in 67 receptions for 745 yards and five touchdowns as Kentucky's lead pass-catcher during the 2018 term. 

    Yet even when Carr generated MVP buzz during the 2016 campaign, his numbers didn't jump off the screen (3,937 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and six interceptions). 

    Carr eclipsed 4,000 yards during each of the previous two years, but he's thrown for more than 22 touchdowns twice in six seasons. Expect the three-time Pro Bowler to rack up yards, though head coach Jon Gruden may rely on Josh Jacobs to punch in the touchdowns.  

    Projected Stats: 368 completions, 538 attempts, 4,212 yards, 25 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 34 carries, 88 rushing yards, 1 touchdown

Los Angeles Chargers: Tyrod Taylor

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    Tyrod Taylor goes into a crucial year in his career. He'll have a second shot to put a stranglehold on a starting role, this time with Justin Herbert, the No. 6 overall pick from April's draft, right behind him.

    With the Buffalo Bills, Taylor had a three-year run as a starter. He posted decent numbers but resembled a game manager who had limitations as a vertical passer.

    Taylor hasn't thrown for more than 3,035 yards in a single term. Nonetheless, he could post a new career high in that category with his supporting cast.

    Wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards last season. The team re-signed tight end Hunter Henry and extended dual-threat running back Austin Ekeler's contract. 

    While Taylor becomes familiar with his perimeter threats, he can toss short passes to Ekeler out of the backfield. The 25-year-old caught 92 passes for 993 yards and eight touchdowns as a strong component of the aerial attack in 2019.

    If not now, then when will Taylor shed the game-manager label? With experience in the system, he should put up his best passing numbers yet, assuming Herbert remains the backup.

    Projected Stats (Taylor): 302 completions, 479 attempts, 3,503 yards, 23 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 87 carries, 531 rushing yards, 7 touchdowns

    Projected Stats (Herbert): 263 completions, 429 attempts, 2,984 yards, 20 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 34 carries, 251 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns

Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff

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    In 2019, the Los Angeles Rams became a pass-heavy offense, ranking third in attempts, which is a notable difference from 14th during the 2018 term. Quarterback Jared Goff led the league in pass attempts (626).

    With an emphasis on the aerial attack, Goff took a significant step back in scoring production, throwing for 22 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. We saw him put together efficient performances when paired with a strong ground attack in 2017 and 2018.

    Los Angeles released running back Todd Gurley, but a platoon in the backfield could offer some balance.

    The Rams selected Cam Akers in the second round of April's draft. He'll join Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown and John Kelly in what could be a running back by committee. 

    Los Angeles traded wideout Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans. Josh Reynolds will have a shot to take on a bigger role. Rookie second-rounder Van Jefferson can be the fourth man to round out a strong receiver unit with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp atop the depth chart. Don't forget tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.

    Nonetheless, the Rams witnessed Goff's struggles with the offense on his shoulders. Head coach Sean McVay will probably feature the ground attack until his young quarterback proves he can carry the unit.

    Projected Stats: 344 completions, 541 attempts, 4,423 yards, 26 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 25 carries, 93 rushing yards

Miami Dolphins: Ryan Fitzpatrick

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    The Miami Dolphins have a major decision at quarterback. They can sit Tua Tagovailoa for a year as he recovers from a November hip injury that required surgery or allow him a legitimate chance to beat Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting job. 

    The team has plenty of reasons to keep the rookie on the sideline in 2020. The offensive line is in flux. Jesse Davis may be the only starting holdover from 2019. Secondly, Fitzpatrick had a strong finish to the 2019 campaign, throwing for 1,628 yards, 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions in December.

    Fitzpatrick could post decent numbers in his sixth season working with Chan Gailey, who will take over play-calling duties for former offensive coordinator Chad O'Shea. 

    In 2015, Fitzpatrick had his best showing under Gailey with the New York Jets, throwing for 3,905 yards, 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, which is another reason to keep Tagovailoa on the bench until he's 100 percent.

    Nevertheless, Fitzpatrick has a track record of inconsistency. He hasn't thrown for more than 20 touchdowns since the 2015 term.

    Last season, wide receiver DeVante Parker and tight end Mike Gesicki listed first and second on the team, respectively, in catches and receiving yards. That trend will likely continue, but while the former had a breakout 2019 campaign, his first four underwhelming seasons raise concerns about consistency.

    That doesn't bode well for Fitzpatrick or Tagovailoa.

    Projected Stats (Fitzpatrick): 314 completions, 507 attempts, 3,310 yards, 21 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 47 carries, 222 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns

    Projected Stats (Tagovailoa): 322 completions, 470 attempts, 3,431 yards, 23 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 29 carries, 197 rushing yards, 1 touchdown

Minnesota Vikings: Kirk Cousins

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    The Minnesota Vikings lost offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, who accepted the Cleveland Browns' head-coaching job. Yet schematically, not much will change in how this team attacks defenses.

    Gary Kubiak will transition from an advisor role to play-caller in the upcoming season, so expect the Vikings to keep their zone-run system and feature running backs Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison.

    Kirk Cousins only expects minor tweaks to the offense.

    "It was the natural hire," Cousins said, per Chris Long of KSTP-TV. "[Head coach Mike Zimmer] made a great choice, and I'm glad Kubiak accepted it. Whenever we get back to work, I'm excited to get together with the staff. It should be a similar playbook, with a few adjustments."

    In 22 years as a head coach or offensive coordinator, Kubiak has overseen 11 units that ranked top-10 in rush attempts. You can bet on a run-heavy attack for the Vikings this season.

    The Vikings traded wide receiver Stefon Diggs, which deals a hit to the passing game. Rookie first-rounder Justin Jefferson has great potential, but he'll need to build chemistry with Cousins during a unique offseason that's going fully virtual through May because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Vikings had a solid 2019 campaign and recorded the third-fewest pass attempts. We'll probably see more of the same from this offense and similar passing numbers for Cousins. 

    Projected Stats: 319 completions, 467 attempts, 3,729 yards, 24 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 37 carries, 103 rushing yards

New England Patriots: Jarrett Stidham

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    Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

    Right now, it seems the New England Patriots will trot out Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer. The former is the front-runner for the job, per ESPN's Mike Reiss.

    As a rookie, Stidham only completed two of four passes and threw a pick-six. Despite head coach Bill Belichick's brilliance and Josh McDaniels' respected offensive acumen, the second-year signal-caller hasn't shown much that suggests he'll break out in 2020, aside from an impressive preseason.

    Furthermore, Stidham doesn't have many high-level offensive playmakers. 

    Wideout Julian Edelman registered a season-high 1,117 receiving yards last campaign, but he also dropped 13 passes and turns 34 years old in late May. 

    Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu just shed a walking boot after offseason ankle surgery. He had a disappointing second half of the 2019 term with the Patriots, converting 47 targets into 26 receptions for 207 yards and a touchdown.

    The Patriots don't know what they have in wideout N'Keal Harry, who missed nine games because of an ankle injury. He finished his rookie term with 12 receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

    So, not only should we be skeptical of Stidham's progress, but his pass-catching group also doesn't have much spark or proven talent.

    Either Stidham or Hoyer will struggle until the Patriots develop their wide receiver corps. 

    Projected Stats (Stidham): 282 completions, 454 attempts, 3,101 yards, 19 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 28 carries, 98 rushing yards, 1 touchdown

    Projected Stats (Hoyer): 290 completions, 473 attempts, 3,296 yards, 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 8 carries, 10 rushing yards

New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Here's one thing you can count on: Drew Brees will throw with laser accuracy in 2020. He's led the league in completion percentage for three consecutive seasons.

    Despite missing five outings because of thumb surgery during the last term, Brees displayed efficiency in the pocket, logging a career-high 7.1 percent touchdown rate with only four interceptions.

    The Saints released right guard Larry Warford, though rookie first-rounder Cesar Ruiz should slide into the starting lineup. Brees will have an offensive line that remains mostly intact after ranking third in pass protection in 2019, per Football Outsiders.

    New Orleans signed wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who's going to be a solid No. 2 option across from Michael Thomas. Tight end Jared Cook made an immediate impact on the offense, specifically in the red zone, logging a career-high nine touchdowns in his first year with the Saints. On top of that, add in pass-catching running back Alvin Kamara out of the backfield.

    Don't worry about Brees going into his age-41 campaign. He has more than enough weapons and protection to lead another high-powered offense.

    Projected Stats: 369 completions, 498 attempts, 4,255 yards, 28 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 21 carries, 45 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns

New York Giants: Daniel Jones

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    New York Giants fans should feel excited about Daniel Jones' potential progress. Last season, he took over for Eli Manning in Week 2 and showed some flair, scoring four touchdowns in his debut as a starter.

    Jones must now adjust to change, though. The Giants turned over the coaching staff, and under lead skipper Joe Judge, Jason Garrett will call plays.

    According to Judge, the Giants offense will operate similar to the Dallas Cowboys units in previous seasons (h/t Sports Illustrated's Patricia Traina).

    Jones spoke about the schematic transition, per Michael Eisen of the Giants' official website. 

    "I think there are definitely some similarities," he said. "When you look at any offense, there will be similarities, but also a lot of differences. I don't know if it'll be apples to apples, but a lot of ways I can find comparisons and ways I can speed up my learning through doing things similar as the past." 

    With Garrett as their head coach, the Cowboys ranked top-10 in rushing attempts five times in six seasons from 2014-19. Of course, Dallas has had star running back Ezekiel Elliott, but Saquon Barkley is also a top-notch player at the position.

    Big Blue can run its offense through Barkley until Jones finds his comfort zone. Nonetheless, the young quarterback could find early success with big plays to wideouts Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, along with tight end Evan Engram.

    Projected Stats: 314 completions, 471 attempts, 3,542 yards, 24 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 42 carries, 260 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns

New York Jets: Sam Darnold

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    David Dermer/Associated Press

    Sam Darnold has played in different systems under two regimes. As a result, he didn't show much progress between his first couple of seasons.

    In September, Darnold missed three contests with mononucleosis, which may have affected his early development under head coach Adam Gase. He showed flashes and had to overcome an offensive line that ranked 30th in pass protection, per Football Outsiders, taking 33 sacks.

    During the offseason, Gang Green made a concerted effort to patch up the offensive line, signing tackle George Fant, guard Greg Van Roten and center Connor McGovern. The team also took 6'7", 364-pound tackle Mekhi Becton in the first round.

    The Jets lost wide receiver Robby Anderson during free agency. On the other hand, the front office added rookie second-rounder Denzel Mims, whose blend of size and speed could pose a serious threat to defenses over the top. Tight end Chris Herndon will return to action after he missed all but one game because of a four-game suspension along with hamstring and rib injuries last year.

    Still, Mims may need time to develop his route-running at the pro level. Jamison Crowder isn't a big-play receiver out of the slot, averaging 11.6 yards per catch for his career. We may only see a slight uptick in Darnold's abilities with an improved supporting cast. 

    Projected Stats: 317 completions, 494 attempts, 3,613 yards, 22 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 36 carries, 101 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns

Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Any projection on Carson Wentz's 2020 outlook has to factor in the possibility that he'll miss time.

    The 27-year-old deservedly wears the injury-prone label, and the Philadelphia Eagles selected Jalen Hurts in the second round of April's draft, which suggests they're concerned about their starter's durability.

    If Wentz can stay relatively healthy, he can register another 4,000-yard season with around 30 touchdowns, which compares closely to his 2019 numbers. 

    Although wideout Alshon Jeffery is on the mend from surgery on a Lisfranc injury, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert will be a strong tight end duo.

    The Eagles selected Jalen Reagor in the first round of the draft. DeSean Jackson plans to come back from core-muscle surgery "stronger than ever." Both wide receivers provide speed, though the former is more of a projection than a proven talent like the latter.

    Jackson had a strong opening with Wentz last season, logging eight receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns in his first game back with the Eagles. If he stays healthy, the aerial attack should be dangerous for teams that struggle in deep coverage.

    Projected Stats: 372 completions, 565 attempts, 4,476 yards, 26 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 49 carries, 197 rushing yards, 1 touchdown

Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger

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    Joe Sargent/Getty Images

    It's fair to be skeptical about Ben Roethlisberger's 2020 outlook. He's going into his age-38 term after missing 14 outings with an elbow injury. 

    Secondly, the Pittsburgh Steelers offense didn't look fluid without wide receiver Antonio Brown in the first two weeks of the 2019 campaign. Roethlisberger completed 35 of 62 passes and threw an interception before his year ended prematurely. 

    On the other hand, wide receivers James Washington and Diontae Johnson showed flashes in the offense with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges under center. The Steelers also added pass-catching reinforcements in Pro Bowl tight end Eric Ebron and rookie second-round receiver Chase Claypool. 

    With tight end Vance McDonald and JuJu Smith-Schuster as veteran holdovers, Roethlisberger will have six viable pass-catchers on the field. 

    During Randy Fichtner's first season as the Steelers' offensive coordinator (2018), Pittsburgh had the most pass attempts in the league with Roethlisberger healthy.

    Assuming Roethlisberger doesn't show a sharp decline, he has the offensive weapons to accumulate 4,000-plus passing yards and at least 30 touchdowns.

    Projected Stats: 366 completions, 558 attempts, 4,317 yards, 32 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 24 carries, 76 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns

San Francisco 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Although critics point to Jimmy Garoppolo's overthrown pass to wideout Emmanuel Sanders as a contributing factor to the San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl LIV loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the 28-year-old signal-caller had a solid bounce-back campaign after tearing his ACL in September 2018. 

    In 2019, Shanahan's offense featured the ground attack. The 49ers ranked second in rushing attempts. Still, Garoppolo threw for 3,978 passing yards and 27 touchdowns.

    Shanahan will probably feature Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert, who broke out late last season and finished with 952 yards and 10 touchdowns from scrimmage. 

    Yet Deebo Samuel's second-year growth and rookie first-rounder Brandon Aiyuk should provide some fireworks in the aerial attack. They're similar playmakers after the catch, and with Shanahan's use of play action, both wideouts will have opportunities to break free downfield.

    Garoppolo should benefit from that and produce another solid campaign with fewer interceptions.

    Projected Stats: 319 completions, 484 attempts, 4,010 yards, 25 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 39 carries, 87 rushing yards

Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    The Seattle Seahawks may need a little more from Russell Wilson in 2020.

    General manager John Schneider indicated running back Rashaad Penny will go on the physically unable to perform list to start the year.

    During a SportsCenter segment with Scott Van Pelt, Marshawn Lynch said his agent was in talks with the Seahawks about a possible return. That's not set in stone, but keep in mind the bruising ball-carrier turned 34 in April.

    The Seahawks could pull back on the ground attack, which has been a major part of their offense. They've ranked second and third in carries over the last two years.

    Tyler Lockett is coming off his first 1,000-plus-yard term. The Seahawks plan to expand wideout DK Metcalf's range in the offense, introducing him to more route concepts. The front office signed Greg Olsen, who's an every-down playmaker at tight end.  

    According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Will Dissly will be ready to suit up for Week 1 after he suffered a torn Achilles in October. Wilson connected with him and Jacob Hollister in moments throughout the previous campaign.

    If Wilson has a healthy tight end unit, he may not rack up a lot of yards, but he could pile up touchdowns with his big pass-catching targets.

    Projected Stats: 370 completions, 538 attempts, 4,407 yards, 33 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 90 carries, 482 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tom Brady

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    Tom Brady's 2020 projection is a tough call. For the first time in his pro career, he's not a New England Patriot, which requires a major adjustment.

    According to Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen, the team plans to acclimate Brady to the system in place, per Bob Kravitz of The Athletic:

    "I think what we’ll see here (in Tampa) is Bruce’s offense with a Brady influence. Bruce wants to keep the offense the same. We did some good things last year. Tom has been terrific as far as saying, 'Just tell me what you want to do.' And honestly, there’s a lot of carryover from all these offenses; it’s just what you call certain things."

    If the Buccaneers don't plan to change much of their offense, Brady could finish the season with 600-plus pass attempts. Jameis Winston threw the ball 626 times, and Tampa Bay ranked fourth in total attempts last year.

    In 2019, Brady logged 613 pass attempts, so he should be able to maintain a heavy workload even in his age-43 season.

    He will also have a stacked supporting cast. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin logged 1,333 and 1,157 yards, respectively, during the last campaign. O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate and Rob Gronkowski comprise the best tight end group in the league.

    Critics who thought Brady was headed toward a sharp decline after the 2019 term may have to rethink their stance in 2020. 

    Projected Stats: 383 completions, 612 attempts, 4,387 yards, 31 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 20 carries, 45 rushing yards

Tennessee Titans: Ryan Tannehill

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    Before Ryan Tannehill arrived in Tennessee, he had a solid resume with the Miami Dolphins. Through his first four full seasons, the signal-caller's passing yards trended up and his interceptions dropped, but injuries hindered him between 2016 and 2018. He missed the 2017 campaign while recovering from surgery on his ACL.

    Tannehill's 2019 Comeback Player of the Year performance speaks to his development and fit within offensive coordinator Arthur Smith's system as opposed to being an inexplicable fluke. 

    Tannehill has an explosive playmaker in wide receiver A.J. Brown, who led the team in all major receiving statistics for the previous term. Corey Davis had an ordinary overall 2019 performance. Adam Humphries provided minimal impact and needs to establish himself in the slot.

    Tight end Jonnu Smith will attempt to make a leap as a starter in place of Delanie Walker, who's still a free agent. The 24-year-old showed progress in his third term, logging 35 receptions for 439 yards and three touchdowns. 

    Here's what matters most, though: The Titans offense will likely run through the 2019 rushing champion, Derrick Henry. As the workhorse ball-carrier who may sign a lucrative new deal, he'll likely remain the focal point in Smith's system, which may limit Tannehill's ceiling in the passing game.

    Projected Stats: 341 completions, 519 attempts, 4,138 yards, 25 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 56 carries, 311 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns

Washington Redskins: Dwayne Haskins

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Based on the Washington Redskins' depth chart, their offense is built for a run-heavy attack and short passes to dual-threat playmakers out of the backfield. As Dwayne Haskins picks up a new offense under new play-caller Scott Turner, the coaching staff must protect him and build his confidence.

    Last year, the Redskins offensive line ranked 31st in pass protection, per Football Outsiders. For now, the team is projected to insert a new tackle to replace Donald Penn, who's a free agent. Ereck Flowers signed with the Miami Dolphins, so someone has to emerge at left guard, as well. 

    While the offensive line jells, Turner will probably call for a lot of handoffs to Adrian Peterson, Derrius Guice (if he's healthy), Antonio Gibson and Bryce Love (pending his recovery from a torn ACL). 

    Haskins can target Gibson in the short passing game. The rookie third-rounder recorded 38 receptions for 735 yards and eight touchdowns during his final term at Memphis. 

    Coming out of a small school like Liberty, rookie fourth-round wideout Antonio Gandy-Golden may need time to adjust to pro-level competition before he becomes a factor, leaving Terry McLaurin as the lone reliable pass-catcher on the perimeter.

    Haskins will start the season slow and show moderate progress in November and December. With that said, this aerial attack desperately needs an emerging playmaker to complement McLaurin. 

    Projected Stats: 293 completions, 462 attempts, 3,294 yards, 21 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 22 carries, 89 rushing yards, 1 touchdown


    2020 NFL Scouting Combine results provided by Pro-Football-Reference.


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