Some epic quarterback matchups are on the horizon
It may not quite be a golden age of quarterbacks, but the current landscape of NFL signal-callers right now is a solid mix of exciting, up-and-coming players, proven veterans, and a handful of legends.
That mix of talent at the most important position in sports makes for a very intriguing 2019 NFL schedule. As we scour the upcoming slate of games, certain matchups at the quarterback position jump out as being potentially very entertaining and interesting for a variety of reasons.
Here are the most intriguing quarterback matchups for each week of the 2019 NFL regular season.
Week 1: Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Jameis Winston
Both the 49ers and Buccaneers had disappointing 2018 seasons — largely due to the quarterback position. Garoppolo was lost early to injury, while Winston seemed to regress developmentally. Both teams are loaded with enough talent to make noise if their respective quarterbacks can play at a high level. We'll learn a lot about both players right out of the gate.
Week 2: Tom Brady vs. Josh Rosen
It's the legend against one of the most talked about players this offseason. The Patriots have had their struggles in Miami. The Dolphins would love a marquee win over the team that has dominated the AFC East for nearly two decades — led by a masterful performance by Rosen. Will Miami's new field general be up to the task?
Week 3: Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes
Joe Flacco is gone and the Ravens are now unquestionably Jackson's team. When Baltimore travels to Kansas City, he'll be staring across the field at the reigning NFL MVP and the new bar with which his performance as a quarterback will be measured.
Week 4: Carson Wentz vs. Aaron Rodgers
Both teams are contenders if their quarterbacks are healthy and playing at a high level. Few can improvise in the pocket the way these two do, which ups the entertainment factor for this "Thursday Night Football" offering to kick off Week 4
Week 5: Andrew Luck vs. Patrick Mahomes
Luck came into the league as a sure thing, but he hasn't come close to performing at the level that Mahomes did in 2018. This is a chance for Luck to make a statement on "Sunday Night Football" about his status to the rest of the league.
Week 6: Russell Wilson vs. Baker Mayfield
These two may be undersized by prototypical quarterback standards, but there's nothing small about their impact on the field. The athleticism they bring to the table is rare at the position, and they are just as impressive from the neck up. Additionally, both teams have what it takes to make noise in the postseason.
Week 7: Drew Brees vs. Mitchell Trubisky
Brees' legacy is cemented. He still brings it every week, leading one of the most exciting offenses in the league. The Bears offense has a chance to be just as electric. If Trubisky can play to his full potential and get the ball to his elite weapons, this one will be a lot of fun.
Week 8: Kyler Murray vs. Drew Brees
The undersized newcomer vs. the undersized legend. Murray is going to have to leave it all on the field to keep up with Brees and the Saints. That opens the door for a highly entertaining performance from the rookie.
Week 9: Marcus Mariota vs. Cam Newton
Their playing styles are similar, and when healthy, the dual threats are a handful for defenses. Unfortunately, injuries have limited both players in recent years. This is going to be a game where both signal-callers need to prove their worth.
Week 10: Eli Manning/Daniel Jones vs. Sam Darnold.
Giants vs. Jets — the battle for the Big Apple. This could either be Manning's last game against the Jets as a Giant, or the first of many meetings between Jones and Darnold. Either way, it will be must-see TV.
Week 11: Deshaun Watson vs. Lamar Jackson
Both can throw it a mile. Both are electric when they run with it. They two first-round picks are former collegiate legends that will look to put on a show against a couple of impressive defensive units.
Week 12: Josh Rosen vs. Baker Mayfield
There was plenty of debate about who should be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft — much of it surrounding these two young guns. This will be the first time they two have played one another at either the collegiate or professional level.
Week 13: Aaron Rodgers vs. Eli Manning
These two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks still have a lot to prove to people in different ways for different reasons. It could be the last time the Packers face the Giants with Manning under center.
Week 14: Patrick Mahomes vs. Tom Brady
The reigning MVP vs. The G.O.A.T. They met twice last season — once in the regular season and once in the playoffs — and both games were instant classics. It's a good bet this one will be as well, perhaps with home-field advantage in the AFC riding on the outcome.
Week 15: Andrew Luck vs. Drew Brees
Brees has had all of the success many thought Luck would already have at this point in his career. Both have battled through serious injuries to return to relevance during their careers. In 2019, this "Monday Night Football" matchup could be a Super Bowl LIV preview.
Week 16: Patrick Mahomes vs. Mitchell Trubisky
If both quarterbacks are healthy and both teams are still fighting for playoff positioning, this "Sunday Night Football" pairing could look a lot like the Chiefs-Rams "Monday Night Football" score-fest of 2018. This game has a realistic possibility of being a Super Bowl preview as well.
Week 17: Kyler Murray vs. Jared Goff
Two first-round draft picks will face off in Los Angeles, home to some of the world's biggest stars. It's no secret that the Cardinals are trying to follow the Rams' blueprint for success. This game will be a solid measuring stick for how far Arizona has to go.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo!, SBNation, USA Today and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.