Why Have the Top Quarterbacks in the NFL Been Struggling?

9/17/12 in NFL   |   Jnewman482   |   129 respect

4. Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions)Sep 9, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during the second quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Matthew Stafford hasn’t put up as solid numbers as the aforementioned quarterbacks since they are more experienced, but it is shocking to see Stafford struggle this much to open the season.

To this point, he has put up a total of 24 fantasy points and has only two touchdown passes to go with his four interceptions. However, he has not been the worst part of the Lions offense to begin the year. That distinction goes to Detroit's running game.

So far, Kevin Smith has averaged just 57.5 yards per game and Joique Bell, who replaced Smith for a long stretch of the 49ers game, only mustered 14 rushing yards against San Francisco.

Knowing that Detroit can’t run the ball effectively, opposing defenses focus on stopping Stafford and constantly double cover Calvin Johnson, his favorite weapon. In that respect, Stafford faces the same problem that Rodgers and Brees face. The veterans have just found ways to be a little more successful than the Lions QB so far this season.

If the Lions can find a way to improve their running game, then that would help their quarterback tremendously, but the Lions aren’t going to make the playoffs when Stafford is throwing more interceptions than touchdown passes.

OVERALL

It will be interesting to see if the quarterbacks who were viewed as “elite” before the 2012 season started will be able to change their fortunes and begin playing the way everyone thought they would. Some will likely not be able to perform up to expectations, but others will find a way and it will be fun to watch them rise to the occasion.

Otherwise, there are a couple of QBs who have started the season off exceptionally. Matt Ryan continues to show tremendous promise and RG III has been incredible. Perhaps if they continue their stellar play, then they will be the elite QBs we'll be talking about next year.
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9/17/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

I thought having Brady and Brees in a 2-quarterback fantasy league was going to make me a juggernaut...