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Ranking The NFC West Quarterbacks For 2023

With the 2022 NFL season in the rearview mirror, NFL teams that did not have their year end in Glendale begin to re-draw the map for 2023. So naturally, the money position under the microscope. The NFC West Quarterbacks assessment is not complicated, but questions linger with big names, injuries, and head coaches wondering where they go next.

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals 2022 record: 4-13 overall, 1-5 division.

In 2021, the Arizona Cardinals looked to be on the verge of breaking out in the NFL and establishing themselves as a presence in the NFC West alongside division foe, the Los Angeles Rams. The Cardinals had just gone 11-6, and Heisman Trophy winner Kyle Murray appeared destined to lead the Cardinals to heights not seen with one of the league’s oldest franchises.

In 2021, Murray posted monster numbers going 333 for 481 passing, 3,787 yards, 24 TD, and 10 INT. He also had 88 carries for 423 yards, with five touchdowns.

Fast forward to 2022, and the story is dramatically different, with 259 completions on 390 attempts for 2,368 total yards (25th). He would add 14 touchdowns (23rd) with seven interceptions. In addition, Murray would have an overall QBR of 51.5, ranking him 19th in the NFL.

Hitting The Wall In Arizona.

Kyler Murray was carted off after suffering this non-contact injury. — ESPN (@espn) December 13, 2022

His ACL and meniscus injury add issues for a quarterback who has not shown much improvement. Kyler Murray has noisy footwork when he passes and a bad habit of not securing the football when he gets out of the pocket. In addition, he is a signal-caller who does not like to be hit, which means post-injury, the Arizona Cardinals could be shackled with a quarterback who has peaked and is past his prime.

Overall NFC West Quarterbacks ranking – fourth.

Trey Lance and Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers 2022 record: 13-4 overall, 6-0 division.

Mr. Irrelevant Is Very Relevant in 2023.

In 2022, the San Francisco 49ers started quarterback Trey Lance until an injury brought back former QB-1 Jimmy Garoppolo. Then, an injury to Jimmy G. forced the Niners to go to the last overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, Brock Purdy from Iowa State. Purdy would explode on the NFL scene, going 8-1 down the stretch in relief. He would help lead San Francisco to a 6-0 division record, a second overall seed in the playoffs, one playoff win against the Dallas Cowboys, and a devastating loss in the NFC championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles. A game he would play in after suffering an injury to his throwing arm.

Trey Lance Injury Odyssey Has No Guarantees In San Francisco.

Trey Lance began the 2022 season as San Francisco’s starting quarterback and appeared to be the 49ers’ future at the position before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2. However, lance, who has required two surgical procedures on his ankle, is still very young at the age of 23 and is an unknown commodity that would be wise not to give up on. He is the likely starter in 2023, but the product fans may be vastly different from the ultra-mobile quarterback with a deadly accurate arm the Niners have witnessed.

San Francisco is a team drenched in youth, talent, and remarkable potential. Head coach Kyle Shanahan is of 43 years of age. Lance and Purdy are both 23 yrs old. General manager John Lynch still looks like he can play at 51. That said, youth and potential do not always add up to Super Bowl rings.

With that said, unless Trey Lance can be all the things Lynch believes he can be, and Brock Purdy can heal and regain at least most of the magic, accuracy, and one of the best-thrown footballs in the league, the 49ers will take it on the chin in 2023.

Overall NFC West Quarterbacks Ranking, *undecided.

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams 2022 record: 5-12 overall, 1-5 division.

The best news that could have happened to the Los Angeles Rams and the NFL happened when head coach Sean McVay decided against taking a ton of cash to move to the broadcast booth and return to what is a modest rebuild. The addition of perennial All-Everything Aaron Donald is cause for celebration in Southern California and an equal cause of concern in the NFC West.

LA Rams signal-caller Matthew Stafford is also back in Los Angeles. While concussions have been a concern and should be, he provides stability and institutional memory for McVay and the offense.

To his credit in Detroit and now LA, Stafford has always been a player who recognizes it’s not about him but the team. He would have been the first, albeit reluctantly, to admit he could not play or that his wife, Kelly Stafford, was not all-in. He would say as much on her podcast.

Here it is from Matthew himself on retirement: — HoldenCantor (@HoldenCantor) December 20, 2022

The Rams as a whole didn’t suffer from a down year, as much as they collapsed early and never came back. To the eye, they seemed woefully disinterested and like a team who would rather be anywhere else, doing anything else. With the appearance that both McVay and Donald had one foot out the door, Los Angeles seemed to follow suit.

With all five wins in 2022, little success will be found at SoFi. Stafford passed for 2,087 (30th) yards for the season on 206 completions and 303 attempts. He would have ten touchdowns (30th) and eight interceptions.

The Rams Look To Reset In 2023.

McVay adds offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur as offensive coordinator. That’s a brilliant move for the Rams and will undoubtedly contribute to the quarterback situation. With Stafford heading into the twilight of his career, these last few become consequential. However, he can still move the needle enough in Los Angeles, meaning 2022 may have only been a blip, not a trend. If Matthew Stafford can stay healthy, LA can be a fixture in the NFC West and a potential Super Bowl contender.

Overall NFC West Quarterbacks Ranking, Second (with a bullet).

Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks 2022 record: 9-8 overall, 4-2 division.

At the beginning of training camp last season, no one thought the Seattle Seahawks would be much of a story in 2022. They had traded away malcontent Russell Wilson, who had become more diva than a teammate, for a significant haul of draft picks. It was thought they would be just bad enough to land perhaps the first selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. Instead, they flirted with an NFC West championship and made the playoffs as a Wild Card team.

Enter Geno Smith, who racked up serious numbers and put the naysayers to rest. With 4,282 passing yards (8th), 30 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions, he would put together a solid season in addition to a QBR of 60.8.

Five straight games with a TD for @TDLockett12 🔥 📺: #SEAvsLAR on FOX 📱: Stream on NFL+ — NFL (@NFL) December 4, 2022

Geno Smith Earns His Shot As Starter.

Smith, a castoff in the league, was only supposed to be the placeholder until a rookie quarterback was brought in. Then, Smith would hold it together until the rookie was ready to take the reins. Instead, Smith is the incumbent starter, and it is a well-earned role.

In a division with many questions, the Seahawks have the least. They have solid talent, a good defense, and enough consequential picks to fill in the holes and bolster wherever they see fit. Whereas the 49ers and Cardinals have some uncertainty at quarterback, and Stafford is an injury away from being lost, perhaps for a career, Seattle sits in the driver’s seat.

Geno Smith is head and shoulders the top quarterback in the NFC West, and few arguments can be made to the contrary.

Overall NFC West Quarterbacks Ranking, First overall.


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