One of my favorite things when looking at the Seahawks schedule is to see which quarterbacks have yet to play the Legion of Boom in a regular season game. This season there are at least five set for their first game against Seattle, and three of them will have the benefit of homefield advantage.
Brian Hoyer (Week 2 vs. 49ers)
Hoyer has played for six teams and has taken a snap against the Seahawks. He did have a couple of starts for Arizona in 2012, but that was after the 58-0 mauling and the Cardinals had seen enough out of John Skelton and Ryan Lindley. Hoyer actually played fairly well last year in Chicago (67% completion rate on 200 passes, with 6 TDs and 0 INTs), but was lost for the season after breaking his arm in October.
All signs point to Hoyer as the starter, having played under Kyle Shanahan’s Cleveland Browns offense in 2014. Backups for Hoyer are Iowa rookie QB CJ Beathard, whom the 49ers drafted in the third-round, and ex-USC star Matt Barkley, who is bad.
Marcus Mariota (Week 3 at Titans)
Third-year Titans star Marcus Mariota was 11th in QB DVOA in 2016, 12th in QBR, and almost led Tennessee to its first playoff appearance since 2008. A broken leg in week 16 ended his season and dashed any hopes of a division title. He’s been compared favorably to Russell Wilson since his days at Oregon, and his sophomore year as a pro was considerably better than his rookie campaign. Tennessee has added to its wide receiver depth by signing Eric Decker and drafting Western Michigan’s Corey Davis in round 1.
Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson (Week 8 vs. Texans)
Sadly, neither of these guys is Brock Osweiler. Houston sent him to Cleveland before Osweiler could embarrass himself against the Seahawks defense. Savage only has 92 passes to his name in two seasons with the Texans, with no touchdowns or interceptions thrown. Houston traded up to snag Deshaun Watson, who led Clemson to the national championship with a dramatic game-winning touchdown against the vaunted Alabama defense. Watson was sensational in college but it doesn’t look like he’s the favorite to start right away. DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller appear to be the current 1-2 WR combo, although Fuller really needs to fix his drops issues.
Blake Bortles (Week 14 at Jaguars)
We have four years of evidence that Blake Bortles is a bad quarterback who probably shouldn’t be starting. Even his 2015 season, far and away his best one, was actually mediocre. It’s really possible that he’s not even starting against Seattle, considering this game is in December. If Bortles is benched, then Chad Henne is still around and would be facing the LOB for the second time. Henne was Jacksonville’s full-time guy in 2013, and he went 18-of-38, 235 yards, and 2 INTs.
Dak Prescott (Week 16 at Cowboys)
Prescott technically has seen the Legion of Boom before, albeit in preseason. He finished the game 17-of-23, 116 yards, and a touchdown to Jason Witten. The real plan was for Tony Romo to play at least half of this game, but we obviously know what happened from there. Prescott won Offensive Rookie of the Year honors over his teammate, running back Ezekiel Elliott, and guided Dallas to the #1 seed in the NFC. You can go “but his o-line/his running back/his weapons” all day long, for a rookie to throw for 68%, account for 29 touchdowns, and commit only 7 turnovers is absolutely jaw-dropping.
Dallas as a whole will be an interesting team to watch. They lost a pair of offensive linemen in Ronald Leary (signed with Denver) and Doug Free (retired), the secondary is revamped after Brandon Carr, JJ Wilcox, Barry Church, and Morris Claiborne all went elsewhere, and the Christmas Eve showdown against the Seahawks is their only home game for the whole of December.
For those who are curious, four QBs faced off against the Legion of Boom last year: Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo Bills), Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles), Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and Jared Goff (Los Angeles Rams). The obvious asterisk here is that Kam Chancellor didn’t play vs. Buffalo, Earl Thomas and Deshawn Shead were out vs. Tampa, and Thomas was out for the season when Goff visited CenturyLink Field.
Tyrod Taylor: 27-of-38, 289 yards, 2 TDs (1 rush), 1 INT, 43 yards rushing, sacked 5 times
Carson Wentz: 23-of-45, 218 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 2 yards rushing, sacked 2 times
Jameis Winston: 21-of-28, 220 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 12 yards rushing, sacked 0 times
Jared Goff: 13-of-25, 135 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INT, no rushing yards, sacked 4 times
Total: 84-of-136 (.618), 862 yards, 6 TDs (1 rush), 4 INTs, 57 yards rushing, sacked 11 times
Of course, the projected quarterback schedule is subject to change.
Which "new" quarterback are you most excited to see the Legion of Boom play this season?
This poll is closed
Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson