It's a quarterback league. The saying's cliché ... but true.
Monday night brought more than football, as news of the Jimmy Garoppolo trade got around quickly. Suddenly, 49ers faithful have hope under center, while Redskins fans might not have to scrap that Kirk Cousins jersey following this season after all. Oh, and the Patriots are now without a high-quality backup for their 40-year-old Hall of Famer.
How will Kyle Shanahan handle his new starter in San Francisco? Maybe he'll follow Bill O'Brien's lead, allowing the youngster to air it out. Yes, as sexy as the Garoppolo deal is, Watson should be the talk of Week 9 -- because of what he did during a narrow loss in Week 8. Throwing for 402 yards on the Seahawks -- in Seattle, mind you -- is hard enough. But with four touchdowns, as well as 67 yards on the ground? Come on. One big key to Watson's development has been O'Brien not calling for 5-yard ins and none-yard outs from his quarterback. Rather, O'Brien discarded the conservative coach's playbook to let his rookie play. Let's hope Shanahan does the same with Jimmy G.
You know what every young QB1 could really use? Field position.
No problem, Dante. You made the game fun -- and made Trent, Priest, Tony G and those guys even better.
Let the dissension commence!
PROGRAMMING NOTE: For more in-depth analysis on the updated league pecking order, tune in to NFL Network every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. ET for the "NFL Power Rankings" show. Want to add YOUR voice? Provide your thoughts at the bottom of this page or tweet @HarrisonNFL, and your comments could be featured on air.
Quick aside: No one seems to be noticing the productive year Jordan Howard is having. Yes, he logged another drop on a sure touchdown pass (pass catching = Howard's kryptonite), but he also went over the century mark again with 102 yards on 23 totes. He ranks No. 4 in the league in rushing yards now. Worth mentioning -- especially since nobody seemed to notice when he finished second last season.
*Follow Elliot Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonNFL. And be sure to tune in to the "NFL Power Rankings" show on NFL Network every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. ET. *