The Oakland Raiders are standing by Matt Schaub. The Houston Texans are standing by Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns insist that their rookie quarterbacks haven't moved up the depth charts. Yet.
The tenor of quarterback competitions around the league has changed after one week of the preseason. Jobs haven't been decided yet, but coaches and players are now being put on the defensive in the media. We're getting close to the day where each team has to make a decision. Let's review who made moves over the weekend.
Anyone declaring a winner out of the first preseasonBrian Hoyer-Johnny Manziel matchup has an agenda. Both made a few good plays against the Detroit Lions, struggled to move the ball overall, and were victimized by drops. Hoyer probably had the best two throws of the night, but he also had the worst two throws. He wasn't accurate. Manziel took a while to process some decisions, and also showed off his accuracy and playmaking ability.
This was a dead heat on the field. The question becomes: Does the tie go to the rookie?
For now, coach Mike Pettine says that "nothing has changed" atop the depth chart. It's up to Manziel to change the dynamic this week, and he should get the chance. NFL Media's Dan Hellie reports that Manziel will start the Browns' next preseason game.
Favorite to start: Hoyer, by a hair.
Teddy Bridgewater couldn't back up his sterling training camp practices with a strong preseason opener. It was far from a disastrous appearance, but he struggled to make quick decisions against Oakland. Starter Matt Cassel, on the other hand, had a picture perfect touchdown drive. Cassel will start the second preseason game. Bridgewater will need a fantastic second preseason game to stay in the Week 1 mix.
Favorite to start: Cassel, by a growing margin.
There are a lot of reasons to be skeptical of Matt Schaub in Oakland. His preseason debut is not one of them. He was hurt by two drive-killing drops in four drives. Another incompletion came when a young player didn't recognize a blitz and change his route. Schaub made a poor throw on his first attempt, but his offensive line was the bigger problem. And it's not like rookie Derek Carr looked any better.
Favorite to start:*Schaub. It's not a competition.*
Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered from poor play against Arizona, and poor luck. Two tipped passes helped to kill drives; one of which was picked off. But Fitzpatrick also made a few head-scratching decisions that have followed him throughout his career. Case Keenum and Tom Savage looked no better. In short: This was a full-team meltdown. The Texans had four penalties in five plays to start the second half!
Coach Bill O'Brien vaguely answered questions about Fitzpatrick's status as a starter on Sunday, but said more definitively on Monday that Fitzpatrick was the starter.
Gary Kubiak was not a dynamic head coach, but his offenses were consistently productive. The transition to O'Brien could be bumpy for a while.
Favorite to start: Fitzpatrick
New York Jets
Michael Vick made one scramble, and the New York tabloids went nuts. No one seemed to notice Vick dropped back to pass seven times, threw for 17 yards, and was sacked. Geno Smith held serve in his brief snaps as a starter.
Smith could only lose this job with an absolute faceplant in the coming weeks.
Favorite to start: It's Geno's job.
*The latest Around The League Podcast answers every question about preseason action that you were too afraid to ask. *