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Fast Start Quarterbacks

By Steve Schwarz | 9/6/23

Isnít it the goal of every team owner to be 4-0 at the end of September? Obviously, the answer is yes. So letís see if we can help you get off to a quick start.

In the first chart below is the record for every starting quarterback in the month of September.

I donít know about you, but the first thing that caught my eye was the obscene way Patrick Mahomes starts his seasons. Heís produced a 119.7 QB Rating, which is 14 points above his career average, with a stunning 49 touchdown passes against just four interceptions. Thatís an average of 3.1 touchdown passes per game. He also opens up the season against Detroit (ranked 32nd in fantasy points allowed to opposing QBs in 2022) along with Jacksonville (27th) and Chicago (26th) before a big challenge against the Jetsí fifth-ranked pass defense.

Add in five rushing touchdowns to 28 passing scores and Lamar Jackson is putting up good numbers in September. Heíll have the best receiving group heís ever had this year in Rashod Bateman, Odell Beckham Jr., rookie Zay Flowers and All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews, but his schedule is on the tough side with Cleveland (No.1), Houston (2nd) and Cincinnati (6th).

Jalen Hurts has plenty of skill position players to throw the ball to and a relatively easy schedule to beat up on. New England (22nd), Minnesota (28th), Tampa Bay (18th) and the Commanders (14th) should allow him to get off to a quick start.

In a previous piece we noted how much better Jared Goff is at home than on the road. Heíll get to play at Ford Field in Week 2 and Week 3 after facing the Kansas City Chiefs in the opener. We already know Mahomes is going to put up big numbers, so Goff will be throwing early and often in that one. Fortunately, the Chiefs were 31st last season in QB fantasy points allowed and most likely going to be without their best defender Ė Chris Jones.

At the other end of the spectrum, things donít look favorable for a quick Mac Jones start. His history isnít good to begin the season and heíll be facing the Eagles (10th), Dolphins (29th), Jets and Dallas (15th)Ö only one team in the bottom half of the league.

Also, Daniel Jones, even with an offensive-minded head coach in Brian Daboll didnít throw for 200 yards in any September game last year. In fact, he threw for 200 yards or less in 11 regular season games last year, which means he better be running the ball, a lot, to make up for the low passing totals. Three of the four teams heíll face gave up less than 300 total rushing yards to opposing QBs for the entire season in 2022.

Now Iím going to contradict everything I said about the numbersÖ because sometimes they lie and you must dive deeper to understand the numbers. Trevor Lawrence doesnít have good September numbers from afar, but thatís because in his first season he hardly had a head coach. Three times in four games under head coach Urban Meyer, Lawrence threw for less than 220 yards. With a real offense-minded head coach in 2022 Lawrence was better averaging 240 yards and two touchdown passes per game. He kept improving under Doug Pederson throughout the year and should be ready for Indianapolis (23rd), Kansas City (31st), Houston (2nd) and Atlanta (19th).

Finally, you may be excited about the way Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett ended his first season, I know I am, but the start of his sophomore year looks like it could be a bit bumpy. The 49ers (11th) on Opening Day, then facing the top-rated QB defense of the Browns is a rough way to start the year.

 QB Career Production in September
QB W L T Comp % TD INT QB Rating
Patrick Mahomes 13 3 0 68.1 49 4 119.7 105.7
Lamar Jackson 11 6 0 64.1 28 7 106.4 96.7
Aaron Rodgers 34 16 1 66.2 106 24 103.2 103.6
Jalen Hurts 4 3 1 66.7 9 3 102.9 92.2
Tua Tagovailoa 4 2 0 66.4 9 4 102.3 95.0
Jared Goff 12 8 0 67.3 39 15 102.1 92.8
Russell Wilson 23 14 0 65.9 65 16 102.0 100.2
Jimmy Garoppolo 11 6 0 66.3 25 9 101.9 99.6
Dak Prescott 12 9 0 67.3 30 12 96.7 97.8
Joe Burrow 5 5 1 66.6 22 9 96.4 100.4
Justin Herbert 3 5 0 68.4 15 7 96.4 96.2
Derek Carr 14 16 x 67.4 50 24 95.2 91.8
Matthew Stafford 23 21 1 65.2 80 40 93.7 90.9
Kirk Cousins 11 17 1 66.3 48 26 93.5 97.8
Josh Allen 11 6 0 63.9 31 14 93.2 92.2
Deshaun Watson 4 10 0 63.9 20 11 92.5 102.3
Ryan Tannehill 18 15 0 62.9 44 32 86.4 91.9
Baker Mayfield 8 7 0 61.0 16 13 85.6 86.5
Daniel Jones 4 8 0 64.2 10 8 84.3 86.5
Trevor Lawrence 2 5 0 62.5 11 8 82.5 83.4
Geno Smith 5 7 0 63.9 12 15 79.5 84.8
Mac Jones 2 4 0 66.8 4 8 77.8 89.0
Justin Fields 3 3 0 46.3 2 5 45.6 79.7
Joshua Dobbs x x x x x x x x
Sam Howell x x x x x x x x
Jordan Love x x x x x x x x
Desmond Ridder x x x x x x x x
Bryce Young x x x x x x x x
Brock Purdy x x x x x x x x
Kenny Pickett x x x x x x x x
Anthony Richardson x x x x x x x x
C.J. Stroud x x x x x x x x

 2023 September Schedule
QB Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Patrick Mahomes DET JAC CHI NYJ
Lamar Jackson HOU CIN IND CLE
Aaron Rodgers BUF DAL NE KC
Jalen Hurts NE MIN TB WAS
Tua Tagovailoa LAC NE DEN BUF
Jared Goff KC SEA ATL GB
Russell Wilson LV WAS MIA CHI
Jimmy Garoppolo DEN BUF PIT LAC
Dak Prescott NYG NYJ ARI NE
Justin Herbert MIA TEN MIN LV
Derek Carr TEN CAR GB TB
Matthew Stafford SEA SF CIN IND
Kirk Cousins TB PHI LAC CAR
Deshaun Watson CIN PIT TEN BAL
Ryan Tannehill NO LAC CLE CIN
Baker Mayfield MIN CHI PHI NO
Daniel Jones DAL ARI SF SEA
Trevor Lawrence IND KC HOU ATL
Joshua Dobbs WAS NYG DAL SF
Justin Fields GB TB KC DEN
Jordan Love CHI ATL NO DET
Desmond Ridder CAR GB DET JAC
Bryce Young ATL NO SEA MIN
Kenny Pickett SF CLE LV HOU
Anthony Richardson JAC HOU BAL LAR

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