Right Or Wrong? Examining NFL’s Four Boldest Starting QB Decisions

The success of virtually every NFL team starts with a good quarterback.

For teams like the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers, exceptional play at the position essentially has become commonplace. But not every team has that luxury.

Several NFL squads entered training camp with a handful of quarterbacks competing for the starting job. To state the obvious, one signal-caller emerged victorious in all those competitions. But was it the right one?

From Brian Hoyer winning the battle of the former Patriots backups in Houston to Rex Ryan going with Tyrod Taylor over E.J. Manuel and the more experienced Matt Cassel in Buffalo, a few teams surprised with the starters they chose.

With the NFL season set to begin, we decided to examine the most controversial quarterback calls of the preseason and offer our two cents about their impact.

Buffalo Bills
Result: Tyrod Taylor over Matt Cassel, E.J. Manuel
Verdict: Right decision
Taylor entered the season as a bit of a wild card alongside more known quantities in Cassel and Manuel. But the 26-year-old did enough in training camp and the preseason to impress Ryan and the Bills, and his athleticism could be dangerous in an offense that already features LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins. If Taylor steps up this season, the Bills could be playoff contenders.

Cleveland Browns
Result: Josh McCown over Johnny Manziel
Verdict: Wrong decision
Yeah, we realize Manziel probably needs to develop some more. But McCown looked pretty dismal in the preseason, so why not bring some excitement to Cleveland and roll out Johnny Football in Week 1? At the very least, Manziel is mobile and has the ability to escape the trouble that McCown inevitably will find. We’re not saying that would’ve been completely the right call, but it’s the more entertaining one.

Houston Texans
Result: Brian Hoyer over Ryan Mallett
Verdict: Right decision
Neither is a very good option, but it appears coach Bill O’Brien made the right call here. Hoyer has experience as an NFL starter with the Browns, while it appears Mallett still needs to mature. With a talented defense and a strong running game (once Arian Foster returns), the Texans need a better game manager if they want to sneak into the playoffs. With no third choice, Hoyer is the guy.

Tennessee Titans
Result: Marcus Mariota over Zach Mettenberger
Verdict: Right decision
There were rumblings that Tennessee could stick with its 2014 draft pick in Mettenberger, but this was a no-brainer. Mariota appears to be mature enough to take the reins of this offense, and while there obviously will be bumps in the road, getting him as much in-game experience as possible only will accelerate the process for the struggling Titans.

Thumbnail photo via Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports Images

TMZ logo

© 2019 NESN

NESN Shows

Partner of USATODAY Sports Digital Properties