With three weeks of the 2021 NFL season in the books, it is time for a little bit of analysis. The NFL is full of superstars, but no one is a success on their own. Every single player has a dynamic supporting cast, Aaron Donald is incredibly disruptive on the defensive line, but if he was rushing alone, he would not get anywhere. Justin Tucker just broke the record for the longest Field Goal ever, but without the offense getting him into position, he cannot make that almost impossible kick. The main spotlight though remains on the Quarterback and his supporting cast. With new faces in new places every year, we look at the new Quarterback and Wide Receivers combinations giving us the caped crusader realness.
Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp – The LA Connection
We all knew what we had in Matthew Stafford, a truly elite Quarterback with a subpar supporting cast. In Detroit, Stafford played with some incredible players such as Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh, however the team was never at a level to truly contend. To flip that, LA was a contender, however Jared Goff had taken them as far as they could go. It is all well and good in hindsight to say that had they had Stafford in the Superbowl they would be Champions, however based on their individual resumes, it is hard to argue against the idea.
In the offseason, Sean McVay knew he had to pull the trigger, as Stafford had made the trade request and we knew he would not start the season in Detroit. The trade happened and the former Lion arrived in Inglewood at SoFi Stadium for the next stage of his career.
The LA Rams, for the past few years anyway, are defense first, and during Goff’s tenure this had always delivered a level of success. The problem is the offense could not keep pace with the dominance on the other side of the ball. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are both solid possession receivers, however it is the latter who has developed the early relationship with his new Quarterback. Through 3 games Kupp has gone for 367 yards and 5 touchdowns, this puts him on pace for over 2000 yards receiving and 29 Touchdowns, breaking both the sitting records. Now this production is likely to slow down, but in his new house, Batman has found his Robin.
Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase – Go Bengals
Well, this was bound to happen wasn’t it, as soon as Chase declared for the draft, we knew that he was destined for Cincinnati. Burrow’s favourite target during their historic championship run at LSU had all the of the promise in the world, and then we watched him in preseason. Honestly, he looked out of his depth, misquoted about difficulties in catching the balls and had a bad case of the dropsies. This Dynamic Duo looked more like the villains than the heroes.
How wrong we all were! As soon as the season started, Chase reminded us of two things, firstly he is Burrow’s favourite target. Secondly the man can play football. It is almost like preseason was a nightmare that did not happen, because he is now lighting up the league with his favourite Quarterback. Burrow has started somewhat poorly in terms of looking after the ball, with 4 picks through 3 games. Of the 7 Touchdowns he has thrown however, Chase has caught 4 of them, and they look like they are just getting started. The Bengals are beginning to roar into life.
Sam Darnold and DJ Moore – Fresh Starts in Charlotte
Right, so I do not want to say I told you so, wait who am I kidding, of course I do. I TOLD YOU SO!
Sam Darnold was never a bust, Adam Gase is the bust as a Miami Dolphins fan I can say that with definitive certainty. Very early it was easy to see that he had no help in New York, outside of Robby Anderson, who left as soon as he could. With no help in Gotham naturally Darnold floundered struggling to build any momentum that his obvious talent could.
Enter Matt Rhule.
The Head Coach had previously spoken to Sam Darnold when he interviewed for the New York Jets top job before landing in Carolina and from then on he has said in interviews, if the time came when he needed a Quarterback and Sam was available he would make the trade. Many, including myself, assumed Darnold would hit the ground running with his favourite target Robby Anderson, however while the connection is still there, DJ Moore seems to be the Boy Wonder to Darnold’s Caped Crusader. Already on the season Moore has 285 yards and although he has only caught 1 Touchdown he is the target moving the chains for the Panthers offense. To put his importance to the movement of the offense into perspective, he is 8th in total receiving yards, however his longest reception is 29 yards, a full 13 yards lower than anyone else in the top 10. It is almost ironic that Darnold has to leave Gotham in order to find his inner Batman, but this new connection is already strong and the Panthers look dangerous.
Quick reminder, I TOLD YOU SO!
Teddy Bridgewater and the Denver Broncos Receivers – The Whole Bat Family
When Teddy B was brought into Denver to compete with Drew Lock for the starting job, every Football was saying the same thing. Please win the job. The Denver Broncos have much potential but have been held back by average at best Quarterback play. A nightmare matchup for anyone who comes to town, they can win the tough ones just as easily as they lose the straightforward ones. That can be down to a number of things, however as per usual most of the blame went onto the shoulders of the Quarterback. Following his selection in the First Round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bridgewater has been on 5 different teams, however when given the opportunity in both New Orleans and Carolina had proven to be a decent option under centre.
When Carolina went after another First Rounder in Sam Darnold, Bridgewater was moved on via trade to Denver and having lost his job as starter, decided he would win this one instead. Now then, this article is discussing new dynamic duos, however Denver has such a deep and rich group of pass catchers that it honestly feels like he is playing with the whole Bat Family. If we say that to be the Robin to the Quarterbacks Batman you need to be named the number 1 starter, well then they do not have one. They work on a next man up mantra and it means that most of the group are stars. Tim Patrick, Courtland Sutton, KJ Hamler and Jerry Jeudy to name just a few could start on most teams in the NFL and yet they are all in Denver. If Bridgewater is to succeed, you cannot get much more dynamic than Denver.
Brandin Cooks and Whoever is Under Centre – The Robin Show
It does not matter who is under centre or how hyper focused defenses are on him, you do not stop Brandin Cooks. There is unrest in Houston, significant unrest and while many are leaving for greener pastures, some have stuck around for the beginning of the rebuild, my thoughts on which can be found here. He is playing this year with an underrated, if often injured veteran and a 3rd Round Rookie. You would be forgiven for thinking that surely nothing can come from this situation, however you would be wrong.
Cooks has posted 322 yards with 1 Touchdown, this puts his 3rd in yardage only behind Cooper Kupp and Deebo Samuel. Both Quarterbacks above him play for contenders with a strong supporting cast, whereas Cooks is realistically the biggest name on the offensive roster. Regularly teams focus in on Cooks and at an average of 107.3 yards per game, this does not seem to matter. He will keep catching balls regardless who is throwing them, however without a doubt in this scenario, Cooks is the Batman.
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