Pittsburgh Steelers: Mitch Trubisky vs. Kenny Pickett
All indicators from the Steelers’ training camp suggest that Mitch Trubisky is the preferred option to start at the quarterback position. As of now, Trubisky has only worked with the first-team offense, while QBs Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph have split reps with Pittsburgh’s second and third-team offensive squads for most of the week.
Rudolph did split first-team reps with Trubisky later in the week and, by some accounts, actually outperformed the favored choice. Rudolph was the more consistent of the two, while Mitch nearly tossed three interceptions.
A head-to-head comparison with Pickett has been difficult, as he is working almost exclusively with the third-team. Still. Pickett appeared composed and consistent.
So why isn’t Rudolph listed as a potential Week 1 starter on most NFL odds boards? Speculation suggests that he could serve as the measuring stick for Trubisky and allow for a consistent comp when splitting reps with Pickett.
NFL odds currently favor Trubisky getting the QB1 title, but Pickett is well within reach. Do not be surprised to see these odd sudden shifts when Kenny is called to work with the first-team squad, potentially making a strong case for taking over the position.
Steelers starting QB in Week 1
- Mitchell Trubisky -250
- Kenny Pickett +170
Seattle Seahawks: Geno Smith vs. Drew Lock
Per oddsmakers, Russell Wilson’s departure from Seattle has created the most contested quarterback battle in the league, with Geno Smith and Drew Lock vying for the starting position.
Geno Smith is currently favored to take over the duties, with the 31-year-old journeyman getting the majority of reps in camp. Smith joined the team in 2019, giving him an advantage over Lock, who found his way to Seattle via the Wilson trade.
The team has remained tightlipped regarding their preferred option at this point in time, with the Seahawks apparently keeping everything in-house. Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron only answered “Denver” when asked about any potential deadlines to name a starter, in reference to their Week 1 battle against the Broncos.
Waldron noted that Lock had done a nice job of acclimating to the new offense, and while it appears the team will give Lock a fair chance to earn the position, Smith looks to have a slight nod over the new man in town.
The scheduling gods were kind enough to pit Russell Wilson against his former team in Week 1, giving fans the immediate opportunity to compare Seattle’s new QB to “Mr. Unlimited”.
Seahawks starting QB in Week 1
- Geno Smith -175
- Drew Lock +135
Atlanta Falcons: Marcus Mariota vs. Desmond Ridder
After failing to lure in Deshaun Watson, the Falcons brought in former Titan starter Marcus Mariota to take over under center. Mariota has long been favored to secure the QB1 roster slot, a position left vacant after the team traded Matt Ryan to the Colts over the offseason.
Before being named the Falcons Head Coach in 2021, Arthur Smith worked as the Titans’ offensive coordinator. His familiarity with Mariota’s skill set only supports the argument that Marcus will be the signal caller in Week 1.
Still, oddsmakers haven’t completely written off rookie Desmond Ridder, with the third-round pick from Cincinnati currently listed at +550 to get the Week 1 start.
Mariota picked up valuable NFL experience in his time with the Titans, but his move to the Raiders saw him serve as Derek Carr’s backup for two seasons. Entering this season, it has now been more than two years since Mariota last started an NFL game.
The Falcons clearly plan to develop Ridder into their franchise quarterback, and the team has already expressed that both options will see plenty of snaps in the preseason.
Given that next year’s draft class has the potential to feature a promising QB-class, the Falcons will want to test Ridder early to know if he should be worked into their long-term plans or if the team will need to cut bait.
Should Mariota show signs of rust or if his durability concerns appear to carry weight, opting to play Ridder would be in the team’s best short-term and long-term interest.
Falcons starting QB in Week 1
- Marcus Mariota -1200
- Desmond Ridder +550
NFL Quarterback Battle Betting Odds Via BetOnline