Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson new ‘favorites’ to be first QB benched

Field Level Media

September 11, 2023 at 7:52 pm.

Baker Mayfield likely bought himself a decent run as Tampa Bay’s starting quarterback by helping to engineer the Buccaneers’ 20-17 upset at Minnesota in Week 1.

The preseason favorite by SportsBetting.ag at +200 to be the first starting QB benched this season, Mayfield’s odds are now +900 after throwing for a pair of touchdowns while protecting the football.

Ryan Tannehill did neither of those things, throwing a trio of interceptions and no touchdown passes in Tennessee’s 16-15 loss at New Orleans on Sunday. While his odds of being the first signal-caller benched held at +600, he is now the slight favorite.

Second-year quarterback Malik Willis won the Titans’ backup job out of the preseason over rookie second-round pick Will Levis, who was the inactive third “emergency” quarterback on Sunday.

“I don’t know,” head coach Mike Vrabel said Monday when asked why Tannehill struggled so much in Week 1. “I wish that I knew. I wish that I could tell you. We have to be better. Ryan has to be better.

“We have to be better, and we can’t turn the football over. And he’ll respond like he has. He’s been a great competitor for us, and he’s been unbelievably tough and determined and I am positive those results will be different.”

Just behind Tannehill are Denver’s Russell Wilson (+700) and Houston rookie C.J. Stroud (+750). Wilson had been a +5000 longshot before the start of the season, while Stroud was +700.

Wilson threw two touchdowns and was not picked off in the Broncos’ 17-16 home loss to Las Vegas, but he also failed to generate explosive plays. His longest completion was 21 yards, with backup running back Samaje Perine leading the team with 37 receiving yards while backup tight end Adam Trautman caught a team-high five passes.

“I was pleased with the decision making. The key is to be able to run the ball and have the sustained success. We were able to do that at times,” Broncos coach Sean Payton said Monday.

Stroud lost a fumble and failed to produce a touchdown while throwing for 242 yards in a 25-9 loss at Baltimore. The former Ohio State star was also sacked five times and was under constant pressure from the Ravens.

“When it comes to the quarterback being hit, we don’t want our quarterback hit as much. We have to be better,” Texans coach DeMeco Ryans said Monday. “I think overall, as a group in protection, just how are we helping? I thought we had some really good snaps (in) protection at times, but it’s just being more consistent in our protection (and) in our pickups.”

Ryan Tannehill (+600)
Russell Wilson (+700)
C.J. Stroud (+750)
Baker Mayfield (+900)
Sam Howell (+900)
Anthony Richardson (+900)
Kenny Pickett (+1000)
Mac Jones (+1200)
Kirk Cousins (+1400)
Desmond Ridder (+1400)
Bryce Young (+1400)
Jimmy Garoppolo (+1800)
Geno Smith (+1800)
Brock Purdy (+2500)
Matthew Stafford (+2500)
Justin Fields (+3300)
Daniel Jones (+3300)
Derek Carr (+5000)
Jordan Love (+5000)
Joe Burrow (+6600)
Deshaun Watson (+6600)
Jared Goff (+10000)
Dak Prescott (+10000)
Justin Herbert (+20000)
Tua Tagovailoa (+20000)
Trevor Lawrence (+30000)
Aaron Rodgers (+50000)
Jalen Hurts (+50000)
Josh Allen (+50000)
Lamar Jackson (+50000)
Patrick Mahomes (+100000)

The book is still offering odds on all but one team. The Arizona Cardinals lost 20-16 at Washington on Sunday, with recently acquired veteran Joshua Dobbs throwing for 132 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions while filling in for the injured Kyler Murray.