Things are going well in Miami. The Dolphins have found a formula with better offensive line play, the sensational running of Jay Ajayi, and opportunistic defense to string together four straight wins. And now, the best news of all: they get a rookie #1 Overall pick in his first start this Sunday at the L.A. Coliseum.
When the Rams decided to go with Jared Goff this week to spark their offense, it symbolizes a new era, for now, in their history. But, it also adds to the list of top draft pick QB’s, who are trying to become the NFL’s next star. It’s a list which has many more failures in their first game than successes.
One obvious point, if you are being drafted #1 overall by an NFL team who kept the pick (I.E. not a team trading up for it) you were the worst team by record in the league the previous year.
So, and these numbers show it, the team is going to be bad, and the QB is likely going to struggle, if not lose his first game, and lots of games his first year.
On Gardner’s list is Bucs QB Jameis Winston’s debut from 2015 in game one in Tampa against the Titans. Jameis’ first pass ever was a pick six by Tennessee and he later threw a second pick six in the blowout loss to the #2 pick QB Marcus Mariota. It was the first time ever that the #1 and #2 picks were QB’s who played each other week one. And, Mariota that day became the first rookie QB in his first start to throw for at least 4 touchdowns and no interceptions in the blowout win.
But, he was the #2 overall.
Also in Gardner’s research, is the incredible stat that the last NINE #1 Overall picks have failed to win their first start. 0-9. Zero wins.
David Carr is the last #1 Overall QB to win his opening start as he and the Texans played their first NFL game, as an expansion team, and won over the Cowboys in ’02.
Since then, distinguished QB’s from Carson Palmer to Eli Manning, to Cam Newton to Andrew Luck (some really good careers in that group) have not won their first start.
So, how will the Cal-Berkley Pac 12 star do in his first game against the Dolphins Sunday?
History says: with the Rams struggling to run with Todd Gurley (who’s also nicked up), Miami playing well on offense and gaining momentum, it’s not likely to be a Hollywood finish for Goff and his team.