Weapons Swap: Who’s better? Watson, Jackson or Mahomes?
As I was scrolling social media, someone brought up a topic about the new age QBs and who is actually better, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, or DeShaun Watson? This will probably be the equivalent of the Peyton Manning, Aaron Rogers or Tomesha, I mean Tom Brady debate. It will go on for a decade, and I might as well throw some gas on the fire. Leggo!
Of course, we see Mahomes in the Super Bowl, and it is well-deserved. But, if we gave Lamar or DeShaun a weapons swap with Mahomes, would they be as successful? On the same theory, would the “ketchup-lover” be as successful with their weapons? These are good questions to ponder. Let’s start with Watson.
DeShaun is a dynamic performer, and while having Mahomes’ weapons would most certainly help, he already has the best hands in the league on his team in DeAndre Hopkins. Subbing a Tyreek Hill for Will Fuller adds a healthier body to throw to but does not tip the scales to Watson over Mahomes. Swapping Damien Williams for Carlos Hyde is a slight upgrade due to speed and shiftiness that Carlos does not have as much of at his age. Adding Travis Kelce would be a major upgrade to the Texans’ offense and, most certainly, makes Watson a better QB. However, as much as I like the standout Texan, his “Achilles heel” is him waiting in the pocked too long to make plays.
With 120 Sacks in the last two seasons, it is clear he needs to stop trying to create so many plays and either toss the ball away or take a page out of Lamar Jackson’s book and run! I have Mahomes and Jackson rated both above him because of that factor. Don’t get me wrong, Watson is a human highlight reel, but I see him just slightly edged out by the other two right now.
Man-crush, 2019, Yessir (Yes, I’m comfortable…)! Lamar took the league by storm in his second season, leading the league in passing TDs (36) QBR (81.9) and had a completion percentage of 64.3 during the regular season. Lamar had another 7-TDs on the ground as well. The guy broke Michael Vick‘s rushing record with ease and will be a thriller for years to come. Imagine him paired with Travis Kelce. We know how Lamar loves his TEs. The 2019 projected MVP has a clear connection with Mark Andrews who leads all TEs on the year with 10-TDs. But, wait! Please hear me out! Add Kelce who led all TEs in receiving yards on the year (1229-yds) and it presents a real problem that not many defenses are equipped to deal with. Ravens fans don’t get all mad. I love “Mandrews” and believe in a year or two, he will be the league’s top TE. I am just throwing hypotheticals out there right now. Relax.
Subbing the bestie, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, for Tyreek would add a slightly more threatening presence on the outside for the deep ball, but the factor here is health. Having a fully healthy burner like Hill making play after play makes Lamar even more dangerous. Year two for AB’s cousin could make me write a retraction, but I’m going to go ahead and say currently Tyreek is better even if they both ended the season with 7-TDs. Someone on twitter was ranting about Lamar not having a second receiver but I had to disagree because I believe Myles Boykin is very capable of balling when given the opportunities.
Catch the 4 down in the playoffs and we’re not looking for a veteran wide receiver. This is good they need some competition.
— philip barker (@phildigital1) January 18, 2020
The problem with that is Lamar has Boykin on his blind side most plays. By the time he gets to the former Notre Dame product, it is his fourth progression. If you watch tape on Lamar, he’s usually locked in on TEs, and if not, he’s running after the second progression.
Boykin does however, get his looks in the RedZone, hence his 3-TDs on the season. With that said, I don’t believe swapping out for Sammy Watkins would make Lamar that much better. Having the extra speed on the outside in Mecole Hardman is tempting, and I think Greg Roman would find a way to force-feed him the ball. Swapping Willie Snead for Demarcus Robinson would be an upgrade considering he’s a do it all type WR, and Willie Snead is just a slot.
There’s a reason the 2018 MVP is going to the SB and it is because of his talent and his team. Let’s remove or replace a few of those weapons and imagine how he would do. We all know Tyreek is that guy who could stretch the field both North, South, East, and West but do the AFC reps for Super Bowl LIV stand to be just as competitive with Marquise Brown or Will Fuller in their place? How about a real challenge? Sure, subbing burner for burner is great and all but what if Kelce was swapped for say Darren Fells? How about the Baltimore O-Line or even worse, Houston’s. Sounds a little scary right?
Here’s an interesting stat about two of the three ballclubs I’m referring to thanks to Jamison Hensley via twitter.
One similarity between the Ravens and the two Super Bowl teams is offensive efficiency. Take a look at NFL’s highest percentage of TDs per drives this season:
1. Ravens 34.9%
2. Chiefs 28%
3. 49ers 27.9%
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) January 20, 2020
It appears the QB with the most to gain via the swaps is Watson, but the player that would be the most explosive with the changes would clearly be Lamar. I say that because of the athletic playmaking ability Lamar has on the ground, making the Ravens the most dangerous turf-attack. Upgrading the Ravens with any of these two teams’ weapons instantly makes the most efficient offense in the league an even more explosive unit. But we have to return to reality.
Mahomes has the arm, the pocket awareness and the playmaking ability that has pushed his team to the SB. The only thing the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens can do is try and duplicate the system/players Andy Reid has in place in hopes of being in the big dance next year.