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History on Wilson’s side to have a bounce-back year

History shows that quarterbacks who changed teams and then struggled their first year with that team, generally have bounced back well in year two.

DENVER BRONCOS, NFL Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post

Good morning, Broncos Country!

Last night I joined Quinten Krzysko of the “Shaving Points Podcast” (an NFL-centric podcast) in its broadcast to preview all the AFC West teams.

And Krzysko had an interesting stat he had culled after sifting through some data.

Given that we were going to talk about Russell Wilson and the prediction of whether the QB would bounce back this season after a statistically terrible 2022 campaign, Krzysko wanted to know how many quarterbacks, who had struggled in their first season with a new team, bounced back to have a good second year.

And you’ll be happy to know that the odds are in Wilson’s favor.

By searching for QBs with new teams who struggled the first year with that new team, Krzysko came up with the following cast of characters - Trent Green (2001); Matt Cassell (2009); Jay Cutler (2009); Carson Palmer (2013); Kirk Cousins (2018); Jared Goff (2021).

Although this is not a list of Hall-of-Fame-level quarterbacks, it does seemingly show crucial improvement.

Of that group of six, all had winning seasons the second year, with the average win percentage going up from 40 percent to 66 percent. And only two failed to make the playoffs with their new teams in the second year - Jared Goff and Trent Green. And finally, of those six, four quarterbacks had a new coach in that second year. Only Green and Palmer had the same coach as their first year on the new teams.

Predicting why such a dramatic shift in performance from year one to two occurred would be a mistake. It’s likely different for each QB and no doubt includes a combination of factors.

But to opine that a new coach with a better scheme, combined with a rock star QB being humbled by his previous season’s poor performance, is a big reason behind the improvement is probably not far off the mark.

And that combo being a factor bodes well for Russell Wilson having the bounce-back year under Sean Payton that we all hope for.

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