- What QB will lead the NFL in interceptions in 2018?
- What veteran pivot offers the most value?
- Youth movement could see new leader emerge this year
It’s a list no quarterback ever wants to be associated with.
Yet, any quarterback that has done anything worth mentioning is on the all-time interception list. Even the greatest QB that has ever laced them up, the immortal Tom Brady, has been picked off 160 times in his career.
Leading the way? Hall of Famer Brett Favre, who is 59 picks ahead of the field with his 336 all-time interceptions thrown.
So don’t look at it as a dishonor, current NFL quarterbacks, as we try to predict this year’s league leader in picks. Think of it as extra bling on your badge of honor.
Most Interceptions Thrown During the 2018-19 NFL Season
|Deshaun Watson, Texans||+500|
|Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers||+550|
|Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins||+550|
|Eli Manning, Giants||+700|
|Cam Newton, Panthers||+800|
|Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs||+1000|
|Philip Rivers, Chargers||+1400|
|Mitchell Trubisky, Bears||+1400|
|Marcus Mariota, Titans||+1500|
|Andrew Luck, Colts||+1800|
|Joe Flacco, Ravens||+2000|
|Kirk Cousins, Vikings||+2500|
|Andy Dalton, Bengals||+2500|
|Blake Bortles, Jaguars||+2800|
|Derek Carr, Raiders||+3000|
Perhaps we’ve lost our collective minds, but are you trying to tell me that Blake freaking Bortles is somehow among the longest shots at leading the league in interceptions? I get it, he guided the Jaguars to the AFC Title Game, but the guy had a career low in interceptions thrown last year, and that was 13, still seventh-worst in the NFL.
The running game is still great, and the defense is ultra-nice, but don’t tell me defenses are not going to stack the box and dare Bortles to beat them from the pocket. He’s thrown 61 picks his first four years. At some point, you are what you are. Was 2017 the outlier, and does the real Bortles return? We’ll see.
If I had some hard earned capital to lay down, it would be with the checkbox next to this dude. Sure, Rivers is automatic for 4,000 yards and 25 majors, but he puts them up for grabs with the best of them. He had a great season last year: only 10 interceptions, and three of them came in one absolutely brutal game against the Chiefs, snatching defeat from the hands of victory.
Prior to that, he’s been first, T-ninth and T-first in the NFL in picks the last three seasons.
I’m surprised that any interception leader odds doesn’t have Manning at least tied for the lowest odds with Deshaun Watson (umm, why Deshaun Watson?) and the field (+500). In the last five seasons, there is literally only one quarterback that has lived in the top nine: Eli Manning – including 2013, when he lit the league on fire with 27 giveaways on his own. He’s thrown 16 or more picks in seven of his 14 seasons. Put some (dis)respeck on his name!
In the Mix
Unfortunately, second-year man DeShone Kizer won’t get a chance to defend his interception crown, unless Aaron Rodgers and Brett Hundley go down with injuries, and Kizer takes the reins, assuming he wins the third string job out of camp. Dare to dream!
So what young guy breaks through? I’d go with the Bears’ signal caller of the future. He threw just seven INTs in 330 attempts last year, but he only averaged around six yards a pop. New head coach Matt Nagy brings his gun-slinging offence from KC, and Trubisky is going to have to stretch the field. I don’t know if this ends well.
The Value Vet
Now, if you’re looking for major ROI, you should be looking at Baltimore, where the situation is ripe for Joe Flacco to go out in a blaze of interceptions. The guy has thrown 74 interceptions the last five seasons and his regression from Super Bowl MVP pivot to below average check-down artist has been harsh.
Only once in the last five years has he not been in the top nine, and his heir apparent, the electric-but-raw Lamar Jackson, might need another year of grooming. Baltimore will be average enough for the Ravens to have an outside shot at competing, which should keep Flacco under center. At +2000 odds, his abysmal play could land you a hefty payday.