3 NFL Quarterbacks Returning Home as Visitors This Season
Following what very well could be the wildest offseason the NFL has ever produced, the league kept the momentum going with some top-notch scheduling. Three of the biggest quarterbacks to be moved could have a chance to beat their former team in their old stomping grounds. One of our pivots could face not one but two ruckus road crowds in Indianapolis and Philadelphia while another starts his season in familiar territory.
Russ’s Colorado Cookin’ Class Stops in Seattle
Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks – Monday Night Football – September 12th
Just four days after the season opener, the NFL buttons up Week 1 with the biggest homecoming on the 2022 schedule. The former face of the franchise, Russell Wilson, will bring some Colorado cookin’ spice for a rotisserie Seahawk recipe back to Seattle.
After 10 seasons, nine Pro Bowls, and a Super Bowl in the Pacific Northwest, Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos from the franchise he made relevant again. Denver gave up their ninth overall pick and a second and fifth from this year’s NFL Draft to go along with a first and second from next year. The Seahawks also received tight end Noah Fant, quarterback Drew Lock, and defensive end Shelby Harris so to say Denver is all-in on Russ would be a massive understatement.
The deal boosted the Broncos’ Super Bowl odds to +1700, the eighth shortest on the futures board, while Wilson’s +1400 odds to take NFL MVP also put him in the eighth hole.
Denver’s fairly lofty season win total of 10.5 has the over at +135 and the under -165. While the juice may suggest going low is the play, Wilson has made a career of proving people wrong.
Grabbing one of those wins early in the former house that Wilson built against the rebuilding Seahawks is very doable. Seattle sits at -650 to make the playoffs and has a season win total of 5.5.
The Broncos are -205 on the moneyline to give Russ his return victory and come in as -4.5 point road dogs.
Will Watson Take the Field in Houston?
Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans – Sunday, December 4th at 1:00 PM ET
No, this isn’t a swerve like the on-again-off-again March trade between Cleveland and Houston. Deshaun Watson will not lead the Texans through the tunnel at NRG Stadium, but there’s a chance he could take the field and be under center with his new teammates.
The Browns paid an even higher price to land their new franchise quarterback than Denver did to bring in Russell Wilson. Cleveland gave up three first-round picks (2022, 2023, 2024), one third-round selection (2023), and two fourth-rounders (2022, 2024). They then signed Watson to a fully guaranteed five-year $230 million deal, with no promise that Watson will see Week 13 in Houston, let alone any other week this season.
The 12th overall pick of the 2017 draft faces 22 civil lawsuits over sexual assaults, and there’s a good chance he will be suspended to start the 2022 season.
Oddsmakers did not wait for the NFL’s disciplinary decision following the trade as Cleveland went from +4000 in the Super Bowl futures market to +1600. Watson’s NFL MVP odds shortened to +2000 from +2500 in some places. FanDuel Sportsbook has the Browns at +1000 to win the AFC and Deshaun at +2500 to win the league’s top individual award.
While there are no odds yet for Watson’s potential return to Houston in December, you can bet he will receive a rough welcome from the Texans faithful after requesting a trade and sitting out all of last season. Don’t be surprised to see this game flexed into primetime if the former Texan suits up.
Wentz Has a Pair of Must-Watch Road Games
The first quarterback that will throw a regular-season pass with a Commanders helmet on should be Carson Wentz unless he’s injured or benched to start the year. Washington traded for the embattled pivot in early March, and Wentz will play for his third team in three years. Washington opens its inaugural season under the new name as host to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1.
While FanDuel Sportsbook has the D.C. team as -4.5 point favorites against the Jags, you will have to flip the calendar to late October to circle Wentz’s first homecoming road game. Although, Carson may have thoughts of revenge after Jacksonville knocked out his Colts in the final game of the 2021 season.
Washington Commanders @ Indianapolis Colts – Sunday, October 30th at 4:25 PM ET
The former Colt will be in Indianapolis facing a team and fanbase whose most recent memory is him dropping a win and in-game in Jacksonville as -14 point favorites. Wentz had a forgettable performance with Indy’s playoff lives on the line. He threw a pick, lost a fumble, and passed for just 185 yards in the 26-11 loss. It was Jacksonville’s third victory of the season.
The 2nd overall pick of the 2016 draft will also get a field view look at his replacement on Halloween weekend as Matt Ryan’s Indy quarterback costume will be the real deal. The long-time Falcons’ QB was dealt to the Colts for a third-round pick and has the chance to make Indianapolis fans forget all about Wentz.
Washington Commanders @ Philadelphia Eagles – Monday, November 14th at 8:15 PM ET
Two weeks after his return to Indiana, Wentz will face a fanbase that never forgives or forgets. The former future of Philly football is well aware of the situation that awaits him after asking for a trade out of the City of Brotherly Love in 2021. Wentz commented on the NFL Network’s 2022 Schedule Release show.
“I’m sure fans will eat that one up, and it’ll be fun and make for a good storyline.”
Part of this primetime storyline is teacher vs. student as former Wentz understudy and the man he was benched for, Jalen Hurts, will lead the Eagles’ offense. The Commanders signal-caller will see his former QB partner twice playing in the NFC East as Washington host the Eagles in Week 3.
Those two head-to-head meetings will have a massive bearing on the race for the division crown. FanDuel Sportsbook has Carson’s Commanders as third on the odds board to capture the East. Washington is at +450, while Philly’s +240 odds are only longer than favorites, the Dallas Cowboys (+105).