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Factoid

Bo Nix

Nix's sneaky touchdown potential

It won’t surprise me if Bo Nix leads the rookie quarterbacks in touchdown passes. I think he’s going to play right away, and he’s got Sean Payton dialing up the plays.

I don’t consider this to be a controversial take. There were five other quarterbacks selected in the first round, and I don’t think three of them will be playing in Septemer – Michael Penix and Drake Maye for sure, and probably not J.J. McCarthy. Jayden Daniels and Caleb Williams are the most compelling rookie quarterbacks overall, for that’s fueled in part by their running ability. If we’re looking at just touchdown passes, then I think Nix might outproduce those guys.

The Broncos ran a conservative, run-oriented offense last year, but they tended to turn to the pass inside the red zone. That offense finished with 28 touchdown passes versus only 8 rushing touchdowns, the 2nd-most lopsided ratio in the league. If we flip back to Payton’s last previous offense, I see similar numbers (29 TD passes versus only 12 touchdowns rushing).

Neither of those previous Payton teams had great quarterbacking. The 2021 Saints, that was post-Brees, with Jameis Winston struggling for a month before they pulled him. And Payton and Russell Wilson didn’t click last year. It’s reasonable, I think, to wonder whether Nix might be better than Wilson right now (at running Payton’s offense anyway).

For the 2021 and 2023 seasons, Payton’s teams have scored 74 percent of their touchdowns on pass plays. That’s more than all but two teams.

TOUCHDOWNS COMING ON PASS PLAYS ('21 & '23)
TeamPassRunTotalPct
Minnesota64178179.0%
Green Bay71239475.5%
Sean Payton57207774.0%
Tampa Bay71269773.2%
Houston48186672.7%
Dallas762910572.4%
Kansas City65259072.2%
LA Rams67289570.5%
New Orleans57258269.5%
Cincinnati63289169.2%
LA Chargers62299168.1%
Denver48247266.7%
Seattle53298264.6%
Las Vegas43256863.2%
NY Giants30184862.5%
Washington45277361.6%
Buffalo654210760.7%
Atlanta37256259.7%
NY Jets31215259.6%
Pittsburgh36266258.1%
Detroit53399257.6%
Miami51399056.7%
Cleveland45358056.3%
New England40337354.8%
San Francisco594910854.6%
Chicago35306553.8%
Arizona45408552.9%
Carolina27245152.9%
Indianapolis45418652.3%
Jacksonville34306552.3%
Baltimore48449351.6%
Philadelphia44479148.4%
Tennessee36397647.4%

—Ian Allan

Fantasy Index