Coming into the year, the hope was that “The Jersey” would only have one more name added to it this year: DeShone Kizer. Alas, it appears that the winds of change that blow on the starting quarterback position got another gust this week. Head Coach Hue Jackson has decided that Kevin Hogan, who has been the backup quarterback every week this season, will be the starter for Sunday’s matchup against the Houston Texans. Hogan has appeared in three games this season, all in substitution of Kizer, throwing for 481 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions while completing 68.4 percent of his throws.
The decision to sit Kizer and start Hogan comes from a combination of the rookie Kizer’s lackluster play and Hogan’s ability to play better in the offensive system Jackson has in place. Jackson was quoted as saying, “I’ve made the decision to start Kevin this week. We’ve liked what Kevin has been able to do within our offense when he’s been in there and he will start on Sunday because that’s what we feel is best for our team at this point in time. This does not change the way we feel about DeShone going forward. He has worked extremely hard and still very much has a bright future. Right now, it’s better for him and his development to back up Kevin.”
There has been no mention if Kizer will be able to play himself back into the starting role this season.
While Hogan has been able to come in and perform, one has to question the decision to sit Kizer now. Coming into the year and off of an undefeated preseason, the team presented promise and hope for fans that has been pulled out from underneath. Kizer has not performed up to his expected ability this season, throwing for 851 yards in five games along with three touchdowns and nine interceptions. He beat out veterans Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler in the preseason while Hogan got little run at quarterback. Kizer was named the starter for the regular season, but unfortunately, has regressed each week as the season has gone on.
Starting Hogan does present a quarterback who is better suited to play in the offense Jackson wants to run. He has the ability to get the ball out quicker than Kizer has shown (one of the biggest issues Kizer has had to this point) and seems to understand the nuances of a timing route better than the rookie. Hogan played in the West Coast style offense Jackson runs in college and seems to be the better fit if winning games is the goal of the season, rather than letting Kizer take his licks and develop bad habits in the starting job. As always, we will see where the winds of change push the team, but this is a move that was made for the betterment of the win-loss record, something we can all agree is a good thing.