Titans QB Will Levis Enters NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year Race

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Written By Evan Scrimshaw | Last Updated
will levis

The NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year race got interesting in Week 8, with a longshot coming in hot. With Texans quarterback CJ Stroud struggling, Titans QB Will Levis managed to take advantage of his opportunities, putting up 8.2 yards per attempt and four TDs in his debut. We’ll see if Levis keeps the job when Ryan Tannehill gets healthy, but it opens the door for a late run at NFL OROY at a big price.

NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds

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Rookie of the Year Odds: Week 8 Takeaways

CJ Stroud struggled again last week, looking much more like his Week 1 self than the QB who beat Jacksonville. A yards per attempt of 5.8 on only 24 attempts and a failure to lead Houston to a victory over Carolina bring back questions. That said, Stroud looked better on a per-play basis, ranking 10th amongst all QBs on Sunday in Dropback EPA.

On the other hand, Rookie of the Year isn’t handed out based on EPA, much as it maybe should. Will Levis put on a show in Tennessee, hitting DeAndre Hopkins for two long TDs among his four passing scores. His role in this market cannot be understated, especially if he gets the job for the rest of the season.

Puka Nacua still deserves to be mentioned too, but his issue is his inconsistency. While he did put up eight receptions for 154 yards two weeks ago, there will be too many 3-43 or 4-26 weeks mixed in to contend earnestly.

And while Falcons RB Bijan Robinson got into the end zone this week, he’s still stuck in a bad offense.

Lions RB Jahmyr Gibbs showed what he can do on Monday Night Football, going for 152 rushing yards and 5.8 yards per carry in victory. His 27-yard touchdown run to put Detroit up two scores was the highlight of the game, and revived some chance of a Gibbs Rookie Of The Year campaign. That is if Dan Campbell doesn’t give David Montgomery the job back when he returns from injury.

And while Bryce Young looked better finally in beating Stroud and the Texans, 15 points scored and a 7.6 yards per attempt is not exactly a performance that brings him back into play for this award.

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Can Will Levis Win Rookie of the year At ()?

Levis showed an arm in Week 8 that’s undeniable, and he combined that with good instincts. Levis was sixth in the league on Sunday in Completion Percentage Over Expectation (CPOE). He completed 69% of his balls when distance and coverage said he should have completed 60%. For someone who took as many deep shots as he did, getting a positive CPOE is a significant accomplishment. Doing so against a Falcons defense that ranked top 10 in the league coming into Week 8 in dropback success rate is even more impressive.

Levis doesn’t need to be spectacular to contend for this if Stroud continues to struggle, and it does seem at least plausible that Houston has been somewhat figured out in recent weeks. Levis is a small underdog in Thursday Night Football odds this week against the Steelers, who are seventh in defensive EPA. If Levis puts in another good performance in primetime, this number will be half his current odds, at least.

Whether he can put it up or not is unclear – this was a one-week audition, after all – but Levis is the best bet right now actually to give Stroud a fight. With Stroud playing the Bucs at home, Houston needs to win, or else there will be increased questions about him.

Stroud remains the favorite for Offensive Rookie Of The Year. Nobody is saying that odds independent this is even a conversation. But if Levis plays well again in primetime and Houston loses with the defense playing well, the prices will shift.

Levis would need to continuously play better than Stroud to win the award, for sure. If Tennessee wins eight games and Houston struggles, the path exists.

Offensive Rookie Of The Year Rankings

This Rookie of the Year ballot is not a predictive exercise. This is where they’d be right now, not where I think they will be at the end of the season. Given the injuries to Achane and Richardson, this list will certainly not reflect thinking later on in the year.

  1. Texans QB CJ Stroud
  2. Rams WR Puka Nacua
  3. Titans QB Will Levis
  4. Falcons RB Bijan Robinson
  5. Lions RB Jahmyr Gibbs

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