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One analyst predicts 4,000 passing yards for Brian Hoyer

Brian Hoyer has had some good games the past three years, but the big question is if he can stay healthy.

The San Francisco 49ers will be starting Brian Hoyer at quarterback this season, and the decision has not gotten a lot of praise. People aren’t slamming the decision, and there is a belief he is a good fit for this offense. But he is viewed by most as a bridge quarterback until the 49ers figure out a long-term option analyst Elliott Harrison thinks we could see some fireworks from Hoyer this season. He put together a look at one bold prediction for each NFC team. For the 49ers, he predicted Brian Hoyer would throw for at least 4,000 yards. Here’s what he had to say with the prediction.

Kyle Shanahan developed an offense that pushed Matt Ryan from viable franchise quarterback to MVP of the league in 2016. Does that mean he can work wonders with Brian Hoyer? Perhaps not, but how much does he need to? While Hoyer has never been one of the NFL's premier quarterbacks, it isn't a stretch to say his career was unfairly marred by one dreadful playoff appearance in Houston. Hoyer was averaging well over 300 yards per start with the Bears last season in the four starts before he was hurt in the Packers game in October. He's smart enough to know where to go with the football, and he should benefit from Shanahan's penchant for getting everyone involved (particularly the RBs). With the proper offense, Hoyer might be better than everyone thinks, and certainly not the quarterback they saw in one wild-card game in the 2015 playoffs.

We have seen passing yardage totals inflate in recent years. Ten years ago, five quarterbacks surpassed 4,000 yards. Last season, 13 did so. Passing games have opened up even further as rules have changed to benefit offenses. That’s not to say a bad quarterback will throw for 4,000 yards, but it does not always take an elite-level quarterback anymore.

Recently, put together odds on who will throw for the most passing yards this season. Drew Brees led the way at 3/1 odds, followed by Tom Brady at 6/1, Derek Carr and Aaron Rodgers at 8/1, and Matt Ryan at 10/1. Kirk Cousins came in at 16/1. Brian Hoyer showed up at 100/1. Other quarterbacks in that group were Mike Glennon, Jared Goff, Cody Kessler, Josh McCown, Trevor Siemian, Alex Smith, and Tyrod Taylor. Mitchell Trubisky and DeShaun Watson brought up the rear at 200/1 odds.

Hoyer has had a surprising amount of success when healthy. Last season in Chicago, he appeared in six games with five starts. In Weeks 3 through 6, he threw for more than 300 yards in each game. In Week 7, he started the game but left after breaking is arm.

In 2015, Hoyer made nine starts, and appeared in two additional games for the Houston Texans. Over his 11 appearances, he averaged 236 yards per game. Over 16 games that would have resulted in 3,790 games. In 2014, with Kyle Shanahan in Cleveland, Hoyer made 13 starts and an additional appearance off the bench. In his 13 starts, he threw for 3,192 yards. Projected out over 16 games, Hoyer would have thrown for 3,928 yards.

Injuries have been the big issue. The ability seems to be there to get over 4,000 yards, particularly in a reunion with Kyle Shanahan, but can he stay healthy long enough to do it? Rather than poll y’all about how many yards he’ll throw for, I thought it made more sense to see if people think he will last the entire season as starter.


How many regular season games will Brian Hoyer start in 2016?

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  • 6%
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