We’d be lying if we said we saw this coming, but the NFL Preseason is officially over and the best quarterback in the NFL in the month of August turned out to be former Kansas State Wildcat Skylar Thompson.
Of the 32 quarterbacks who had at least 36 passing attempts in the preseason (the amount required to qualify for the leaderboard), only four had a passer rating over 100. In second place was Baltimore’s Anthony Brown at 117.7; Thompson blew that mark away with a rating of 138.4 while also leading the NFL in touchdown passes with five against no interceptions.
Even taking into account the quarterbacks who threw under 36 balls in August — including Miami’s starter, Tua Tagovailoa, who had a very similar 138.6 rating — Thompson was the seventh-most effective passer in the league. He was even two places ahead of one Patrick Mahomes.
Not bad for a seventh-round draft pick most figured was just an afterthought.
Thompson’s preseason, however, now has Miami facing a quandary. The presumptive backup, Teddy Bridgewater, only posted a 67.8 rating and threw no touchdown passes. But Bridgewater has a contract guaranteeing him $6.5 million, so the Dolphins are understandably loath to just cut him. Which leaves Thompson’s status up in the air, a situation about which Miami head coach Mike McDaniel is painfully aware.
Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post reports that McDaniel responded to the conundrum in a very straightforward manner. “I think he’s opened eyes with the way he’s played and you know, it’s made that situation very tricky in terms of whether or not you can try to have them on practice squad or keep them on the 53,” he said.
The issue for the Dolphins is that they obviously want to retain control of Thompson. However, if you’re assigned to the practice squad another team can acquire the player with no compensation.
Unfortunately for those dreaming of Thompson taking over as Tagovailoa’s backup, one can read between the lines here. In discussing the situation, McDaniel clearly views his decision as whether to risk losing Thompson on the practice squad or to keep three quarterbacks; that implies Bridgewater will remain the number two man in the quarterback room.
Final roster cutdowns are due Tuesday afternoon, and we’ll know then what the Dolphins have decided.
K-State went 9-1 over three matches this weekend — and scored 25 points in all ten sets — at the K-State Invitational at Bramlage. Early Friday, the Cats swept Sam Houston State 25-14, 25-22, 25-14, then took a 3-1 match from North Carolina State in the evening session 25-27, 25-14, 25-17, 15-18. Both of those teams beat Florida A&M on Friday, and the Wolfpack took their Saturday meeting with Sam Houston 3-2 to claim second place in the tournament.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, swept Florida A&M on Saturday to claim the title, 25-14, 25-13, 25-16.
After recording 23 kills in the Friday matches and a double-double against North Carolina State, Aliyah Carter took it easy on Saturday and let freshman Shalee Myers have the fun. Myers had 18 kills against the Rattlers after not playing Friday. Elena Baka, a senior transfer from Saint Mary’s, also had a double-double against North Carolina State and was named tournament MVP after recording 26 kills, 19 digs, and six service aces on the weekend.
Next up is another tournament as the Cats travel to Orlando for the UCF Challenge this weekend. Syracuse will be the Thursday opponent, followed by North Florida on Saturday and the hosts on Sunday. K-State holds a 4-1 record all-time against the three schools combined, so they may just come out of the weekend at 6-0.
The Wildcats fell 2-1 at Texas-San Antonio on Sunday as the Roadrunners got the winner off a 20-yard blast from Sasjah Dade in the 88th minute after K-State was unable to clear during a furious attack. UTSA struck first early as Kiran Singh scored in the seventh minute off a direct corner. Kyler Goins equalized in the 58th minute off a pass from Caylee Thornhill; it was the first goal allowed by the Roadrunners (3-0-1) this season.
The loss drops the Wildcats to 1-2-1. They’ll be in Utah on Thursday to take on Weber State in the final game of this early season road trip.