NFL rookie QB Tracker: Young gets first win, Levis debuts

ByKalan Hooks ESPN logo
Tuesday, October 31, 2023

With ten weeks to go in the NFL season, rookie quarterbacks are starting to get a taste of what winning feels like.

Bryce Young and the Carolina Panthers secured their first win of the season over C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans, snapping their six-game losing streak. Will Levis had an impressive debut for the Tennessee Titans, but Tyson Bagent's performance couldn't lift the Chicago Bears over the Los Angeles Chargers. Meanwhile, Tommy DeVito was able to get his feet wet in his first minutes of NFL action.

Here's what the NFL's leaders of the new school did in Week 8:

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

2023 draft selection: Round 1, Pick 1

Game result: 15-13 win vs. Texans

Stat line: 22-for-31, 235 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 42.4 QBR

In the first quarter, the Panthers offense responded to a Texans touchdown when Young connected withTommy Tremble to get on the board.

The nine-yard play was Carolina's sole touchdown of the game, but wasn't the only time Young helped to put the team in scoring position.

The rookie showed his poise on a 15-play, 86-yard drive that set upEddy Pineiro's go-ahead, 23-yard field goal that earned the Panthers their first win of the season and Young's first career victory.

Up next: Young and the Panthers will look to duplicate their execution in Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS).

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans

2023 draft selection: Round 1, Pick 2

Game result: 15-13 loss vs. Panthers

Stat line: 16-for-24, 140 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INT, 72.2 QBR

Stroud and the Texans' offense struggled against Carolina, but he still managed to reach the end zone.

His first career rushing touchdown came on a fourth and goal conversion that gave the Texans a lead they retained for most of the second half.

Stroud still holds the most yards among rookie signal callers through Week 8 with 1,800 yards and nine touchdowns.

Up next: Stroud and the Texans will attempt to bounce back on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

Will Levis, Tennessee Titans

2023 draft selection: Round 2, Pick 33

Game result: 28-23 win vs. Atlanta Falcons

Stat line: 19-for-29, 238 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, 60.9 QBR

Levis' NFL debut started on a positive note with a 47-yard touchdown toDeAndre Hopkinsto mark his first NFL touchdown.

Entering Week 8, the Titans only had three passing touchdowns, which was the least by any team in the NFL. In his first showing under center, Levis matched and surpassed the team's total in touchdowns. He also became the fifth player in NFL history to have his first three career touchdowns go to the same receiver in the same matchup.

Up next: If Ryan Tannehill isn't able to take the field, Will Levis will start on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers (8:15 p.m. ET, Prime Video)

Tyson Bagent, Chicago Bears

2023 draft selection:Undrafted free agent

Game result: 30-13 loss vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Stat line: 25-for-37, 232 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, 23.0 QBR

The Bears' offense had a rough night against the Chargers. Bagent fumbled and threw an interception during the same drive, which allowed the Chargers to take an early 17-0 lead.

On a positive note, Bagent had a 67.6% completion rate and scored a rushing touchdown in one of his four carries.

Up next: Bagent and the Bears will take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Tommy DeVito, New York Giants

2023 draft selection:Undrafted free agent

Game result: 13-10 loss vs. New York Jets

Stat line: 2-for-7, -1 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 15.2 QBR

The path for DeVito's debut came in the second quarter, when Giants QB Tyrod Taylor, who was filling in forDaniel Jones, left the game with an apparent injury to his rib cage.

Trailing the Jets, 7-3 in the third quarter on third and goal, DeVito faked a handoff to Saquon Barkley for a six-yard rushing touchdown to give the Giants the lead. DeVito became the first Giants QB with a rushing touchdown in his NFL debut since 1950.

DeVito's performance included 24 consecutive handoffs in an interesting matchup where the two teams combined for more punts than points.

Up next: DeVito will stay prepared for action against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET FOX)

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