Jared Goff is rebooted.
Deshaun Watson is rolling.
Mitchell Trubisky is just getting started.
And Eli Manning is looking to finally get his team in gear.
Those are four of the quarterbacks preparing for big Week 5 home games as the NFL season heads into its second quarter.
The Rams head into a big divisional showdown with the Seattle Seahawks coming off a huge win at Dallas, in large part because of the play of Goff, who has been the best quarterback in the NFC West and among the best in the league. This comes after the top pick in the 2016 draft went 0-7 as a starter last fall.
Houston rookie Watson — whose team plays host to Kansas City — is fresh off a 57-14 pounding of Tennessee in which the former Clemson star threw for four touchdowns and ran for a fifth as his team scored the most points in club history. That was Watson’s third start for the 2-2 Texans, who opened the season with Tom Savage at quarterback before making the switch.
Watson said he is “just growing with my confidence.”
“Being able to operate and run this offense, making sure we're in the right plays and just bringing the energy and leadership to this team,” he told reporters. “And I try and do that each and every play, make sure we're in the right play and just kind of continue to grow from there.”
In Chicago, Trubisky is hoping to make the same kind of splash. The Bears play host to Minnesota on Monday night, with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2017 draft making his starting debut. The Bears are 1-3, and Trubisky will replace Mike Glennon, who had five interceptions and three lost fumbles in the first quarter of the season. The Bears were hoping to “redshirt” Trubisky this season, seeing as he started just 13 games during his North Carolina career. With Glennon’s struggles, that was a luxury Chicago couldn’t afford.
Meanwhile, Manning is determined to break through for the 0-4 New York Giants. Across the field will be someone in a familiar spot. The Giants are playing host to the winless Chargers, led by a similarly frustrated Philip Rivers.
Rivers and Manning, both in the 2004 draft class, are forever linked. Manning was selected No. 1 by the San Diego Chargers that year, even though he and his dad warned the franchise he wouldn’t play there. When he was chosen, he refused to even wear a Chargers hat on stage. The Giants took Rivers fourth overall, then made a swap with San Diego for Manning.
Both the Chargers and Giants are in desperation mode.
“It’s fight or flight time,” Giants coach Ben McAdoo told reporters Monday, a day after his team fell to Tampa Bay on a last-second field goal. “We have talented men of integrity in the locker room. It’s not going to be easy. But we have to go out there and we have to fight. I expect us to fight.
“We have character in the building upstairs and down. I expect us to go out there and fight. The biggest thing that I get concerned about is guys going numb. We can’t go numb. Can never accept this. You got to fight through it. You got to work for that first one. Work for the first win.”
What kind of rebounders are the Miami Dolphins?
Sunday’s game against Tennessee will tell us, as the Dolphins are coming off a 20-0 loss to New Orleans in London. Miami started last season 1-4 before recovering, winning nine of 11 and qualifying for the playoffs.
“It gives us that sense that there's no need to panic,” receiver Kenny Stills said of that experience. “We understand that the schemes that we're running in the run game take a little bit of time for our guys to get on the same page.
“We know that we have players, we know that we have talent, and we know that we have great coaches so we just have to get back to the basics and fundamentals of things and execute the game plan every week, and we'll get back on the right track.”
Even though the defending Super Bowl champions have future Hall of Famers at the helm in Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the Patriots are hurting on defense. Coming off Sunday’s shocking home loss to Carolina, they have surrendered 33 or more points in three of four games. New England has allowed each of the four quarterbacks it has faced to throw for at least 300 yards.
With the Patriots playing at Tampa Bay on Thursday, Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston must be licking his chops.
Follow Sam Farmer on Twitter @LATimesfarmer