We've seen plenty of players take the next step this NFL season, but three quarterbacks stand out: the Seattle Seahawks' Geno Smith, Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts and Miami Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa. The latter two are in their third pro seasons and have developed slowly over the past few years before taking a big leap in 2022 -- although Hurts is currently out with a shoulder injury, and Tagovailoa is in the NFL's concussion protocol. Smith is having an improbable season after serving as a backup for multiple years and flopping with the Jets -- his Week 17 opponent -- as a starter in 2013-14.
No matter how they got here, something is definitely different for all three passers. We took a closer look, with NFL analyst Matt Bowen breaking down the tape and picking out three things that have contributed to breakout seasons for Smith, Hurts and Tagovailoa. Then we pitched a big question for each quarterback to our NFL Nation reporters, before closing with what each signal-caller's next contract might look like, courtesy of NFL Insider Dan Graziano.
What has changed in each quarterback's game? What's next for all three of them, and what could they earn when they ink their next deal? Let's dig in, starting with Smith.
Three things Bowen sees on tape