The NFL’s quarterback landscape is changing before our very eyes. Ben Roethlisberger is out for the season and Drew Brees will miss several weeks. Awful play led to the benching of Eli Manning.
This is the beginning of the end of an era. Quarterbacks such as Brees, Roethlisberger, and Manning are all reaching the end of their careers.
The quarterbacks we love – and love to hate – are almost out of the league.
While some might find this sad, it also presents an opportunity for the NFL’s youngest stars to show why they will be able to carry this league and maintain our love for it for the next 15 years and counting.
This moment has been arriving in short bursts over the past few seasons, like airplanes landing one by one on a single runway. This week, it arrived in full.
Twenty of the 32 quarterbacks who started in the past week are 26 years old or younger. This is the most in the Super Bowl era, which began in the late 1960s.
For anyone who was worried about the future of football once the likes of Brees, Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Philip Rivers ride off into the sunset, Sunday was your answer. The future is fine.
The youngsters proved they could master the position that takes years to perfect when 10 of the 20 quarterbacks generated passer ratings above 92.9, the 2018 season’s average passer rating, which set the record for the highest single-season passer rating in NFL history.
Twenty-three-year-old Kyle Allen led the way with a 144.4 passer rating, and 26-year-old Dak Prescott just missed the cut with 91.4.
For the past 20 years, we watched Brady and Peyton Manning battle in a war that seemed as if it would never end. We also saw Rodgers emerge as arguably the best-ever thrower of the football until some guy named Patrick Mahomes showed up. Brees finally won his first Super Bowl and so on.
It feels as if we have just gone through the golden age of quarterbacking. We never worried about its end because the end never seemed possible.
What will happen when these quarterbacks leave? Will the NFL ever be the same without those legends? Will Gardner Minshew II wear his awesome suit every week? These are the questions that were answered in the past week.
The youngsters, including Minshew II, definitely hit back with a response that makes all of us football fans excited.
The NFL quarterback is not just the most important position in football, but also the most important position in all of sports. It’s also a position we do not need to worry about for many years to come.
New players come with new rivalries. Who knows? Maybe Lamar Jackson versus Mahomes will be the next Brady versus Manning. And maybe Mahomes could take Rodgers’ spot as the most talented QB ever.
The end of an era for quarterbacks also means the end of one particular quarterback named Tom Brady. The G.O.A.T, the Comeback Kid, and New England’s favorite son will be gone before you know it.
Although very unlikely, maybe we will see players like Mahomes, Jackson, Prescott, and Baker Mayfield step up and grab the title of the greatest.