Remember when the NFL was promoting quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, etc.? Well now, we have guys like Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen, etc. There was a time when quarterbacks who were able to stand in the pocket and plant their feet to make throws would be unstoppable. However, with the way defensive coordinators have been able to apply pressure and blitz quarterbacks, being able to use your legs is now a key factor. With the way football has transitioned, we see guys like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers quickly decline against defenses who like to bring pressure. With the new generation of quarterbacks, it’s safe to say the NFL’s future is in safe hands when it comes to bringing exciting quarterback matchups. Even exciting games in general.
Remember when people wanted to see Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady, or Ben Roethlisberger vs. Joe Flacco, or even Matt Ryan vs. Drew Brees? Well now it’s Josh Allen vs. Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow vs. Patrick Mahomes, and even Justin Herbert vs. Patrick Mahomes. The excitement when watching these quarterback matchups are what bring the fire for the NFL. There will always be the rooted history for team against team rivalries, but quarterback “rivalries,” are just different. Especially when both quarterbacks are at their best when playing against a specific team and quarterback. We saw that thriller game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills in the 2021 AFC Divisional Game, Patrick Mahomes threw for 378 yards, three touchdowns, was 33-of-44 on completions/attempts, while Josh Allen threw four touchdowns, 329 yards, and was 27-of-37 on completions/attempts.
A complete game between quarterbacks is when they put up big numbers with very few turnovers, and that’s what brings the excitement to the NFL. We see the hype between quarterback matchups, especially in the playoffs, I mean look at the hype for the AFC Championship Game between Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes. Matchups like these bring the best and worst out of fans and the media, but it brings out the most electric atmosphere for game day. Football fans have truly been blessed to watch young talent take over, guys like Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, even Kenny Pickett have shown they can have solid games one week, but a bad game the next, that comes with transitioning into the NFL. Even though some quarterbacks can have a bad week, it’s the next week that matters with whether they can bounce back from a terrible game and be able to step up and play lights out. The way teams have been able to surround their quarterback with weapons and protection is what elevates a quarterback’s game.
Even the way teams have brought in the right coaches for their quarterbacks is what makes the growth of a quarterback rise upwards. We’ve seen how coaching can affect quarterbacks, one specific example being Justin Herbert, with Joe Lombardi being the Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator. You could tell that even with the lack of weapons, Herbert’s growth was not what it was expected to be for the 2022 NFL season. However, it’s easy to realize if a quarterback is impacted by the guys surrounding him because they either have success or don’t. Quarterbacks are lethal when they have all the right attributes; the strong arm, high football IQ, mobility, and sharp accuracy. It’s hard to find the perfect quarterback, but it’s not impossible.
Even though the NFL is a business, we are able to see how some quarterbacks are not phased by just making money, they are driven by the want to win and to play at a competitive level. This is a similar aspect from the quarterbacks during the 2000s and even the 2010s. The NFL, specifically the media, has done a decent job at either creating heroes or villains of the NFL. One thing that won’t take the fun from being an NFL fan is how electric the quarterbacks play and prove people wrong.