Thursday, April 18, 2024

We could be set for a Quarterback Golden Era

The NFL 2020 season schedule was announced earlier this week and the opening game on the first Thursday night was announced as a match-up between the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs against the Houston Texans, led by quarterback Deshaun Watson. 

This is a rematch of one of the games of last season in the divisional round of the play offs, when the Chiefs went 24-0 down before scoring 41 unanswered points in a 51-31 victory against the Texans in Arrowhead. 

This also is a battle of two of the league’s best quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.

This game will kick start a season in a league where the quarterback battles in the NFL could go down in history.

Never have we had so many amazing quarterbacks in one league. Mahomes and Watson were both drafted in the first twelve picks in the 2017 NFL draft and have both gone on to excel since. 

The NFL also has reigning MVP in Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks Lamar Jackson who will be wanting to improve on their shock divisional round exit to the Tennessee Titans.

Russell Wilson has won one Super Bowl and has played in another Super Bowl. Despite his younger years being behind him he is still one of the league’s best quarterbacks.

Talking of younger years being behind them, we should not forget the greatest quarterback to ever do it in 42 year old Tom Brady, who has a new home in Tampa Bay. He is only a year and a half removed from winning his sixth Super Bowl and now has greater weapons around him in receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. 

He also now has his old team mate back, with ex-New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski coming out of retirement to join him at the Buccaneers. Brady is certainly not done yet and still has a good year or two left in him to chase greatness and that seventh Super Bowl ring.

Drew Brees may also be in his last year or two, but he is at one of the best teams in the NFL in the New Orleans Saints, my Super Bowl 55 pick. 

He is showing no signs of slowing down but with the potential of getting a second ring in the upcoming season as well as the talk of him being offered a deal to join ‘Sunday Night Football’, we may be seeing the last season of Brees. 

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers may be viewed by his head coach and general manager as reaching the end of his career but he is still capable of magic and is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league. 

Quarterbacks such as Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons will go down as a potential hall of famer, despite the collapse in Super Bowl 51. 

We also have a new influx of quarterbacks who were drafted in the 2020 draft. Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert have all found their teams in the NFL and will add extra firepower to the selection of quarterbacks to choose from in your fantasy teams.

With Mahomes, Brees, Brady, Jackson, Wilson, Rodgers and Watson we could potentially have seven of the best thirty quarterbacks to ever play the game playing at the same time. 

Has this ever happened before? Terry Bradshaw retired the year Dan Marino was drafted and Brett Favre was drafted towards the end of Joe Montana’s career. Montana’s last Super Bowl win was in 1990 whereas Favre was drafted by the Falcons in 1991.

We also saw the Tom Brady v Peyton Manning rivalry take off in 2001, where both quarterbacks played each other 17 times during their illustrious careers, playing each other four times in the AFC Championship game.

Brady may be at the end of his career and may be showing some signs of decline. However as i have said before, he is still a very good player, just not the league’s best as he once was. He still managed to beat Mahomes in the Chiefs’ quarterbacks MVP season in January 2019. 

Have we ever seen this anywhere else? 

Montana and Marino were both playing in the same era but how often have we seen this many great quarterbacks and future hall of famers in the same era? 

Brady, Brees, Rodgers and Wilson are pretty likely to all go to the hall of fame and whilst it is too early to tell with Mahomes, Jackson and Watson, they will all go without a doubt if they continue the way they are going for the next ten years.

We are certainly in an excellent period of time for quarterbacks and we should enjoy every moment we can get in this era.

You think of great sporting eras with the Lionel Messi v Cristiano Ronaldo rivalry in European Football and the Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic era in tennis. 

I believe that we will see the same looking back in ten years time with the careers of Mahomes, Watson and Jackson only just beginning. Add on the potential of recently drafted Tua Tagovailoa and Joe Burrow and we could be on for a golden era for the NFL.

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