Faces of the Future
Faces of the Future
The NFL has had some of the greatest names in sports hold the Quarterback position. Elway. Manning. Favre. Unitas. But with the evolution of the game, where is that coveted position heading? Who are the 20-23 year old kids that are being asked to elevate entire franchises, entire fanbases, to greatness? Let’s highlight a few names across the spectrum of the new kids on the block.
This is going to be a two-fer but needs to be highlighted as a comparison of what running QB’s bring to the table. Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson. Murray easily in the hunt for MVP, Jackson fading. Both have similar skill sets for running the ball, but it seems the NFL has figured Jackson out and his production has decreased. Is Murray next on that road to a decline? I would argue yes, but hey Kyler, ride that wave while you can. Running QB’s shine bright, but burn out quickly. Teams are effectively asking them to do two jobs at the same time and it is massively taxing on their bodies. And defenses figure them out. They get a season or two of tape, and then we see what Baltimore’s offense is dealing with here in 2020. All that said, Kyler is killing it right now and his edge is his arm ability. That kid can sling it! Now if he would just stop carrying that ball like a loaf of bread away from his body when he runs, I will be much happier.
Next up is Josh Allen. Look Buffalo fans, I am going to say something here, and you aren’t going to like it. Sorry, not sorry, but you need to hear it. You are looking at the ceiling for Josh Allen right now in this 2020 season. Bills Mafia is going to take that as a shot, but I assure you it isn’t. Allen is going to be a solid franchise QB. He will win you a Super Bowl. Maybe two. But he will never be more than what you are seeing right now. He is not elite. But he is top tier. He is elusive and has the build to make things happen with his legs and take a beating.
Finally, let’s look at the rookies. Namely Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert. I highlight these two because both were consensus #1 draft picks until Herbert chose to stay in Oregon. Don’t worry, that choice only cost him about $20 million over the course of his rookie deal, but he is in a bigger market in LA than he would have been in Arizona. So let’s call that a wash, but I digress. Chargers are sitting at 2-7, the Bengals at 2-6-1. A lot of holes on both rosters still need to be filled but look at how these two kids are playing! Herbert has kept the Chargers in nearly every game they’ve played losing 6 games by less than a touchdown. Including the Chiefs, the Saints and the Buccaneers. This team could easily be in the playoff hunt this year. And all of that is thanks to Justin Herbert. Joe Burrow threw for 249 and 2 TD’s against the Titans and, fun fact, there was a stat that said when Derek Henry rushes for 100 yards, the Titans were 16-0… Until they played the Bengals. Henry ran for 112 and a TD and they lost. That was Joe Burrow keeping them in the game. Burrow is a top 10 QB right now. No really.. He is. Ranked 10th in passing yards this season. Herbert is 14th. I guess no one told these two kids that their franchises were supposed to be bad and that they couldn’t develop there…
Do these guys feel the pressure? Millions of fans hanging on every snap. Replaying every decision. Criticizing their haircuts for christ sake. What mental fortitude do these athletes possess to withstand the modern era of social media and the unprecedented access to information the fans have effectively making every Tom, Dick and Harry a living room coach or GM? I’ll tell you, do you think ole Johnny Unitas could have played in this information superhighway league we have today? What about Bradshaw? And I’m not saying they couldn’t step in now in their prime and play ball. But to deal with all of the outside noise… You have to place these young kids in a place of respect and admiration. These are the Faces of the Future.
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