African-American quarterbacks are more prevalent and visible than ever, but the numbers still say that we have a ways to go before they get the same respect and opportunities afforded their white counterparts. Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor said as much before he was benched in favor of a white rookie QB.
So while some football heads believe that the conversation about the African-American quarterback is outdated and not applicable, this week of NFL football featured just eight African-American quarterbacks starting out of the 32 teams playing.
So with all the progress The Black QB has made in the past 15 years, still only 25 percent of the NFL QB positions were filled by one in Week 12. With that in mind, and for those actually monitoring these kinds of numbers, here is a breakdown of the Top 3 performances by African-American quarterbacks this week and the story lines behind why their success is so sweet.
Tyrod Taylors Redemption Road
Two weeks ago, Bills coach Sean McDermott benched starting QB Taylor for unproven rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman despite the fact that the Bills were 5-4 and in the playoff hunt. Taylor has the highest passer rating, completion percentage, adjusted yards per attempt, and the lowest interception percentage in Bills franchise history. The decision couldnt have played out any worse.
Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half and got benched in a 54-24 loss to the Chargers. A few weeks earlier in an interview with the Buffalo News, Taylor hinted at subtle racism as the reason why the Bills’ coaching staff has continuously doubted his ability to lead the team to the next level, despite his success.
Its always going to be twice as bad just because of who I am an African-American quarterback, Taylor says, echoing a familiar refrain among people of color, regardless of professional status. Look across the league, man. Were held to a certain standard. We almost have to be perfect.
Buffalo’s continued disinterest in Tyrod Taylor remains baffling https://t.co/XyV4Xut7BL
On Sunday, Taylor was perfect enough to lead the Bills to a 16-10 win over a tough KC squad, throwing for 189 yards and a TD with no picks. Taylor led the Bills on a touchdown drive in the first quarter, scoring on an 11-yard pass to rookie Zay Jones. Leadership was re-established behind center for Buffalo and McDermott admitted his mistake, even if he hasn’t verbalized it. With the win, Buffalo hangs on to that final AFC Wild Card playoff spot for another week.
Brett Hundley Does His Best Aaron Rodgers Impersonation
Brett Hundley went 17/26 for 245 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs & a 134.3 passer rating Sunday night. #GBvsPIT
When Rodgers went down for the season with a broken collarbone most NFL fans wrote the Packers off. Most thought Hundley, a third-year QB with limited experience, incapable of inspiring the Packers as Rodgers does. Packers HC Mike McCarthy saw something in Hundley who finally showed some dazzling glimpses of his football future on Sunday in a 31-28 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers that he surely couldnt get the blame for this time. Hundley was poised playing on the road and aired out 245 yards and 3 scores. Hes looking like something out there.
Brett Hundley is out here going toe-to-toe with Ben Roethlisberger on a national stage in a hostile environment. Whatever happens tonight, this is impressive. They’re doing something right in Green Bay.
Russell Wilson Continues To Carry the Load
The Seattle Seahawks are decimated with injuries on defense, but Russell Wilson continues to return the favors that his defense did for him in helping him reach two Super Bowls as a young QB in the NFL. Now a true vet, Wilson is finally getting the recognition he deserves for being one of the games elite talents and clutch performers. He flexed his muscle and hustle again on Sunday in a 24-13 win over San Francisco on Sunday as the Seahawks improved to 7-4 in the NFC West. He has 3,029 yards passing yards, 23 TDs and just 8 picks and is well on his way to another 4,000 yard season. The NFL Network crew were touting him for MVP, which is legit. He remains the standard for dual-threat QBs in the NFL.
Russell Wilson for MVP? @PSchrags says he should be in the conversation. : @gmfb https://t.co/IJXV4uubzp
Honorable Mention: It hasnt been pretty, but Cam Newton has gotten the job done for the Carolina Panthers who beat the Jets 35-27 on Sunday and remain tied with New Orleans for first place in the NFC South at 8-3. Despite the drama and the accusations of being sexist and the inconsistencies in his passing, Newton continues to find ways to win, overcome deficiencies in the Panthers offense, adjust and do what it takes to get the W.