The NFL has finally caught up to the multi-faceted greatness of the Black quarterback. After years of groundwork being laid by Marlin Briscoe, James Harris, Major Harris, Randall Cunningham, Mike Vick, Warren Moon, Steve “Air” McNair, Donovan McNabb, RG3, Cam Newton and the like, the term “Black quarterback” will soon no longer be needed.
For the first time in history African-American males are being allowed to lead teams within offenses that encourage their unique skill sets rather than suppress them.
Look no further than the Pro Bowl, where Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are backups and Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson are starters, to see the obvious change in NFL quarterback culture.
With that being said, these guys should be celebrated on The Shadow League’s Top 5 Black Quarterbacks list for this season.
- Lamar Jackson has not only made a fool out of all doubters, he’s been anointed the leader of a new era of Black dual-threat quarterbacks that have taken over the NFL. That which was previously not understood and accepted by NFL power brokers is now being lauded as the future of the game.
Jackson’s ability to run (he broke Michael Vick’s single season rushing record) and pass (league-leading 36 TDs) has made the Ravens almost unstoppable on offense. They have the best record in football at 13-2 and are Super Bowl favorites at this juncture.
There have been many quarterbacks who paved the way for LJ’s arrival, including the guys who sit at No. 2 and No. 3 on the Top 10 Black Quarterbacks of 2019 list.
— GMFB (@gmfb) December 23, 2019
2. Patrick Mahomes II isn’t going to throw for the 50 TDs and 5,089 yards like he did last season with Kansas City Chiefs, but the way he’s fought through some nagging injuries that forced him to miss two games shows that he’s not only a Top 5 talent in the game, but gutsy as well.
He still has 25 TDs and just four picks and Kansas City is 11-4 atop the AFC West. When it comes to the art of passing the rock, Mahomes has few equals. An improved defense has him Super Bowl seeking again.
3. Russell Wilson is the OG of the crop and was compiling himself a lit MVP campaign until Lamar Jackson took off into orbit and and everyone followed. Russ had a couple of subpar games, including on Sunday when he produced less than 180 yards passing in an upset loss to Kyler Murray’s Arizona Cardinals that knocked Seattle into second place behind the San Francisco 49ers.
4. Deshaun Watson rounds out the “Big Four” quarterbacks on this list. Watson’s been an MVP candidate all season and he carried the Texans to an AFC South-leading 10-5 record by using his legs and his dynamic arm to accomplish whatever it is he needs to at the moment.
He was drafted behind underhalded Mitch Trubisky and that decision by the Chicago Bears will forever be considered one of dumbest Draft Day decisions ever made by an organization. He was recently voted best college football player of the decade.
— #ClemsonNFL (@ClemsonPros) December 17, 2019
They are 1-2 in passing yardage. Winston’s 4909 leads the NFL and he’s about to become the second Black quarterback in history to throw for over 5,000 yards in a season. He’s also second in TD passes to Jackson with 31. Winston’s taken about 20 more attempts (602) than the league’s next ranked gunslinger Tom Brady (584) — and he’s thrown an eye-crininging 28 interceptions, so he gives it up just a quick as he gets it. But the boy got talent and that’s undeniable.
Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston is on pace to the be the first NFL quarterback to throw 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in a single season. ? pic.twitter.com/h5SpnVusoZ
— Indiana Giants (@indianagiants) December 23, 2019
Prescott is second in passing yards with 4,599 entering the final week of the regular season. He’s been a bit more efficient (26 TD, 11 picks), but his ineffectiveness in clutch situations has been as perplexing as Winston’s plethora of picks.
Dallas was touted a Super Bowl contender at the beginning of the season and Tampa Bay was expected to take that next step to playoff contention under Bruce Arians.
Both teams are 7-8 and won’t be playing in January. You can say they both underachieved. But at 25 and 26 years old, you have to believe that the best is yet to come for these talented QBs.