Once again, quarterbacks lead the charge in the NFL


Jalen Flowers, staff writer

Last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished atop the National Football League, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

The eyes of NFL fans were focused on two players in that game — quarterbacks Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.

Quarterback has become the most polarizing position in football, and many expect the quarterback position to be a focal point of the 2021-2022 NFL season. The AFC is led by Mahomes, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson.

Mahomes is a proven player with a championship ring, but Allen and Lamar only have three playoff wins combined. While many believe Allen will be the better of the two quarterbacks, I believe Jackson will take the bigger step forward, putting his name back  in the MVP conversation.

Allen has his superstar wide receiver in Stefon Diggs, who led the league in receptions and receiving yards a year ago. This year the Ravens hope rookie Rashod Bateman out of Minnesota blooms into a franchise player for Lamar Jackson.

At the bottom of the AFC, we have teams like the Jets, Patriots, and Jaguars who took their franchise play-callers in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The #1 overall pick went to the Jaguars, who took Trevor Lawrence after a legendary career at Clemson. The Jets and Patriots followed with Zach Wilson #2 overall and Mac Jones #15 overall.

While Lawrence is one of the most exciting prospects of all time, Wilson has elite arm talent that I believe will put him in the Rookie of the Year conversation. For my bold prediction for the AFC, I believe the Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle connection built by Alabama will be one of the most outstanding duos in the conference, and the Dolphins will finish near the top of the AFC.

The NFC is based on QB’s we have seen dominate the league for ages, such as Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers and the immortal Brady.

Wilson has an unfortunate but unique trend in his career; starting the season off strong and ending it in dissapointing fashion. With a declining offensive line and a mediocre defense, I don’t see the trend changing this year for Wilson.

After a long offseason dispute between Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, the reigning MVP is expected to start week 1. His connection with receiver Davante Adams has led the Packers to a top seed year after year, but they have yet to see a championship together.

If Rodgers does not win his second ring this year, I believe this will be his last year with Green Bay as his relationship with the organization has already reached a boiling point.

As for Brady, the GOAT is not facing many challenges this season. The Buccaneers have the best defense in the league, a great receiving core and one of the most experienced head coaches in the game in Bruce Arians. Brady is looking to repeat for the first time since 2004.

Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields has been shaking up training camp and preseason, however Bears head coach Matt Nagy will start veteran QB Andy Dalton week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams. Fields was my pick for most impressive young QB in the NFC this upcoming season, but this setback leads me to a different conclusion.

For my bold prediction in the NFC,  third year quarterback Kyler Murray will take home the MVP trophy and have his first Super Bowl appearance in 2022.

Now is the time for young QBs to take over, and I believe this year the league will change to the next generation, starting with the quarterback position.