In this year’s NFL playoffs there has not been the usual great quarterback play we have seen in previous postseasons. In a league that is so fixated on the position, it’s been rather odd to see guys like Blake Bortles, Case Keenum, and Nick Foles make it all the way to the conference championship games, and in Foles’ case, to the Super Bowl. So, with these nondescript quarterbacks leading their teams so deep into the playoffs, it’s clear that teams no longer need franchise quarterbacks, right? Not so fast. Despite what has happened this postseason, the conference championship games showed us that a team needs good quarterback play to make it to the biggest stage in sports.
Here’s the thing, a team can contend without a transcendent talent at the quarterback spot. If a team has a stellar defense, an excellent supporting cast on offense, and a quarterback that stays out of the way and avoids turnovers that team can go pretty far, but, the teams with the best signal-callers are always going to come out on top.
I know what you’re about to say: “But Chris, Nick Foles is about to quarterback in the Super Bowl and he’s not a great quarterback”. While I agree Foles isn’t exactly an elite guy at the position, he has played very well as of late. I’m not going to try to convince you that Foles is a superstar in the making, but, the guy is making plays when it matters. That’s why his team is going to the big game. While Case Keenum crumbled in the NFC Championship game, and Blake Bortles failed to provide plays in big moments in the AFC game, Foles and Tom Brady were both superb and that is the reason their teams moved on.
Because the NFL is lacking quarterback talent and teams were able to get far this season without good quarterbacks, other teams are going to try to follow the blueprint laid out by the Jaguars and Vikings. The problem is, those two teams are outliers. History has shown us that the best-quarterbacked teams are the ultimate winners. The conference championships once again proved that point.