If there’s something the now-traditional Thursday opener confirmed us, it’s that the NFL remains to be very a lot a quarterback-driven league
That Brady remains to be slinging passes — and successful championships — is as exceptional as it’s marvelous. His mere presence in Tampa Bay made the Bucs reputable contenders final 12 months, and the remainder of the workforce fortunately jumped on his again on a Tremendous Bowl run that solidified his legacy and put an finish to the query of whether or not quarterback or his coach was chargeable for all of the titles in New England.
If there’s something the now-traditional Thursday opener confirmed us, it’s that the NFL remains to be very a lot a quarterback-driven league. Brady did what was wanted to beat a spirited Dallas workforce, although Cowboy followers needed to really feel fairly good themselves after Dak Prescott threw the ball 58 occasions — finishing 42 of them — to offer Dallas the lead earlier than the inevitable occurred with the ball again in Brady’s palms.
As the brand new NFL season unfolds, there are intriguing quarterback tales across the league, together with in Los Angeles the place the Rams despatched the quarterback who was supposed to guide them for the following decade to Detroit in change for a passer who toiled for the Lions for a dozen years with out successful even one playoff recreation.
There’s additionally a crop of rookie QBs who gained’t have to attend lengthy to make their mark. Trevor Lawrence is beginning in Jacksonville, the place City Meyer is charged with revitalizing the Jaguars, whereas Zach Wilson takes his flip as the newest hopeful to guide the New York Jets again to the promised land.
Mac Jones took Cam Newton’s job in New England, whereas Bears followers assume a lot of Justin Fields that his jersey is the fourth finest vendor within the league regardless of not having performed an official down. In San Francisco, there’s rising confidence that after Trey Lance takes the sector he gained’t be coming off of it.
After which there are the quarterbacks who — largely due to their very own selections — would be the largest wild playing cards for his or her groups. They’re the quarterbacks who for causes tough to grasp haven’t gotten the COVID-19 photographs that almost all of their teammates had even earlier than arriving in coaching camp.
Meaning the Indianapolis Colts should fear week-to-week about whether or not Carson Wentz goes on the COVID-19 listing. It means the Minnesota Vikings don’t know whether or not Kirk Cousins could make it by means of the season unscathed after lacking a number of practices due to publicity to a optimistic individual.
It means followers in Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas — who want to indicate proof of vaccination to attend Raiders video games — may look down and see Lamar Jackson below heart for Baltimore Monday night time and surprise why he didn’t have to indicate his vaccine card, too.
They’re the outliers in a league that as of final week was 93% vaccinated. They’re those who will likely be examined day by day for the virus and be put in 5-day quarantines if they’ve shut contact with somebody who’s optimistic.
They’re those who speak vaguely about private choices whereas ignoring what their choices are doing not solely to their teammates however to anybody round them.
By now, the NFL certainly hoped that COVID-19 wouldn’t be the defining difficulty of the season. By now, all of us hoped to be previous the pandemic that by no means appears to finish.
Don’t overlook that the brand new season will even be a recreation longer, throwing one other wrinkle within the fixed battle to maintain sufficient gamers — significantly quarterbacks — wholesome sufficient to discipline a aggressive workforce.
However the backside line is the NFL will get the season in and get it in on time. That was confirmed final 12 months when the league managed to do what seemed not possible, even with out the posh of getting vaccines out there.
Proper now the perfect bets could also be on the groups the place everybody — particularly the beginning quarterback — is absolutely vaccinated.
Tim Dahlberg is a nationwide sports activities columnist for The Related Press. Write to him at [email protected] or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg
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