It’s evident that the status of the QB in the NFL has been changing over the years. They have become more versatile, run oriented and simply more athletic. This has seemed to benefit several teams in the league as many have done well with these young new QB’s at the helm, as offensive plays have been changing to meet these abilities.
However, in the end, many people have been asking the question who will end up being more consistent and actually win when it matters? Your veterans that are pass first and stay in the pocket oriented? or your new fun, exciting and constant moving QB’s?
I think the first round of the playoffs this past weekend proved that answer. We had Andrew Luck face off against Deshaun Watson and then Phillip Rivers vs Lamar Jackson. To begin with, both the Colts and the Charger’s defenses shut down the ability for both Watson and Jackson to move the ball like they are used too. When they did that it was evident that both young QB’s could not produce anything simply staying in the pocket and throwing the ball. This resulted to prayers by throwing the ball up and hoping their receivers would get it. Not only that, but both QBs couldn’t complete simple passes. The contrary was the case for the veterans Andrew Luck and Phillip Rivers. They played old style ball and were effective in doing so. They led their receivers and simply made big throws.
You can argue that this was the case of experience vs inexperience and you absolutely have the right to do so. However, I think that the luck that the Texans and Ravens had during the regular season simply ran out. Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson are electric players and had a good season. However, a lot of their success relied on scrambling around and using their athleticism to make big plays. They are so used to doing that they forgot a fundamental thing for their position, which is throwing and leading your passes to your offensive players. This is something that Phillip Rivers and Andrew Luck have consistently done and they really didn’t have to work to hard to prove that in their first round wins.
Overall, I think both Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson understand what they need to work on. The success of their team will rely on them eventually making consistent plays through the air and they need to get used to doing that more often instead of trying to make something happen on the run and out of system. If they get this down, they will be absolutely unstoppable.
P.S. I can’t believe that the Ravens did not play a former Super Bowl MVP named Joe Flacco and instead watched as Lamar Jackson got tortured for three quarters. I would be furious in his shoes and hope he is.