Young Quarterbacks Lead Playoff Contenders


Credit: NFL

Young quarterbacks are leading the charge in the NFL playoffs this season.

The NFL postseason wild card round begins Saturday January, 14. Top talents Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts have led their teams to the top seed in each of their conferences this year.

In last year’s playoffs, eight of the 14 teams had QBs with over five years of starting experience, and the year before had 10 of 14 with five or more years of starting experience.  This season, however, only three of the 14 teams the playoffs have quarterbacks with over five years of starting experience. Out of the entire American Football Conference (AFC), Patrick Mahomes is the oldest quarterback at only 27.  In the NFC, only four of the seven teams have QBs with five or fewer years of starting experience.

Fourteen teams made the postseason and will compete to claim the Lombardi Trophy. Two of those teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, have first round byes because they were the top seed in their respective conferences.

Mahomes is one of the most talented players in the NFL. Only a starter for five seasons, he has already led the Kansas City Chiefs to four conference title games and two Super Bowls. He also is the youngest QB to be named MVP; he received the award in 2019, he was 23.

Asked about being the oldest starting AFC QB in the playoffs on Sports Radio 810 WHB, Mahomes said, “It speaks to the talent we have in the AFC… I’ll be the old head in the AFC for awhile now. I’ll try to use that experience to my advantage.”

In the NFC, only four of the seven teams have QBs with five or less years of starting experience. The top seed is led by the Eagles QB Jalen Hurts.

Hurts is 24 years old and in his third season as the Eagles starter, and this year has been a breakout year for him. He is in the MVP conversation, but being the top seed he most likely has his eyes set for a larger goal, winning the Super Bowl.

Max Fujimori, senior and Philadelphia Eagle fan, shared his thoughts on who he thinks will win the Super Bowl.

“Philadelphia Eagles,” he said.

Other inexperienced QBs include: Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith, a 32 year old in his 3rd season as a starter; San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy, a 23-year-old rookie; Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagoviloa, a 24-year-old in his 3rd season; Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen, a 26-year-old in his 5th season; Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, a 26-year- old in his 5th season; Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow, a 26-year-old in his 3rd season; Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert, a 24-year-old in his 3rd season; Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, a 23-year-old in his 2nd season; and New York Giants QB Daniel Jones, a 25-year-old in his 4th season, according to

Calvin Klumpp, junior and New York Giants fan, has a theory about why the younger QBs are excelling now.

“The league is adapting and becoming faster, so the more mobile quarterbacks who are able to run are now showing their importance,” he explained. “There have been players before like Michael Vick and Cam Newton who showed their talent with their legs, but now it is more common with the younger quarterbacks and the older guys can’t keep up anymore.”

Brock Purdy has an incredible story behind him, not only getting into the NFL, but also leading the San Francisco 49ers to the playoffs. He was the 262nd pick in the 2022 NFL draft, the last pick, earning him the unofficial award of Mr. Irrelevant, a title given to the last pick in the draft.

Purdy joined a 49er team which drafted a QB the year before in the first round, Trey Lance, and already had a decent QB with Jimmy Garoppolo. In week 13 dume to Jimmy Garoppolo being injured, Brock Purdy was given a chance to take over the 7-4 49ers. Playing great football, Purdy won the next six games and ended the season 13-4, giving the 49ers the number two seed in the NFC. Now in the playoffs, Purdy has a chance to prove himself once again against the best teams in the NFL, according to ESPN.

The three more experienced QBs in the playoffs include: Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, a 29-year-old in his 7th season; Minnesota Viking QB Kirk Cousins, a 34-year-old in his 11th season as a starter and his 5th on the Vikings; and Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, a 45-year-old in his 22nd season and third on the Buccaneers.

Brady is inevitable in post season play. He has 10 Super Bowl appearances and seven times he has won it, most recently in 2021. This season his team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, snuck into the playoffs with a 8-9 record. Despite this record, they were lucky enough to win their division and clinch a home game for the wild card. Tom Brady’s squad doesn’t seem to be as strong a previous seasons, but he is a player that, come playoff time, can make anything happen.