If you’re as big a football fan as I am, this past weekend was… something. Our own Derek Arnold wrote up a great recap yesterday, so I won’t belabor the point, but I want to acknowledge what we’re seeing in real time. For a long time, people around football were talking about how the game was evolving as more emphasis was placed on keeping the QB clean and implementing the spread offense.
It’s been coming for a while, but it’s safe to say that the evolution of our beloved game is here.
Alright I’m just gonna say it.
The Mahomes/Allen/Herbert/Burrow/Lamar era is gonna be way better than the Brady/Manning/Ben/Rivers era in the AFC.
The fun factor just isn’t even comparable.
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) January 24, 2022
The age of the dual-threat QB is upon us, my friends. Baltimore fans have seen firsthand that having a rushing threat at quarterback is about more than just the entertainment value. The argument could be made that teams like Arizona and Philadelphia wouldn’t have even made the postseason with a more conventional quarterback under center. Heck, just look at what happened in Houston (and that’s as much as we’re going to talk about that).
Pocket passing QBs like Brady and Rodgers are surrounded with questions about their futures as they begin to age out with the likes of gunslingers like Manning, Rivers and Roethlisberger. In their places, we’re seeing young dynamos with the ability to take over multiple facets of the offense. All indications point to this being the game’s future, and if it is, I’m so damn excited. For your consideration, ladies and gentlemen, the AFC Divisional game:
• 1st playoff game where opposing QBs each threw for 300 Pass yds, 3 Pass TD and 0 Int
• 1st playoff game where opposing teams completed 70% of their passes (at least 35 Att each)
• Both QBs led their teams in rushing, (2nd such playoff game since 1950)
Best QB game ever? pic.twitter.com/lG8d7uUymR
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 24, 2022
In the barn-burner matchup between the Chiefs and Bills, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen put on a clinic. In the end, it was Mahomes and the Chiefs who edged the Bills in OT, with Mahomes completing 75% of his passes for 378 yards and 3 TDs. Mahomes’ 69 rushing yards were enough to lead the Chiefs, and he added another touchdown with the legs as well. Josh Allen was every bit Mahomes’ equal, going 73% through the air for 329 yards and 4 touchdowns (all to Gabriel Davis), and Allen ALSO led his team in rushing as he recorded 68 yards on the ground. In what was ultimately a losing effort, Allen matched Mahomes and the Chiefs at every level.
Well… almost every level.
.@JoshAllenQB is flipping amazing!
The #Bills' superstar QB can improve to 10-0 in the coin toss this season when he calls heads or tails as the visiting team captain Sunday in Kansas City.
— Jason Wolf (@JasonWolf) January 22, 2022
For what it’s worth, Josh Allen and the Bills did lose the opening coin toss of the game, but that’s obviously not the one everyone was concerned about. With both teams having just completed last-second scoring drives, the defenses were gassed. As such, when OT began, the team that won the coin toss would have a stark advantage given the NFL’s current rule set about overtime scoring. The Chiefs would go on to score a touchdown on their first possession, ending the game before the Bills had the chance to touch the ball.
The game’s ending prompted a familiar outcry for another change in the game: fixing the overtime rules. How did this outcry manifest, you ask?
The internet exploded.
This game was ruined by a coin flip. Please change this @NFL.
— Kurt Benkert (@KurtBenkert) January 24, 2022
Great game by both teams 🤯🤯 but the overtime rules have got to change!! No coin flip should have that much power
— Amon-Ra (@amonra_stbrown) January 24, 2022
That was the greatest NFL game I've ever watched and possibly one of the most joyous sports finishes of my lifetime. I'll never forget this game.
Now, change the damn overtime rules at once.
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) January 24, 2022
If you are still arguing, in a game like that, it’s not in best interest of EVERYONE that both Mahomes and Allen get the ball in OT I don’t know what to tell you.
In a game where neither team could stop the other at the end, a literal coin flip determined the ending.
— Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) January 24, 2022
Of course, there were detractors too, like Keenan Allen.
FYI…these OT games are not decided by a coin toss! Defense wins championships…don’t ever forget it!
— Keenan Allen (@Keenan13Allen) January 24, 2022
The numbers, however, are indicative of a clear overtime advantage to the winner of the toss, and Ian Rapoport shared the metrics collected by the NFL’s own research department.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 24, 2022
Chiefs fans, of course, are entrenched firmly in the “just play defense” camp, but Rapoport also reminded the KC faithful about some not so recent history.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 24, 2022
ESPN’s Seth Walder also brought the story a little closer to home by bringing up an unorthodox but intriguing proposal by our own Baltimore Ravens. It’s a good read, but a super polarizing idea.
Reminder of the best proposal for NFL OT, made by the Ravens last year: https://t.co/iaeRyGVhC3
— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) January 24, 2022
With the uproar from even their own players, the NFL might finally have the motivation to change the rules, and maybe we’ll get to see a different kind of overtime play out moving forward.
As an unrelated parting gift, you know what change I’m hoping we DON’T see in the 2022-23 season?
Antonio Brown says Lamar Jackson is “next in line” of the QBs he wants to play with.
Lamar said in 2020, after working out with AB, that he’d be happy if the Ravens signed him.
— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) January 24, 2022
*deep breath in*
NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.
— Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) January 24, 2022
NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE DON’T LIKE THAT. MAKE IT STOP.