Tom Brady will not be playing in the Divisional Round of the 2023 NFL Playoffs. That might not seem like headline news as there are 27 other starting quarterbacks who will also be sitting on their couch this Sunday. The difference is Brady will be missing this round for only the fifth time since the Patriots (LEGALLY) defeated the Raiders on a snowy January night in 2001.
The NFL missing the league's all-time most important player during the most important part of the season might seem like a bad thing. The quarterbacks actually playing this weekend represent something else though. It's an opportunity, and this group of quarterbacks are set to make a strong statement that their time is now.
Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees showed the best playoff teams can be led by gentlemen who would appreciate if you turned the music down. That time is over though. This weekend the casual NFL fan should be prepared to meet a new collection of star quarterbacks. And almost all of these guys probably don't know what Y2K was.
The Next Generation is Ready
The average age of NFL quarterback in the Divisional Round since 2017 has been roughly the same as when your parents ask, "So, when do you think you'll settle down?" This was also the last time a quarterback over 40 was not playing. A lot of this has been fueled by Brady's almost guaranteed presence and his disdain for Father Time.
Average Age of an NFL Playoff Quarterback since 2017
- 2017 - 31 years old
- 2018 - 32 years old
- 2019 - 31 years old
- 2020 - 29 years old
- 2021 - 32 years old
- 2022 - 32 years old
Average Age of an NFL Playoff Quarterback in 2023
- Trevor Lawrence - 23 years old
- Brock Purdy - 23 years old
- Jalen Hurts - 24 years old
- Daniel Jones - 25 year old
- Joe Burrow - 26 year old
- Josh Allen - 26 year old
- Patrick Mahomes - 27 year old
- Dak Prescott - 29 years old
That would be an average of 25 years old.
"Yeah, but you know if you take out 23-year-old Brock Purdy and replace him with Jimmy G." Let me stop you right there. If you replace Mr. Irrelevant with San Francisco's original starter and his 31 years on this Earth, the average age jumps up to only 26. So, nothing doing there my friend. You can tell them to get off your lawn all you want the kids are taking over the NFL.
Who is Taking Over?
It's all well and good that we're ushering in a new era of star quarterbacks, especially ones who aren't so vocal about their medical expertise. There's still the issue of playing the games and going from eight quarterbacks down to four.
And who exactly is up for that challenge this weekend?
Frankly, I cannot wait to find out and we should all consider ourselves lucky to be witnessing this shift in the league. And if you really want to make a splash when you're watching the games, throw this one out there:
"You know, all the AFC quarterbacks were taken in the top 10 picks in the draft. But in the NFC, only Daniel Jones was. Makes you think."
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