The talent that the American Football Conference has behind center is well-noted. On their side of things, awe-inspiring talents such as Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Justin Herbert have become some of the NFL’s most notable players.
As you’ve been preoccupied trying to fill the offseason void — maybe by wagering on the best online casino — the grouping’s collection of signal-callers has only gotten more impressive.
Denver traded for Russell Wilson and Cleveland acquired Deshaun Watson, who stays in the grouping after not playing for Houston last season. Not to mention, Indianapolis brought in Matt Ryan, who won the league’s MVP award in 2016.
With all the firepower that their counterpart has, it’s easy to forget the fact that the National Football Conference has some of the best passers in the sport’s history.
Of course, that starts with the man that many consider the greatest of all time. The NFC South let out a collective sigh of relief when Tom Brady let it be known that he was hanging it up. A division that will likely trot out Marcus Mariota (Atlanta), Sam Darnold (Carolina), and Jameis Winston (New Orleans) looked to be up for grabs.
After turning in his first 5,000-yard passing effort a season ago, Brady decided to put his retirement on hold, vaulting Tampa Bay back into contention for the Lombardi Trophy. His stable of pass-catchers remains largely the same — with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Scotty Miller all back in the pewter and red — as he looks to replicate the success he had in 2021.
To lift the crown onto his head once more, Brady will have to snatch it from Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams.
In his first year not in Detroit, Stafford benefitted from having a receiving corps led by Cooper Kupp. The fifth-year wideout’s production exploded, as he caught 145 balls for 1,947 yards and 16 scores — all of which were tops in the league.
Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers has to be getting tired of postseason shortcomings. Since winning Super Bowl XLV, he hasn’t made it back to the game’s grandest stage. A two-time defending league MVP, he’s thrown for at least 4,000 yards in four straight regular-season schedules.
After rumors swirled as to where he would end up if he left the Packers, Rodgers decided to stay put with the franchise he’s played for what will be his 18th go-round. With his favorite target having been jettisoned to Las Vegas, the Pack brought in Sammy Watkins and drafted North Dakota State’s Christian Watson.
Then there’s Dallas’ Dak Prescott, who slung a career-high 37 scores and brought the Cowboys to the postseason last winter. He’ll also have to deal with the loss of a high-end receiver, as the Browns traded for Amari Cooper a few months ago. Still, he retains CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, who is set to come back after tearing his ACL last year. Dallas also imported James Washington from Pittsburgh.
Other Notable QBs
Following a disappointing opening-round loss to the Rams in the playoffs, Arizona’s Kyler Murray seeks a new contract ahead of what he hopes to be a big year. In a landscape where quarterbacks prefer to have game-breakers to dish the ball to, the Cardinals traded for Hollywood Brown, who will help take away the sting from the suspension of DeAndre Hopkins.
Keep an eye on second-year passers in Chicago’s Justin Fields and San Francisco’s Trey Lance, as well. The former is free of the ball and chain that was head coach Matt Nagy, who wasn’t able to spin his athleticism into an extra year under the headset for the Bears.
Lance will get his chance at taking the reins with Jimmy Garoppolo figuring to be out of the picture by the time the season kicks off. He could add another dimension to the 49ers game as they plan on making the next step back into February.