It’s the year of the NFL backup quarterback, for better or worse

The NFL is a quarterback-led league. People are tuning in to see Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen do some absolutely crazy things with football. They want to see Tom Brady continue his assault on the record books. They support up-and-coming young people like Trevor Lawrence.

It’s the world of quarterbacks, and we all live in that world.

The Wild Card Round was no exception. Three teams were led to the playoffs by passers who were not at the top of the depth charts earlier in the year. Their team was 1-2 for him, but he played as important a role as a backup QB could hope for.

take Baltimore RavensTyler Huntley joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2020. Huntley’s future was clear, at least at that point, as the team signed Lamar Jackson as the undoubted QB1.Sit on the bench and be ready to go when the time comes.

That happened in both 2021 and 2022, with Huntley starting a total of eight regular season games in place of an injured Jackson.

Then we have Brock Purdy and Skyler Thompson. Both are in a similar situation: They entered the league as his seventh-round pick in the 2022 draft, starting as the third quarterback. San Francisco 49ers‘ When miami dolphins‘ depth chart, respectively. When all the options before them were wounded, it was time to prove themselves.

Now I have to talk about the performances of Purdy, Thompson and Huntley. Because they are backups for some reason.

Purdy’s 49ers won a wild card game against Seattle in a fairly uneven fashion, pulling away in the second half to take a 41-23 win. The youngster finished with an impressive stats line — 18-for-30, 332 yards, 3 touchdowns — while operating in his one of the most quarterback-friendly offensive schemes in the NFL. It has had its ups and downs.

Thompson and Huntley, on the other hand, took a wrong turn, but they also had their moments. Despite entering the contest as a 14-point underdog, Miami continued the close game with a 34–31 loss against Buffalo. Thompson made some promising plays despite completing only 18 of 45 throws for 220 yards with one touchdown and two picks.

The Huntleys Ravens also went all out against the highly favored Bengals. And boy, did he do his best to keep his men in this state. He was a successful passer and runner and executed the demands of coordinator Greg Roman to a high standard. Until he didn’t, namely his fumble when trying to reach the ball over the line on a quarterback sneak proved to be the difference with the reigning AFC champion. With the ball loose, Cincinnati returned it 98 yards for the game’s decisive touchdown.

Huntley’s performance was therefore on par with Thompson’s and Purdy’s. There were good times and bad times. That was what was expected of a backup QB.

That said, the three of them didn’t completely melt away with wide-eyed eyes. Sure, it’s a low hurdle to clear, but we’ve also seen backup quarterbacks fail in the most spectacular way when suddenly asked to carry a load: Ryan Lindley in 2014.

Clearly, not everyone can be Tom Brady in 2001 or Nick Foles in 2017. But if there’s something like the Foals-Lindley spectrum in playing backup quarterbacks in the postseason, all three were probably a little closer to the former than the latter. Overall, it was a mixed bag.

So it perfectly represents one of the bigger stories of the 2022 season.

Only 10 of the 32 teams in the NFL have seen their quarterback start every game.Eight of those clubs — all but Jared Goff’s club detroit lions Led by Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers — entered the playoffs.

Twenty-two other teams had called in reinforcements at one point or another due to injuries or performances. Season participants also happen to all live in the highly competitive NFC East.

This means players like Gardner Minshew and Cooper Rush have taken aim. The same was true for Mike White and Bailey Zappe, Jarrett Stidham and Brett Rippien, John Walford and Malik Willis. A hodgepodge group of players, if you’ve ever seen one.

But, as it turns out, they played a key role in writing the ongoing storyline for the 2022 NFL season. The same goes for Skyler Thompson and Tyler Huntley, the only one left is an unrelated Mr. himself, Brock Purdy.

Can Purdy lead San Francisco to the promised land? Maybe not. It’s something no one expected when she first joined the 49ers in May.

But given how the current season is going, it’s no surprise to see him start a divisional round game next week. bottom.

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