The 2022 NFL season is finally here, which meant fan bases across America got to get their first official look at the outlook of their team, defense, coach and most importantly, quarterback.
But this season, quarterback rooms across the league looked a little more melanated thanks to the record amount of non-white QBs who started at the position. Once thought to not be smart enough to play the position, a plethora of Black and other non-white quarterbacks have become stars in the league and have seen it be reflected in their bank accounts.
For the first time in NFL history, 13 non-white quarterbacks started for an NFL team, 11 of those quarterbacks were Black, including Lamar Jackson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, Jacoby Brissett, Dak Prescott, Jalen Hurts, Jameis Winston, Geno Smith and Russell Wilson. (Smith and Wilson are expected to match up against each other on Monday Night Football).
The other non-white QBs who started on Sunday are of Samoan decent and include Miami Dolphins Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Troy Vincent, the executive vice president of Football Operations for the NFL, said in a statement sent to The Root, “Historically, due to myths and falsehoods, there was an underrepresentation of Black quarterbacks. Today, the 13 leaders at NFL clubs underscore that this position has been normalized at both the collegiate and professional levels, and the NFL is proud of the advancements of these talented men as starting quarterbacks. We look forward to seeing their continued success and accomplishments, not just through this season, but also into the future.”
Many of these players performed well, others played poorly. Here is the rundown of how all of the Black (and other non-white) QBs performed during their first game of the season.
Jalen Hurts, quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, got off to an impressive start, scoring the first touchdown of the season for the Eagles on a run play. He ended with 243 yards passing and a win in a 38-35 thriller.
Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota match up against each other in a classic NFL south slugfest against the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, who are heated rivals. In normal Falcons fashion, the Dirty Birds blew a 10-26 lead and allowed the Saints to come back to win 27-26.
Winston threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns while Mariota threw for 215 yards and ran one in for a touchdown.
Tough to be a Falcons fan. Trust me, I would know.
The Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers played against each other in a monsoon in the Windy City. Both teams were starting young Black quarterbacks from the 2021 NFL Draft class. Justin Fields came out on top throwing two touchdowns on 121 yards passing. Trey Lance on the other hand struggled in the rain throwing one interception and 164 yards passing.
Another matchup of young Black QBs came in the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Kansas City Chiefs. While both teams played, only one showed up. The Chiefs kicked the ass of the Cardinals winning 44-21. Patrick Mahomes threw for 360 yards and 5 touchdowns. Kyler Murray threw two meaningless touchdown passes on 193 yards passing.
Despite not signing a new contract, Lamar Jackson showed out in his performance against the lowly New York Jets, throwing three touchdowns on 213 yards passing.
Tua Tagovailoa played well in his season opener against the once-dominant New England Patriots, thanks to the Cheetah (a.ka. receiver Tyreek Hill) whom they signed this off-season. The Dolphins won the game 20-7 as Tua threw for one touchdown on 270 yards passing.
Jacoby Brissett, a stand-in at quarterback until Deshaun Watson finishes serving his 11-game suspension, won his first with the Cleveland Browns, throwing for one touchdown on 147 yards passing against the Carolina Panthers.
During the final game of Sunday, Dak Prescott went up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and it was not a pretty showing. Before he was taken out of the game, Prescott threw one interception on 134 yards passing. It was reported by ESPN that Prescott will have surgery on his right thumb, sidelining him for up to eight weeks.
The final game of the week sees the Denver Broncos face the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. That’s right, Russell Wilson will be returning to play against the only other team he’s played for during his 10-year career. He’ll be going against fellow Black QB Geno Smith.
Which Black quarterback will come out on top?