Brady. Bortles. Foles. Keenum. If you had those guys in your quarterback final four before the season, congratulations on successfully traveling back in time to this entertainingly weird season of football. This was the weekend when a quarterback crop with four former league MVPs and/or future Hall of Famers could have knocked four neophytes out of the water, but the passers with the combined career playoff record of 49-27 lost three of four to the quarterbacks who came into the divisional round with one playoff start before this year.
It’s too simplistic to use those three wins as the basis for a trend piece on how the league has changed. Two of those wins came down to the final play. If Julio Jones doesn’t slip and Marcus Williams doesn’t duck, the story might be about how veteran quarterbacks and experience are what wins close games in the postseason.
Instead, the reality is that we ended up with three games that were each close enough to be decided or put out of reach by one play. That in itself is the story of 2017, even if it won’t be the story of 2018 and beyond. There are lessons to be learned from each of the quarterbacks who have made it to the final four, even if we couldn’t possibly have predicted their rise before this season started.