Quarterbacks in the NFL playoffs are getting younger. Here’s why their age is important
As British two-tone band The Specials once sang: “You’ve done too much, much too young.”
That brings us to the ages – 27, 26, 24 and 23 – of the starting quarterbacks this weekend in the NFL conference championship round of the playoffs.
There’s no 45-year-old Tom Brady. There’s no 39-year-old Aaron Rodgers. Even Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson – both aged 34 – have found no home this year in the postseason’s latter stages.
As the playoffs have developed, the starting quarterbacks have gotten younger; perhaps signposting a seismic changing of the guard and a shift in teams’ priorities of the sport’s most heralded position.
Patrick Mahomes is the elder statesmen of the last four signal-callers left standing this season at 27. The youngest is Brock Purdy, who is enjoying a charmed rookie season at the tender age of 23.
A combination of good coaching, maturity beyond their years and the benefits of rookie contracts have enabled teams to thrive with inexperienced quarterbacks. In Purdy’s case, injuries opened the way for the 2022 ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ to showcase his talents as a quarterback for the the San Francisco 49ers.