Black quarterbacks are no longer a novelty, but only two have ever won Super Bowls. Many have conquered racial barriers and become the first signal callers of color in their respective team's history, but the NFL has never had as many brothers leading NFL squads as they do now.
Doug Williams (in 1988) and Russell Wilson (in 2014) are the only black qbs to win a super bowl. #BlackHistoryMonth
While Colin Kaepernick is still jobless and the underlying cause of his blackballing seems fueled by institutional racism, this is a most glorious time for African-American quarterbacks in the NFL, as some the best performances around the league in Weeks 4 were delivered by brothers - as well as some of the worst ones.
There were eight African-American signal callers getting busy on Sunday. I’d have to check the history books to see if that’s a record, but it sure looked and felt like one.
Cam Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, finally returned to form, passing for 316 yards and 3 TD’s in a crucial 33-30 win over the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Through the season’s first three weeks, Newton had been the subject of criticism, doubt and his subpar performances were analyzed to death on social media and sports television outlets.
Newton was coming off of a miserable 2016 and the effects of an offseason shoulder surgery seemed to be affecting his play. Combine that with Atlanta’s rise to the top of the NFC South in 2016 and Cam’s prop meter was dropping considerably.
Here is Cam Newton raising his fist after a TD
If the Panthers and Cam were looking for a sign that things were getting back to normal in Carolina, marching into Gillette Stadium and leading a final drive to defeat Tom Brady and the Patriots is a clear indication that Cam is back in control and the Panthers may be bouncing back into Super Bowl contention again. Cam appears to have a more serious swag this season, replacing his old dabbin' with throwing up the black fist.
Russell Wilson established himself as one of the greatest African-American QBs to ever do it when he went to back-to-back Super Bowls in 2013 and 2014, winning the first and getting the second one snatched from his clutches by Pete Carroll and Malcolm Butler. Seattle's offense hadn’t been clicking so far this season. Wilson, as usual, had been the NFL’s most harassed and hit quarterback and points were scarce.
Wilson and Seattle opened it up against the Colts on Sunday as he threw for 295 Yards and helped Seattle put up a season-high 46 points. This performance follows Wilson’s 373-yard, 4-TD performance in Week 3 and at 2-2 Seattle is now on an upward swing.
How Long Can Seahawks Offense Lean Solely on Russell Wilson's Brilliance? https://t.co/ITRfnPkUk1
Houston Texans rookie QB Deshaun Watson warned the NFL that they would regret picking Mitch Trubisky over him in the NFL Draft. He assumed the starting position early in the season and on Sunday, he had his best game as a pro throwing for 283 yards and four TD's while leading the Texans to an emphatic 57-14 win over the Tennessee Titans.
Watson has the Texans tied for first place in the AFC South and he is being described as being “better than advertised.”
Texans rookie Deshaun Watson already setting records https://t.co/Fkq2pnqFvb
Tyrod Taylor has the Buffalo Bills in contention for an AFC East title after leading them to a 26-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The major win came one week after Buffalo defeated a solid Denver Broncos squad.
Taylor is another dual threat QB learning how to throw from the pocket as well as use his legs. He has 744 yards passing and has 5 TD's and just one pick as the Bills are 3-1 and in sole possession of first place in the AFC East, looking like a legit squad for the first time in a long time.
Tyrod Taylor: "Our team is built around love": https://t.co/SG7KfiKGPU via @YouTube
Jameis Winston may have the brightest future of all of the African-American QBs in the game today. He continues to single-handedly transform the culture of the Bucs franchise and more so than his rifle arm, fearless attitude and obvious leadership abilities, he has intangible qualities that give him an edge over other QBs in the game.
He’s thrown for over 4,000 in his first two seasons and is on his way to another. He’s not afraid to throw a pick or try to be a hero. A franchise game-changer in its truest since, Winston lifted Tampa Bay to a 25-23 win over the New York Giants, leading his squad to a last-second field goal in a game they probably had no business winning. Winston’s 332 passing yards and 3 TD's left Giants fans in tears.
@PRBucFan @SnipeySAVG @NFL @Jaboowins Giants fans: https://t.co/gugde6Qyj9
Further proof of the arrival of the Black quarterback is the fact that they don’t have to be out of this world anymore just to get a shot. Jacoby Brissett started for the Colts on Sunday and he added another average performance to his list of average performances in his career, but at least he’s getting a chance to be mediocre. He was 16 of 29 for 157 yards and TD and a pick, but his presence behind center was something sort of new for Colts fans who enjoyed years of Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. Moreover, the former high school hoop star is only 23 years old and shows a ton of potential.
Rookie DeShone Kizer starts for an abysmal Cleveland team, which is never good for the development of a young pigskin slinger, but he’s getting the opportunity to fail and he’s starting as an African-American rookie despite dropping to the 52nd pick of the second round in the draft.
Losing to a hungry and desperate 0-3 Cincinnati team on Sunday 31-7 is understandable. Kizer had a bad game in his fourth NFL start, but in Week 3 he had a great 4th quarter performance against the Indianapolis Colts, in which he helped lead the 0-4 Browns on a respectable second-half rally. He will surely have his ups and downs.
Kizer has just three TD passes and eight picks so far with a passer rating of 50.9, but head coach Hue Jackson said, “Kizer is the quarterback,” so the Notre Dame product will get a chance to grow.
If you were an African-American football fan growing up in an Era where in the '80s, '90s and early 2000’s, the only black QBs of note were Doug Williams, Warren Moon, Steve McNair, Michael Vick, Daunte Culpepper and Donovan McNabb, then you had to be gushing with excitement and pride at the abundance of black talent leading NFL squads into battle on Sunday.
There was even an E.J. Manuel sighting with the Oakland Raiders as the former Florida State and Buffalo Bills product took over for the injured Derek Carr. Manuel was more Tommy Maddox than Tom Brady, but again, he was a brother afforded the same opportunity to fail as white QB's have been granted in the past.
And that more than anything says that the NFL has changed and color at the QB position is pretty much a dead issue.