Opinion: The most important position in the NFL


Brynn Anderson | Credit: AP

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, holds the Lamar Hunt Trophy after the NFL AFC Championship playoff football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs won 23-20.

Like an army without its commander, so is a football team without its quarterback. One of the most important things for front offices, coaches, fans and even the media, is to understand the relative value of each position in the game. And before we go any further, it is important to make it clear, the quarterback is the most important player in football.

That said, watch how teams go from ostracism as the Buccaneers for a good part of the last 15 years before Tom Brady arrived in 2020 to an immediate contender or at least playoff team. In this case, suddenly winning the Super Bowl.

Jonatan Mombach, sports journalist and creator of the NFL podcast, Toco and Tackle, says that the quarterback is the brains of the team, the one who creates the most real chances and carries the most responsibility.

“The impact that an above-average QB has compared to an average QB is much greater than the difference from an above-average player to an average player at any other position,” Mombach said.
Whether running or passing plays, every play goes through the hand of this player, who must break down massively complex offensive and defensive systems (and adjust) before and after the snap.

Jarvis Harrod, assistant coach of the Washburn football team, says that the more talented your QB is, the better your team is. Therefore, no other player can do more to win – or lose – a football game.

Since the first forward pass was thrown in 1906, American football has evolved to become a game of quarterbacks. More than ever, this is true today.

According to the “Pro Football Reference” website, in the last 23 NFL seasons, the Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award has been given to quarterbacks 20 times. And guess what, on every occasion, the winner has led his respective team to the playoffs.

When a franchise chooses a quarterback in the draft, it is to make him the missing piece of the puzzle or to build a team around him. Look at the effort that the Jaguars and Bears are making to provide the necessary pieces for Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, for example. You change the entire coaching staff, but the QB gets the benefit of the doubt for another season – it is not a rule.

“The QB is usually the leader and face of the organization,” Harrod said.

Let us do an exercise. What is the first player that comes to your mind when I say Kansas City Chiefs?

Now, take Patrick Mahomes out of the Chiefs. What does it look like? If there is one player in possession of the keys to the Chiefs Kingdom, that player is No. 15.

To continue with this example, last season, the Chiefs lost Tyreek Hill, their best receiver who broke record after record with Patrick Mahomes. What happened? They won another Super Bowl with Mahomes being MVP. Recently, the Chiefs released Orlando Brown, Frank Clark and Mecole Hardman. Players that were important for the last title. Reason for the crisis? No. Mahomes is there.

Finally, there is no other position that requires as much mental and physical preparation to deal with adversity, also the above-mentioned leadership and personification of the franchise. So, if things are going badly, rarely will the quarterback have a chance to prove his worth again. Not even if he was a first-round-pick in the NFL Draft can sustain him in his job if he does not deliver good results, Zach Wilson says so.

Perhaps no other position lives with the shadow of the bust so closely, until it gets its place in the sun in the professional league.

There are many other reasons why the quarterback is the most important position in the game. I finish saying, if there is a football bible, it will probably have a verse like this: a faithful quarterback is a sure shelter, whoever finds one has found a rare treasure. A faithful quarterback is something beyond price, there is no measuring his worth.


Edited by Glorianna Noland and LeSha’ Davis