Betting on the End to the NFL Pocket Passer Era

It was NOT a great Super Bowl.  I won’t say “I told you so,” but I did write a rather brilliant article before the game reflecting my belief that the game would not be the close “Number 1 Offense vs Number 1 Defense” clash all the experts were predicting. I really felt the Seahawks offense would best the Broncos defense in a route and Peyton Manning would be neutralized.  I was partially right in my analysis, but more importantly it got me thinking about the future of the NFL.

It certainly makes me think the so-called experts and the Vegas oddsmakers are looking backward, instead of forward.  They were still looking a the old NFL.  All you have to do is look at what the spread was at gaming and sportsbook review sites: Everyone was hoping for one more great stand by arguably the greatest pocket passer in the history of the game. Yeah, Manning is 37 years old, but he had a record-setting year, threw 7 touchdown passes in ONE GAME and had a full strength offense around him. No missing starters, no last minute substitutions: all the pieces were in place. Or maybe more precisely, one piece, Manning, was stuck in place.

It case you hadn’t noticed the trend before, the obvious should be painful to you now: it’s the official end of the “pocket passer era” in the NFL. Like the invention of the forward pass, fans will look back at these past few years as not just an evolution, but a revolution in the National Football League.  The “mobile quarterback era” is here and will likely dominate the sport for years to come.

Sure, there will still be some good pocket passers and good pocket passer teams, but they will be few and far between. Imagine a league without Manning, Brady, Brees and Roethlisberger . . . it’s not that far away. Coming in behind them are almost all mobile, running quarterbacks who have come into the league from high-powered college programs where throwing AND running are equally important to the quarterback’s arsenal. No longer can a big, slow guy stand back there and sling passes. At least, as Manning found out, not for very long.

No folks, not only did you see a bad Super Bowl, you also witnessed a tipping point in the NFL. You may not realize it now, but you will in a few more years. Maybe sooner.

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