2023 NFL playoffs: How backup quarterbacks are playing a huge role in the wild card hunt

template pic
template pic

Amid the 2023 NFL regular season, it seems the spotlight has shifted from star performers to the often-overlooked heroes – the backup quarterbacks. While Taylor Swift may capture attention elsewhere, the unexpected performances from these QB2s have thrown the playoff picture into disarray.

A prime example is Drew Lock, who, stepping in for the injured Geno Smith, orchestrated a come-from-behind victory for the Seattle Seahawks against the Eagles. With uncertainty surrounding Seattle’s quarterback situation, Lock’s heroics not only kept the Seahawks’ playoff hopes alive but also reshaped the playoff landscape.


This trend isn’t limited to Seattle. Across the league, backup quarterbacks are making headlines and influencing playoff standings. Joe Flacco, now leading the Cleveland Browns after a series of quarterback changes, showcased his experience as a former Super Bowl MVP in back-to-back victories. In a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback against the Bears, Flacco’s poise and precision secured the Browns’ standing as the No. 5 seed in the AFC.

Gardner Minshew, filling in for the injured rookie Anthony Richardson, has calmly guided the Indianapolis Colts to an 8-6 record, positioning them for a potential playoff spot. Meanwhile, the Houston Texans, missing rookie sensation C.J. Stroud, witnessed the resurgence of Case Keenum. The veteran quarterback, on his third stint with the Texans, delivered a game-tying touchdown and orchestrated a game-winning field goal drive in overtime.

In Cincinnati, Jake Browning has stepped into the QB1 role for the Bengals in place of the injured Joe Burrow. Browning’s leadership has propelled the team to a 3-1 record under his guidance, including two overtime wins that have elevated the Bengals to the No. 6 seed in the playoff race.

These backup quarterbacks are not just filling in; they are making a significant impact on their teams’ playoff aspirations. Whether it’s Lock’s unexpected heroics or Flacco’s veteran leadership, the NFL playoff landscape is experiencing a shakeup, with the underappreciated backups stealing the show and rewriting the narrative of the 2023 season.


Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00