The answers to a future Black history sports trivia question
Vincent Davis | 1/10/2019, 2:33 p.m.
One day, a Black history sports trivia question could be name the four Black NFL quarterbacks who started in three of the four wild card games to begin the 2018-2019 NFL postseason. The bonus point question: Of the 12 participating teams, six AFC, six NFC, name the five Black starting quarterbacks who participated in the 2018-19 playoff series overall.
Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys, an NFC team, and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, an AFC team, are two of the remaining five on the NFL’s playoff schedule this weekend.
Prescott, 25, from Mississippi State, in his third year with the Cowboys wearing the No. 4, led them Saturday, narrowly defeating the Seattle Seahawks 24-22 at home in Dallas. It was Prescott’s first playoff win of his professional career.
Dallas, an NFC East team, drafted Prescott in 2016, the 135th pick of the fourth round. He went on to be the 2016 AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.
Coincidentally, the Seahawks team also featured a Black quarterback, Russell Wilson, a four-time Pro Bowler, the 2012 Rookie of the Year after being picked 75th by Seattle in the third round. Wilson, 30, from the University of Wisconsin, won the Super Bowl in his second year, 2013-14, and lost one the season after. Wilson was the league-leading touchdown passer in 2017 and has only missed the playoffs once since joining Seattle.
Mahomes quarterbacks the Chiefs, one of the four teams receiving a bye this past weekend, a reward for having the best record. A weekend off for these one seeds to rest, giving them more time to prepare for the Divisional games this Saturday and Sunday.
Mahomes, 23, No. 15, in his second year, the son of a former major league baseball pitcher, led the Chiefs to a 12 and 4 record this season, his first as a starting NFL quarterback.
Drafted by Kansas City in 2017 from Texas Tech with their 10th pick in the first round, Mahomes totaled 50 touchdowns, only 13 interceptions, 5,381 passing yards, a 65.9 completion percentage this season. He’s on the short list of candidates to be voted NFL MVP.
Lamar Jackson is the youngest of the five Black QBs. The rookie, wearing No. 8, from Louisville, drafted 32nd in 2018, turned 22 Monday of this week. His celebration, if any, would’ve been enhanced that much more if his team, the Baltimore Ravens, could have beaten the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, a 23-17 home loss, his first pro playoff game, and his first postseason loss.
The Chargers held Baltimore to just three points going into the fourth quarter. Down 23 to 3 with 9:02 remaining, Jackson mounted a comeback throwing two TDs but came up short in the end.
“There were a lot of things that we could’ve did out there on that field to put us in a better situation,” noted Jackson after the game, admitting that he didn’t play at his best, up to his capability.
Second year quarterback Deshaun Watson, 23, of the Houston Texans also lost his first playoff game this past weekend, but to his credit, he’s led his college team, the Clemson Tigers, to a national championship defeating Alabama 35-31 in January 2017.
Watson threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns against Bama’s top-ranked defense earning the offensive MVP award for his performance. Three months later, Watson was drafted 12th in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Texans. He led Houston to an 11 and 5 record this season after returning from an ACL injury in his rookie year.