(The Lamar Hunt Trophy)

With the latest blockbuster trade on the Franchise tag deadline in the NFL, we witnessed unraveling situations for two star-studded QBs; Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. Rodgers ended up clearing the air and, confirmed by multiple sources, will stay in Green Bay for season number eighteen. The latter, however, entertained trade talks even before last season and got a move from Seattle to Denver. With Russ changing conferences and heading into arguably the tougher conference for QBs, it is time to see where he falls when it comes to power rankings.

5. Joe Burrow

(photo credit: Zach Ragan)
Many people will disagree with this placement because in his second year he made the Super Bowl, taking out the number one seeded team (Tennessee Titans), and former Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes, but let me justify my selection. Joe Burrow made his Super Bowl run the way Jimmy Garappolo nearly did in the past season. The Bengals beat the Raiders, Titans, and Chiefs, but none were beaten by Burrow. Against the Raiders, they won because of an immense secondary, the Titans gave them the game because Tannehill must have been diagnosed with a Cataract before the game the way he was throwing, and the Chiefs just succumbed to an impressive D-line from Cinci. The Super Bowl against the Rams proved my point of Burrow where if you give him the ball and say “two minutes are on the clock, go win it,” he can’t do it. That’s why he is number five.

4. Russell Wilson

(photo credit: Getty Images)
This is where the new boy of the conference makes it on my top 5. Russell Wilson will be made an official member of the Denver Broncos on March 16. Last season Wilson was unfortunate to be plagued with a finger injury that kept him out for around 4-6 weeks, and when he came back was not the same as before the injury. Will he be the post-injury Wilson in Denver or will he regain his form and composure for his new franchise? It may be too early to say, but what can be said is that a healthy Russel Wilson has you in the playoffs at least. The former Super Bowl Champion will have a massive point to prove after getting his way out of Seattle so Denver is the place to make that statement.

3. Justin Herbert

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The kid from Eugene, Oregon was rivaling the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady for the regular-season MVP award. Herbert has a bazooka of an arm and produced 5,014 passing yards (2nd overall), and 38 touchdowns (3rd overall). People will wonder why I’ve chosen him over the likes of Wilson, and to an extent Burrow, but that is just because if his coach did not foolishly take a timeout when they were certain for the playoffs, he would have been the one in the Super Bowl representing the AFC.

2. Patrick Mahomes

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This was a tough choice for the top two in terms of the order. Mahomes has been the best QB in the league for three out of the last four seasons, having the path to the Super Bowl go through Arrowhead for all four seasons. Last season was, by his standards, Mahomes’ worst season in terms of interceptions (13), and Quarterback rating (98.5). To be completely honest, Patrick Mahomes single-handedly lost the AFC Championship game against the Bengals with constantly rushed throws, ill-advised draw plays, and none of the “Mahomes magic” we’ve grown accustomed to, this reason is why he is the 2nd best QB in the AFC.

1. Josh Allen

(photo credit: SkySports)
The Peyton Manning “regen” has been tearing up the AFC East since the Buffalo Bills drafted him in 2018, and for me is the best QB in the AFC. Barring MVP Mahomes who ended up winning the Super Bowl in 2019, his defense being unable to keep the Chiefs from scoring in thirteen seconds, and the overtime rules that every agrees should be adjusted, he could have been a Super Bowl champion. The fact of the matter is Josh Allen on his day can out-sling, out-gun, and out-perform ANY AB in the league and showed it in the playoffs this year, that’s why he is #1.
Which Has More Value?

Which Has More Value?

Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens Photos
So a few days ago, I saw a post made by an Instagram account named Best Celebrations. The post said having an elite tight end is more valuable than having an elite wide receiver. I somewhat agree because there are examples of elite tight ends surrounded by good to mediocre-at-best receivers in the NFL that had success. However, having an elite wide receiver is just as beneficial because they’re the leading scorers in the passing game.

My first example of this is the Baltimore Ravens. Mark Andrews this year is statistically the best tight end in the league and on his team. Andrews this year had a total of 1361 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. He also averaged about 12.7 yards per catch which are 12th among tight ends, and led all tight ends in targets/receptions.

It’s also important to realize that Andrews played in a run-first offense and had to toggle between two quarterbacks. His fellow receivers were also all ranked statistically below the top 20 receivers. Marquise Brown was the only receiver on the stat sheet that barely cracked over a thousand yards, and it’s important to note that every receiver on the Ravens had less than double the amount Brown had this year.

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With that in mind, the Ravens finished 8-9 and the bottom of the AFC North.

The Green Bay Packers are a perfect example of how an elite receiver can elevate the offense. Yes, they have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, but even without him, the Packer’s offense can still succeed because they have that go-to man in the passing game with Davante Adams. Adams, this year was the fifth-best receiver in the league statistically. He had 1553 yards with 11 touchdowns. Everyone else had less than double the yards in that receiving core in a similar situation as the Ravens. The second-leading receiver in yards was Allen Lazard, with 553 receiving yards. Not to mention their tight end Robert Tonyan had 204 yards though he suffered an ACL tear this season. However, with Marcedes Lewis, it still doesn’t equate to the amount all three receivers put up this season on the packers.
To further my point on how an elite tight end can be more valuable, they can be used in the run game. A prime example of how an offense strives from a blocking tight end is George Kittle. This year the San Francisco Forty-Niners ran way less than previous years; they still proved to be dominant, ranking in the top 10 in rushing yards with almost 500 attempts, which isn’t bad considering that the Titans lead the league in rushing attempts at 550.

George Kittle, however, is the most versatile tight end in the NFL, and truth be told, is the best blocking tight end to add to that. Most times than not, his run blocking creates success whether the ball is in Deebos hands or Elijah Mitchells. 49ers-loss
Overall, much of the Niner’s success has come from Kittle being on the field alongside Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and more.

In conclusion, it all comes down to how the offense is run and who fits the personnel. You have successful teams with an elite tight end, and you have ones that achieve it.