By Frederick H. Lowe
The performances of three black quarterbacks won’t make their teams’ highlight reels, but they are sure to be featured in their opponents’ footage, following the National Football League’s Wildcard games last weekend.
The Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens and the Seattle Seahawks were all led by black quarterbacks, but they failed to win their games and move to the next round.
The Houston Texans, led by QB Deshaun Watson, lost 21-7 to the Indianapolis Colts in Saturday’s wildcard game. It was Watson’s first playoff game.
The Baltimore Ravens, led by Quarterback Lamar Jackson, were routed by the Los Angeles Chargers 23-17 in Sunday’s AFC North Wildcard game. Jackson suffered back-to-back sacks, and he was booed by fans who chanted for backup quarterback Joe Flacco, a former Super Bowl MVP, to replace him. Throughout the game, Baltimore fans looked grim.
The marquee game was between 2014 Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys.
The game was important because two black quarterbacks faced off against each other—Russell Wilson of the Seahawks and Dak Prescott of the Cowboys. The Cowboys won 24 to 22 to win Sunday’s NFC Wildcard game.
Black quarterbacks aren’t as rare in today’s NFL but two black quarterbacks facing off against each other is almost unheard of.
But there is more to the NFL story.
Anthony Lynn, head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, coached his team to victory in the Wildcard game against the Baltimore Ravens in the wake of a bloodbath in which five of seven black NFL head coaches were fired.
The five coaches who were axed are: Steve Wilks of the Arizona Cardinals, Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns, Todd Bowles of the New York Jets, Vance Joseph of the Denver Broncos and Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Lynn, former defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, and Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers are the only two black head coaches remaining in the NFL.