What an absolute flop of an NFC Championship.
It began as a highly anticipated matchup between the No. 1-seeded Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers, led by Mr. Irrelevant. It ended with a 31-7 thrashing by the Eagles on their home turf.
I don’t want to take anything away from Philly, but the game might have been different if it weren’t for San Francisco’s quarterback woes.
Rookie starter Brock Purdy (already the third member from San Francisco) got out of the game with an elbow injury on the first possession of the game. The fourth member, Josh Johnson, got the nod after that. Johnson suffered a concussion in the third quarter.
With no other option, the 49ers nearly had to end the game with running back Christian McCaffrey under center.
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The NFL used to have a solution to this quarterback debacle.
From 1990 to 2010, NFL rules governed the use of a emergency third quarterback In addition to the starter and backup motor.
It worked like this: each team could dress 45 players. If you had two quarterbacks dressed for the game, you could also dress a third quarterback who didn’t count toward that limit.
However, if that third quarterback entered the game for any reason before the end of the third quarter, both the starter and backup would be ineligible.
Full text of the rule:
«Teams will be allowed one 45-man Active Roster and one eight-man Inactive Roster for each regular season and postseason game. Provided that, if a club has two quarterbacks on its 45-man Active Roster, a third quarterback from your Inactive List A List is allowed to dress for the game, but if he enters the game during the first three quarters, the other two quarterbacks are prohibited from playing.»
the nfl abolished the third quarterback rule in 2011 and increased the size of the roster to allow 46 players to suit up for the game.
The NFC Championship showed the need for an emergency third quarterback.
OutKick founder Clay Travis said it’s time to bring the rule back. The real question, he asked, is «Why did they end it in the first place?»
Well, the answer is not clear. But most analysts agree that the third quarterback rule was always unnecessarily complicated.
For most teams, having additional depth at another position would have been more useful than the ability to insert the third quarterback into the game whenever they wanted. So the players and owners collectively agreed to abolish the rule.
But that decision could have been a mistake. And Clay isn’t the only one who thinks so.
To be fair, all teams still have the option to outfit a third quarterback; he would only count as one of their 46. But most teams opt to have an additional position player available instead.
It’s a risk-reward strategy I guess. And one could argue that if you don’t have your third quarterback, you’re probably screwed anyway.
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But tell that to QB3 brock purdy.