The Atlantic

Do Super Bowl Hopefuls Still Need Star Quarterbacks?

Though the best signal-caller ever remains in the playoffs, his also-ran counterparts may suggest the rise of a more well-rounded sport.
Source: Brace Hemmelgarn / USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

There has been no truism in sports more durable than this: A team with Super Bowl aspirations needs a great quarterback. Any segment of NFL history will demonstrate its rightness, but recent years have done so especially.Over the 21st century, the Lombardi Trophy has been granted almost exclusively to teams with the position’s best players. It has gone to Tom Brady five times, to Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger twice, to Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson—likely Hall of Famers all. Even the rare outliers on the list of recent winners—the Baltimore Ravens’ Joe Flacco in 2013, the otherwise middling Eli Manning on two

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