This weekend, when teams hit the field for the AFC and NFC Conference Championships, the four remaining starting quarterbacks will make the NFL’s record books for a stat they can’t control.
On Sunday, Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts, and Brock Purdy will become only the second group of quarterbacks to play in the conference title game at age 27 or younger, per ESPN’s Field Yates. Further still, with a combined average age of 25.3 years old, they’re the youngest quarterback quartet to reach the conference title round in NFL history.
For Mahomes, reaching the AFC conference title game is old hat. After leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a 27-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional round last week, Mahomes became the first quarterback to reach the conference championship game five times before turning 30. The 27-year-old is 2-2 in AFC title games and will be looking to avenge last year’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in a rematch Sunday.
Along with Mahomes, the 26-year-old Burrow is the only remaining quarterback of the four to have conference title game experience. After leading the Bengals to the Super Bowl last season, Burrow has Cincinnati back in the title game for the second year in a row. On Sunday, Burrow looks to stay undefeated in conference finals and improve to 2-0 against Mahomes in them.
Meanwhile, with a combined age of 47 years, and 208 days, Hurts and Purdy will become the youngest quarterbacks in NFL history to battle in a conference championship game, per ESPN Stats and Info.
At 25, Hurts is the youngest quarterback to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to the NFC title game, beating out Donovan McNabb by mere months. Meanwhile, according to CBS Sports Douglas Clawson, Purdy is only the fifth rookie to start a conference title game and is looking to be the first among them to win. Also, if the 49ers are victorious on Sunday, Purdy will pass Miami Dolphins Hall of Famer Dan Marino as the youngest quarterback to start Super Bowl.
Youth is undoubtedly the story of this weekend’s games, and this might only be the beginning. Mahomes and Burrow seem destined to fight for the AFC crown for years to come, while the emergence of Hurts and Purdy shows the tide could be shifting atop the NFC.