The NFL Playoffs completed its first weekend, and there were several noticeable surprises sandwiched between generally uninspiring play. The Houston Texans and C.J. Stroud defeated the Cleveland Browns as Stroud’s magical rookie season continues for one more week. The Miami Dolphins once again proved they aren’t built for the cold as they froze against the Kansas City Chiefs in sub-zero temperatures, and the Philadelphia Eagles bowed out in disappointing fashion, losing to the upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers and reclamation project Baker Mayfield.
While the action wasn’t inspiring on the field, there were still reasons to be inspired, especially if you are a Christian. Five postseason teams featured quarterbacks who are devout, professed Christians in a stunning turnaround from recent seasons. That isn’t to say there aren’t men of faith in the league. It is common to see players praying before and after games, but to have five players at the most important position helmed by men of God is encouraging for Christians everywhere.
C.J. Stroud is an outspoken man of God and talks of his faith openly. His Texans defeated the Browns, and Stroud became the youngest quarterback ever to win a playoff game. After the win against the Browns, the first thing Stroud did was praise Jesus, but NBC and the Texans apparently edited out his comments before posting them to social media. The snub did not go unnoticed, as TikTok and X users erupted in defense of Jesus Christ.
Earlier in the season, after a game against Tampa, Stroud praised God when he said: “These last couple of weeks, I’ve been up and down. I’ve been going through a lot on and off the field. But when you give your life to the Lord, He gives you opportunities, and it’s what you do with it. I do it for the glory of God, man.”
Kansas City and Philadelphia have professed men of God at the position in Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts. The two dueled it out in last year’s big game, providing one of the most exciting finishes in Super Bowl history. Mahomes and the Chiefs will play on after defeating the Dolphins; however Hurts and his Eagles fell apart against the Bucs and now must look forward to next season.
Speaking of the Dolphins, their quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, is also a professed Christian and one of the best men in the league. He added one of the best quarterbacks in the league to his resume after leading the NFL in passing. Even though the Dolphins season is over, Tua should keep them in the conversation for years.
The only Christian quarterback not to play in the first round was San Francisco 49ers signal-caller Brock Purdy. Purdy and the Niners hold the number one overall seed in the NFC and are set to play their first game next weekend. For Purdy, it is the most improbable journey to the top of the NFL. Despite being the very last player drafted the year prior, the Iowa State product stepped in midseason last year and didn’t miss a beat, taking the team to the cusp of the Super Bowl before injuring his elbow.
Purdy is once again playing MVP-caliber football and is leading arguably the best offense in the league. Were it not for his faith, it is questionable how Purdy would have overcome essentially being an afterthought coming out of Iowa State and then battling back from a serious elbow injury to be even better than he was. If the Super Bowl features Purdy and Mahomes or Stroud, it will be an inspiring Sunday both on the field and off.