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What these NFL playoff quarterbacks have shared about their faith

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson answers questions from reporters after an NFL  practice on Aug. 9, 2021, in Owings Mills, Md.

The NFL playoffs are in full swing, and its quarterback scene is certainly impressive.

While each of the remaining postseason passers has his own unique skillset, many of them share a major, nonsports-related bond: faith.

Here’s what some of the league’s top arm talents have said about their religious beliefs and relationship with God.

Lamar Jackson

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in action during an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, in Baltimore. | Matt Rourke, Associated Press
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in action during an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, in Baltimore. | Matt Rourke, Associated Press

The frontrunner for league MVP honors has never been shy about praising God.

As dynamic as Lamar Jackson is on the field, the Baltimore Ravens quarterback is just as outspoken about faith off of it. He often takes to social media to discuss his beliefs.

“Lord God, you will be with us when we take a stand for you in faith,” Jackson posted to the platform formerly known as Twitter on Sept. 13. “When we defy the world’s standards and refuse to fit in with the surrounding culture, we may pay a price. But we, like Daniel’s three friends, must resolve not to bow to idols even if you do not rescue us from resultant suffering or even death. But we know that you can always deliver us and trust you will work all things together for our good.”

Jackson passed for 3,678 yards while scoring 29 total touchdowns this season for the AFC’s top-seeded Baltimore Ravens, who host Houston Saturday for a chance to play in the franchise’s fifth conference title game.

After signing a five-year, $260 million contract extension with the Ravens this past April, the former Heisman Trophy winner made sure to emphasize that his career success and subsequent payday would have never been possible without God.

“I kept him first at all times, no matter what I went through,” Jackson said. “I just kept my faith in him, and now we’re here.”

Brock Purdy

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) throwing the ball during pregame warmups before the start of the first half of an NFL football game against the <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/washington/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Washington Commanders;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Washington Commanders</a>, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, in Landover, Md. | Alex Brandon, Associated Press

Brock Purdy’s rise to NFL stardom hasn’t distracted him from what he values most.

From being selected with the final pick of the 2022 draft to leading the league in passer rating this year, Purdy has managed to remain humble by anchoring himself to God.

“(My faith) allows me to realize I’m a part of something that’s not about me,” Purdy told Rich Eisen in October. “I just want to help this team win. I want to help love on these guys here and tell them about Jesus and God and having a purpose in your life. That’s where I’m at. That’s how I think mentally.”

Purdy threw for 31 touchdowns in his first full season starting for San Francisco to earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC. His squad now prepares to face Jordan Love and the Packers Saturday night in an intriguing matchup of young quarterbacks.

“Mr. Irrelevant” has been sharing his faith all the way back since his college days at Iowa State, where he was a four-year starter for the Cyclones and made three All-Big 12 teams.

“Every time I play — no matter what happens — I want others to see God through my actions,” Purdy said in 2019. “Every time I step on the field I want to bring him glory. Even when we lose, I point to God and thank him for the opportunity. Everything happens for a reason; it’s all a lesson from the Lord. It’s a game, it’s not my life.”

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Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes continued to play with a broken helmet until the refs stopped the game, during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Miami Dolphins, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024 in Kansas City, Mo. | Reed Hoffmann. Associated Press
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes continued to play with a broken helmet until the refs stopped the game, during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Miami Dolphins, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024 in Kansas City, Mo. | Reed Hoffmann. Associated Press

Patrick Mahomes is the undisputed face of the NFL, but he feels a higher purpose driving his on-field accomplishments.

“Obviously I want to win every game, but I’m glorifying (God) every single time I’m out there,” Mahomes said prior to his first Super Bowl appearance in 2020. “As long as I’m doing everything the right way and the way that he would want me to do it, then I can walk off the field with my head held high and be able to be the man that I am.”

The two-time league MVP and Super Bowl champion has been known to dedicate two hours of his pregame routine to prayer, continuing this ritual into each of his playoff runs with the Kansas City Chiefs.

When battling injuries during the 2023 postseason, Mahomes credited heavenly help with giving him the strength to press forward amid the pain. He told CBS Sports that God “healed my body” after defeating the Bengals in the AFC championship game.

Following a frigid first-round win over the Dolphins, Mahomes and the Chiefs have been given the tall task of heading to Buffalo to take on Josh Allen’s red-hot Bills. Two more wins would put Kansas City back in the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five years.

“My Christian faith plays a role in everything I do. I mean, I always ask God to lead me in the right direction and let me be who I am for his name,” Mahomes said before last year’s Super Bowl festivities. “It has a role in everything I do and obviously, he’ll be on the huge stage in the Super Bowl that he’s given me and I want to make sure I’m glorifying him while I do it.”

C.J. Stroud

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) reacts after the win over Cleveland Browns of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan 13, 2024, in Houston. | Maria Lysaker, Associated Press
Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) reacts after the win over Cleveland Browns of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan 13, 2024, in Houston. | Maria Lysaker, Associated Press

Few players have enjoyed as excellent a debut campaign as C.J. Stroud just did.

The No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft tossed 23 touchdowns to just five interceptions as a rookie, elevating the Houston Texans from the cellar to the AFC south crown.

Amid all the hype, Stroud has still made an effort to use his platform to share his religious beliefs.

“A lot of people don’t get to live the life I do,” Stroud said in a postgame press conference on Sept 17. “It’s hard, don’t get me wrong. It’s hard, but it’s a privilege, man ... I try to do my best to thank God through all that because (of) his grace and His mercy.

“He laid his life on the cross for us. I really believe that. This is bigger than just ball, and if I have to use football for my purpose — to spread the Gospel and the life of Jesus Christ — then I’ll do that. And I think that’s what God wants.”

Stroud became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to win a playoff game by stomping the Cleveland Browns this past weekend. He threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns. The 22-year-old phenom will now attempt to upset Jackson’s Ravens Saturday in Baltimore.

“It’s been a heck of a year and I thank God, I can just go another week with my teammates,” Stroud said. “This is like a dream come true.”

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Josh Allen

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) reacts after throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Dalton Kincaid (86) during the first quarter of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Buffalo, N.Y. | Jeffrey T. Barnes, Associated Press
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) reacts after throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Dalton Kincaid (86) during the first quarter of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Buffalo, N.Y. | Jeffrey T. Barnes, Associated Press

Josh Allen didn’t always think of himself as particularly religious, but having a front-row seat to a modern miracle proved life-changing for the Buffalo Bills superstar.

Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest last January put the Bills in the worldwide spotlight, as players and fans united in prayer in hopes of keeping Hamlin alive.

Both the widespread display of faith and Hamlin’s miraculous recovery were deeply moving for Allen.

“It was kind of a spiritual awakening, really, for me,” Allen said on the “Kyle Brandt’s Basement” podcast last year. “It’s something I’ve never felt before. It’s something that I know a lot of my teammates have never felt before, and you can’t do anything about it but accept it and lean on your brothers and share that moment with them.”

The former Wyoming quarterback passed for three touchdowns and ran for another score in a Monday wild card victory over Pittsburgh.

While Allen’s Bills are in search of the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory, no moment will ever be as emotional for Buffalo as taking the field for the first time last year following Hamlin’s incident, where the Bills returned the game’s opening kickoff for a 96-yard touchdown that continued to fan Allen’s spiritual flame.

“I was going around with my teammates saying, ‘God is real,’” Allen said. “You can’t draw that one up, write that one up any better. I’ve never been struck like that before — from a play, from an experience, from an emotion — it’s never hit me that way before.

“I’ll be the first to admit, like, I haven’t been the most devoted Christ follower in my life. I’ve had my different beliefs and thoughts and ideas and stuff like that, but something got ahold of me there and it was extremely powerful that, you know, I couldn’t deny it.”

Baker Mayfield

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield reacts during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers won 32-9. | Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield reacts during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers won 32-9. | Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press

Baker Mayfield’s NFL journey has been far from conventional, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback has found peace in a simple phrase: “God (has) got a plan.”

Once a No. 1 overall draft pick, in just the past few years, Mayfield was chased out of Cleveland, cut from Carolina and let go from Los Angeles before signing a low-cost, “prove it” deal with Tampa Bay last spring.

In what seemed to be his final shot as a starting QB — playing for his eighth head coach in six years and replacing the legendary Tom Brady — Mayfield has enjoyed a career resurgence, throwing for more than 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns to capture the NFC south title.

Mayfield posted arguably his finest performance Monday night against the Eagles, piling up 337 yards and three touchdowns to upset the defending conference champions and earn a trip to face Detroit in the divisional round this Sunday.

“There are definitely moments in the last year and a half that it’s kind of like, ‘All right, what’s going on here?’” Mayfield said in November. “But God’s got a plan. So I just trust in that and take it one day at a time, and good things will happen.”