Netflix Football Documentary ‘Quarterback’: A Must-See for NFL Fans

In the opening moments of the eight-part Netflix football documentary, “Quarterback,” executive producer Peyton Manning expresses his belief that there’s no tougher role in sports than being the quarterback leading an NFL offense. Manning, with his illustrious 18-year career, including winning two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, and earning five NFL MVP awards, understands the immense responsibility. It’s a heavy burden to bear, knowing that the fate of a game or an entire season hinges on your decisions, with eleven teammates looking to you for guidance.

One of the key factors that make this documentary truly captivating, aside from its insider access and multifaceted exploration of the 2022-2023 season, is the compelling nature of its subjects. We’re given a glimpse into the lives of three quarterbacks, each at a different stage of their careers, grappling with distinct expectations.

Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, is arguably the face of the league and is rapidly ascending to legendary status after just six seasons.

On the other hand, Kirk Cousins has always been acknowledged as a solid quarterback. However, there have been lingering questions about his elite status and whether he can propel the Minnesota Vikings to the next level.

Lastly, let’s talk about Marcus Mariota, who sought a second chance at a starting role with the Atlanta Falcons after being sidelined by the Tennessee Titans and serving as Derek Carr’s backup for two years with the Las Vegas Raiders. Success comes in various forms, and for Mahomes and the Chiefs, it culminated in a Super Bowl LVI victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Yet, all three narratives shared in this documentary carry significant weight. Not only do sports enthusiasts and viewers hear the players’ on-field banter during games, but we also get a glimpse of their lives at home with their families.

This is where “Quarterback” truly shines, as the personal stories act as a bridge to their on-field journeys. In Cousins’ case, his deep connection to family matches his competitiveness. Julie, his wife, reveals how she helps him choose his attire for home games and their trips to Target and Sam’s Club. His preparation extends to enjoying leisure days reading books and spending quality time with loved ones to maintain his identity off the field. However, a different side of him emerges when he’s locked into the game, as vividly portrayed during the Vikings’ incredible comeback against the Indianapolis Colts in week 15, overturning a 33-0 deficit.

As the Vikings made their way up the ranks, the discussions surrounding Cousins persisted, a fact he openly acknowledged. For Mariotta, the aim was to recapture the potential he displayed as the second overall pick in the 2015 draft. Even with fresh opportunities, there are no guarantees – Mariotta had his chance to prove himself, but with the Falcons selecting Desmond Ridder in the fourth round that year, time is running out.

While it might appear that Mahomes had a smooth journey, doubts arose about the Chiefs’ ability to excel after losing Tyreek Hill and how he would stack up against formidable rival quarterbacks like the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen and the Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow (at that point, Mahomes hadn’t defeated Burrow). Particularly, you witness his fiery determination in a week five showdown against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Netflix football documentary

This Netflix football documentary delves into specific themes to provide a deeper understanding of the quarterback’s role. One aspect it highlights is the need for diligent body maintenance despite rule changes aimed at safeguarding quarterbacks. For instance, during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl campaign, Mahomes grappled with a painful high ankle sprain, while Cousins had to manage a particularly agonizing rib injury.

In addition to physical challenges, the documentary explores the cerebral aspects of the game, such as mastering the playbook and reading coverages to exploit weaknesses in the defense. What’s remarkable is how the documentary makes these complex aspects accessible even to those who aren’t football enthusiasts, engaging the audience by offering an inside look at each player’s preparation.

While not revealing all his trade secrets, Mahomes offers a glimpse of how the Chiefs adapt and adjust play calls. This documentary could have easily been a monotonous affair, but it leaves you with a broader perspective of these players as complete individuals. It’s not just about witnessing their interactions with their teammates – you also get to see them with their families and friends. All three of these men must juggle the roles of husbands and fathers in addition to being the leaders on the field in every game.

At its best, this Netflix football documentary series serves as a welcoming gateway to the upcoming football season in a documentary landscape that seeks to humanize the athletes we passionately support during their respective campaigns. It takes an immense amount of determination to step back onto the field after enduring the hits from 300+ pound adversaries who move as swiftly as they do. Somehow, these men are always ready to do just that, walking a tightrope between their professions and their home lives.

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