Houston Texans

Rapid QB evolution — more Lamars and Deshauns, fewer Kirks and Toms — will define this NFL season

The NFL season began on Thursday night with Mahomes dueling with another exceptional young quarterback, Deshaun Watson.

This isn’t Johnny Unitas wearing lightning bolts; this is more like Joe Montana moving to Kansas City or Brett Favre temping with the Vikings.

Newton is one of the great dual-threat quarterbacks in league history, and will challenge Belichick to devise an offense that highlights his skills and keeps him healthy.

Some teams are scrambling to immediately upgrade the position; others chose a quarterback early in the draft and made him a starter within two seasons of his arrival.

The top seven: Jackson, Mahomes, Drew Brees, Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford and Watson.

The rising tide of talent at the position means that this season the Vikings will pay Cousins about $40 million to not be a top-10 quarterback.

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