This is based on who I’d want if each quarterback was given an average NFL line, an average receiving group and an average run game. An average wideout group only has one real deep threat, thus having great arm strength doesn’t gain you much unless you have zip and accuracy on the short and intermediate throws, too. I’ve included the quarterbacks from round 1 as well. In fact, I wrote it before the postseason and added some notes after the Wild Card round.
THE WEAPON DIVISION
1. Aaron Rodgers. I’m surprised there is a debate about who should be MVP. Rodgers had total TDs and INTs in 15 games
2. Tom Brady. His deep game has declined a bit since his 2007 machine-like accuracy, but he’s wily and smart enough that he is capable of single-handedly defeating any team in the playoffs.
3. Ben Roethlisberger if healthy (if he is around as healthy as he was in his last game, he’d rank 13th). Ben Roethlisberger may have a unique opportunity this year to further his legacy by winning some playoff games while hurt and while some of the best Steelers are out (Ryan Clark, Rashard Mendenhall). He was clearly bothered by the injury. He’ll be back with his amazing group of weapons next season, but it may be in the same division as the Super Bowl XLVI Champions.
THE SCARY BUT VULNERABLE DIVISION
4. Drew Brees. I say this tentatively, because I believe even Jay Cutler is a better quarterback than Brees. Brees does the things asked of him, probably better than anyone on this list. He also does stuff at the line not all of these quarterbacks are capable of. However, he doesn’t throw great on the run, two of his throws last night that were big gainers should have been picked, and his lack of arm strength is covered by world-class size/speed freaks like Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston and Robert Meachum. He is a great example of how great a talented offense can be with a great playcaller and the same personnel maturing in the offense.
5. Eli Manning. Everyone knew Eli could be good if the receiving corps ever improved. Between last year and this year – and despite Mario Manningham not being completely healthy -, Eli is now an elite quarterback.
THE YOUNG ROCKETS DIVISION
6. Joe Flacco. In the regular season, I would pick Ryan over him. However, in the postseason, pass rushes will get to you and Flacco is able to evade them better than Ryan and has won in all three – albeit ugly – postseason appearances while Ryan has yet to win a game.
7. Matt Stafford. His next playoff game will be his first. He can light it up, yet his numbers have been a little inconsistent for having so many weapons and constantly playing in a dome. He played phenomenally, but the defense couldn’t stop the Saints.
THE SMART, CAGEY DIVISION
8. Matt Ryan. 0-2 in the playoffs. He doesn’t have any mobility, so he needs good protection to succeed. He fell to 0-3. There will be serious questions in the off-season about him, but their new offensive coordinator will probably want him over anyone else.
9. Alex Smith. This is the most obvious example of ranking based on “all things being equal”. If I was ranking based on likelihood to win a Super Bowl this season, Smith would come in right behind Brees and at fourth (also behind Flacco, Rodgers). It is amazing that he’s gone 160 attempts without an interception, but it is easier to do that when your team is often ahead, so you aren’t forcing anything. UPDATE: Wow, he made more big plays (and fewer dumb ones) than Drew Brees. This could get interesting. His throw to Vernon Davis was clutch and right on time. I love rooting for a guy who has had to overcome adversity.
THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE DIVISION
10. Andy Dalton. I think the rookie has great poise but he still hasn’t seen a lot of defenses. If he’s this good in his rookie year (his season, Cam’s season and Matt Ryan’s 2008 season are the best rookie QB seasons ever, in my opinion), he will move up next time after his experience this time. He had a bad game.
11. T.J. Yates. He has the same knocks as Dalton and Tebow – the lack of experience – but may have more success if they get the run game going.
THE BOUNCE PASS DIVISION
12. Tim Tebow. He will mature into a good quarterback eventually, and maybe he should be ranked higher thanks to his lack of weapons. I stand by this, even after Sunday. There are throws he still doesn’t make most of the time. Force him into them.
Hit “Like” if you think this is a good group of postseason QB’s.
Follow me at: http://twitter.com/Chris_M_Bach
More recent posts:
New “Discount Double Check” Ad, New Super Bowl Ads
The State of Fantasy Football: Year in Review
2012 NFL Mock Draft 2.0, Top 12 With Updated (12/28) Draft Order
Brad Childress News, and the Coaches and QBs For the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl Announced
Crazy Divisional Round Postseason Facts
Luck Doesn’t Want To Back-Up Peyton
Ranking The Coaching Situations and Finding The Right Fits