NFL Playoffs 2012: 8 Players We Just Expect to Dominate

Bill Robbins@bill_kc28Correspondent IJanuary 3, 2012

NFL Playoffs 2012: 8 Players We Just Expect to Dominate

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    With the '11 NFL playoffs just right around the corner, it's time to preview some of the players that we think will do very well this postseason.

    Super Bowl-winning QBs Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers and Drew Brees top this list, but there are several players we think will annihilate their competition this year.

    Here is the full list of eight players that we just expect to dominate in this year's version of the NFL playoffs.

Drew Brees

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    Drew Brees and the Saints' offense have caught fire just at the right time.

    The New Orleans QB threw for 14 combined touchdowns in his team's last three games of the regular season, giving him 46 TD passes for the year.

    This is great news for Saints fans, who would love to see Brees dominate again this postseason and bring him another Lombardi trophy to "Who Dat" nation.

    Right now, I see Brees as the QB that I would least want to face in this year's playoffs.

Aaron Rodgers

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    Rodgers is arguably the best QB in the league right now.

    In the '11 regular season, he threw for 45 touchdowns and just six interceptions in 15 starts for Green Bay.

    Last year, he was on fire in the playoffs, leading the Packers to a huge Super Bowl win over the Steelers.

    I expect nothing less out of the former California Golden Bear this year.

Tom Brady

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    Over the past decade, we have gotten used to hearing the words Tom Brady and playoffs in the same sentence.

    After 30 career postseason TDs and three Super Bowl victories, it's hard not to see why.

    Out of all of the quarterbacks on this list, Brady has been the most successful in the postseason.

    I expect that to continue this year as well.

Ray Rice

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    Rice might just be the hottest RB heading into this weekend's playoffs.

    He's fresh off of a game where he ran for 191 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

    The former Rutgers star has also averaged 4.9 YPC for his playoff career.

    I look for Rice to put on a show when the Ravens begin their '11 playoff journey next weekend.

Eli Manning

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    Manning has had an up and down playoff career, but when he is on, he's very tough to beat.

    Just ask the Patriots' defense when they played the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

    Manning took over that game toward the end, when he completed an amazing pass and catch to wideout David Tyree.

    This year, Manning has one of the best young receivers in the league in Victor Cruz to go along with a tough defense playing behind him.

James Harrison

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    If there is one defensive player that steps up his game when the playoffs arrive, it's Pittsburgh OLB James Harrison.

    He's racked up 6.5 sacks in just seven career postseason games, while harassing opposing QBs in the process.

    Remember the '09 Super Bowl when Harrison scored two defensive touchdowns, with one of them coming off of an incredible 100-yard interception return?

    The rest of the league sure does, and he should dominate once again in this postseason for this strong Steelers defense.

Ben Roethlisberger

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    Even though Big Ben has had to deal with an ankle injury late in this season, I still fully expect him to dominate come playoff time.

    The Steelers QB seems to always get better once the regular season ends.

    He has guided Pittsburgh to three Super Bowl appearances already, and there is no reason to think that he can't do it again, considering the play-makers that he has on offense this year.

Calvin Johnson

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    Calvin Johnson is one of the best receivers that the NFL possesses today.

    At 6'5", 240 lbs, he is a matchup nightmare and can stretch the field on just about any defense that he faces.

    However, he has yet to participate in a playoff game in his pro football career.

    That will all change this weekend as Megatron will make his playoff debut for the Lions, and he will surely make his mark on this year's postseason.