10 NFL Teams That Absolutely Cannot Afford to Lose Their Starting QB

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10 NFL Teams That Absolutely Cannot Afford to Lose Their Starting QB
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The backup quarterbacks were not a big story in the NFL this season until Week 10 when four starters were injured. With three of those teams in the hunt for the playoffs, we have seen how important it is to have a backup plan.

Some teams have prepared better than others, while some teams have a much harder time replacing their quarterback because of all the deficiencies he covers up for with his unique skill set. Some teams just have a better offensive system and level of talent to work with.

San Francisco would rank 32nd on this list if it had included every team, as we have seen the 49ers are arguably a more dangerous team with Colin Kaepernick than they are with Alex Smith.

But that is not the case for most teams, especially those in playoff contention.

Here is a ranking of the 10 teams who could least afford to lose their starting quarterback. The focus is on the expected drop in performance from the starter to the backup.

One thing all 10 have in common: These teams cannot advance far into the playoffs without their starter. You might squeeze past a wild-card game, but forget about any of these backups winning a divisional playoff game or beyond.  

We probably are not even talking playoffs if these guys had to start in Week 1 this year.

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