NFL Playoff Predictions: Quarterbacks Who Will Shine in Divisional Round

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIJanuary 10, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 07:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots and Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos greet each other at midfield following the game on October 7, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

There's nothing quite like a good quarterback to help you in the NFL playoffs, and these guys are the ones who will be shining brightest as they lead their teams to the conference championship games, and potentially the Super Bowl.

Be sure to watch as these quarterbacks carve up their opponents this weekend.


Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

He's having another MVP-caliber season, and Manning's next opponent is the aging, tired, poor pass defense of the Baltimore Ravens.

OK, maybe I'm being a bit harsh on the Ravens, but the fact still remains that this is no longer the defense it once was. The team ranked in the bottom half against the pass this season, giving up 228.1 yards per game through the air.

The Ravens are coming off a tough game against the Indianapolis Colts, and have played 10 games in 10 weeks. The team is surely wearing down defensively, and Manning is going to have a field day against them.

In his last two games, Manning averaged 321.5 yards per game, and threw for six touchdowns and just one interception. He is playing well right now, and his average passer rating during those games was 125.7.

Manning and the Broncos are also coming off a bye week, which is great news for the team. After the team's bye week this season, Manning threw for 305 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

With an extra week to prepare and a run-down defense on tap, you can expect Manning to have a big day.


Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

The last rookie quarterback left standing, Wilson has all the makings of a huge week in the divisional round.

Incredible versatility. An easy matchup. A string of great games. Wilson has them all.

His dual-threat nature always makes him difficult to stop. He can burn teams with his arm or with his legs, and he is equally effective with both.

Wilson faces the Atlanta Falcons 23rd-ranked pass defense, which gives up 242.4 yards per game, and has been giving up big numbers to mediocre quarterbacks.

Finally, he has been playing great football since Seattle cut him loose and started completely trusting him. In his last four games, Wilson tallied 11 touchdowns (seven passing, four rushing) and threw only one interception. He has been on fire, and the Falcons certainly won't be able to stop him.

Wilson is in for a big day, and I see him pulling off the upset as the Seahawks roll the Falcons.


Tom Brady, New England Patriots

It's Tom Brady. It's the postseason. You do the math.

No one is quite as clutch as Tom Brady in January, and he will show why once again this week.

Brady and the Patriots have a matchup with the Houston Texans, who the team already steamrolled in Week 14, winning 42-14.

Brady had a big game in that contest, throwing for 296 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He was on the bench for a good portion of the fourth quarter, but if he had stayed in I have no doubt that he could have thrown for 300 yards and five scores.

Look for a similar performance this week.