NFL Power Rankings: Ranking All 12 Playoff Quarterbacks

Nathaniel UyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2011

NFL Power Rankings: Ranking All 12 Playoff Quarterbacks

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    NFL Power Rankings are here to go over the 12 NFL quarterbacks left standing.

    With the playoffs set to begin on Saturday December 8, the guys under center will be getting a lot of attention.

    After all, they're arguably the most important guys on the football field.

    That said, here's a list ranking the postseason quarterbacks from worst to best.

    Where do Tom Brady and Peyton Manning rank?  Let's find out.

12. Charlie Whitehurst/Matt Hasselback

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    When you're the starting quarterback for a 7-9 football team that's headed into the playoffs, you deserve to be ranked at the bottom of the power rankings.

    There's still uncertainty whether or not Whitehurst or Hasselbeck will play in the Wild Card round against the defending Super Bowl champions, New Orleans Saints.

    But whichever guy Pete Carroll decides to go with, he'll have a very tough matchup to look forward to.

11. Mark Sanchez

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    The young quarterback is slumping. 

    In the last five games that he has played, Sanchez has only thrown for two touchdowns.

    That said, this is clearly not the right time to be hitting a funk.

    Sanchez got some rest in Week 17 and will need to find some of that playoff magic from last season to do well going up against Peyton Manning in the first round.

10. Joe Flacco

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    Despite being a part of a very good football team, Flacco ranks near the bottom of this list.

    The thing about this guy named Joe is that he's been nothing but ordinary in late game, and clutch situations.

    Flacco has tendency to fold under pressure.  In close games against New England, Atlanta and Pittsburgh this year, Flacco didn't display as big of a heart or desire to win in the end as the quarterbacks he was going up against. 

9. Matt Cassel

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    The Chiefs were surprise winners of the AFC West this season and a lot of that success has to do with Cassel's emergence as a pass-thrower.

    Cassel has a developed a strong rapport with breakout receiver Dwayne Bowe.  And with his workhorses Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones in the backfield, Kansas City is capable of doing damage this postseason.

8. Jay Cutler

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    We know that Jay Cutler has a great throwing arm.  But the reason he's only at the middle of this list is because of his inconsistencies this season.

    At times, can be a savvy decision maker and elite passer.  But he has also shown a tendency to freeze in the pocket and make questionable plays when under pressure.

    If he works out the kinks, then look out.

7. Aaron Rodgers

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    Here's a guy that was snubbed by the Pro Bowl despite putting up impressive numbers this season.

    Rodgers is a big reason the Packers nabbed the final NFC spot in the playoffs.  This year, despite all the injuries that the Packers had to deal with, Rodgers still threw for 3,922 yards and 28 touchdowns.

6. Matt Ryan

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    Young Mr. Ryan proved himself to be an up-and-coming young clutch quarterback this season.

    With his ability to thrive in pressure situations, Ryan has drawn comparisons to some of the league's best quarterbacks.

    Some believe he's not on par with Brady or Manning yet.  But this year's playoffs could be his chance to prove himself as a star. 

5. Michael Vick

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    The Eagles are a rejuvenated football team and the biggest reason for that is Michael Vick.

    Vick, unlike any of the other quarterbacks on this list, has the athleticism and versatility to make big plays with his feet.

    This year, he's been labeled an MVP candidate, because of his improved decision-making with the football and efficiency as a passer.

    On top of that, Vick simply makes his teammates better.

    The only thing that's keeping him from being ranked higher than the Top 4 on this list, is a championship.

4. Ben Roethlisberger

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    He's a two-time Super Bowl winner and a very important offensive weapon for the Steelers.

    Roethlisberger is their undisputed leader.  As a big presence in the pocket and his ability to throw the ball deep, Roethlisberger can make big plays at any given time. 

3. Drew Brees

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    Brees was the star of last year's postseason, winning the Super Bowl MVP award.

    With a receiving corp that lacks a true go-to guy, it's Brees' ability to spread the ball around and his leadership late in games that make the Saints a very good football team.

    If the game is close, Brees is one guy you can trust near the end of a football game.

2. Peyton Manning

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    Some were already discounting Peyton Manning after a sub-par Colts season which saw them nearly miss the playoffs.

    But you really can't entirely blame him for their troubles this season.  The four-time NFL MVP is still a top quarterback in this league.

    With some veterans around him getting healthier, the Colts are definite contenders with Manning under center.

1. Tom Brady

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    Despite the emergence of Michael Vick this season, the clear cut choice for league MVP should be none other than Tom Brady.

    Brady has come on strong and has been on fire late in the season.  After the trade of Randy Moss, Brady and his receivers had to got through a short adjustment period.

    But the Pats' 14 wins in the regular season proves that it has all been worked out. 

    This year, Brady has thrown for 3,900 yards, 36 touchdowns and has only four interceptions.