NFL Power Rankings: Ranking All 12 Playoff Quarterbacks

Nathaniel UyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2011

NFL Power Rankings: Ranking All 12 Playoff Quarterbacks

0 of 12

    INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 15:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts greets Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots after the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 15, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The Colts won the game 35-34.  (Phot
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    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

1 of 12

    SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 02:  (L-R) Quarterbacks Matt Hasselbeck #8 and Charlie Whitehurst #6 of the Seattle Seahawks speak on the sidelines during their game against the St. Louis Rams at Qwest Field on January 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Ott
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    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

2 of 12

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 02:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets reacts on the side lines during their game against the Buffalo Bills at New Meadowlands Stadium on January 2, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    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

3 of 12

    CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 26:  Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens throws to a receiver against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    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

4 of 12

    KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a pass in a game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri.  The Raiders won 31-10 (Photo by Tim Umphrey/Getty Im
    Tim Umphrey/Getty Images

    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

5 of 12

    CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 26: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears looks for a receiver against the New York Jets at Soldier Field on December 26, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Jets 38-34.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    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

6 of 12

    GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 26:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers rolls out of the pocket against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on December 26, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    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

7 of 12

    ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 02:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates their 31-10 win over the Carolina Panthers at Georgia Dome on January 2, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    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

8 of 12

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 28:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles in action against the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field on December 26, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    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

9 of 12

    PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 23:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers laughs on the sideline during the game against the Carolina Panthers on December 23, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    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

10 of 12

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 02:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints warms up before playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    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

11 of 12

    INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 02:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts gives instructions to his team during NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    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

12 of 12

    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 02:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on in the first half against the Miami Dolphins on January 2, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    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.