NFL Playoff Predictions: Projecting the Top Postseason QBs

Adam OdekirkContributor IIDecember 11, 2011

NFL Playoff Predictions: Projecting the Top Postseason QBs

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    Trying to rank the quarterbacks this season could be a study in futility, since putting one behind the other will always result in harsh criticism. The problem is that most of that criticism will be warranted and supported by solid facts.

    Still, the dirty task must be done, and with some of the playoff picture becoming fairly clear, teams will be looking for what advantage they may have under center.

    Here is a ranking of the top quarterbacks heading into the postseason.

5th Place: Eli Manning

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    It should be no surprise that this list starts and ends with quarterbacks who have already won a Super Bowl. The funny thing is that Eli Manning might be playing better now than he did when he won his Super Bowl.

    Despite the fact the Giants have fallen onto hard times recently, New York seems to have an inside track to the NFC East crown. Surely, the play of Eli Manning inspires more confidence than his counterpart in Dallas.

    Eli's dogged persistence has helped to keep the Giants in, and win, many games this season. That makes for a scary playoff matchup.

4th Place: Ben Roethlisberger

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    Betting against Ben Roethlisberger in the playoffs has usually been a pretty bad bet. This year could be more of the same. 

    Even though the Baltimore Ravens swept the season series with Pittsburgh, the Steelers will be happy to have a playoff proven veteran like Roethlisberger under center as opposed to Joe Flacco.

    Roethlisberger seems to get better as a quarterback every year, which is frightening because he already had two Super Bowl victories under his belt to date.

3rd Place: Tom Brady

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    Times have changed, and even though Tom Brady is not at the top of this list, he is still a dangerous threat come January.

    The New England Patriots have become more of a one-man show with Brady this season than they ever have before, but that's not a bad guy to have in a starring role.

    Brady has a revamped offense with some tough matchups at tight end, and that alone could propel Brady and the Patriots back to the Super Bowl.

2nd Place: Drew Brees

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    Brees is on a record-breaking pace this season, and his Saints offense is showing signs that it may be more dangerous than it was when they won their only Super Bowl in 2009.

    The resurgence of Darren Sproles and the emergence of Jimmy Graham have a lot to do with the fact that they have Drew Brees leading their offense.

    Brees is leading the charge for his Saints to shock the NFC and head to their second Super Bowl, but they will have to go through the No. 1 quarterback on this list. Brees might be the only guy who can.

1st Place: Aaron Rodgers

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    Aaron Rodgers is setting the standard for quarterback play this season with his undefeated Green Bay Packers.

    His stunning command of the offense makes the Packers virtually impossible to game plan against, and it seems clear that the biggest threat to the Packers' perfection is themselves.

    Rodgers is playing so well that only mistakes on his part could derail their road to repeating. So far this season, there has not been anything that an opposing team can try to do and win.

    It may literally come down to ensuring that Rodgers does not have the ball last and is not on the field as the only way to beat the Packers.