3 Quarterbacks Tom Brady and the Patriots Should Avoid in the Playoffs

Marc FreshmanContributor IDecember 16, 2011

3 Quarterbacks Tom Brady and the Patriots Should Avoid in the Playoffs

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    Tom Brady can’t avoid them all, but there are some he should try to dodge as much as possible.

    As a Patriots fan, I have two postseason team lists: a “let’s play ‘em” list and a “let’s not and say we did” list. Bottom line, there are a few quarterbacks I prefer to bypass more than others.

    The guys on this list are not necessarily the best quarterbacks in the league. This isn’t a ranking of greatness; this is a ranking of quarterbacks who have the best chance of throwing Tom Brady off his game and keeping the Patriots from moving forward in the playoffs.

    That’s certainly not to say that the Patriots can’t beat the guys on this list. But there’s just something about the looks in the eyes of these quarterbacks that I don’t trust. 

    Here are the three quarterbacks I least want to see in the playoffs.

T.J. Yates

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    The Houston Texans have suffered through every bad thing that can possibly happen to a football team in a single season, and they’re still winning. 

    Consider where the Colts are without their starting quarterback. 

    Now consider that the Texans are playing with their third-string quarterback, and they’re tied for first place in their conference.

    I hate playing against teams in the midst of a dream season. When you enter a contest like that, you’re never really playing the team, you’re playing the legend. That’s why more than a few Patriots fans are dreading the Broncos game on Sunday. You always want to play a team, not a newspaper headline; such as "Texans Stun Pats."

    You just don’t know what a dream season team is capable of. They’re so damn excited to finally be getting so far in the playoffs, they value every second of it. And the further they get, the stronger their adrenaline pumps. It creates an air of uncertainty for opposing teams. Nobody, not even Coach Belichick, would truly know what to expect from the Texans. The situation is that strange. 

    Dream season teams are notoriously difficult to prepare for. Yeah, you can watch their film and deconstruct any schemes you want. But on that field, all bets are off. 

    Like the Texans themselves, T.J. Yates’ biggest advantage is his mystery. Even the most sophisticated NFL experts don’t really know what to make of him. 

    He was a Tar Heel with a few impressive records, including single-season passing yards, single-season total offense and career passing yards. In his senior year, he threw for 3,418 yards and 19 touchdowns.

    This is too much madness to deal with. This is a story that outshines Tebow, especially if they win some playoff games. It’s an experiment that I prefer the Patriots would just avoid.

    Yates’ team is playing like they’re on a Biblical mission to bring the Lombardi Trophy to Houston. It’s probably not going to happen, but they certainly have the potential to inflict a ton of damage along the way.

    What I’ve seen so far from Yates is enough to concern me. I would not want to play against this kid or this team. No way.

Joe Flacco

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    There’s underrated, and there’s criminally underrated. This guy falls into the latter category.

    The first Patriots game I ever attended was against the Ravens, and it was a profound experience that scarred me for life. Something about the sight of purple gives me flashbacks of witnessing Flacco carve up New England’s defense like buttered yams with a hot knife.

    Joe Flacco’s attention to detail is on a level of insanity. He’s extremely skilled, he’s a hardcore competitor and he has a knack for exposing the weaknesses of others. 

    This guy is awesome. If I wasn’t a Patriots fan, I’d wear his jersey. There are some quarterbacks who absolutely deserve to own one of the 32 slots in the league, and this man is one of them.

    Flacco is a monster. Why other people don’t recognize it is beyond me. You underestimate him at your own peril.

    The best way to deal with Flacco is to avoid him altogether. 

Eli Manning

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    Originally, Aaron Rodgers was going to be my NFC pick.

    But the more I thought about it, the more I felt comfortable playing against him in the Super Bowl. Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFC, and that’s a good reason for the best quarterback in the AFC to play him. 

    I always prefer to play against the best teams because it’s an even match; I was more than happy to face the Lakers in 2007-2008 because they were as good as the Celtics, so an upset on either end was impossible.

    Unlike Super Bowl XLII, where, well, you know...

    Something about the sight of Tom Brady drives Eli Manning nuts. I don’t know what it is, but it’s the truth.

    The Giants elevate their game to another level when they see the Patriots on their schedule. They prepare harder, they work harder and they play harder.

    Eli Manning is not the best quarterback in the league, but I might go so far as to say he has the biggest heart. He never gives up. His will to win is staggering and brutal. And I’ve never seen a quarterback emotionally crush teams the way he does. He’s absolutely vicious.

    He’s having an incredible season, and something tells me he’s not done yet. This is the last quarterback I would want to see in a potential Super Bowl matchup. 

    I’ll take Aaron Rodgers.