The 2011 NFL regular season was dominated by quarterbacks, and that trend will continue into the playoffs.
Unless you have the greatest statistical defense in NFL history (2001 Ravens), you aren't winning the Super Bowl with a crappy quarterback. It's no coincidence that the last eight NFL champions had either Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers or one of the Mannings under center.
Luckily for a few teams, their quarterbacks are riding hot streaks into the playoffs. Expect these three signal-callers to continue their strong play in the postseason.
Brady has been overshadowed by Aaron Rodgers' brilliant performance, but he's having yet another spectacular season for New England.
Heading into Week 17, Brady is second in the NFL in passing yards (4,897), third in completion percentage (65.6 percent) and tied for third in passing touchdowns (36).
The last three weeks he has thrown for at least 304 yards every game. During that span he has six touchdown passes and just one interception.
Regardless of who the Pats play in the postseason, expect Brady to be in top form.
I have my doubts about the Lions' postseason chances, but none of those center around Stafford.
The third-year man out of Georgia has been phenomenal this year. He is in the top five in the NFL in passing yards (4,518), completion percentage (63.7) and touchdowns (36).
Over his last four games, Stafford is averaging nearly 350 yards per game. In the month of December, Stafford finished with 10 touchdown passes and only one interception.
The Lions will be a scary first-round matchup thanks to Stafford.
I doubt the Falcons will win a playoff game this season because they only have one victory over an opponent with a winning record.
Still, there's no denying how good Ryan has been recently.
He's averaging 305 yards while throwing eight touchdowns and no interceptions over his last three games.
If the Falcons get a favorable matchup and a big performance from Ryan, they may be able to sneak into the second round.