NFL Playoff Beginning QB Energy Rankings: Who’s AFC’s most clutch?

As we’ve seen in lots of post-seasons previous, a dominant quarterback efficiency with the flexibility to fabricate a clutch game-winning drive is commonly crucial ingredient of a Tremendous Bowl championship.

We’ve seen a handful of quarterbacks take pleasure in glorious common seasons – some data had been damaged whereas others got here shut – however who might’ve predicted originally of the 2022 marketing campaign that the 4 highest-paid pivots wouldn’t qualify for the post-season? Or, that we’d have two seventh-round rookies beginning in elimination video games?

Soccer followers will get to see a dozen of the 14 remaining beginning QBs in motion on Tremendous Wild Card Weekend. There are a few Tremendous Bowl champs, a number of former MVPs and a pair of first-overall picks amongst a gaggle that features seven quarterbacks making their playoff debuts this weekend.

With all this expertise vying for a visit to the Tremendous Bowl, we requested one easy query: Should you might choose one quarterback to earn a victory in a must-win situation, who would you most need beneath centre in your group proper now? Whereas expertise and previous wins actually depend for one thing, we’re basing our rating on this season’s performances. And the extra momentum, the higher.

So, with a handful of accidents to remember, right here is our rating of this yr’s playoff passers because it stands heading into Wild Card Weekend.

(**Denotes participant is making his playoff debut)

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs

There have been a number of totally different variations of the highest 5 of this rating, and Patrick Mahomes was atop every one among them. The NFL’s regular-season chief in passing yards and touchdowns is a confirmed winner within the playoffs and might be at full well being (with every week’s relaxation, too) heading into this post-season.

Irrespective of the way you grade him – effectivity, accuracy, clutch gene, watchability – and regardless of the play – from the pocket, on the run, rolling-out-of-a-ring-around-the-Rosie-huddle – he’s the man I would like main my group into the playoffs, interval. The one draw back of the Chiefs’ clinching of the No. 1 seed is that we don’t get to observe him this weekend. (ES)

2. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

With Burrow’s already-proven clutch gene, he belongs at or close to the highest of this record. He had a career-high 35 landing passes to solely 12 interceptions, 4 of which occurred method again in a Week 1 loss, plus he could be simply as efficient no matter who’s on the sphere. When Ja’Marr Chase missed 4 video games in the midst of the season, Burrow’s numbers didn’t undergo and the Bengals went 3-1 with two of these wins that includes Burrow-led game-winning drives. (MJ)

3. Josh Allen, Buffalo Payments

Whether or not he’s airing it out or getting severe air as he hurdles over a defender, not a recreation goes by with out at the least one utterance of “He did what?!” And whereas sure, he’s been identified to make the dangerous play and has paid within the type of some big-moment picks within the pink zone, his management and drive to danger all of it for yet one more yard is unparalleled. The scariest factor about him is that he simply retains getting higher – and within the playoffs, he’s at his greatest. (ES)

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4. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

For chunk of the season, particularly previous to his harm, Hurts was the MVP frontrunner and for good purpose. His capability to maintain defences trustworthy and off stability because of the specter of the run must be an enormous benefit within the playoffs. He solely threw six interceptions but half of them had been in his ultimate two appearances. Not one of the simplest ways to shut out the season however I view it extra like factor he obtained these subpar passing performances out of his system earlier than the must-win video games start. (MJ)

5. **Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

Due to Chargers defensive finish Breiden Fehoko, we now have the proper technique to describe soccer’s favorite introvert:

“He’s a humble, silent killer with nice hair,” Fehoko informed ESPN’s Tim Keown.

Three years into his NFL profession, Herbert is now poised to shine within the post-season highlight. His recreation is constructed for it, even when he himself doesn’t crave the eye – he’s at his greatest beneath stress, and whereas he didn’t fairly put up the MVP numbers many people anticipated, he nonetheless finishes the marketing campaign setting a brand new all-time file for probably the most passing yards, landing passes, and completions by a QB in his first three years within the NFL. (ES)

6. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Is it insulting to have the GOAT exterior the highest 5? On one hand, he threw seven interceptions in December and had his worst season from a win/loss perspective. Alternatively, how are you going to depend out Brady within the post-season when he can nonetheless sling it – he led the league in makes an attempt and completions – and are available up clutch like he did in opposition to Carolina in Week 17 with a division title on the road? He had 4 fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives within the second half of the season. (MJ)

7. **Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

This placement could also be contentious contemplating the veterans beneath however there was lots to like in regards to the 2021 first-overall choose’s play down the stretch, significantly that 15:2 TD:INT ratio. Joe Burrow, the 2020 draft’s prime choose, led his group on an inconceivable run to the Tremendous Bowl his sophomore season. May Lawrence pull off the identical feat? (MJ)

8. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousins is without doubt one of the NFL’s most curious instances. On paper, he’s an elite passer, constantly racking up a number of the league’s highest yardage counts – and this season, he’s confirmed on a couple of event he can win the shut video games and even put collectively the largest second-half comeback in NFL historical past just some weeks in the past.

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And but, there’s a belief issue he has but to shake because of some breakdowns when enjoying in prime time. This Wild Card recreation in opposition to the Giants appears like a referendum on each QBs concerned. (ES)

9. **Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers

How do you separate the person from the momentum? Within the case of Brock Purdy, you don’t. It’s unattainable. The third-stringer-turned-starter, undefeated since taking the reins six weeks in the past, is principally the NFL’s model of Elle Woods when she runs into her incredulous ex-boyfriend who questions her acceptance to Harvard Regulation:

“What, prefer it’s laborious?” (Iconic.)

Certainly, Purdy is making professional soccer look simple and whereas the pattern dimension is small and his surrounding forged probably the most full within the league, we’ve obtained to present credit score the place it’s due. He’s made an already nice group even higher. In all 5 of his begins, Purdy has tallied at the least two landing passes and has been intercepted simply twice. He’s calm within the pocket, has confirmed himself a savvy scrambler when he must be, and has made sufficient clutch performs now to recommend he’s greater than only a nice storyline.

And momentum? Nicely, that counts for one thing, too. (ES)

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10. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys starter has thrown at the least one interception in seven consecutive outings – 11 in whole throughout that stretch. He’s sometimes a lot better at dwelling than on the highway and more practical when not enjoying in an out of doors stadium. He’s 2-6 in January video games in his profession (1-3 in common season and 1-3 in playoffs) and confidence that he could be the distinction for his group heading into the weekend is middling at greatest. (MJ)

11. **Daniel Jones, New York Giants

I’ll admit, I’m caught in 2021 mode in terms of Daniel Jones, and I do know that’s unfair contemplating the quarterback himself shouldn’t be. This yr’s Danny Dimes has put final yr’s errors previously – he’s put away his penchant for fumbles and thrown simply 5 interceptions all yr (which is fewer than each different full-season starter on this record) whereas boasting an underrated run recreation.

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His head coach, Brian Daboll, has made it clear that have doesn’t matter. However as Jones prepares for his playoff debut, it’s laborious to know the place to grade him amongst his friends. He’s obtained every little thing to achieve from a powerful displaying in opposition to the Vikings. Can we belief him within the largest must-win moments? We’re about to search out out. (ES)

12. **Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

Smith’s Professional Bowl season with the Seahawks has been one of many feel-good tales of the previous 18 weeks but having that very same success in opposition to playoff-calibre defences might be a completely totally different activity. He mounted a clutch game-winning drive in opposition to the Rams in Week 18 to clinch a playoff berth for his group however the draw back is that he has 10 turnovers and is 3-5 since Week 10 with solely 5 profession video games posting greater than two TD passes. (MJ)

13. **Tyler Huntley, Baltimore Ravens

This was the hardest to rank as a result of, effectively, we don’t really know for sure which quarterback we’ll see swimsuit up for the Ravens on Sunday. However as we get nearer to gameday, it feels clearer that it gained’t be Lamar Jackson, who’s nonetheless coping with the PCL harm he suffered on Dec. 4 in opposition to Denver and has but to practise.

Whereas Huntley is a a lot better choice than third-string rookie Anthony Brown, it’s laborious to see him with the ability to make a lot noise within the playoffs this yr. (ES)

14. **Skylar Thompson, Miami Dolphins

Circumstantially, Thompson is ranked final by default however there wasn’t a lot we noticed from the seventh-round rookie third-stringer within the common season, together with his Week 18 begin in opposition to the Jets, that may point out he’s about to shock the soccer world and upset the mighty Payments within the playoffs. (MJ)

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