NFL QB Rankings: Playoff Edition

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Jan 1, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

To ascertain cover32’s quarterback rankings, statistics such as completion percentage, quarterback rating (QBR), touchdown to interception ratio, and average yards per game were compiled with quarterback rankings from the top sports authorities and analysts from around the industry to arrive at the current projection.

Quarterback rankings have been updated for each starting quarterback heading into the playoffs of the 2016 regular season.


AROUND COVER32

Winners and Losers:  The fat lady has sung

QB Rankings:  NFL Week 17 — The last dance

Five Questions:  NFL Week 16 — Jerry’s World is a-rockin’

Power Rankings:  NFL Week 17 — 2016’s Curtain Call

cover32 Exclusive:  NFL Pick’ems Week 17 — In a blink


NFL Quarterback Rankings:  Playoff Edition

1. Aaron Rodgers

After looking like it was going to be a tough year, Rodgers turned in another elite performance this season, finishing ahead of all quarterbacks in touchdowns thrown and ranking in the top-five in nearly all other passing categories. Though it took til week 17, Rodgers led the Packers to their sixth division title in seven years and could very well be this year’s MVP.

2. Tom Brady

Brady was Brady again this season and has been among the league’s most consistent and successful signal callers. He piled up the wins this year and passed Peyton Manning as the NFL’s all-time winningest quarterback, a mark he should continue to add to over the next few years.

3. Matt Ryan

Ryan ended the year among the league’s most productive quarterbacks, ranking first in passer rating and second in both passing yards and touchdowns. He was the early season MVP favorite and despite slowing down over the second half, Ryan still finished as viable candidate to take home the award.

4. Ben Roethlisberger

With the emergence of Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers have had to lean on Roethlisberger less. As a result, he has done more with fewer opportunities. Big Ben finished just 181 yards shy of passing for more than 4,000 yards for the fifth time in his career and threw for his third highest touchdown total, despite suffering a knee injury that would have derailed most’s seasons.

5. Russell Wilson

Wilson struggled with injuries for much of the year, but hung in and led the Seahawks to their third division title in four years. He finished with career-high in pass attempts, yards and interceptions, while recording career-lows in passer rating, touchdowns and yards per attempt. Wilson struggled with consistency throughout the year and Seattle will need him dialed-in if they are going to make a run in the postseason.

6. Matt Stafford

Stafford became the fastest player to reach 30,000 yards this season, doing it in just 109 games, surpassing Dan Marino and Kurt Warner. Despite losing Calvin Johnson, Stafford compiled one of his better seasons, passing for highest yardage total in three years while throwing for a career-low in interceptions and has been mentioned as a possible MVP candidate.

7. Eli Manning

Manning has not missed a start in the past 12 seasons and has now played in 201 games, passing both Brett Favre and his older brother Peyton. He has become a more efficient passer as his tenure has worn on and finished the year with one of his highest career completion percentages. It would not be wise to underestimate Manning this time of year, as he has a way of capturing postseason magic.

8. Dak Prescott

Prescott was thrust into the starter’s role after Romo went down with an injury and answered with an impressive rookie campaign, setting several franchise marks. He exceeded expectations, keeping the starting job even when Romo was ready to return. Prescott is among the lead candidates for Rookie of the Year, along with teammate and fellow rookie standout, Ezekiel Elliott.

9. Alex Smith

Smith continues to be the league’s preeminent game manager and guided the Chiefs to their first division title since 2010. He had one of his most efficient and productive years in Kansas City, recording his best season in both completion percentage and passing yards as the Chiefs’ signal caller.

10. Matt Moore/Ryan Tannehill

Stepping-in for an injured Tannehill, Moore has played his best football as a quarterback in the NFL. Moore passed for multiple touchdowns while throwing no more than one pick in each of his three starts as the Dolphins’ signal caller, while helping them to their first playoff appearance since 2008. While Tannehill has not been ruled out for Miami’s Wild Card game, Moore will likely start under center.

11. Connor Cook/Matt McGloin

Derek Carr was on his way to leading the Raiders to their first Super Bowl appearance, when disaster struck in the form of a broken fibula, effectively ending his season. In his first game filling-in for Carr, McGloin was pummeled by the Broncos and forced from the contest. Cook came-in in relief and finished the game, outperforming McGloin. McGloin’s chances of suiting up on Sunday are in-doubt as Cook figures to draw the start in his absence.

12. Tom Savage/Brock Osweiler

The chaos under center for Texans continues to haunt them as they enter the postseason. With Osweiler underwhelming, after Houston opened-up their pocketbooks to land the lauded signal caller, they decided to turn passing duties over to Savage. Making his first start, Savage was knocked from week 17’s contest, forcing the Texans to go back to Osweiler. It doesn’t look as if Savage will recover in time for Sunday’s playoff contest, so Houston will have little choice but to turn back to the year’s most inefficient quarterback.

– Miles Dittberner, is the National Editor of cover32 and also covers the Minnesota Vikings. Like and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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