During the 2017 NFL Playoffs, TSFJ will rank the participating quarterbacks based on trust. The rankings will be centered on past performances in the postseason. It may seem a bit unfair, but if your favorite quarterback has yet to win a playoff game you will be disappointed where he ranks. So, with that said, let’s take a glance at the first edition of the Quarterback Trust Power Rankings.
12. Connor Cook, Oakland Raiders
With injuries to Derek Carr and Matt McGloin, the once promising Oakland Raiders will have to rely on a rookie under center. Connor Cook will be making the first start of his NFL career, and it couldn’t come at a more inconvenient time. Nothing against Cook, but it’s hard to make your debut on the road in the most important game of the season.
11. Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans
21 wasn’t the only Savage who made headlines in 2016. Quarterback Tom Savage pieced together a solid end to the season before suffering a concussion in Week 17. With Savage out, the Texans will have to trust the erratic Osweiler. His regular season output doesn’t call for much trust in his abilities, but the Texans have no choice but to rest their playoff livelihood on their pricey quarterback.
10. Matt Moore & Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
Injury reports are finicky, so I am going to include both Miami Dolphins quarterbacks. Backup QB Matt Moore is the starter as of today with rumors about a possible Tannehill return flying. To be honest, it doesn’t matter which one will play, because it won’t have any impact on our rankings. If Tannehill does play against the Steelers, it will give the Dolphins a better chance to win. If he doesn’t, the Dolphins may have to call Ricky Jerret and Spencer Strasmore for extra help.
9. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Life without “Megatron” hasn’t been so bad for Matthew Stafford. Although the deep throws don’t come as often, he’s altered his attack by utilizing a short-to-intermediate passing game. Like many quarterbacks in this year’s playoffs, he has minimal postseason experience. In two playoff appearances, he’s 0-2 but played solid in both contests. This year could spell change for the former Georgia Bulldog, but a victory is a must for him to climb up the rankings.
8. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Matty Ice is one of the best regular season quarterbacks in the NFL, but his success hasn’t translated into the postseason. This could be the best chance for him to have a signature playoff run, but it's hard trust someone with a 1-4 record in the postseason.
7. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
As the NFC's No. 1 seed, the pressure is on the Dallas Cowboys to live up to top billing with all eyes on the rookie quarterback. In a strong rookie campaign, Prescott displayed the ability to thrive in a pressure-laden setting, but the playoffs are a different animal. To his benefit, he has talent surrounding him to play well. Therefore, the level of trust increases for Prescott.
6. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Alex Smith is the Rodney Dangerfield of quarterbacks. He doesn't get the respect on a national level, and his numbers may never warrant enough praise. Despite the naysayers and alleged shortcomings, Smith has shown the ability to play well in the playoffs. The Chiefs are a legit Super Bowl contender thanks to Smith and an elite defense. Is this the year that Alex finally gets his due? We shall see.
5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
I know a lot of people are saying how in the hell is A-A-Ron so low on this list? Before you berate me with vulgar comments, hear me out. Compared to the four quarterbacks in front of him, he has the lowest playoff win percentage at .538. Although Rodgers has played some of his best football in the postseason, it hasn't been a recent trend. Since the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2010, Green Bay has two playoff victories. My heart tells me that I need to rank him higher, but my level of trust for Rodgers has tampered a bit thanks to his recent letdowns in the postseason.
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
At times it feels like Russell gets lost in the shuffle when talking about elite quarterbacks. In the postseason, he has demonstrated that he can go tit-for-tat with the league’s best signal-callers. His playoff record of 7-3 speaks for itself. If it wasn’t for a one-yard blunder in Super Bowl 49, he would likely have two championship rings.
3. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
"Big Ben" is one of three quarterbacks in this year's playoffs that have two or more Super Bowl rings. In addition to the gaudy jewelry on his fingers, he is second to Tom Brady in playoff victories among active players. Unlike previous playoff stints, Roethlisberger has a healthy team, and that should scare the rest of the NFL.
2. Eli Manning, New York Giants
I bet you didn’t know Eli has the best playoff winning percentage (72 percent) for all active quarterbacks who have played more than 10 playoff games. Yes, his regular season woes are hard to overlook, but in the playoffs, he morphs into one of the most clutch quarterbacks that the league has ever seen. What's more impressive is that he’s the catalyst behind two Super Bowl victories over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Selecting Brady at the top spot is a no-brainer. The future Hall of Famer holds the NFL record for the most playoff wins by a quarterback. In addition to being atop of the NFL record books, he is fresh off of one of his best regular seasons in recent memory. In 12 games, he tossed 28 touchdowns to two interceptions. To no surprise, the four-time Super Bowl winner has exhibited that he can win championships in different ways. Whether being a gunslinger or game manager, as long as Brady is under center, New England is the favorite.