If these NFL playoffs have reaffirmed anything, it’s that teams go as their quarterback goes. I suppose you could make that case in most regular season games as well, but there’s something about the pressure of the post-season stage that brings out the best — and worst — in every quarterback.
I’ve arranged the eight quarterbacks from the weekend’s playoff games by efficiency rating. Take a look:Quarterback Team C-A Yds TD-Int Rtg. (Result)
The only quarterback who doesn’t seem to belong in the NFL’s Final Four is rookie Mark Sanchez. Then again, the Jets don’t really belong either. When the Falcons won, 10-7, in the Meadowlands, Dec. 20., it dropped New York to 7-7 and coach Rex Ryan said afterward, “We’re obviously out 0f the playoff race and that’s unfortunate.”
The Jets have won four straight since, including playoff upsets of Cincinnati and San Diego. Sanchez was efficient against the Bengals (12 for 15 for 182 yards and a touchdown). He wasn’t great vs. the Chargers but threw a go-ahead t0uchdown pass in the fourth quarter while San Diego’s Phillip Rivers was fizzling (two second-half interceptions).
It’s hard to imagine the Jets upset Indianapolis. In fact, it’s hard to imagine anybody upsetting the Colts. Think about this: If not for coach Jim Caldwell’s questionable decision to rest starters with a possible undefeated season on the line, Indianapolis might be 17-0 going into the AFC championship, where they will be heavily favored.
Here are my Final Four picks.
NFC: Saints over Vikings. AFC: Colts over Jets.
Super Bowl: Colts over Saints.