NFL playoffs show it’s all about QB (and Colts win it all

There's a reason Joe Flacco is going home and Peyton Manning will win another Super Bowl.

Joe Flacco is going home. Peyton Manning will win another Super Bowl. (Baltimore Sun)

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)
Brett Favre            Minnesota        15-24      234     4-0       134.4 (Won)
Drew Brees           New Orleans     23-32      247     3-0      125.4 (Won)
Peyton Manning    Indianapolis       30-44      246     2-1       87.9 (Won)
Phillip Rivers         San Diego         27-40     298     1-2        76.9 (Lost)
Kurt Warner          Arizona             17-26      205     0-1       73.4 (Lost)
Tony Romo           Dallas               22-35     198      0-1       66.1 (Lost; lost 2 fumbles)
Mark Sanchez      NY Jets             12-23      100     1-1        60.1 (Won)
Joe Flacco            Baltimore          20-35      189     0-2       48.4 (Lost)

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.

99 comments Add your comment


January 18th, 2010
12:04 pm


January 18th, 2010
12:04 pm


Barnacle Bill Bavasi

January 18th, 2010
12:10 pm

You have the correct picks. An early congratulations.

Although, that No. 1 Jets defense does give me pause. Nah, you got it right.


January 18th, 2010
12:11 pm

What’s your thoughts on Favre’s late TD pass?


January 18th, 2010
12:11 pm

Looking forward to a Colts/Vikings Superbowl…the GOAT vs. the GOAT in training.


January 18th, 2010
12:12 pm

norman…the Cowboys defense is paid to stop them. the Vikings O is paid to score points. BOTH TEAMS are paid to play until the whistle blows. quit crying!


January 18th, 2010
12:13 pm

Rex Ryan wasn’t counting on two or three other teams collapsing at the end to let the Jets into the playoffs.

I like the Colts to win it all, but I think they’ll be playing Minnesota rather than the Saints.


January 18th, 2010
12:20 pm

Saints over the vikings
Jets shock the colts

Saints win it all no matter who they play its their year I think.
that win by the Falcons over the jets is looking a lot bigger now than it was then.

Tony Romo

January 18th, 2010
12:23 pm

Hey Keith, I know you’re po’d at Favre, but burning your Wranglers and buying a pair of mom jeans just isn’t a good look for you.

See you in Cabo.


January 18th, 2010
12:24 pm

Hope Sanchez has a clean jockstrap, because this is the week he gets exposed.

Old Dawg New Trick

January 18th, 2010
12:26 pm

Peadawg- I agree how many times are we upset as fans when our teams have a shot at winning a game and don’t becuse they seem to give up? coaches and players are always saying YOU HAVE TO PLAY A FULL 60min that is not just sometimes in some games that goes for all games all the time. If you don’t want the score run up on you don’t let it happen!


January 18th, 2010
12:31 pm

Colts over Saints just seems too easy to pick. Of course that means that something insane will happen this weekend.

Ron Martin

January 18th, 2010
12:32 pm

Saints will be exposed as the frauds they are this weekend.
Colts-Vikings Super Bowl!


January 18th, 2010
12:33 pm

I hate to say this but the Jets deserve to be there. They beat a full strength Cincinnati and the best offense in the AFC with just defense and a running game. The title of your post should be “NFL playoffs show it’s all about QB……most of the time”. Jets over Colts in OT. Vikings over Saints (easier than you might expect).

Delbert D.

January 18th, 2010
12:35 pm

Georgia should have hired the Jets’ DL coach.

Rob Thomas

January 18th, 2010
12:39 pm

I won’t fall asleep on the Jets anymore. Anyone see another 2007 Giants happening?

Lucky JETS

January 18th, 2010
12:52 pm

It sad because the JETS shouldn’t even be in the playoffs. They played two playoff team’s reserves at the end of the season to get in. Makes the falcons look good seeing that we beat them at thier place….Give matt ryan a whiff of the JETS D and the birds would be unstopable.

Who Dat Nation

January 18th, 2010
12:53 pm

Ron Martin,

Bit of a spiteful hater don’t ya think?!?!?! Don’t be mad because the Saints are the better team and have beaten the dirty birds 7 out of 8 since Drew Brees arrived, and yes that includes a clean sweep even when Mike Vick aka “Ron Mexico” was still at qb. Teams don’t get this far if they were “frauds”. They won the division, clinched the top seed, and have won 9 games this year by a double-digit margin. It’s funny because everytime this year when the Saints were going to be exposed as “frauds” they demolished their opponent. First it was the Eagles, then it was the Jets, then Giants, then the almighty Pats. The closest game was the Jets, and they still won by 14 pts. I know being a hater makes it difficult for you Falcons fans to think rationally, but the Saints were the best team in the NFL up until they ran out of gas the last 3 weeks of the regular season. They are healthy now, and re-charged. I am not ready to crown them champs just yet, but they will roll Sunday over the vikes and give Indy all they can handle in Miami. Saints beat the Vikes 41-24… The cool Brees will blow all the way to the Super Bowl.


January 18th, 2010
12:56 pm

I can’t figure out what the big deal is about the late TD pass. Play some defense and you don’t have to worry about things like that. If Dallas had the ball they’d be trying their best to score a late touchdown even though it would also have been meaningless.

Najeh Davenpoop

January 18th, 2010
1:14 pm

The NFL has always been, continues to be, and will always be about line play. Whoever controls the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball wins. This is why Mark Sanchez, probably the 28th or 29th best starting quarterback in the NFL right now, is in the AFC Championship Game. This is why the Ravens beat the Patriots despite their QB putting up a QB rating of 10. The quarterbacks, as usual, get too much credit when they win and too much blame when they lose, but ultimately it comes down to who protects their quarterback, opens holes for their running game, pressures the other quarterback, and plugs up the other running game’s running lanes best.

Urban Meyer

January 18th, 2010
1:22 pm

I cant figure it out either…If I were coaching the Vikes I would have had Timmy…err…Brett throwing a pass there as well.

Go Fish

January 18th, 2010
1:25 pm

Who Dat!!!!!

Mark Richt

January 18th, 2010
1:25 pm

I would have taken a knee.

Mikey in the SAV

January 18th, 2010
1:27 pm

” your job is to stop the opponent from scoring ” whatever….classless is as classless does.
be it Urb or whomever…


January 18th, 2010
1:27 pm

Colts and Vikings in the Big Show. Hope the Vikings win it all!!

Kenny Powers

January 18th, 2010
1:29 pm

I noticed no category of BULLETPROOF TIGER in your analysis; cause then my name would dominate that list!!!

If at first you don’t suceed, quit because you probably suck like Schultz’s eyeglasses.

Keith Brooking…..i’m coming for you, whiney little slow LB, should’ve signed my bro Stevie Janowski!!

Beau Bock

January 18th, 2010
1:39 pm

If Jerry Glanville was still coaching the Falcons, they would be playing the Vikings for the NFC championship this weekend.

Bud Grant

January 18th, 2010
1:47 pm

I think the purple people eaters make it back to the super bowl and FINALLY take home the trophy…I will be there to congratulate


January 18th, 2010
1:54 pm

Beau Bock really I hope you not driving… Jerry Glanville couldn’t carry Mike Smith’s er..clipboard..really !


January 18th, 2010
2:20 pm

Poo Scat!!!!!


January 18th, 2010
2:29 pm

Colts over Jets for sure. Jets have no chance in my mind. The rest is a tossup. Vikings at Saints..who knows. Saints/Vikings vs Colts…who knows.

cattle dawg

January 18th, 2010
2:37 pm

The cowboys will only be as good as Romo.

cattle dawg

January 18th, 2010
2:59 pm

Keith Brooking is now into motivational speaking. He and Tony Robbins have a new cd coming out.

sc dog

January 18th, 2010
3:10 pm

Brooking is just another nerd from a tech school, who cries when he gets beat. No class.

Tattle Tale

January 18th, 2010
3:18 pm

Comment at 3:02 has been reported.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 18th, 2010
3:30 pm

I think the Colts are the best team and have the best quarterback but I sure would like to see the Saints win it all. Might happen; you never know.


January 18th, 2010
3:35 pm

J-E-T-S…Deal with it…Giants won a Superbowl when David Tyree caught a ball with his head…The “W” still counted…Jets, right place, right time, good coaching and a “running game”…SD was a highly touted team coming into the Game yesterday…The got bit by the “bye week”…


January 18th, 2010
4:11 pm

Vikings have LOST their last four NFC Championship appearances, one of those to a certain other NFC South team.

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January 18th, 2010
5:00 pm

The Saints are a joke. The Saints fans themselves are also jokes. They are simply not the team the media has made them out to be. A good team? Yes. The best team in the league? No.

If they beat the Vikings this weekend, and that is a big if, they will almost certainly not beat the Colts in the super bowl.


January 18th, 2010
5:05 pm

Where is the moron who keeps trying to tell Falcons fans that Joe Flacco is so much more superior than Matt Ryan at QB? Joe Flacco no TD in his last 3 playoff games. Just thought I’d mention it. I don’t care what his TEAM did, proving once again that football no matter how DEPENDENT on the QB position is still a TEAM sport, and unless you are a kicker who repeatedly is missing FG (Hello Nate Kaeding), you are not SOLELY responsible for your team’s success or LACK of success as the moron was trying to build a case against Matt Ryan this season.

I agree with Najeh…NFL is about who wins at the D-Line and O-Line. You dominate there, MOST LIKELY you will win the game.


January 18th, 2010
5:22 pm

Drew Brees is too short and the Vikings d-line is too good at getting their hands up for the Saints to repeat the pace established against Arizona. The petals fall off the rose and we find out it really stinks this weekend.


January 18th, 2010
5:40 pm

When the Saints beat the Vikings next weekend, it is sincere my hope and prayer that with less than 2 minutes remaining and the Saints up by 27 with the ball in the Vikings redzone, and with the Vikings having no timeouts left, that Drew Breez hits Devery Henderson in the Endzone and runs up the score. Then furthermore, get the Onsides kick and drive to the Vikings 30 and tack on another 3 as the time-click expires. And from that point forward, the NFL refer’s to this level of ridiculous self-aggranziment and ‘me-ism’ in the NFL as the “Favre/Childress-Effect” of the diminishing professionalism and integrity of the game. They deserve it more than anyone I’ve ever seen.


January 18th, 2010
5:43 pm

vikes will shut down Mr Manning in the SB. did u see the defensive lesson they gave Sun. a virtual tutorial didnt you watch it

Whopper Dawg

January 18th, 2010
5:44 pm

Watch out for the Jets, they do what Indy cannot – run and play great defense. They are not a fluke.


January 18th, 2010
5:46 pm

Keith Brooking is a whiny little girl. Always has been.

Bourbon Street

January 18th, 2010
5:50 pm

…..go …..SAINTS

Conyers Yellow Jacket

January 18th, 2010
5:55 pm

Yow…Jeff what a great bait with the KB story. You certainly know the drill in how to get the blogs in high gear. This is meant as a compliment!!!!

Manning and the Colts will be hard to beat by either Vikings or Saints unless these teams find
a way to stop him. They don`t need to worry about a running game since the Colts are last in the NFL in rushing.

Bow Wow

January 18th, 2010
6:08 pm

Ellerbe is Lewis’ understudy in thuggery. Great makeup. You be bad! But you lost anyway.