After ranking the 12 playoff quarterbacks last week, I was confident that No. 12,
Tarvaris Jackson, wouldn't be back this week. But I wasn't sure about No. 4, the
Dolphins' Chad Pennington, since he had to face a hot Ravens defense.
While No. 3-ranked Kurt Warner was likely to send rookie Matt Ryan (No. 7) home for the season, I really expected Peyton Manning (No. 1) and the Colts to still be in the hunt, even though Philip Rivers (No. 2) and the Chargers have given them some tough games in recent years.
Manning threw for 310 yards—more than any other playoff quarterback last
weekend—and finished with a 90.4 passer rating, third-highest out of the eight
quarterbacks. But in the end, it wasn't enough.
Eight talented quarterbacks remain. So once again I used a weighted formula that includes factors such as completion average, touchdowns, interceptions, percent of passes that result in a first down,
passing yards per game, and more. Playoff experience
and the quarterbacks' recent performances, including last week's outings by the
four players who survived, were also reviewed to determine this week's rankings.
Once you've taken a look at the updated rankings, you can talk them over with other NFL
fans by starting a thread in one of our Scout.com
NFL Team Forums.
||1. (LW-3) Kurt Warner, Cardinals
YPG: 286.4 PR: 96.9 TD: 30
Comp: 67.1 1st: 36.8 INT: 14
Warner is tops among the playoff quarterbacks in YPG and first-down
percent. Last week, his passer rating (94.7) was the best among the
eight QBs. He threw two touchdown passes, one interception, and
completed a pair of passes for 40-plus-yard gains. If he minimizes his
interceptions, Arizona could go far.
||2. (LW-5) Donovan McNabb, Eagles
YPG: 244.8 PR: 86.4 TD: 23
Comp: 60.4 1st: 34.3 INT: 11
McNabb's overall numbers are middle-of-the-pack among playoff QBs,
but his 67.6-percent completion rate last Sunday was tops among the
eight quarterbacks. Other than Peyton Manning, he was the only one to
throw for 300 yards last week. He's on a roll at just the right time for
||3. (LW-2) Philip Rivers, Chargers
YPG: 250.6 PR: 105.5 TD: 34
Comp: 65.3 1st: 40.0 INT: 11
Rivers finished the year tops in the league in TDs, first-down
percentage and passer rating. But he wasn't sharp against the Colts,
posting a passer rating of just 61.9. He completed just 55.6 percent of
his throws, tossed an interception and was sacked four times. He faces a
tough Steeler defense this weekend.
||4. (LW-6) Eli Manning, Giants
YPG: 202.4 PR: 86.4 TD: 21
Comp: 60.3 1st: 35.3 INT: 10
Manning needs to show some spark early against the Eagles. In his
last five outings, he threw as many interceptions as touchdowns (3). If
he doesn't snap out of that funk, the Giants could struggle to keep
pace. Manning stood tall in the postseason last year, so it'll be
interesting to see if he can get rolling again.
||5 (LW-8). Jake Delhomme, Panthers
YPG: 205.5 PR: 84.7 TD: 15
Comp: 59.4 1st: 36.7 INT: 12
Delhomme doesn't have the numbers to reflect his overall
effectiveness as a quarterback. He's a guy you can never count out, one
of those guys who simply knows how to win. But
"effective" is only going to cut it this weekend if the
Panthers defense can keep Kurt Warner in check. Delhomme won't win a
||6. (LW-9). Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
YPG: 206.3 PR: 80.1 TD: 17
Comp: 59.9 1st: 34.5 INT: 15
Roethlisberger needs to take his performance up a notch as
Pittsburgh hosts the Chargers. He's thrown more interceptions than any of
the playoff quarterbacks. His overall numbers this year aren't all that
impressive, but a strong showing in the playoffs could provide some
||7. (LW-11) Kerry Collins, Titans
YPG: 167.2 PR: 80.2 TD: 12
Comp: 58.3 1st: 32.0 INT: 7
Collins has the lowest YPG, completion rate and
first-down percentage out of this group, but the veteran finds ways to
keep drives alive with timely completions. Three of his seven
interceptions were thrown during his last three full games. He'll have
to be more careful with the Ravens defense coming to town.
||8. (LW-10) Joe Flacco, Ravens
YPG: 185.7 PR: 80.3 TD: 14
Comp: 60.0 1st: 33.4 INT: 12
You have to like Flacco's field presence, but if the Ravens are
going to have a shot at the Lombardi Trophy, he'll need to step it up.
The rookie completed a dismal 39.1 percent of his throws for a mere 135
yards and no touchdowns against Miami. But at least he didn't melt down
like Chad Pennington.
All photos in this feature were shot by Getty Images photographers.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features
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