Ranking the 14 quarterbacks in the NFL playoffs: Strengths, weaknesses and what’s at stake

Quarterbacks alone can’t make a Super Bowl run, but let’s be honest, they’re the biggest factor in one, and it isn’t close. And so heading into the 2021 NFL playoffs, let’s rank the players at the most important position for all 14 teams. I wanted to take a look at each playoff quarterback individually and figure out which QB you’d most want on your team.

To rank the QBs, I’m relying on a variety of advanced metrics. Note that I am are considering these quarterbacks in a vacuum: Imagine they had the same team around them and were facing the same set of opponents. First and foremost, Total QBR — which is ESPN’s expected points added-based rate stat that accounts for important context when evaluating efficiency. Straight up EPA, metrics from NFL Next Gen Stats (most notably, completion percentage over expectation, or CPOE) and our predictive QB EPA rating (an input into ESPN’s Football Power Index) were all consulted as well. Plus, there’s a dash of my own judgment, of course.

I’m including all 14 quarterbacks’ biggest strengths and weaknesses, and ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters also chimed in with what’s at stake during these playoffs for every QB. Let’s get started with a familiar name (though he might be a shock at No. 1 here to some)

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