NFL

Divisional Round QB Rankings – Who Has The Best Matchups

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Wildcard weekend ended up having some drama after all. It started off poorly with Kansas City demolishing Houston, 30-0, but how about that Steelers-Bengals game?

That contest was one of the most physical games you’ll ever see, and on Sunday Russell Wilson and Teddy Bridgewater were throwing cold turkeys around in what was the third-coldest game in NFL history.

Last but not least, how about them Packers?

At least for one evening, Green Bay’s offense returned to dominance.

As we fast forward to the divisional round, let’s take a look at which quarterbacks have the best matchups.

1. Carson Palmer vs. Packers – When the Arizona Cardinals faced the Green Bay Packers a few ago, Carson Palmer completed 18 of 27 passes to go along with two touchdowns and one pick.

Arizona went on to win in dominating fashion (38-8).

After just recently seeing Green Bay’s defense, expect for Palmer to be even more efficient this time around.

2. Cam Newton vs. Seahawks – The front runner for MVP couldn’t have been too far down the list, even if he does have to face Seattle’s vaunted defense.

In Newton’s matchup against Seattle earlier in the year, he struggled for the most part, however he came through when his team needed him most in the fourth quarter.

3. Tom Brady vs. Chiefs – On paper, this matchup doesn’t seem too favorable at all for Tom Brady.

First of all, New England’s offensive line has been banged up all season, which isn’t good news with Kansas City’s front seven coming to town.

With that being said, it’s the playoffs and Bill Belichick’s team almost always seem to find a way to get the job done. It also helps that Julian Edelman will be back.

4. Aaron Rodgers @ Cardinals – Is Aaron Rodgers back?

After a couple months of pedestrian play, the former Super Bowl champion appeared to get his rhythm back last week in DC.

Rodgers tossed two touchdowns, while having zero interceptions to go along with a 93.5 quarterback rating.

Things will get a lot tougher this week against Arizona’s tremendous secondary, but it’s a welcomed sign to see this Packers offense look like it’s old self.

5. Russell Wilson @ Panthers – Up until last week, Russell Wilson was the hottest quarterback in the entire league.

How much did the frigid weather play a factor?

I think it’s fair to say when playing in the third-coldest game in NFL history, how you handle and throw the ball will be affected to some degree.

Now, it won’t be nearly as cold in Carolina, but Wilson will be facing a much tougher defense that’s well rested.

6. Ben Roethlisberger @ Broncos – Will he play or not?

No one truly knows at this point, but it’s Big Ben so we’re going to assume he’s not missing this game unless the injury is more serious than we originally thought.

If Ben does in fact play, he’ll have his hands full against this very well rounded Broncos defensive unit.

7. Alex Smith @ Patriots – The Chiefs will be bringing their 11-game winning streak to Foxborough.

During the streak, Alex Smith has looked like more than just a ‘game manager’. Sure, his numbers won’t completely blow you away, nonetheless Smith has shown the capability of putting his team in good positions, while spreading the ball around.

Having said that, you better believe Belichick’s defense will be well prepared, especially at home.

8. Peyton Manning vs. Steelers – Statistically, Pittsburgh has the worst pass defense of all the teams remaining.

On the flip side, future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning is the worst quarterback remaining based off this year.

Something has to give, right?

Considering how downright awful Peyton has been, I’m going to have to say he loses this battle.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.