NFL Divisional Playoffs: QB Rankings

Last week there were 12, now just eight remain. Who are the top NFL quarterbacks as teams prepare for the divisional playoff round this weekend?'s Senior NFL Analyst, Ed Thompson, lines them up for you with this week's quarterback rankings.

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 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 Philadelphia.
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 shootout.
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 redemption.
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 are published across the network and at You can contact him by email through this link.

Scout NFL Network Top Stories