Quarterback Grades for Divisional Round

Kyle Garlett



We’re down to only eight quarterbacks left in the season, and almost everyone has a tough matchup. But still, if you’re looking for the quarterbacks with the best chance to shine this weekend, we have your top five.


1. Aaron Rodgers


He’s a newly elected First-Team All-Pro, he is the favorite to win the MVP award, and he’s rested and ready to go to war with the 49ers. 


Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are also top-ranked in both Real Quarterback Rating and Offensive Passer Rating, and facing a 49ers defense that ranks 21st in Defensive Real Quarterback Rating and 24th in Defensive Passer Rating.


Rodgers is the obvious top grade of the week, as he has been most weeks. And if Nick Bosa is unable to go because of the concussion he suffered against the Cowboys, it will be a huge blow to the San Francisco defense.


Overall, one thing worth noting is that overall against the 49ers, Rodgers is just 6-6 in his career and 0-3 in the playoffs. San Francisco is one of just three NFC teams that he has played in the postseason but never beaten.


2. Josh Allen


The Bills rank just 16th in the NFL in Offensive Passer Rating. They are middle of the pack in that statistic because Allen can at times be erratic. 


In three of his final four games of the season, he completed less than 60 percent of his passes, including a game against the Falcons when he completed just 42 percent while throwing three interceptions.


But, and this is a big but, when you include the total package that is Josh Allen, which includes his 763 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns in the regular season and 66 rushing yards against the Patriots, the Bills rank seventh in Real Quarterback Rating. He matches up most favorably against the Chiefs, who rank 25th in Defensive Real Quarterback Rating.


The Chiefs matchup against the Bills 16th vs. 16th in Defensive Passer Rating vs. Offensive Passer Rating, but can be had by a running quarterback, as they were by Allen when these teams met in Week 5, and he ran for 59 yards and a touchdown.


3. Joe Burrow


Is Joe Burrow broken after failing to throw for 450 yards and four touchdowns against the Raiders?


That is the bar he set after the amazing way he ended the regular season. He had 971 yards and eight touchdowns in the last two weeks of the season, making the 244 yards and two touchdowns in the Wild Card Round seem boring. 


He and the Bengals rank fifth in Real Quarterback Rating and second in Offensive Passer Rating, and we expect greatness.


The Titans are rested, and they have a good defense. But at just 13th in the Defensive Real Quarterback Rating and ninth in Defensive Passer Rating, they can be had by someone playing as great as Burrow and with weapons like Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.


4. Matthew Stafford


In the Wild Card game against the Cardinals, Matthew Stafford threw for just 202 yards. But it was the most efficient 202 yards of his career and his most efficient passing game this year since Week 1.


Stafford averaged 11.9 yards per attempt, almost four yards above his season average. His touchdown percentage was 11.8 percent, compared to the 6.8 percent he averaged over the season. And he now enters the Division Round ranked fourth in the NFL in Real Quarterback Rating and Seventh in Offensive Passer Rating.


The Rams played the Buccaneers earlier this season, and Stafford was great in that game too, throwing for 343 yards and four touchdowns. It was one of just two games in which he threw four TDs this season and one of just six games where he didn’t throw an interception.


5. Tom Brady


Really more of a 4b than the fifth-highest grade of the week is Tom Brady. He ranks second in the NFL in Real Quarterback Rating and seventh in Offensive Passer Rating and only falls behind Matthew Stafford because the Rams rank highly on defense. They are fourth overall in Defensive Real Quarterback Rating and fifth in Defensive Passer Rating.


Not surprisingly, Brady began these playoffs with an outstanding performance. He completed 78 percent of his passes, threw for 271 and two touchdowns, and didn’t turn the ball over. 


It’s that kind of stat line from Brady that has him 35-11 in his postseason career. The next highest playoff win total is 16 by Joe Montana. Peyton Manning retired with 14.


When Brady and the Bucs played the Rams in Week 3, he threw for 432 yards, but just one touchdown. He also threw the ball 55 times, his most in a single game since he threw 62 passes in the 34-28 comeback win in Super Bowl LI.