NFL playoff QB power rankings: The best and worst starters in 2022, from Tom Brady to Mac Jones

The 2021-22 NFL playoffs feature five quarterbacks making their first postseason start.

Former No. 1 picks Joe Burrow and Kyler Murray are in that group, along with former Alabama stars Mac Jones and Jalen Hurts. Veteran Derek Carr rounds out that group.

That group will seek to challenge the establishment. Seven-time Super Bowl champion and three-time MVP Tom Brady tops the list, along with two-time NFC MVP Aaron Rodgers. Patrick Mahomes II has led the Chiefs to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. Will those quarterbacks dominate again?

Sporting News ranked all 14 quarterbacks in this year’s playoffs based on a combination of factors. Who would you take right now? How much does experience in the playoffs influence? Who do you trust with the game at stake?

Here are the quarterbacks sorted by age and their postseason history from youngest to oldest:

mac jones 23 0 0-0 0-0
Jalen hurts 23 0 0-0 0-0
kyler murray 24 0 0-0 0-0
joe burrow 25 0 0-0 0-0
Jose Allen 25 0 2-2 0-0
pat mahomes 26 one 6-2 1-1
dak prescott 28 0 1-1 0-0
Jimmy Garoppolo 30 0 2-1 0-1
Derek Carr 30 0 0-0 0-0
ryan tannehill 33 0 2-2 0-0
Matthew Stafford 33 0 0-3 0-0
Aaron Rogers 38 two 11-9 1-0
ben roethlisberger 39 0 13-9 2-1
tom brady 44 3 34-11 7-3

This is what we came up with. It’s Brady and everyone else:

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2021-22 NFL Playoffs QB Power Rankings

5,316 yards, 45 TD, 12 INT

Who else would it be? Brady is a seven-time Super Bowl champion and continues to play at an MVP-caliber level. Brady led Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl championship through the wild-card round last season, and he faces the same challenge this season. He has played in 10 Super Bowls, three more than the rest of the field combined. He beat the next two quarterbacks on this list in last year’s postseason. Will it be like this again?

  • 2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers

4,115 yards, 37 TD, 4 INT

It is the same setup as last season. Rodgers put the Packers in position to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2010. Green Bay has home-court advantage and Rodgers could be named MVP for the second consecutive season. He’s playing at the usual high level after an offseason filled with rumors that he might be about to leave. Rodgers is 5-3 in postseason starts at Lambeau Field. He is also 1-4 in the NFC championship game.

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  • 3. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

4,839 yards, 37 TD, 13 INT

Kansas City might not be the No. 1 seed, but Mahomes is still the quarterback to beat in the AFC. In his last six AFC playoff games, Mahomes averaged 294.3 yards with 15 touchdowns and no interceptions. He’ll have to lead the Chiefs to the Super Bowl from the wild-card round for the first time, but he’s also the only AFC quarterback with Super Bowl experience.

4,449 yards, 37 TD, 10 INT

Prescott’s comeback season has been incredible, closing the regular season with 13 TDs and no interceptions in Dallas’ last four games. Now, the next step is to lead a playoff race for the Cowboys. Prescott is 2-1 with five touchdowns and two interceptions in three career playoff starts. All three have been one score games. Prescott proved that Dallas could play Tampa Bay in Week 1. A possible rematch looms in the divisional round.

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4,611 yards, 34 TD, 14 INT

Too tall? Burrow led the NFL in yards per attempt (8.9) and completion percentage (70.4). He closed the season with wins at home against the Ravens and Chiefs. He had 971 passing yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions in those games. The former No. 1 pick will make his playoff debut, and can help the Bengals win their first playoff game since January 6, 1991. Burrow will continue to climb the ranks. Cincinnati can make a run because they possibly have the best quarterback right now. It’s a draw with our next QB, but right now we have Burrow.

4,407 yards, 36 TD, 15 INT

Allen led the Bills to the AFC championship game last season, and that experience should pay off in another potential career. He averaged 270.3 passing yards with five touchdowns and one interception in four playoff starts, and can win the love of Buffalo fans by defeating New England in the AFC wild-card round. Can Allen take what he learned from last season’s race and bring the Bills back to the Super Bowl? We are about to find out.

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  • 7. Matthew Stafford, Rams

2021 stats: 4,886 yards, 41 TD, 17 INT

This is why Stafford came to Los Angeles. He’s had another great season in terms of total yards and touchdowns, but interceptions at the wrong time are still a problem. Stafford led the Lions to the playoffs three times and averaged 302.7 yards with four TDs and three interceptions in those games. The pressure to break through is there, and getting past the elite NFC quarterbacks ranked before him will be a tremendous challenge.

  • 8. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

3,740 yards, 22 TD, 10 INT

The two-time Super Bowl winner’s farewell tour will have a party after the Steelers made the playoffs. The 39-year-old is making his 23rd start in the postseason, and his last playoff win was Jan. 15, 2017, against the Chiefs. Kansas City beat Pittsburgh 36-10 in Week 16, but if this is somehow a close game at the end, Roethlisberger has been down this road before. Roethlisberger has the career credentials, but there are other quarterbacks we would pick right now.

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  • 9. Ryan Tannehill, Titans

3,734 yards, 21 TD, 14 INT

Is it too short for the 33-year-old veteran? After all, Tannehill led the Titans to the No. 1 seed in the AFC. He is 2-2 as a starter in the AFC playoffs and has averaged 133.5 passing yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions in those games. Tennessee could get Derrick Henry back for this run, and Tannehill is capable of leading a Super Bowl run given the setup with the Titans.

4,804 yards, 23 TD, 14 INT

You can make a strong argument that it should be higher based on the last month. Carr has big numbers, and the four-game winning streak that included elimination game victories against the Colts and Chargers was impressive. It took Carr eight seasons to finally make the postseason, and we’re not sure how he will react at that stage. Carr had a 94.4 QB rating on the road this season, and Burrow is also making his first playoff start. That could lead to an entertaining wild card game with the Bengals.

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  • 11. Kyler Murray, Cardinals

3,787 yards, 24 TD, 10 INT

The former No. 1 pick will make his playoff debut, and that tantalizing playmaking ability makes the Cardinals a dangerous team. Arizona lost four of its last five games, and Murray became more active as a fighter down the stretch. He had 383 passing yards and two interceptions in the last meeting with the Rams.

  • 12. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers

3,810 yards, 20 TD, 12 INT

Garoppolo has dealt with criticism and injuries, but is only two years away from leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl. They were 4-3 against teams in this year’s playoffs, and that included close losses to Tennessee and Green Bay. The 49ers made the playoffs, and they’re a dangerous seven seed for it. Hey, Garoppolo knows what it takes to get there.

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3,144 yards, 16 TD, 9 INT

Hurts is another former Alabama quarterback who will make his playoff debut. Hurts rushed for 784 yards and 10 TDs this season, and had eight games with at least 20 yards rushing. Hurts was a seasoned winner in two programs in college, but he begins with the ultimate test against the Buccaneers and Brady.

3,801 yards, 22 TD, 13 INT

Jones led Alabama to the college football playoff championship last season, and now he has the Patriots and Bill Belichick back in the playoffs. As a result, the rookie will face endless comparisons to Brady, but will need to play better on the road. Jones had six touchdowns and six interceptions with an 85.4 rating in eight road starts this season. Buffalo also has a top-five defense.