Here, you have four of the best quarterbacks in football (Manning, Brady, Brees, and Rodgers). These are the seasoned veterans who’ve all been in the playoffs before.
It’s going to be tough to beat the Broncos in the postseason, especially since the best quarterback in the game plays in Denver. 55 passing touchdowns is unheard of. Manning’s 56 total touchdowns are more than any team has — that’s absolutely incredible. No words can describe how amazing Manning’s 2013 campaign has been, shattering the touchdown record and setting the mark for passing yards in one season. Not to mention that he did it at 37 years old and after four neck procedures. Manning is the best he’s ever been.
Considered a bust after being drafted first overall in 2005, Jim Harbaugh turned Smith’s career around in 2011. Smith’s 2012 campaign was cut short because of injury and Colin Kaepernick took his job. Well, Smith is back with the Chiefs, and he started 9-0. As was the case when Smith was in San Francisco, he has everything around him to succeed, but still shouldn’t be considered a game manager. He’s been making plays this year. Hopefully for Smith, special teams errors won’t cost his team a shot at the Lombardi Trophy again.
What Brady has done with pretty much nothing around him is impressive. He hasn’t been as prolific in the passing game as Manning, but he wins, and that’s all that matters. 12-4 with no Wes Welker or Gronkowski — for most of the year, at least — and a first round bye is terrific. The question now becomes, can Brady do it again? New England might see Cincinnati in the Divisional round; that’s a team that held Brady without a touchdown for the first time in a long time.
I originally believed that 2013 might be Rivers’ last year as the Chargers’ starting quarterback. Oops. He was among the league leaders in turnovers in 2011 and ’12, but boy, he turned it around over the last four months. He (kind of, along with Ryan Succop) led the Chargers to the playoffs. If Peyton Manning didn’t have the year he had — maybe 15 fewer touchdowns — Rivers would be a legitimate candidate in the MVP discussion.
For the fourth time in his career, and for the third consecutive season, Brees has thrown for at least 5,000 yards. He and Manning are the two most prolific quarterbacks in the league. Even though the Saints didn’t win the division and will have to go on the road, Brees and the Saints can win anywhere — contrary to popular belief, the Saints have the best road record since 2009.
Rodgers’ return to the Packers’ lineup proved timely as he hit Randall Cobb for the game-winning, and division-winning, touchdown against Chicago. He alone makes the Packers a dangerous team. 49ers fans should not look past this game. Out of these Old Guard passers, Rodgers is the most mobile, and his dual threat ability makes him dangerous. His offense is in no way comparable to what the Broncos have, and I don’t want to compare him to Peyton Manning, but put Rodgers on the Broncos, and what does he do there?