5. CJ Stroud, Houston Texans
CJ Stroud is a baller, and the Houston Texans kind of feel like the 2021 Cincinnati Bengals. If you remember that team, they rode a magical run to the Super Bowl on the backs of a young head coach in Zac Taylor and a young QB in Joe Burrow. They got stingy play from their defense and had an explosive offense. Frankly, the Texans feel plenty good enough to make it to the Super Bowl this year.
4. Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
Brock Purdy helped the San Francisco 49ers earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC this year, which earned them a bye week, so Purdy and the 49ers have been resting up. There were questions about just how good Purdy is since he is playing in a very QB-friendly system with Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers should be able to beat the Packers in the Divisional Round.
3. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs took care of business in the Wild Card Round, trouncing the Miami Dolphins, who clearly cannot beat a good team or play in cold weather. It'll be Mahomes versus Josh Allen in the Divisional Round. Obviously, the matchup between the Chiefs and Bills goes way beyond the QBs, but that's the way the national NFL folks will talk about this game.
2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen is certainly an interesting QB. If you can look past the turnovers, he's the best QB in NFL history. However, Allen seems to turn it over about once a game, but he also gives him a ton of production on offense. I do think the Bills can win this game, as Allen gets to play in front of the home crowd and has been slightly better than Mahomes this year.
1. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson is likely headed toward his second NFL MVP award, and it is deserved. While his offensive production isn't nearly as much as it was during his first MVP season in 2019, Jackson helped lead one of the best scoring offenses in the NFL to the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. The Ravens also dismantled a few teams who are still in the postseason.
It's clear that Jackson is the best QB remaining in the playoffs. And we will see if Jackson can get past the hump in the playoffs. I do worry that the 2023 Ravens will end up with the same fate as the 2019 Ravens. I do think there is an argument to be bad that earning the No. 1 seed and that bye week comes back to bite the teams. Yes, the break is nice, as the team can get healthier, but not having game action for multiple weeks can be a negative.
And the Ravens did rest some of their starters in Week 18, so some of the starters will have almost a month off. I think Baltimore ends up in the AFC Championship Game, but I would not be surprised if the Texans made it a close game.