2016 NFL Playoffs Prove The Value of Good Quarterback Play

Matt Ryan hopes to lead the Falcons to their first Super Bowl appearance in 18 years.
Image by Five Foot Nothing Sports

If the 2016 NFL playoffs have shown us one thing, it’s that the only way to win championships is with great quarterback play. With Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan being the last four gunslingers remaining, the viewpoint that the quarterback is the most important position on the field is even more verified. Besides being big names, these four players each have had great statistical seasons, proving once and for all that the only way to win is with a great quarterback.

Statistically speaking, these four quarterbacks were some of the best the league had to offer this season. Matt Ryan ranks number one in total QBR at 83.3 and points added with 73, while Tom Brady comes in second with a QBR of 83.1 and 56.5 points added. Aaron Rodgers is fourth with a total QBR of 76.9 and 67.7 points added, and Big Ben comes in at 10th with a 66.2 QBR and 29.5 points added. It’s no surprise that the four quarterbacks remaining are Top 10 quarterbacks. After all, although defense wins championships, you win games by scoring more points than your opponents, and that’s just what these guys have helped to do. Aside from New England’s defense all of the other teams represented by these quarterbacks had defenses ranked outside of the top 10 in total defense during the regular season. Green Bay has a terrible secondary, Pittsburgh has struggled to defend the pass at times, Atlanta can’t stop the run and New England is slightly overrated.

Tom Brady looks to inch closer to his fifth Super Bowl ring with a win over the Steelers.
Image by Forbes

The lack of quality defensive play for these teams only furthers the importance of their quarterback play. Without these guys, it’s doubtful that any of these teams would be playing today. Maybe Jimmy Garappolo could have led the Patriots to an AFC Championship due to the system he’s in, but there’s no chance that Landry Jones, Matt Schaub or rookie Brett Hundley. Solid quarterback play is as important as ever in today’s day and age, and we’ve certainly received proof of that this postseason.


About Alex Evans

Alex is currently a sophomore journalism student at William Paterson University. He's an avid New York sports fan, and particularly enjoys covering baseball and football. Follow him in Twitter @AlexEvans1597


  1. How can you write this generic article about 2016 playoffs and leave out the QB whose QBR surpasses all four you mentioned?
    Dak Prescott not only had QBR of 104 but HE IS A ROOKIE to boot and no mention? He is truly greatness after just 1 season and to have his season end with a 51 yrd FG in last 3 seconds of game well it could have easily gone the other way. However when mentioning the value of QB POSITION for 2016 playoffs you cannot leave out the phenom who will outshine them all in 2017 even Tom Brady!!!
    This kid deserves more recognition like MVP
    The sportswriters recognized Jason Garrett as coach of year
    Our two rookies MADE this team 13-3 and have so much more bedazzle coming your way! !!!

    1. I agree with you that Dak was won of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season. In fact, if Dallas had beaten Green Bay, I would’ve wrote the same piece but with Dak in there instead of Aaron Rodgers. I used the four guys who were still playing instead of guys who weren’t to prove a point about teams needing good quarterback play to win. I have nothing against Dak at all, but I do have something against your statistical claims. You said that Dak was first in QBR among all four quarterbacks I mentioned, which is false. Both Tom Brady (83.0) and Matt Ryan (83.3) have higher QBR’s than Dak’s (81.5), according to ESPN. He may be better than Brady, Rodgers and Ryan in 2017, and I agree that the Cowboys will be a very good team for the next decade or so if their offensive line can stay healthy. Thanks for reading and be on the lookout for more articles!

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