The Year of the Quarterback

The 2017 NFL Conference Championships are set.  Only four teams remain, and the match-ups are truly mouthwatering.  Two of these teams struggled early on in the season, but picked the perfect time to find form.  One team has added on to their decade-long, winning ways (even with Roger Goodell in their way), and the last team has fulfilled their potential with their offensive star power.  However, only two teams can make it to Super Bowl LI, so it will take something, or should I say someone, special to get there.  Enter the four best quarterbacks in the league.

Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, and Ben Roethlisberger are the best in the business.  They all have put up monster numbers this season, while each has proven resilient through the various problems they’ve faced.  It is no question that one of these four quarterbacks will win this year’s MVP, but to them, that award pales in comparison to making, and of course winning, a Super Bowl.  Three out of these four QB’s have two or more championships under their belt, while Matt Ryan looks ready for his first.  Who will claim Super Bowl LI?  Let’s take a look at the quarterbacks and their chances:

Aaron Rodgers

qb1Regular Season Stats: Yards: 4,428  Completion %: 65.7%  Touchdowns: 60  Interceptions: 7  QBR: 78.2  Postseason QBR: 83.4

Aaron Rodgers knows when to kick his game up a notch, and in the playoffs, he does just that.  With six TD’s and one INT in two playoff games this year, Rodgers is leading a battered Green Bay team closer and closer to another Super Bowl.   Looking back at the regular season, it seems that the Packers’ early inconsistency only fueled their fire.  With a weak secondary and wide receivers falling like flies, this NFC Championship game will be one of Rodgers’ toughest tests yet.

Matt Ryan

qb2Regular Season Stats: Yards: 4,944  Completion %: 69.9%  Touchdowns: 38  Interceptions: 7  QBR: 83.1  Postseason QBR: 86.9

What a season for Matty Ice and the Atlanta Falcons!  With the Falcons going 4-12, 6-10, and 8-8 in their past three seasons, could anyone predicted that they would be the NFC powerhouse that they are this season?  Matt Ryan had an MVP caliber 2016 campaign, ranking first in QBR and second in yards and completion percentage, behind future Hall of Famer Drew Brees.  Mixing Ryan’s success with a top 2 WR in Julio Jones and a strong running game led by Devonta Freeman (something the Packers really lack), the Falcons could go all the way this year.

Tom Brady

qb3Regular Season Stats: Yards: 3,554  Completion %: 67.4%  Touchdowns: 28  Interceptions: 2  QBR: 82.8  Postseason QBR: 56.9

Tom Terrific.  California Cool.  MVP.  Four Time Super Bowl Champion.  Cheater.  Tom Brady has been called a lot of names during his career, but none of them show how important he is to the New England Patriots.  Brady, year-in and year-out, shows why he is one of the most consistent QB’s in NFL history with impressive stats and almost zero errors every season (the man had two INT’s this year…TWO!).  Super Bowl LI favorites for many going into the playoffs, Brady and the Patriots shrugged off the Texans to meet the hot Pittsburgh Steelers in a heavyweight AFC match up going back for the past decade.  Tom Brady has a chip on his shoulder following his four game suspension to start the regular season, so I would not want to be the Steelers walking into Gillette Stadium.

Ben Roethlisberger

qb4Regular Season Stats: Yards: 3,819  Completion %: 64.4%  Touchdowns: 29  Interceptions: 13  QBR: 67.4  Postseason QBR: 55.1

Big Ben is at it again!  Leading his team to its first AFC Championship since 2009, Roethlisberger has shown in his two playoff games this year that he can make the crucial plays to extend a drive or seal a win.  This season, Ben has a new, loaded offense at his disposal that has taken care of the entire AFC except one team: the dreaded Patriots.  Big Ben is 3-6 against New England, so he will have to bring his A-game on Sunday.  With the help of a revamped, James Harrison-led defense and a top 2 WR and top 2 running back, Antonio Brown and Le’veon Bell, Ben has a strong shot to break his New England duck and take the Steelers to yet another Super Bowl.

Who will lead their team to Super Bowl LI?  Let me know in the comments below or on any of our social media platforms.  My picks?  New England and Atlanta.  Who will be the champ?  Tune in next week.

Until next time, hasta la vista baby, and remember:

“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Uncle Ben

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