The 2024 NFL Playoffs get underway with the Wild Card Round this weekend on Saturday, Jan. 13. It’s been a pretty rough season for starting QBs. Playoff hopefuls like the Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets saw their starting QBs go down with season-ending injuries. We’ve also seen one playoff team in particular — the Cleveland Browns — survive an injury to their top QB and make the postseason. Either way, most of the big-name QBs you’d expect to be in the playoffs are in there. Below we’ll go over power ranking every starting QB in the postseason in 2024.
2024 NFL Playoffs: QB Power Rankings
14. Mason Rudolph/Kenny Pickett, Steelers
This is perhaps the easiest player(s) to place in this ranking. Rudolph has come on and played decent in place of Pickett late in the season. He’s also started just 13 games in his NFL career and has a career 86.9 QB rating. He’s the most inexperienced QB in this group and is a no-brainer at 14.
13. Baker Mayfield, Bucs
This feels disrespectful to Baker putting him behind a few of these QBs. But Mayfield feels right in this spot. He played well down the stretch but also lost to the Eagles, Bills, 49ers and Texans among QBs in this ranking. Mayfield is also banged up a bit and didn’t inspire us with his Week 18 performance in a game the Bucs needed against the worst team in the NFL.
12. Jared Goff, Lions
Goff is pretty low but for good reason. He might be the most boring QB in this entire ranking. People forget that he led the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl in 2018. They forget because that run had nothing to do with him. This season, Goff feasted on bad teams and hurt the team in bigger games. On ability and intangibles, Goff deserves to be this low.
11. Jordan Love, Packers
We’ve got Love ahead of Goff and Mayfield because he’s kind of a wild card. Love had a great season, finishing second in TD passes with 32, only behind Dak. Love also finished the season incredibly strong. The Packers won six of eight games to get into the playoffs. Love threw 10 of his 11 interceptions Week 10 and prior. From Week 11-18, Love threw 18 TDs to just one INT. He got a bit of a taste of the playoffs in Week 18 vs. the Bears in a win-and-in game. All he did was finish with his highest passer rating all season at 128.6. Love could get absolutely dominated by this Cowboys defense. Thus, he’s a wild card.
10. Joe Flacco, Browns
I’m going to give Flacco some respect because of what he’s done in his career. Flacco has also looked pretty good since joining the Browns in Week 13. He finished 4-1 to help Cleveland get the No. 5 seed. Flacco threw a bunch of picks (8) but also tossed 13 TDs and averaged 323.2 passing yards per game. Flacco’s got a ring and is 10-5 in 15 NFL playoff games in his career. The Browns also have a good team in place, one that looks a lot like the Ravens teams Flacco was successful with. Flacco is elite and we’ll throw him in the top-10.
9. Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins
Among the top teams in the NFL this season, Tagovailoa feels like the weakest QB on paper. He gets by big time due to Mike McDaniel and his weapons (Tyreek Hill, Raheem Mostert, Jaylen Waddle). But in big spots, Tua seemed to fold a lot this season. Losses in the past two weeks to the Ravens and Bills cost the Dolphins homefield. Tua really just ate up bad teams and played poorly in big games (Bills twice, Chiefs, Ravens, Eagles). You could argue Love and Flacco should be ahead of Tua but we’ll give him the edge based on ceiling.
8. CJ Stroud, Texans
Stroud was one of the least turnover prone QBs in the NFL this season. Wait, he was the least turnover prone, leading the NFL with a 1.0% INT rate. Similar to Love, Stroud got a taste of playoff football when the Texans beat the Colts in Week 18. He finished that game with 134.1 passer rating and led a drive in the fourth quarter to win. On ability alone, Stroud is easily better than the QBs above him (maybe not Love but it’s close). You could also make a case Stroud should be higher (ahead of our next QB).
7. Brock Purdy, 49ers
Purdy was an MVP candidate at one point this season. That shouldn’t go overlooked. If we’re talking pure ability and experience, Purdy should probably be lower. But you have to take into account the weapons and coaching staff, and how Purdy has fared with that. Tua is a good comparison. Where Tagovailoa has struggled at times with the weapons and coaching, Purdy doesn’t have too may blemishes. He had a real stinker vs. the Ravens (a tough defense). But also torched the Cowboys earlier in the season. When Purdy is executing, he’s an MVP caliber QB. When he’s off, it can go bad fast. It feels weird having the QB on the team favored to win the Super Bowl this low, to be honest.
6. Jalen Hurts, Eagles
Hurts has had a pretty miserable season compared to 2022, when he finished second in MVP voting. We’ll give him some recency bias in that the Eagles made the Super Bowl last season. While Hurts was bad most of the season throwing, he also rushed for over 600 yards and 15 TDs. To me, there isn’t much of a different between Hurts and Josh Allen. The difference is Allen has a better run game and defense. So really you could argue Hurts should be higher on paper. It’s just the Eagles are dragging on the ground into the postseason. If we did this ranking after Week 12, Hurts might be No. 3 on this list.
5. Dak Prescott, Cowboys
Prescott has had a rollercoaster of a career. After struggling last season, Dak will likely finish second in MVP voting behind Lamar Jackson. Prescott led the NFL in passing TDs with 36 and made due on his promise not to throw 10+ INTs in the regular season. If you were to pick a QB for this ranking based purely off performance for this season, Prescott is likely No. 2. But unfortunately Dak is 2-4 in the postseason and cost the Cowboys in 2022 in the Divisional Round vs. the Niners. Until Prescott gets over the hump and into an NFC Championship game, he remains in this spot.
4. Matthew Stafford, Rams
Stafford is the perfect combination of experience, proven performance and entering the playoffs hot. The Rams looked lost after starting the season 3-6. Stafford got healthy and Los Angeles won seven of their last eight games to grab the 6-seed. In that stretch, Stafford threw 16 TDs to just four INTs. Stafford has the weapons, has the coach, has the ring. The Rams are one of the more dangerous teams going into the postseason and it’s because of Staff.
3. Josh Allen, Bills
If it were up to me (wait it is up to me), I’d have Allen lower. But I’m trying to cover myself if the Bills can pull this thing off. Allen is a turnover machine, which doesn’t bode well in the playoffs. Allen threw at least one pick in 14 of 17 games this season. The Bills also had 51 offensive TDs this season and Allen accounted for 44 of them (29 passing, 15 rushing). He’s been in the NFL six seasons and already has eight playoff games under his belt, including an AFC Championship Game trip in 2020. The Bills finished the season on a five-game winning streak and now have homefield against everyone but the Ravens. If Buffalo runs the table en route to the Super Bowl, it’ll be because of Allen. If the Bills lose, it’ll also likely be because of Allen.
2. Lamar Jackson, Ravens
Jackson doesn’t get any respect but we have him at No. 2 in our rankings. He’ll likely be the NFL MVP for the 2023 regular season. The Ravens finished as the top team in the NFL and it’s because of Jackson. He finished this season with his best passer rating (102.7) since winning MVP in 2019. The only blemish on Jackson’s resume is the 1-3 record in the playoffs. But this is arguably the best Ravens team he’s played on in his career. Todd Monken has found the perfect system for Jackson to thrive in. It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Jackson and the Ravens dominate on the way to the Super Bowl.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
Mahomes has to be No. 1 until proven otherwise. The Chiefs are the defending champs. Mahomes had probably his worst regular season in the NFL to date in 2023. He also wasn’t working with much outside of TE Travis Kelce (who is old) and RB Isiah Pacheco. Still, Mahomes was able to win enough games to get the Chiefs the 3-seed and a home playoff game. Mahomes is a nutty 11-3 in the playoffs and Kansas City has made five straight trips to the AFC Championship game. If Mahomes can get this team back there or even to the Super Bowl, it might be his best work to date in his career.