To say the AFC playoff picture took a big hit in Week 16 would be an understatement.
With injuries to Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota and Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr, suddenly the competition looks a whole lot less intimidating. Mariota’s injury coupled with a Titans loss eliminated Tennessee from playoff contention, while Carr’s injury makes a matchup against the Raiders much less daunting.
The AFC’s road to the Super Bowl now goes through Foxboro — both literally and figuratively. The New England Patriots currently own the No. 1 seed in the conference and can clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a Week 17 win over the Miami Dolphins or a loss or tie from the Raiders. But even if the Raiders manage to win in the regular season finale and steal home-field from New England (which also would need to lose to the Dolphins), is anyone afraid of traveling to Oakland to take on Matt McGloin? Probably not.
But Oakland’s fourth-year backup isn’t the only one inexperienced headed into the playoffs. Here’s a look at the total number of playoff victories by each of the AFC quarterbacks, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
A friendly reminder: Brady’s 22 playoff wins are the most all time, and he’s never lost a playoff game to the next-closest challenger, Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger.
While the Raiders, Dolphins and Houston Texans will all be led by backup quarterbacks for the postseason, each team’s typical starting quarterback is winless in the playoffs as well. So even if you were to plug in Carr, Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler, Brady would still have more playoff wins than the field combined.
Of course, those numbers don’t mean the Patriots are going to breeze their way to Tom Brady’s seventh Super Bowl appearance, but it provides a bit of eye-popping perspective as the regular season comes to a close and the postseason begins.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images
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