Ranking the quarterback battles in the 2019 Wild Card Round

December 30, 2019

The 2019 NFL playoffs are among us as just 12 teams remain of 32.

While past years such as 2017 featured the likes of Tyrod Taylor, Blake Bortles, Case Keenum, and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles under center in the postseason, both sides of the tournament this season features a number of top-tier quarterbacks. 

The Wild Card Round will kick things off next week with four matchups set for Saturday and Sunday.

The #NFLPlayoffs are set! pic.twitter.com/JUPNOiDKSA

— NFL (@NFL) December 30, 2019

There are a number of note-worthy quarterback battles, but which ones are the best?

It's time to rank them:


1.) Carson Wentz vs. Russell Wilson 

Although perhaps not a single NFC East team deserved to make the playoffs, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz most certainly did. 

Wentz led the Eagles to four straight wins and a NFC East championship, despite losing almost every one of his passing targets.

Targets that featured wide receiver DeSean Jackson, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, tight end Zach Ertz, and wide receiver Nelson Agholor. Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson has missed the last three games as well. 

With practice squad wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends (not to mention a backup right tackle), Wentz still averaged over 300 passing yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions in the month of December. He became the first quarterback to ever throw for 4,000 yards or more while not having a single wide receiver have at least 500 receiving yards. 

Meanwhile, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has continued to pull a rabbit out of a hat all year, carrying a banged up team to 11 wins and a second-straight postseason berth. 

This may be a matchup of two very susceptible teams, but it is also a battle between two elite quarterbacks. 


2.) Josh Allen vs. Deshaun Watson 

The Buffalo Bills being part of an attention-grabbing quarterback matchup in the playoffs is a refreshing change of pace. 

There are many young quarterbacks that punched their ticket to the postseason, but Josh Allen against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will be the first battle between two that NFL fans get to see. 

Allen hasn't always taken over games in 2019 and Houston almost never looks like the same team week-after-week. However, both Watson and Allen play an exciting brand of football when they are on their game. 

They are among the most mobile quarterbacks in football with no shortage of aggression. 

Neither have the resume of other veterans in the playoffs, but this could be a quarterback battle between two future faces of the AFC. 


3.) Drew Brees vs. Kirk Cousins

Yes. This matchup features one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees who, by the way, is on fire heading into the playoffs.

It also may have a higher floor of production compared to Allen vs Watson. 

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins being the other quarterback makes it third on the list. Cousins had a great season from a statistical standpoint, throwing for 26 touchdowns to just six interceptions. 

The issue is he, once again, came up small in virtually every big moment this year, against every playoff team he faced. 

In matchups against the Green Bay Packers twice, Seattle and the Kansas City Chiefs, Cousins never completed even 60% of his throws. 

The Vikings have all the talent to make this game as entertaining as it was in 2017, but Cousins just doesn't move the needle for most people. 


4.) Tom Brady vs. Ryan Tannehill 

My my how the mighty have fallen.

The New England Patriots find themselves playing in the Wild Card for the first time in a decade after falling prisoner to what was another moment of "Fitzmagic". Tom Brady, once again, looked like an aging quarterback that finished the season with his lowest passing touchdown total (24) since 2006. 

Brady and the Patriots find themselves matched up with a hot Tennessee Titans team that features a rejuvenated Ryan Tannehill. 

Tannehill has saved his career with the Titans, while becoming the potential long-term starter, but this matchup still doesn't move the needle for many.