Quarterbacks poised to steal playoff spotlight

Thu Jan 8, 2015 3:29pm EST
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By Steve Keating

(Reuters) - If you want to win a championship you better have a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback, a truism that will be underlined in red this weekend with four tantalizing divisional playoff matchups.

From the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, to the rarified air of the Mile High City, where the Denver Broncos play, eight teams will take to the gridiron and five will be led by Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.

Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay), Peyton Manning (Denver), Tom Brady (New England Patriots), Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens) and Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) have already hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.

Manning, Brady, Rodgers and Flacco have also won Super Bowl most valuable player awards and two of them will go head-to-head on Saturday when the Patriots host the Ravens with a berth in the AFC championship on the line.

Brady has steered the Patriots to five Super Bowl berths and three titles since 2002 and a record 18 postseason wins.

But while the Patriots have lost just once at home the last two seasons, a trip to New England will not rattle a Baltimore team that have taken two-of-three playoff meetings in Foxborough and have a quarterback who has a record seven playoff road wins.

The Denver Broncos will also enjoy a considerable home field advantage in the other AFC matchup having gone 17-of-18 on their turf the last two seasons, including 8-0 this campaign.

Certainly fans can expect plenty of offensive fireworks in the Mile High City with both Andrew Luck and Manning, the future Hall of Famer the former replaced in Indianapolis, throwing for close to 5,000 yards this season.   Continued...