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NFL Divisional Playoffs: Ranking how the 8 quarterbacks performed

The NFL Divisional Playoffs included some eye-opening quarterback performances. Saturday’s slate saw Patrick Mahomes overcome injury to lead his Kansas City Chiefs over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Later on Saturday, Jalen Hurts made his second appearance since suffering a shoulder injury himself late in the regular season. He vastly outplayed Daniel Jones as the top seed Philadelphia Eagles advanced to Championship Sunday with a blowout win over the New York Giants.

Sunday’s playoff action included the Cincinnati Bengals going into Western New York and handing the Buffalo Bills a 27-10 loss. Joe Burrow and Co. are now headed to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game.

In Santa Clara, the San Francisco 49ers took out the Dallas Cowboys by the score of 19-12. Rookie Brock Purdy won his seventh consecutive game to open the quarterback’s career in a flawless performance. Below, we rank how the eight quarterbacks performed during the NFL Divisional Playoffs.

Related: Sportsnaut’s NFL Playoff and Super Bowl predictions

8. Daniel Jones, New York Giants

nfl divisional playoffs: new york giants' daniel jones
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  • Daniel Jones stats (2022): 67% completion, 3,205 passing yards, 708 rushing yards, 22 total TD, 5 INT, 92.5 QB rating

It sure looked like Jones was prepared to turn the corner heading into the NFL Divisional Playoffs. He put up an historical outing in New York’s wild card win over the Minnesota Vikings, going for nearly 400 total yards and two touchdowns. Over the course of his previous seven outings heading into Saturday night, Jones had accounted for nine total touchdowns and just one interception.

In no way did this prepare the impending free agent for the onslaught Philadelphia had planned for him. He was hit eight times and sacked a total of five times. Jones finished the evening having accounted for 109 net passing yards on 27 attempts with zero scores and an interception.

For Jones, there’s now an open question about whether he is truly New York’s franchise quarterback moving forward. The former first-round pick seems to have a low ceiling moving forward. His performance in the NFL Divisional Playoffs add another layer to that debate.

Related: Takeaways from Eagles blowout win over the Giants in NFL Divisional Playoffs

7. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

nfl divisional playoffs, dak prescott
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Turnovers were an issue for Prescott during the regular season. In fact, he led the NFL with 15 interceptions despite missing five games to injury. While Prescott did play great ball in last week’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this was not the case during the NFL Divisional Playoffs.

Prescott threw two first half interceptions, one of which came with Dallas driving against an elite-level San Francisco 49ers defense. When all was said and done, he completed 23-of-37 passes for 206 yards with one touchdown and two picks.

6. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

nfl divisional playoffs quarterback performances: trevor lawrence
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Lawrence looked in over his head as the sophomore quarterback made his postseason debut last week against the Los Angeles Chargers. At least, initially. He threw four first-half interceptions as the Jaguars fell down by the score of 27-0. By now, we all know how that game turned out with Jacksonville pulling off an historic comeback.

The young quarterback and his team knew Saturday’s game against the Chiefs was going to be a different monster. Unfortunately, Lawrence just was not up to the task.

The signal caller completed 24-of-39 passes for 217 yards with one touchdown and one interception. With Jacksonville down 27-17 late in the fourth quarter and driving to make it a one-score game, Lawrence threw an ugly interception on a pass intended for Zay Jones. This pretty much ended the game on a dime.

Lawrence had a breakout sophomore season under Doug Pederson. He’s destined for great things moving forward. But mistakes like that prove he’s not yet capable of going tit-for-tat with the likes of Patrick Mahomes.

5. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

nfl divisional playoffs qb performances: josh allen
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  • Josh Allen stats (2022): 63% completion, 4,283 passing yards, 762 rushing yards, 42 total TD, 14 INT, 96.5 QB rating

A lot was made of Allen’s struggles with turnovers leading up to the NFL Divisional Playoffs. In fact, the early-season MVP candidate had committed 16 giveaways in his previous 10 starts.

While Allen avoided turnovers until garbage-time in Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, he just wasn’t up to snuff. The quarterback completed 25-of-42 passes for 265 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception. He was vastly outplayed by Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow as Buffalo’s season came to another premature end via a 27-10 home loss to Cincinnati. That’s just ugly.

Related: Winners losers from NFL Divisional Playoffs on Sunday

4. Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers

nfl divisional playoffs: brock purdy
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t always pretty for this rookie and his 49ers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. San Francisco scored a total of one touchdown and had to settle for four field goals in a 19-12 home win over the Dallas Cowboys.

With that said, Purdy didn’t make a single mistake in completing 19-of-29 passes for 214 yards in the victory. On the other side, the aforementioned Dak Prescott threw two interceptions. That proved to be the different.

Mr. Irrelevant is now 7-0 as San Francisco’s starter heading into the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Related: Winners and losers from Saturday’s NFL Divisional Playoffs

3. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

nfl divisional playoffs quarterback performances: jalen hurts
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Hurts and the Eagles knew that the star quarterback would still be playing at less than 100% after suffering a shoulder injury late in the regular season. Despite playing Week 18 against these same Giants and having a bye last week, said shoulder was still seemingly ailing him.

Nothing we saw from Hurts Saturday night in Philadelphia showed evidence of the aforementioned history. Hurts completed each of his first seven passes, two touchdowns included, as the Eagles took an early 14-0 lead.

While Hurts didn’t put up the greatest of stats in Philly’s 38-7 win (188 total yards), he did account for three total touchdowns without turning the ball over. With a team as talented as Philadelphia, this type of performance will typically end in a win.

2. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills
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Big-game Joe. That has to be Burrow’s nickname moving forward. There’s no other way to go about it. The former No. 1 pick was 4-1 in his postseason career heading into the NFL Divisional Playoffs. Burrow continued his excellent play in a 27-10 win over the Buffalo Bills, completely outplaying Josh Allen in the process.

The former LSU star completed 23-of-36 passes for 242 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Both scores came in the first 11 minutes of the game with passes to Ja’Marr Chase and Hayden Hurst. That set the stages for an early run as Cincinnati advanced to the conference title game for the second consecutive season.

Related: Top Takeaways from Bengals win over Bills in NFL Divisional Playoffs

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

First off, we have to give Mahomes credit for actually returning from a high-ankle sprain he suffered in the first quarter. Typically, these types of injuries result in missing multiple weeks. While Mahomes obviously was not 100% after coming back in, he still played a great overall game.

Mahomes missed on just eight of 30 pass attempts. He helped star tight end Travis Kelce put up an historical performance. He also avoided the turnovers that plagued Jacksonville in what ended up being a 10-point Kansas City victory. All eyes now turn to Mahomes and his health heading into the AFC Championship game against the Bengals.