Come time for the NFL playoffs, it seems only right to analyze and rank each of the 12 remaining teams by their starter at the most important position. Sure, top MVP candidates Patrick Mahomes and Drew Brees lead the way, but how about after that?
We have ranked all dozen playoff quarterbacks by their 2018 Total QBR and have used that along with video tracking metrics and numbers from NFL Next Gen Stats for a quick scouting report on each -- from the value of Mitchell Trubisky's effective running to Russell Wilson's downfield efficiency.
2018 Total QBR: 81.6 (1st in NFL)
Is he peaking? No, but that's only because of the high standard he set earlier this season. Over his past four games, Mahomes' QBR is 69.4 -- a far cry from his season-long number but that would have ranked eighth this season.
Biggest strength: It's hard to pick only one, so we'll go with two: the deep ball and his ability to throw on the run. Mahomes had 14.7 percent of his passes go at least 20 yards downfield -- a rate exceeded only by Josh Allen. But what's most impressive isn't the frequency with which he goes deep, it's his effectiveness. He possesses a 97.9 QBR on such passes, second only to Russell Wilson. Put it this way: Mahomes added more expected points on deep passes than Josh Rosen and Josh Allen did on all of their passes.
And all of his gaudy numbers come despite the fact that he throws on the run at the third-highest rate in the league (21.4 percent), per NFL Next Gen Stats. And when he decides to keep it, he averages 7.1 yards per scramble, the second-highest rate in the league.
Biggest weakness: Mahomes ranked 15th in QBR on play-action passes this season. That's not exactly a major problem when he has been good in so many other situations.
NFL Next Gen Stat to know: Mahomes threw into tight windows (one yard of separation or less) on only 12.2 percent of his passes, the second-lowest rate, only ahead of Nick Mullens -- though Mahomes managed to convert this fourth-and-9 play to Tyreek Hill while throwing on the run into a tight window:
That can mean a few things: The Chiefs' scheme and receivers led to a lot of open receivers; Mahomes frequently threw behind the line of scrimmage, where receivers often are in space; or he made a lot of correct reads. Odds are, it was a bit of all of those.