Ranking the backup quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Playoffs

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Now more than ever as Super Wild Card Weekend 2022 approaches, the backup quarterback is the second-most important player on the roster for all 14 teams in the NFL Playoffs.

It’s no secret that the NFL has evolved into a quarterback-driven league. Gone are the days of Trent Dilfer leading the Baltimore Ravens to Super Bowl glory, or Rex Grossman guiding the Chicago Bears to their first NFC Championship since 1986. 

Whether it’s the lasting effects of an 18-week regular season — the longest in NFL history — or the consequences of playing a season in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, having a formidable second-string QB available to plug and play could be the deciding factor as to which team hoists the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LVI next month.

Can the Green Bay Packers depend on Jordan Love? Does Marcus Mariota and Chad Henne have any playoff magic left in them? Hopefully for these teams, these are questions that don’t need to be answered. 

But in the event of “in case of emergency, break glass” crisis under center, here’s our rankings of the backup quarterbacks heading into postseason play, from best to worst.

RELATED: NFL Playoff schedule 2022: Bracket, dates, times, TV channel info

Who are the backup quarterbacks playing in the 2022 NFL Playoffs?

1. Marcus Mariota, Las Vegas Raiders

The former No. 2 overall pick has only seen the field in recent weeks after an injury-riddled start to the season. But don’t sleep on the dual-threat abilities of Marcus Mariota, who has had success in road playoff games in the past.

Make no mistake about it: Derek Carr is the Raiders’ starting quarterback and should be considered as one of the NFL’s elite signal-callers. But that doesn’t mean Mariota can’t do things that Carr can’t, as we all saw in the Raiders’ overtime victory against the Los Angeles Chargers last weekend.

When the Raiders line up with Mariota in the backfield, the RPO (Run-Pass Option) adds a dimension of unpredictability for defenses to play against as he makes plays with his arm and his legs. Mariota has become a weapon on fourth downs and red zone opportunities, and that was evident in his head-turning performance against the Los Angeles Chargers last season.

In five-career playoff appearances, Mariota has a passer rating of 94.1 with 463 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. In terms of rushing, he has 88 yards on 13 carries, an average of 6.8 yards per carry. And perhaps most memorably, Mariota has one receiving touchdown that was thrown by himself.

RELATED: How to watch Las Vegas Raiders vs Cincinnati Bengals: Live stream, TV channel, kickoff time for Saturday’s Wild Card Game

2. Gardner Minshew, Philadelphia Eagles

No, this isn’t the second coming of Minshew Mania. And while it may be a bit of a shock to see Gardner Minshew at the No. 2 spot in this list, it’s hard to ignore the former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback’s productivity when he’s on the field.

In his 27 career appearances, he has 5,969 yards, 41 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions. In four games this season, Minshew has a passer rating of 104.8 with 439 yards, four touchdowns and one interception, including a stellar performance against the New York Jets in Week 13 where he completed 20-of-25 passes for 242 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 133.7, the fifth-highest in the NFL that week.

Jalen Hurts may offer more as a dual-threat quarterback who can improvise on a moment’s notice, but Minshew is more than capable of dropping back and slinging the ball down the field. In fact, Minshew’s career passer rating (94.4) and completion percentage (63.5) is significantly better than Hurts (82.0 passer rating, 57.7 completion percentage.)

3. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

When the San Francisco 49ers traded up for the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, not many would have expected Trey Lance to still be riding the bench ahead of Super Wild Card, especially behind a less-than 100 percent healthy Jimmy Garoppolo.

Nevertheless, Kyle Shanahan has a winning formula on offense with Garoppolo under center. And the threat of bringing Lance in to mix things up will continue to be a threat in the same way Mariota is utilized for the Raiders, particularly in the playoffs

Lance may not have the experience as the majority of quarterbacks on this list, but it’s safe to say his ceiling is as high as any — if not higher. Lance has shown an ability to roll out of the pocket, while keeping defenders at bay with his ability to throw on the run.

In six appearances during his rookie year, Lance has completed 41-of-71 passes for 603 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Against NFC opposition (Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals) Lance has a passer rating of 88.4 with four total touchdowns three pass, one rush) and one interception.

4. Colt McCoy, Arizona Cardinals

Colt McCoy has been around the league since 2010, and has stepped up on multiple occasions for the Arizona Cardinals in 2021.

In nine games this season, McCoy has 740 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 101.4. His first appearance came back in a November start against the San Francisco 49ers where the 35-year-old veteran threw for 249 yards at an 84.6 percent clip with one touchdown with a passer rating of 119.4.

But McCoy’s best statistical showing came two weeks later against another NFC West division rival in the Seattle Seahawks, where the former Texas Longhorn completed 35-of-44 attempts for 328 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 112.9.

5. Cooper Rush, Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys have a legitimate shot to make a deep run in the NFC with Dak Prescott under center. But if Prescott isn’t available to play for any reason, all hope may not be lost with Cooper Rush at the helm of the offense.

Rush isn’t as talented as Prescott, but he’s certainly proved that he’s capable of not only playing in meaningful games, but winning them too.

Rush burst onto the scene earlier this season in Week 8 in place of Prescott, who was out injured. 

The 28-year-old had an impressive showing on the road against the Minnesota Vikings where he threw for 325 yards on 24-of-40 attempts, two touchdowns and one interception with a passer rating of 92.2.

6. Mitchell Trubisky, Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears fans, turn away. Mitchell Trubisky is back in the playoffs with the Buffalo Bills. 

While Trubisky has only completed 6-of-8 attempts in 2021 as backup for Josh Allen, the former No. 2 overall pick can still be a serviceable backup if called upon.

Trubisky has two games of playoff experience, both losses, from his less-than-stellar time in the Windy City, where he racked up 502 total yards and two touchdown passes to go along with a 92.5 passer rating. 

In his career to date, Trubisky has appeared in 57 games, passing for 10, 652 yards at a 64.1 percent clip, with 73 total touchdowns (64 pass, 9 rush) and 38 interceptions.

7. Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers

The jury is still out on Mason Rudolph, 26, to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, but the second-string signal-caller for the Pittsburgh Steelers has shown the ability to make plays and push the ball downfield in limited action.

In two appearances this season, Rudolph has completed 35-of-58 attempts for 277 yards, one touchdown and one interception. 

Rudolph may not have the playoff experience you’d prefer in a backup quarterback who’s been in the league since 2018, but the Steelers have a capable backup who has enough game time to know what it takes to win at this level.

The most Steelers fans have seen Rudolph play came back in 2019 for the then-injured Ben Roethlisberger, where the former Oklahoma State star racked up 1,765 yards in 10 games, completing 62.2 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

RELATED: How to watch Pittsburgh Steelers vs Kansas City Chiefs: Live stream, TV channel, kickoff time for Sunday night’s Wild Card Game

8. Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers

The last thing Green Bay Packers fans want to see is Jordan Love on the field coming off the team’s Wild Card bye, but there’s a reason why the Packers traded up to select the former Utah State standout.

Love wasn’t active in the Packers’ playoff run last season that was stopped short in the NFC Championship by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he was finally able to suit up in the 2021 season to give Packers fans a glimpse of his potential.

In six appearances during the regular season, Love completed 36-of-61 attempts for 411, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Love had extensive game time twice in 2021, making his first career start against the Kansas City Chiefs back in November. In a 13-7 loss the Chiefs, Love completed 19-of-34 attempts for 190 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

In the Packers’ Week 18 loss to the Detroit Lions, Love completed 10-of-17 attempts for 134 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

9. Blaine Gabbert, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

If Tom Brady isn’t able to suit up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this postseason for any reason, the likelihood of back-to-back Super Bowl titles for the franchise is likely over. But maybe Blaine Gabbert will surprise us all.

The second-string quarterback behind Tom Brady hasn’t seen much action since No. 12 made his way to Tampa Bay, but the former No. 10 overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars back in 2011 has seen limited action in 2021.

In six appearances, Gabbert completed 7-of-11 attempts for 67 yards. In his career with the Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans and Buccaneers, Gabbert has racked up 9,273 passing yards, completing 56.3 percent of his passes with 50 touchdowns and 47 interceptions.

10. John Wolford, Los Angeles Rams

John Wolford hasn’t seen much game time in the NFL, but he’s well known by NFL fans due to his role in the Los Angeles Rams playoff run in 2020.

Wolford took over for the Rams in Week 18 against the Arizona Cardinals when Jared Goff injured his thumb the week before. Wolford completed 22-of-38 attempts for 231 yards, one interception and rushed for 56 yards on six attempts. 

Wolford held onto the starting gig for last year’s Super Wild Card Weekend showdown against the Seattle Seahawks but was pulled from the game due to a concussion suffered in the first quarter, opening the door for Goff to return to action. 

Since Wolford’s last appearance, Matthew Stafford has taken over the reins of Sean McVay’s offense and hasn’t given them up. Wolford has appeared in three games in 2021, completing just 1-of-4 attempts for five yards and one interception.

11. Chad Henne, Kansas City Chiefs

Chad Henne probably deserves to be higher on this list solely for his clutch play in last year’s playoffs against the Cleveland Browns.

Henne’s name should be echoed in Kansas City like Frank Reich’s is in Buffalo or Nick Foles in Philadelphia for the plays he made when Patrick Mahomes went down. But the reality of Henne’s track record isn’t as impressive as that one performance might indicate.

In his three seasons with Kansas City, Henne has completed 41-of- 57 passing attempts for 359 and two touchdowns. In 2021, Henne, 36, has appeared in four games but only attempted a pass in one back in Week 7’s 27-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

In that loss, Henne came in for Mahomes when the game was already out of reach to throw for 82 yards on 11-of-16 attempts.

RELATED: How to watch the 2022 NFL Playoffs on Peacock: Live stream info for Super Wild Card Weekend

12. Brian Hoyer, New England Patriots

Brian Hoyer has played the role of mentor for New England Patriots rookie Mac Jones, but is as consistent as they come as a serviceable backup in the NFL.

In five appearances in 2021, Hoyer completed 9-of-11 attempts for 227 yards and one touchdown. In his career, Hoyer has 10,361 passing yards with a completion percentage of 59.3, 53 touchdowns and 35 interceptions.

Despite being a mainstay in New England for most of his career, Hoyer has never attempted a single throw in the playoffs for the Patriots.

However, he has appeared in one playoff game for the Houston Texans back in 2015 where he completed 15-of-34 attempts for 136 yards and four interceptions.

13. Brandon Allen, Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals have a good thing going with second-year quarterback Joe Burrow. But if he misses any time this postseason, the Bengals’ hopes of a deep postseason may be over.

That’s no disrespect to backup quarterback Brandon Allen, it just shows how good Burrow has been for the Bengals at such a young age.

Allen had an opportunity to prove himself in Week 18 as Cincinnati chose to rest a less-than 100 percent Burrow, and the results were subpar. Allen completed 15-of-29 attempts for 136 yards and one touchdown in a 21-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns. 

14. Logan Woodside, Tennessee Titans

If the Tennessee Titans get a healthy Derrick Henry and Julio Jones back into the mix, it may not matter too much who is throwing the ball around. But if Ryan Tannehill is forced to miss any time this postseason, the reins of the Titans offense will be handed to Logan Woodside. 

Woodside, 26, has appeared in five games for the Titans this season, but hasn’t attempted a pass in any of them. His only career passing attempts came in 2020, where he completed 1-of-3 attempts for seven yards in six appearances.

If Woodside is forced to suit up and play for the Titans this postseason, there won’t be much film for defenses to work with in their preparation. With that said, the jury is still out on Woodside’s abilities as an NFL-caliber quarterback.

Be sure to check back after each game for final scores and follow ProFootballTalk for more on the 2022 NFL Playoffs as well as game previews, recaps, news, rumors, and more.

What channel, time is the NFL game tonight? TV, kickoff, live stream for Colts vs Cowboys

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It’s the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys tonight on NBC and Peacock. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America before the game gets underway.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

NBC has got you covered with all you need to know about the game including the TV channel, start time, live stream information, and more.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: How to watch Colts vs Cowboys  – TV/Live Stream info for tonight’s game

What channel is tonight’s Sunday Night Football game on?

  • Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • When: Sunday, December 4
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

          RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

Where to live stream Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys online tonight

Tonight’s game between the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys can be streamed live on multiple platforms tonight including NBCsports.com, the NBC Sports App, and Peacock.

This NFL season, Peacock will stream all of NBC’s NFL games including regular season and playoff games. More from Peacock’s website:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football with a Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here.

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

Week 13 Schedule

WEEK 13
Thursday, Dec. 1
Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots, 8:15 p.m., Prime Video
Sunday, Dec. 4
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m., CBS
Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m., CBS
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., FOX
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Detroit Lions, 1 p.m., FOX
Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m., CBS
New York Jets vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., CBS
Washington Commanders vs. New York Giants, 1 p.m., FOX
Tennessee Titans vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m., FOX
Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m., FOX
Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m., FOX
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m., NBC/Peacock
Monday, Dec. 5
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m., ESPN

RELATED: See the 2022 NFL Sunday Night Football schedule here

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

How to watch Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys: TV, live stream info for tonight’s game

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It’s the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch tonight’s game.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

Indianapolis Colts

Matt Ryan and the Indianapolis Colts fell 24-17 to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night in their 7th loss of the season and 2nd loss under interim head coach Jeff Saturday. Saturday, a former Colts center with no professional or college coaching experience prior to this season, took over after the Colts fired Frank Reich ahead of Week 10. Reich spent 5 seasons with the Colts, reaching the playoffs just twice (2018, 2020) and finishing with a 40-33-1 record in the regular season. Indianapolis’ offensive struggles have continued this season after ranking 10th in scoring last season at 26.5 points per game. Entering Week 13, the Colts are averaging 15.8 points per game–they’re tied with the Texans who are ranked 31st in the league. Ryan went 22-of-34 for 199 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Monday night’s loss. RB Jonathan Taylor rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

RELATED: Jeff Saturday on not using timeouts – “I thought we had plenty of time”

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys completed the season series sweep with a 28-20 win over the New York Giants last Thursday evening. Prescott finished 21-of-30 for 261 passing yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. RB Ezekiel Elliot, who was playing in his second game since returning from a knee injury, rushed for a season-high 92 yards and ignited the Cowboys’ offense scoring the first touchdown of the game. On defense, the Cowboys had 3 sacks–two of them were from OLB Micah Parsons who ranks 2nd in the league with 12 sacks this season. Dallas currently has one of the best defenses in the NFL and leads all teams with 45 sacks this season. The Cowboys have won 4 of their last 5 games and enter Week 13 just two games behind Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East lead.

RELATED: Dak Prescott – I am as confident as I can be in this team


How to watch the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys:

  • Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • When: Sunday, December 4
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys Game

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your tailgating needs for the 2022 Fall season, click here!

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Playoff Picture Week 13 – Standings, clinching scenarios ahead of Colts vs Cowboys on SNF


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!