Aaron Rodgers completes the trio of currently active quarterbacks along with Roethlisberger and Brady, for whom post season participation is almost a given.
Following a season to adjust after succeeding Bret Favre in the starting role for the Green Bay Packers (2.88*), Rodgers has led his side to a 9-6 post season record and one Super Bowl victory.
He has an enviable 33 post season touchdown passes to just nine interceptions and his 64% completion rate and 7.6 yards per attempt only enhances his reputation.
Matt Ryan - the Atlanta Falcons quarterback - has much less experience of post season play in a losing 2-4 cause.
During the regular season Atlanta scored an average of 10 more points than their opponents have typically conceded.
His completion rates and yards per attempt compare well with Rodgers’, although only two fewer interceptions from nine fewer post season contests indicates the pressures felt in the playoffs.
Unlike Rodgers, his general play has fallen short of elite level until this season, where a combination of a better offensive line and a gelling of offensive play calling and play making has resulted in the most dangerous offense in football.
Ryan maintained that level of performance in the opening Divisional round against Seattle.
There’s little in the records of either team in terms of the number of narrow wins and losses or their Pythagorean win expectation to suggest either has benefitted unduly from unsustainable factors.
So both are a legitimate top four seed. Atlanta (1.476*) has overpowered many defenses this season, posting 30 or more points in twelve of their 17 games to date. Throughout the regular season they have scored an average of ten more points than their opponents have typically conceded.
Green Bay’s defense has allowed opponents to efficiently move the ball against them, particularly through the air and the game should be defined by this matchup.
Turnovers and individual mistakes have a huge influence on a single game, but on average Atlanta would be expected to score around 36 points with home field advantage against Green Bay.
Rodgers is experienced and mercurial, but on an average day would only expected to score around 30 points against Atlanta’s defense, giving the host a two field goal advantage on Sunday.
*Odds subject to change
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