Kirk Cousins, Teddy Bridgewater among playoff newbies to be trusted

There are five playoff-bound teams currently relying on quarterbacks with fewer than 30 career starts: Minnesota (Teddy Bridgewater, who has 27), Denver (Brock Osweiler, six), Houston (Brian Hoyer and Brandon Weeden, both with 25), Washington (Kirk Cousins, 24) and Cincinnati (AJ McCarron, two). (OK, yes, Indy has a chance to knock Houston out of the playoffs, but it's a pretty darn slim chance.)

Some filled a QB void in-season (Osweiler, Weeden, McCarron), while some have been leading the charge from Week 1 (Bridgewater, Cousins), but none have started in the playoffs before. Which one of these relatively inexperienced signal callers would you want to lead your team into the postseason?

Cousins is extremely confident and playing as well as any quarterback has in the latter part of the season. His preparation is paying off, and there aren't too many quarterbacks who've been in the zone that he's been in.

A team needs certified ballers if it wants to do anything in the postseason, and Cousins is surrounded by the right pieces with DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed, who is an unbelievable talent. The Redskins are playing inspired football, and the postseason is all about riding that wave of momentum. Teddy has the best supporting cast out of these quarterbacks. Adrian Peterson could win the league rushing title, and the offense is coming together. Putting up 49 points against the Giants, with the help of a good defensive performance, shows everyone that this team is improving offensively. If the Vikings can win the NFC North, it's going to be tough for other teams to travel to Minnesota and win. He's the best quarterback right now and has the highest completion percentage in the league. That tells me he understands the dynamic of that offense and what they want to accomplish. Plus, those other quarterbacks need a run game to win. He's the only one who can lead his team without one. If injured starter Andy Dalton is unable to return for the Bengals' playoff opener and the team winds up leaning on McCarron, as they have for the past two weeks, the youngster will be in a situation he should be very comfortable with. He played in a similar situation at Alabama, where he was asked to be the bus driver surrounded by elite talent. He understands how to play winning football after being coached by Nick Saban. He's going to take care of the ball and give the Bengals a chance to win in the fourth quarter, Monday's loss-clinching gaffe notwithstanding. The playoffs are about not losing the game rather than winning the game, and as long as he takes care of the ball -- and his sprained left wrist doesn't get in the way -- the Bengals will be fine. Cousins has the hot hand and has progressed more than any of these quarterbacks in the past two months, recording a 72 percent completion rate, 20:3 TD-to-INT ratio, 115.8 passer rating and a 6-3 record in his last nine games. He also has a healthy, up-and-coming tight end, a deep threat with Jackson and a solid receiver in Pierre Garcon.

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