The NFL playoffs and the march to Super Bowl 50 start on Saturday. We’ll leave the X’s and O’s analysis and the talk of “measurable intangibles” to guys like Mort, and Skip, and Stephen A., and Boomer. Instead, we decided to focus on how all the playoff quarterbacks look. Not how they look under pressure in the pocket or how they look for receivers downfield, but how they look.
The term “NFL quarterback” alone conjures images of grandeur from Broadway Joe Namath to Dan Marino to Tom Brady. And as the most visible player on an NFL team, it’s important that the quarterback look the part, on and off the field. As Deion Sanders once said, “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good.”
With this year’s crop of playoff QBs, it’s clear that some take Primetime’s advice to heart. And some don’t. Here is how all the remaining quarterbacks line up in the style department. After this weekend’s games, we should have a better sense of how the QBs personal style corresponds to his play on the field.
12. WASHINGTON REDSKINS: KIRK COUSINS
Full disclosure: I am a die-hard Redskins. But even I can’t justify Cousins’s steez. The man seems to go out of his way to distance himself from the trappings of success. He drives a 2000 GMC conversion van that he bought from his grandmother and showed up to a recent press conference in Ugg slippers and a vintage Skins Starter jacket. Even Tom Brady, who is endorsed by Ugg doesn’t pull that move. But, hey, that DGAF attitude certainly seems to be working for Cousins this season.
11. PITTSBURGH STEELERS: BEN ROETHLISBERGER
Big Ben lives up to his name. Roethlisberger’s physique can best be described as “athletic dad bod,” although having a gut never stopped him from rifling the ball 50 yards downfield like it was nothing. But Roethlisberger falls into the classic trap of “big guys wearing big clothes,” opting for bigger garments that only make him look heavier. With a $100 million deal, Big Ben can afford a tailor.
10. ARIZONA CARDINALS: CARSON PALMER
Carson Palmer’s Instagram bio reads, “Father/Husband/Quarterback/Hunter” and it’s clear that he is more comfortable at Cabela’s than Barney’s, which seems a little unusual for a USC alum. Palmer’s look is best described as “middle America middle management,” except when he wears a homemade bikini top and grass skirt.
9. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: ALEX SMITH
It’s not his fault, but whenever I look at Smith, I think of that smug d-bag Tucker Max. Smith has the preppy quarterback look down—plaid button downs, baseball caps. It’s easy to picture him playing beer pong. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with his look, but there isn’t anything right about it either. It’s just there.
8. DENVER BRONCOS: PEYTON MANNING
While his little bro cries for his departed coach, Peyton is riding in on a majestic steed to save the day for the Broncos. After missing a handful of games due to injury, Manning came off the bench and lead Denver to victory in its regular season finale against the Chargers. Off the field, Manning has come a long way from the guy who used to have his mother photograph outfits for him so that he would know what to wear. He doesn’t exactly have a unique style, but he knows how to wear a good-looking suit that fits well and is befitting of his stature, which more than a lot of NFL players can do. https://www.instagram.com/p/92L4u-urlU https://www.instagram.com/p/9yyFA-Orv- https://www.instagram.com/p/88noiOurns
7. CINCINNATI BENGALS: ANDY DALTON
Dalton distinguishes himself as the only ginger quarterback in the league. He does redheads proud with hairstyle which is tight on the sides and swept up and back on top for a look that is pulled together and modern. As far as outfits go, Dalton keeps it pretty basic, but you can’t be mad at a guy that knows how to rock a white T-shirt under a blazer.
6. GREEN BAY PACKERS: AARON RODGERS
Aaron Rodgers looks good by the sheer fact that he appears alongside girlfriend Olivia Munn so often. It’s also hard to hate on a guy with his own Obi-Wan Kenobi robe. Rodgers seems to dress much better on his own than he does in those “Discount Double Check” ads. Sometimes a sharp leather baseball jacket and a T-shirt and jeans are all it takes.
5. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: RUSSELL WILSON
Wilson is a little bit of a goodie-goodie and his style generally reflects that. But stepping out with girlfriend Ciara has forced him to up his game a bit. You get the sense that left to his own devices, Wilson would keep it more basic, but putting in time on the red carpet has forced him to make some bold choices. Pulling off a purple suit with a black shirt and tie isn’t easy, but Wilson knows how to rock it.
4. HOUSTON TEXANS: BRIAN HOYER
I’ll be perfectly honest, I would have had a hard time picking Brian Hoyer out of a lineup before I started writing this story. Outside of ridiculous J.J. Watt box jumps, the Texans just aren’t a team that is on my radar. But after doing a little research it’s clear that Hoyer is a man who knows how to dress. Whether he’s going with a simple striped sweater with a beanie or the suit with sneakers look above, it’s clear that Hoyer is making an effort to look sharp.
3. MINNESOTA VIKINGS: TEDDY BRIDGEWATER
Bridgewater led the Vikings to their first division title since 2009 and his style on and off the gridiron is maturing in his second NFL season. Pairing a storm blue blazer with a gray tie and light pants is definitely not a rookie move and details like the tie bar help elevate this outfit. Bridgewater even managed to pull off a hat at the Kentucky Derby without looking ridiculous.
2. CAROLINA PANTHERS: CAM NEWTON
Cam has never been shy about drawing attention to himself, whether it’s dabbing after a TD or sporting bow ties with camouflage blazers. Here’s the thing, though: he backs it up. He’s able to reveal his Superman costume because he’s in the end zone so much. And when he sports those loud outfits, they are always put together impeccably. Rocking bejeweled silver Giuseppe Zanotti slippers is a style that certainly isn’t for everyone, but Cam pulls it off.
1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: TOM BRADY
His wife is a supermodel and he’s buddies with Tom Ford, so Brady has certain advantages that help him get to the top of this list. But he puts those advantages to good use. Brady takes bold moves like sporting a double breasted suit or a blue dinner jacket, but he does so in a manner that comes off tasteful and refined. I still think he knew about those deflated balls, though.