Tom Brady Patriots
Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots gestures during the second half against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The four starting quarterbacks remaining in the 2018 NFL playoffs aren’t exactly the group that many expected to be left standing when the postseason began. While it’s no surprise that Tom Brady is one victory away from reaching yet another Super Bowl, Blake Bortles, Case Keenum and Nick Foles will all be starting in their first conference championship games.

Let’s rank the quarterbacks that will be starting Sunday from best to worst.

1) Tom Brady

During a season in which there has been so much talk about poor quarterback play, Brady is as good as ever. At 40 years old, he’s the MVP favorite after leading the NFL in passing yards. Brady finished third in both passer rating and touchdowns while ranking in the top five in completion percentage. Not only is he easily the best quarterback left in the playoffs, but Brady was the best signal caller in the regular season. The advantage Brady gives the New England Patriots at quarterback is the chief reason why the defending champions are such heavy favorites over the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday afternoon.

Leading the Patriots to their seventh straight appearance in the AFC Championship Game, Brady’s playoff experience dwarfs that of the remaining quarterbacks. He’s played in 35 postseason games, while Keenum, Foles and Bortles have a combined five playoff starts.

2) Case Keenum

Keenum is the obvious choice for No.2 on this list. He might’ve had the most surprising season of any NFL player in 2017. Keenum took over as the Minnesota Vikings’ starter in Week 2 in place of the injured Sam Bradford, and he’s been one of the league’s best quarterbacks ever since. A legitimate MVP candidate if it wasn’t for Brady, Keenum finished second only to Drew Brees with a 67.6 completion percentage, posting a 98.3 passer rating as the Vikings tied for the NFC’s best record.

People have seemingly been waiting for Keenum to turn back into the quarterback that lost his starting job with the Los Angeles Rams last season. He continues to pass every test put in front of him, including the divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. Keenum threw for 318 yards and led the game-winning touchdown drive that has Minnesota one victory away from reaching Super Bowl LII.

3) Nick Foles

It looked like the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl chances might have gone out the window when Carson Wentz tore his ACL in Week 13. The team replaced the potential NFL MVP with a quarterback that hadn’t been a regular starter in two years, and he was only mediocre in three games to end the regular season. Foles, however, led the Eagles to a win over the Atlanta Falcons as underdogs in the divisional round, and he’s got a chance to do the same when Philadelphia hosts Minnesota in the NFC Championship Game.

Foles played as well as Philadelphia could’ve asked for last week, ending the game with a 100.1 passer rating after he completed 23 of 30 passes for 246 yards and no picks. If he’s forced to make too many plays against the Vikings’ No.1 ranked defense, the Eagles could be in trouble. Since throwing 27 touchdown passes and just two interceptions as Philadelphia’s starter in 2013, Foles has registered 28 touchdown passes and 22 picks.

4) Blake Bortles

If you want to know why so many people are giving the AFC South champs little chance to win in Gillette Stadium, look no further than Jacksonville’s starting quarterback. Bortles’ 84.7 passer rating was good for 20th in the regular season, and he finished 24th with a 60.2 completion percentage. He failed to throw more touchdown passes than interceptions in half of the Jaguars’ games, and he’s averaging 150.5 passing yards in two playoff games.

Bortles probably exceeded expectations in the regular season. He threw 21 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions after he almost lost his starting job in the preseason. Bortles did have some big games in December when he had seven touchdowns and no picks during a three-game winning streak, though it was Jacksonville's NFL’s No.1 rushing attack and the No.2 defense that was mostly responsible for winning the division title. The 25-year-old is an underrated runner and can make some plays with his legs, but he won’t be the reason the Jaguars upset the Patriots if the team finds a way to reach Super Bowl LII.