48 playoff X factors

From John Kuhn to Jeremy Maclin, these non-superstars could change games

Originally Published: January 4, 2011
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
Getty ImagesJohn Kuhn has become a cult figure for Packers' fans -- and could give the Eagles some trouble too.

You know the big names that will shape playoff games over the next three weekends leading to the Super Bowl -- guys like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan and more. The list below, by conference, features four players on each playoff-bound team who could shake up how a wild card, divisional or conference championship contest is decided. They are playoff "X factors."


1. New England Patriots

RB Danny Woodhead: He is surprisingly tough and elusive as a runner. His size allows him to "hide" behind that offensive line. As a receiver, no matter where (slot, outlet, etc.), he can be dangerous.

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.