Who are the NFL's best closers?

Peyton Manning, Pierre Thomas among top players in December

Updated: December 17, 2013, 1:21 PM ET
By Khaled Elsayed | Pro Football Focus

Peyton ManningAP Photo/Orlin WagnerPeyton Manning has historically played quite well during the month of December.

We're at the stage of the season now when every performance matters that little bit more. Postseason spots, home-field advantage and much more are on the line as teams give it their all. So, we're going to examine the past five years' worth of grading to see which players deliver in the crunch, looking at each position and which players have the highest averages.

We're looking at the top players from each position, with the criteria being that they have had to play 10 games total from Week 14 onward between 2008 and 2012 and are currently active in the league. Let's have a look at who the numbers say are the top "closers" in the NFL:


Manning

Quarterback: Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (2.55)

While others are losing their heads, Manning is always keeping his. He tends to go into December in control of his destiny, then proceeds to smoothly move through the month with minimal fuss. It might get colder in the final four weeks of the season, but his 32-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio in that time of the season is not to be ignored; it's one big reason he's always popping up in the postseason.

2nd: Drew Brees, NO (2.43)
3rd: Aaron Rodgers, GB (2.2)


Thomas

Running back: Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints (1.03)


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