- Steve Palazzolo, NFL
While the merits of NFL quarterbacks are often discussed under the guise of their perceived "eliteness" and ranking on top-10 lists, recent years have shown that memberships in those clubs are not necessarily prerequisites for playoff success and a Super Bowl championship. Eli Manning was certainly not among the league's best quarterbacks in 2007 before his Super Bowl run, and the same can be said for Joe Flacco in 2012.
Subsequently, conjuring up the late-season magic doesn't automatically vault a quarterback into the imaginary land of the elite, but all that NFL teams need is a quarterback capable of stringing together a three- to four-game run of strong play. While this is certainly easier said than done, the number of quarterbacks capable of making this happen around the league is not as thin as our pre-set lists make it seem.
Here are five quarterbacks who may have enough surrounding talent to take the next step and lead their teams to a Super Bowl victory this season.
Which teams are good enough to win a Super Bowl this season with a breakthrough on the part of their QB? Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus identifies five candidates, including Chicago, which has built up a very good supporting cast around Jay Cutler.