In the NFL playoffs, legacies are made, reshaped and sometimes destroyed. With just seven games remaining before we’ve crowned a champion this postseason, here’s a look at 10 which can take shape if not become more fully cemented very soon.
Bruce Arians: He’s already a two-time Coach of the Year. A Super Bowl win would place the 68-year-old pretty close to Hall of Fame territory.
Tom Brady: He’s obviously already won more Super Bowls than any player in NFL history, but a seventh at age 43 in a new setting without Bill Belichick? That might be the icing on the cake if anyone still doubts that he’s the best player in league history.
Drew Brees: Brees might never win an MVP, which is why a second ring would be critical when he retires with a lot of passing records, but finds himself being compared to multiple winners like Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and John Elway.
Aaron Donald: The two-time Defensive Player of the Year is likely headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as soon as he’s eligible, but a championship would clinch that and give him a signature moment which is currently lacking.
Lamar Jackson: There’s plenty of time for the 24-year-old to reshape his legacy, and he got a monkey off his back with his first playoff win Sunday in Tennessee, but a Super Bowl run would move him back into Patrick Mahomes’ range as the two battle for modern quarterback supremacy.
Patrick Mahomes: Two Super Bowls, an MVP and the best rate-based stats in NFL history, all before turning 26? He’d already be a lock for the Hall of Fame and would be on track to be considered the most accomplished quarterback of all-time.
Sean McVay: Some shine might have come off the former prodigy of late, but two Super Bowl appearances and a 43-21 career regular-season record at age 35 would be pretty epic. He was also Coach of the Year in 2017.
Sean Payton: A second title is big. Nine of the 13 coaches with multiple Lombardi Trophies are either in the Hall of Fame or named Bill Belichick.
Andy Reid: See above. Another Super Bowl run would clinch it for the sixth-winningest coach in NFL history.
Aaron Rodgers: Like Brees and Mahomes, he’s looking to become the 13th quarterback with multiple Super Bowl wins. Combine that with three MVPs (assuming he secures that on the eve of this year’s Super Bowl), and he’d be in a category with only Brady and Peyton Manning.