The three most quarterback-dependent teams lost at home on wild-card weekend.
Inconsistent running games, injuries on offense and porous defenses placed extra pressure on the playcallers of the Colts, Saints and Eagles.
But at least Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Michael Vick have cleared their schedules for a trip to Honolulu at the end of the month.
It's easy to point the finger at the quarterback, but where would the Colts have been without Manning this season?
Tight end Dallas Clark and wide receivers Anthony Gonzalez and Austin Collie were all placed on injured reserve, while starting running back Joseph Addai missed eight games this season.
Manning's passing attack was complemented with the 29th ranked rushing game and 23rd ranked scoring defense. It's been Manning or bust all season.
The Saints have also leaned heavily on their playcaller with the 28th ranked rushing attack. And their two leading rushers missed Saturday's game. While New Orleans had a top-five total defense, it was hardly trustworthy as proved by allowing 41 points Saturday to a Seahawks team that scored more than 30 points just once since Week 2 and ranked 28th in total offense.
The Eagles raked up the second-most total yards in the league this season behind their dual-threat quarterback. Philadelphia had an 8-2 record in games Vick started and finished. Not only did Vick have a 100.2 passer rating, he led the team in rushing four times and had 30 total touchdowns in 12 games.
These three playcallers know the glory and criticism that comes with the job.
Unlike any other position, quarterback is most closely judged by the outcome of the game. Barry Sanders is still regarded as one of the best running backs of all-time despite winning just one playoff game. Linebacker Dick Butkus never even made the playoffs in his nine-year career. But few can mention Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino without bringing up the fact that he never won a championship.
Winning defines quarterbacks.
This season, Manning was brilliant with no-name weapons; Brees made an admirable Super Bowl defense; and Vick was unstoppable at times. But their early playoff exits will define the year for these three Pro Bowl passers.