- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Drew Brees sounds quite confident after leading the Saints over the Falcons with a precision passing display during Monday night’s winning touchdown drive.

“We’re battle-tested. We’re playing with a lot of confidence. We trust one another,” Brees said after the defending Super Bowl champions clinched a playoff spot. “There’s no task that we don’t feel like we can accomplish.”

Tom Brady has to be feeling the same way, although he prefers to keep his comments to a minimum, with a simple “we never get tired of winning” remark after a rout of the Bills in which the NFL’s leading passer became the record holder for consecutive throws without an interception (319).

Brady and Brees, both chosen for the Pro Bowl, are among our Pick Six of the NFL’s best quarterbacks.

And really, this was close to a no-brainer: Our six have thrown for 23,669 yards and 175 touchdowns, with 70 interceptions _ ranging from Brady's league-low four to Brees‘ second-to-worst 21.

Tom Brady, Patriots: A favorite for league MVP, no? Looking unstoppable, Brady’s 11th NFL season has to rank among his best as he guided the Patriots to another AFC East title and home-field advantage through the playoffs. He’s been picture perfect: from screen passes to his backs, medium-range missiles to his rookie tight ends, and breathtaking long balls to his wide receivers. Numbers? No picks in 10 of 15 games, a 66 percent completion rate and 3,701 yards and 34 touchdowns.

Michael Vick, Eagles: Not even Tuesday night’s poor performance (turns out he suffered a severe leg bruise on the first play), keeps this guy off the list. In one of the NFL’s more remarkable comebacks (from a jail term), Vick has become the league’s most dazzling player, passing and running the Eagles to the NFC East title. He’s had two of the most electrifying games of the season: throwing four TD passes and running for two more in a 59-28 rout of the Redskins on Nov. 15, and leading a mind-boggling, fourth-quarter comeback 38-31 win against the Giants on Dec. 19 (three TD passes, one running).

Peyton Manning, Colts: Ol’ man Peyton is far from finished. Yes, he was frustrated with so many top receivers injured at one point. Incredibly, the 34-year-olf Manning threw 11 interceptions in three games, with four brought back for TDs. But the four-time league MVP is back on target and has the Colts primed for another playoff run, although they need a win over the Titans on Sunday or a loss by the Jaguars to make the postseason. Despite that brief letdown from his usual high standards, he’s thrown for 4,436 yards and 31 TDs, with 17 interceptions.

Drew Brees, Saints: He’s tried some risky passes _ How about the toss Monday night that was returned for an easy TD by the Falcons? But there have been more than enough rewards to keep him among the best in the game. With so many injuries to so many running backs, Brees has spread the wealth. Ten players have 23 or more receptions, led by favorite target Marques Colston (84 catches for 1,023 yards and seven TDs). He upped his NFL record of 400 completions in a season to three, and has thrown for 4,424 yards with 32 TDs and 21 interceptions.

Philip Rivers, Chargers: OK, so his team failed to make the playoffs for the first time in five seasons. It wasn’t his fault. After the Chargers stumbled to a 2-5 start thanks to all kinds of special teams blunders, Rivers really began picking apart defenses until last week’s loss against the Broncos. Anyway, his arm could use the rest. Nonetheless, he’s finishing the most productive season of his seven-year career and goes into the finale with a career-best 4,397 yards, plus 30 TDs and just 12 interceptions.

Aaron Rodgers, Packers: Started strong, suffered not one but two concussions that kept him out of a few games, and then emphatically returned last week to reaffirm his spot among the best. He’s the league’s No. 3 passer with 3,693 yards and 27 TDs and 10 interceptions. In his team’s biggest game of the season, he passed for a career-high 404 yards and threw four TD passes in a 45-17 win over the Giants. A win over the NFC North champion Bears on Sunday and the Pack is playoff bound.