There is some pretty talented quarterbacks in the AFC West. All have their question marks, but all could also potentially have Pro Bowl seasons. Whether it be tried and true experience or young intriguing talents. Here’s how they stack up in my view.
1. Chargers – Philip Rivers
Just when you think ‘hey, maybe this is the year Rivers slows down’, nope. He went out that at the age of 36 and had one of the best seasons of his career, throwing for over 4500 yards with 28 TD’s to 10 INT’s. A season after his most ever INT (21) and lowest passer rating in ten years (87.9), he put up the lowest INT percentage (1.7) of his career and his 96.0 passer rating was his lowest in five years.
2. Raiders – Derek Carr
Carr came within an eyelash of 4000 yards in his second and third season, but last season he fell more than 500 yards shy of it. I realize there is optimism that he will return to his 2016 form in which he carried the team to at least nine of their 12 wins. It’s also important to remember that 2016 was the only season of his career in which he had the same offensive coordinator two seasons in a row. He has another new OC this year.
3. Broncos – Case Keenum
This journeyman QB is coming off having led the Vikings to the NFC championship game. Yeah, that team was mainly led by the defense, but Keenum was nails too, throwing for over 3500 yards with 22 TD’s and 7 INT’s with a better passer rating (98.3) than Rivers great season last year and better than Carr has ever had. It had Keenum land at 51 in the NFL Top 100. But I’m not ready to rank him higher than Carr and Rivers based on one great season.
4. Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes
Speaking of optimism, the Chiefs traded away Alex Smith with expectations that the future is now with Mahomes. He has certainly had time to learn the NFL game behind Smith. But until he proves it, he is just a lot of potential.