In recent years, the AFC West has become one of the better and more competitive divisions in the league; just this past year, there were three teams with winning seasons (one of them still missed the playoffs). Much of this has been fueled by some mostly pretty good QB play, so let’s take a look at and rank the quarterbacks of the AFC West.
4. Alex Smith
I’ve never really been big on this guy, even back in San Francisco. Although he’s a quite accurate short-range passer with a decent amount of mobility, he cannot throw dependably past 15-20 yards. He’s been quite fortunate to be on teams where that isn’t really a problem; Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers and Andy Reid’s Chiefs found success regardless. Of course, Smith does obviously have some talent, and he does mostly avoid turnovers. But his lack of deep-passing ability kind of leaves him stuck in the mid-tier range.
3. Trevor Siemian
It seems that the starting QB position for Siemian this year is far from guaranteed. I don’t entirely know why. His stat lines look a little inconsistent at times, but considering his offensive line was virtually nonexistent down the stretch, he did just fine with an 18:10 TD-INT ratio in his first season of playing, and he had some quite excellent games as well. He has quite a high ceiling. Even if Denver doesn’t seem him as the future franchise QB, he’s probably still better than anyone else on the roster right now.
2. Derek Carr
This guy is one of, if not the best young QB’s around. It helps that he has a loaded offense to throw to, but in the last two seasons combined, he’s thrown 60 touchdown passes and only 19 interceptions. He only threw 6 interceptions in 2016. He’s helped to resurrect the Raiders franchise after nearly 15 years of failure; that certainly says something. He’s still young, but he’ll likely be cracking many people’s top 10 lists very soon (if he isn’t already).
1. Philip Rivers
While it’s very likely that Derek Carr will take the top spot in the near future, Rivers is still top dog for now. He’s played at an elite level for almost a decade now, and in the last few years, he’s done more with less—considering his offensive line is hardly ever healthy, and the last couple of years in particular he’s been working with more backup receivers—and still putting up strong numbers. While he’s probably only got a few great years left, he’s still a top 10 QB.