Ranking the Quarterbacks Series Part 1: AFC West

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

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Okay, the fun stuff. Welcome to Ranking the Quarterbacks Part 1, where we are going to dive into each division and see who has the upper hand at the quarterback position. We will take a look at last season's production, offseason changes, and then make some hypothesis (6th grade science told me that means "educated guess") on next season.

The AFC West:

1. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers.

Floating very much under the radar, River's led the 4th ranked passing offense with 4,792 yards 29 TDs and 13 INTs. Not amazing production by today's standards, but what stands out to me is how Philip did what he could with a very beaten up offense. Keenan Allen spent some time on the sidelines, and Danny Woodhead the running back was the teams top receiver with 755 yards on the season. While the Chargers finished at a mere 4-12 record, 7 of those games were decided by 7 points or less. I think this team is closer to a .500 team and with new additions this offseason they could grab 9 wins. The departure of Ladarius Green will hurt, but reports have shown high hopes for the 2nd round pick Hunter Henry to replace Green. Phillip has always been an underappreciated quarterback, with his fiery spirit, excellent tie game, and "middle school shot put bronze medalist" throwing motion, but I think he is the top quarterback in the AFC West for the 2016 season.

Stat Prediction: 4,600 yards 30 TDs 15 Ints and one sweet bolo tie.

2. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders.

Coming out of college I watched a lot of tape and I really like how Carr spins the football. There is something about it that reminds me of two other great quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers and Dan Marino. With an excellent second season, I think Carr and company is in the best position to dethrone Denver from the AFC West title. Carr finishes his second NFL season with 3,987 yards 32 TDs and 13 INTs. Carr seems to be in excellent rhythm with this offense and is already dialed in with Amari Cooper and the revival of Michael Crabtree only makes life easier and takes pressure away from Cooper's side of the field. What I like about Carr is his spirit and ability to extend plays with his legs. He is very decisive and has an excellent arm. I think he is a year away from being the Top AFC West Quarterback and 2 to 3 years away from being elite. Not much will change as the focus in Oakland has been to address the defensive side of the ball, aside from the signing of Kelechi Osemele from Baltimore, which only gives Derek more time in the pocket. I expect a break out year from Carr in terms of stats, but I expect him also to make some mistakes in games that may give a few wins away.

Stat Prediction: 4,900 Yards 35 TDs 20 INTs and 1st place in the Billy Joe Armstrong look-a-like contest.

3. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City may have been the hottest team in the second half of the season, and Alex Smith was a huge part of that. Throwing for 3,486 yds 20 Tds and 7 INTS, Alex Smith makes plays when needed, but most importantly he takes care of the football. With the run game lacking due to yet another Jamaal Charles injury, Alex faced a lot of 7-8 man coverages and manages to pull of 11 straight wins. Kelce and Maclin are the obvious favorites target wise, but I am really expecting WR Chris Conley to make a jump into the lineup this season, with insane athleticsm and a 6ft3 frame. Smith is a vet and leader, but isn't really a flashy player. I expect another year of game managing and checkdowns for the former first overall pick.

Stat Prediction: 3,300 yds 23 TDs 10 INTs and a 5 yard in route on 3rd and 11

4. Whoever the Broncos decide to play.

Personally, I'm expecting Mark Sanchez to win the battle in camp, but I really want to see Trevor Siemian play in preseason. To be frank, I am unimpressed with Paxton Lynch based off his college tape and feel Denver could've grabbed a project quarterback in a later round. Then again, I don't get paid to be Elway, so I wont pretend I am him. Not much to analyze from last season the real question is, will they stay with the offense of the last 3 seasons, or will Kubiak throw in his trademark scheme? The biggest thing for this Broncos team is adjustments in the second half on offense. The Steelers game was embarrassing as they were up big and decided to not run the ball much at all in the second half, resulting in short drives and giving the ball back to Big Ben and AB. Also, the second game vs Oakland where they went up 12-0 and were unable to move the ball at all in the second half, losing the game 15-12. Now, I understand none of those quarterbacks from those games are still on the roster, but scheme and coaching is going to be huge for this young group of QBs and I don't see anything convincing coming from last years tape. Expect the vet Sanchez to seize the QB1 position and possibly take this team to 10 wins, remember he did take the Jets to 2 straight AFCCG. So he is no stranger to this game.

Stat Prediction: 3,400 yards 25 TDs 20 INTs and a dancing Von Miller.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! Drop a comment if you agree, disagree, or just like hearing yourself talk, I know I do, why else would I blog? Because my friends don't listen to me and my dog cant respond.