NFL QBs: Ranking the AFC Starters By Division
The quarterback is the most important and talked about position in the game of football. From high school on up to the pros, people look at the QB. Many look at them as skillful leaders, emotional leaders, and field generals. A team is often not the same when its starting QB is not on the field. My colleague, Brian Bosarge recently ranked the NFC QBs by division. This piece will look at the starting QBs in the AFC.
A.J. McCarron – Buffalo Bills
Josh McCown – New York Jets
Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins
Tom Brady – New England Patriots
The starting sample for McCarron is small. In fact, at the end of mini-camp, many said that Nathan Peterman was winning the QB battle. They also drafted Josh Allen to be the future. It is hard to say who will really start; however, I will go with the veteran starter.
McCown will most certainly be looking over his shoulder this preseason. While he is probably the one most qualified to start, you do trade up as an organization and not draft a starter. Eventually, Sam Darnold will start.
Tannehill is in a very good situation. The Dolphins have done a solid job adding support around him. This could make him a very solid QB this season.
Tom Brady is Tom Brady. What more is there to say? Arguably the greatest of all time. So of course, he tops this division.
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts
Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars
Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans
Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans
Luck used to be the best QB in this division. Nonetheless, the Colts do not know what they have with the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Will he recover from multiple shoulder surgeries? If so, we could redo this list next season.
Bortles has a tremendous season in 2017. If we are going strictly off that performance, he takes the number one spot. However, we cannot go off of one year. Can he maintain in 2018?
Mariota finally led his team to the playoffs. Also with all the legal troubles that Jameis Winston is having, it is easy to say he was the best choice in the 2015 NFL Draft.
I may get lynched for saying that Watson is the best QB in this division. After all, he is only in his second year and coming off an ACL injury. Nonetheless, had he been healthy, the Texans would have challenged for an AFC Championship.
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs
Case Keenum – Denver Broncos
Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders
Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers
The sample for Mahomes is small. He started just one game in his short NFL career. The Chiefs will be ok with Mahomes under center. He did show against one of the best defenses in the league that he can handle his game.
Keenum comes to the Broncos as a free agent. He had a spectacular season in 2017. The Broncos needed a QB and Keenum was the best option for the pocketbook. The Broncos will once again be a competitive football team due to his acquisition.
This is an interesting choice. I put Carr here because of his 2016 performance. Also, he now has one of the best QB coaches to grace the NFL, Jon Gruden. I believe Gruden will work wonders for Carr and he could become the best in this division.
Rivers is by far the best in the AFC West at this time. In fact, he is one of the best in the game. To add to that, he is one of the best to never play in the Super Bowl. That all could change in 2018.
Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens
Tyrod Taylor – Cleveland Browns
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
Dalton has never won a playoff game in his career. While I wanted to place him third. It was because of that stat in which I could not.
Although Flacco has not done anything since signing his big contract, he is still better than Dalton. I may face a lynching for putting him behind a QB for the Browns. Nonetheless, Flacco is more than likely on his way out in Baltimore and I could not put that any higher.
Taylor is a cerebral QB. He is smart with the football. In 2017, Taylor only threw four INTs. This is the reason he is number two in the division. It is also the reason he will make the Cleveland Browns a division contender.
Big Ben is one of the top active QBs. None of his counterparts in this division are close to being on his level. He is one of the biggest reasons the Steelers are perennial contenders.
This is how I see the AFC QBs ranking by division. The North is by far the superior division.
How would you rank AFC QBs? Leave a comment below.
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