Oakland Raiders: Ranking The AFC West By Position Group – Quarterbacks

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 24: Derek Carr /
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Oakland Raiders
SAN DIEGO, CA – JANUARY 01: Philip Rivers /

1. Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers)

This is going to be painful for many Raider fans to hear. Possibly even difficult for them to accept. But the fact of the matter is Philip Rivers – currently – is the best quarterback in the AFC West.

Even after thirteen years, Rivers is still going strong. Despite having had a lot of his offensive weapons miss significant time (or the whole season) with injuries, Rivers put together a solid campaign, statistically speaking.

For the 2016 season, Rivers passed for 4,386 yards on 60 percent passing. He threw 33 touchdowns – though he did also toss 21 interceptions. But he did command the league’s eighth best passing attack and led an offense that scored a tick under 26 points a game – good for the league’s ninth best.

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The Chargers were a terribly hard luck 5-11 last season. They could have won a number of games they wound up losing thanks to a bad break here and there. Given the bad breaks and the staggering number of injuries, the Chargers were just a snakebit team in 2016.

But, this season, they could possibly be one of the most dangerously overlooked teams in the AFC West – if not in the NFL as a whole.

With Rivers having a full complement of weapons that include Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin, as well rookie first-round pick Mike Williams, an up and coming tight end in Hunter Henry, as well as the old stalwart, Antonio Gates, a rebuilt offensive line, and a relatively dangerous running game led by Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles has the makings of a prolific offense.

It would be unwise to sleep on them or take them lightly. Rivers has been around a long time, is crafty, a very solid quarterback, and with that arsenal of weapons at his disposal, he could have a very productive 2017 that sees him put up some monster numbers.

Rivers is the old gunslinger who has perhaps, a couple of good rides left in him. He’s still at the top of the pack, but the young gun in Derek Carr is creeping up on him quickly. Until Carr is able to overtake him though, Rivers remains the best quarterback in the division.