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If these quarterback rankings matter, the AFC West still belongs to the Chiefs

Some NFL.com writers ranked all the quarterbacks who played in 2019. We can’t say the AFC West will be a pushover, but...

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

In an article published on Tuesday, NFL.com writers Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr drew up a ranking for all the quarterbacks who took a snap in 2019.

Unsurprisingly, Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and NFL MVP Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens topped the list. Each had two first-place votes and two second-place votes from the panel, tying for first place overall.

Parr had Jackson in first place and wrote both blurbs for the top quarterbacks. He first called Jackson’s season a work of art.

The man I predicted to win MVP way back in August delivered a season for the ages, becoming the second unanimous vote-getter for the award in history. Put the highlight reel in the Louvre. Jackson made art in 2019.

Then he said there was room on the throne for Mahomes.

If you had to select one QB for one game, is anyone not picking Mahomes? The Super Bowl MVP’s 2019 stat line would have been even more impressive if not for the dislocated kneecap that sidelined him around midseason (for only two games, somehow), but throw out the numbers and just watch him play. Yeah, we’ll make room on the throne for Patrick.

But with the departure of Philip Rivers from the Los Angeles Chargers in mind, reading these rankings makes it hard to avoid the conclusion that the Chiefs will once again dominate the AFC West in 2020.

The second-highest ranking quarterback in the division was Las Vegas Raiders starter Derek Carr, who came in 16th. Said Filice:

Carr set career highs in completion percentage (70.4), passing yards (4,054), yards per attempt (7.9) and passer rating (100.8). But was it enough to convince Jon Gruden the marriage will prosper in Sin City?

Rivers was 21st in the rankings. We don’t yet know who will take his place with the Chargers. But if BetOnline.AG’s current betting odds on Rivers’ replacement offer any clue, the Chargers don’t have a lot of attractive options.

  • Tyrod Taylor (unranked) 3/2
  • Teddy Bridgewater (19th) 5/1
  • Tua Tagovailoa (rookie) 5/1
  • Tom Brady (14th) 6/1
  • Justin Herbert (rookie) 9/1
  • Jameis Winston (22nd) 10/1
  • Marcus Mariota (35th) 10/1

Then came Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock at 29th. Bhanpuri had this to say:

I can definitely understand the nervous excitement spreading throughout the Mile High City. Has John Elway finally found Peyton Manning’s heir? Is Drew Lock the franchise savior that will lift Broncos Nation out of a historically bad four-year lull? I’m not here to squash that enthusiasm. I also think it’s important to give the youngster — he of just five pro starts — some more time to develop. Especially with a new offensive coordinator in town.

Bhanpuri — and some Mizzou fans — make a solid point: we don’t yet know what kind of an NFL quarterback Lock could become.

We also know that the game isn’t just about the quarterbacks who are playing. Pass rushing (and passing defense) will matter — along with offensive line play, receivers and so on.

Nor should we just take the word of these four NFL writers as the smoking hot gospel. It’s just their opinion, after all.

Still... it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that in the AFC West this season, it’s going to be Patrick Mahomes... and those other guys.