In 2013, the AFC West had three teams make the postseason. Not only did these teams flourish throughout the season, a major factor for the winning was due to the quarterback play. Led by Peyton Manning, Alex Smith, and Philip Rivers, the AFC West should be highly contested once again.
Peyton Manning dominated the regular season and breezed to the AFC West title. Believe it or not, Manning’s completion percentage was slightly lower than in 2012, but his touchdown production was astronomical.
Peyton Manning finished with 55 touchdown passes on 68.3% passing, while only throwing 10 interceptions. There were a few changes in the Broncos’ receiving corps, but expectations are as high as ever for Denver. The Broncos will still be one of the most explosive offenses in 2014. That’s a guarantee.
Alex Smith helped change the culture in Kansas City for one season. In 15 games, Smith finished with a (11-4) record and a wild card berth. Although Smith is thought of as a game manager, he finished with 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Those were the most touchdown passes in his career.
Since 2006, Philip Rivers hasn’t missed a start, yet, in 2013, Rivers was playing the best football of his career. Although San Diego only finished at (9-7) Philip Rivers willed his team to the postseason down the stretch. If Rivers can improve off of his 32 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, the Chargers should be right in the thick of another playoff run.
There’s one newcomer to the AFC West and that’s Oakland’s off season acquisition, Matt Schaub. The former Houston Texans’ quarterback lost games, his confidence, and his job in a disappointing 2013 season. If he’s able to have a resurgence, the Raiders could be a sleeper for a playoff spot.
If Schaub is not capable of reverting back to his prior form, Derek Carr is one of the rookies waiting to take his spot.
Here are the AFC West quarterback rankings.