AFC West Pre-Season Quarterback Rankings

Michael SanteramoContributor IIIJuly 26, 2012

AFC West Pre-Season Quarterback Rankings

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    Training camps are starting. Rookies are signing. The excitement of free agency has slowed down.

    NFL's offseason is coming to a close and rosters are beginning to take shape.

    After an offseason that saw plenty of change in the AFC West, it's time to see how these teams match up against each other going into training camp.

    I will be releasing AFC West positional rankings over the coming days.

    Let's start with my quarterback rankings: 

Peyton Manning

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    This was very tough. All four of these QBs are coming off a 2011 season that they want to forget. I struggled with 1-3 because I could see any one of the top three being the best QB in this division.

    I gave Manning the benefit of the doubt because of the high level he was playing at when we last saw him. It remains to be seen whether or not his neck, and the rest of his body, is at full strength.

    If healthy, Manning should take the division by storm in 2012. 

Philip Rivers

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    Rivers is coming off a poor year for his standards. He threw a career high 20 interceptions along with a career high 7 fumbles.

    Still, in a rough year, Rivers was able to complete 62.9% of his passes and finished the season with a 88.7 QB ranking.

    If Rivers can play at the elite level that he has in the past, he will have a strong case for the best QB in this division.

Carson Palmer

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    Carson Palmer is coming off a turbulent year. In fact, in an interview with ESPN this week, Palmer called last season the toughest situation of his career.

    After sitting on the couch for almost half the season, Palmer was acquired by the Raiders after Jason Campbell's season ending collarbone injury in Week 6.  

    Palmer was able to pile up 2,753 yards and 13 touchdowns in his limited action. Unfortunately for the Raiders, he also completed 16 passes to the opposing defense. If Palmer is going to establish himself as the best QB in the AFC West, he needs to cut down on his turnovers in 2012.

Matt Cassel

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    Sorry Chiefs fans, but you knew this was coming. Matt Cassel is the odd man out. 

    His career completion percentage of 59% is just one indicator of why he is last among starting AFC West quarterbacks in my rankings. Cassel is not a bad QB. A QB rating of 82.5 for his career shows exactly what he is. Average.

    Before getting injured, Cassel completed just under 60% of his passes including 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He wasn't losing games for the Chiefs, but he wasn't winning them games either.

    Unless he plays at a higher level, Matt Cassel will always be at the bottom of this list. 

Ranking the Backups

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    1. Charlie Whitehurst, SD: Quality backup with starting experience in Seattle.  

    2. Matt Leinart, OAK: Very similar to Whitehurst. Has experience as a starter. Injuries are a concern.  

    3. Brady QuinnKC: Has only completed 52.1% of all passes he's thrown in the NFL. Yikes.

    4. Brock Osweiler, DEN: A rookie who hasn't thrown a NFL pass. A lot of upside and promise. But he needs time to develop. 

    Comment your thoughts below. 

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