The QB position may be about to face its biggest shake-up around the league in years, as starting veterans retire or move elsewhere, new faces are drafted in and long-serving backups finally achieve the promotion they so desire. Here is my view on the week 1 starting QBs in the AFC West in September 2021 from most certain to least…
The Kansas City Chiefs: Its Patrick Mahomes. I cant make this more interesting than that name. He’s consistently amazing, scores TDs for fun and seems able to find an extra gear whenever one is required. We’ll be watching him decimate teams all the way through the 2020’s unless he pull an Andrew Luck-style retirement. Thats the best that the rest of the AFC West can hope for!
The Los Angeles Chargers: The most passing TDs by a rookie (28), and one of only 4 rookies to surpass 4000+ yards in their first season, Justin Herbert has been phenomenal. Don’t forget, he didn’t start the season under centre and but for a slip of a doctors needle we may have been denied his abilities for even longer. L.A seem to have landed a franchise-altering star and only serious mis-management can derail the next 10+ years. This is the Chargers though, so they’ll try to make it difficult.
The Las Vegas Raiders: Jon Gruden and Derek Carr have seemingly had a turbulent relationship if you ask the media, but from what we’ve seen on the field these two appear to be able to work very well together. Carr is never likely to be classified as a stud, but he has been effective both pre and post Gruden. Coming to the end of his 7th season with the Raiders he boasts a 168-69 TD-INT rate and has only missed 2 regular season starts in that time. The biggest knock against him is the teams 46-63 win/loss ratio with him as the starter. The rumour-mill will work its magic during another playoff-less off-season, and the Raiders will likely take a look at the QB’s in the draft, but don’t be fooled, Derek Carr can lead you to the promised land if you give him the tools to work with. I won’t be shocked to see him moved on, but I would be disappointed.
The Denver Broncos: I’ve a funny feeling that John Elway will say he’s seen enough out of Drew Lock in 2020 to keep him around for another season. To me this is simply bias, Elway is desperate to prove he can pick a good QB that isn’t Peyton Manning, and so far the evidence doesn’t reflect his wishes. Denver should be looking at the likes of Matt Stafford, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, in-fact, any of the big-name QBs who may be available at the right price, but someway, somehow it feels like Elway isn’t prepared to concede defeat on this one. At the very least they’ll need to take a QB in the draft, maybe rounds 2-4 in an effort to push Lock and keep him improving, but unless they luck out and stumble upon the new Russell Wilson it looks like another turnover-laden year at Mile High in 2021. Lock has been trending the wrong way throughout this season, his completion % is down on 2019, his TD % is down too, and his INT % has risen. His QBR through 12 games this year is just 50, right down at the bottom alongside Wentz, Minshew, Newton and Darnold-most of whom wont be starting 2021 for their current team. Sigh, it feels like wasted breath.