This is from a Dolphin fan surfing the AFC blogs. Here is my personal ranking of AFC QB situations for the upcoming seasons. I will take into account the obvious: Great QB’s, but will also look "long-term" for 3-4 seasons out to compile my 1-16 rankings for the AFC. Feel free to tell me how dumb I am in the comments section. Only rules are no "predicting" on upcoming draft picks. No one will be able to know who will come out and who will be drafted, or if they will pan out. This is simply the guys on the roster now.
AFC West Denver Broncos: They obviously have the best QB in the division (if not the AFC) right now. Although he is aging and isn’t as great as he once was, he will be an elite QB for I think 3-4 more years. Peyton Manning also has an 81.5 total QBR this season, good enough for #1 on that ranking (although I am not always in agreement with whatever the QBR says). They have also drafted his back-up and possible successor in Brock Osweiler out of Arizona State that has potential.
San Diego Chargers: Sad that this is the number 2 QB situation in the incredibly weak AFC West (almost as bad as the AFC East). Philip Rivers is having by far his worst season as a pro (38.0 QBR) and looks to be on the downward spiral. This often happens to "free-lance" QB’s that will take chances too often. Now that his great receiving core is either gone (Vincent Jackson) or declining (Antonio Gates) he is being exposed. Still think he is an above average QB, but drop off looks more like an upcoming cliff. Backup situation: Charlie Whitehurst will not be coming in to save the day.
Oakland Raiders: This is number 3 in the division (thank you Kansas City for being that bad)!? Carson Palmer is actually a pretty serviceable QB despite his 44.6 QBR. Oakland is just such a mess everywhere else it is hard to know if it is Palmer falling off or that he was put in the land of disorganization. I think they may have the best backup of the division in Matt Leinart if he can develop some more.
Kansas City Chiefs: Number 4 in this division is not a great place to be. Still not sure if Brady Quinn or Matt Cassel would go as starter or backup. Either way this team is near the bottom and like Miami they are bad on the wrong year to get a stud QB so they will have to find some more stopgaps until they can stink really bad on a good QB year.
AFC North: Pittsburg Steelers: Whenever you have a guy in Ben Roethlisberger that has 2 super bowl wins in his pocket and is relatively young, you should be set. Only thing they get counted off for is that as "young" as Big Ben is, I think he has the Kevin Garnett syndrome (body is aging rapidly from all the wear and tear). That is about all I can give them negative marks on in the starter category. Now the backups are terrible and old (Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich).
Cincinnati Bengals: This may shock some people, but I am a big Andy Dalton fan and he is only in his second year. They also get high marks for having great tools (AJ Green ) around him. Dalton also seems to be on the way up despite a small sophomore slump and has turned around an entire franchise that was inept before getting him with a 2nd round pick. Backup situation: Brad Gradkowski is not a long-term guy, but they shouldn’t need a long term fill-in with such a young QB.
Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco has fallen off more than most people may realize (44.6 QBR) this season, which is also a contract year. My guess is Baltimore locks him up for the long-term. He is definitely a solid QB that can do well (AFC championship last year) with great players around him, but he is looking more and more like a Trent Dilfer than an above average QB. Backup situation: Tyrod Taylor scares nobody and would be a huge drop off from Flacco. ##Would not be surprised to see them use mid-round pick on a developmental QB this season.
Cleveland Browns: In a QB rich draft class, Cleveland got the 5th best QB out of 6 playing now (maybe 7th if you count Kirk Cousins). Brandon Weeden is an upgrade from what they have had, but will never be a superstar and his age is a huge knock against him. I’d say below average starter for the next few years, until they have to draft another QB. Backup situation: Colt McCoy. I think McCoy may be one of better backups in the league and could be not much, if any, of a dropoff from Weeden.
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts: This kills me to put them this high on the list, but talk about some (Andrew) Luck in being terrible at the right time (Once for Manning, then Luck). I think he is the best QB of the class, although if RG3 can healthy and Tanny develop’s he will have some challengers. He doesn’t have great numbers, but has completely turned around a franchise and to me his come-from-behind wins are great also. Backup situation: Drew Stanton. Doesn’t really even matter does it?
Houston Texas: Matt Schaub is a good QB in this league. Not elite despite as his 66.0 QBR shows, but good enough with a running game and defense to get you deep into the playoffs. Has great weapons around him and I feel he is a step above Flacco as a QB. Backup situation: May be one best in league as TJ Yates proved he can win late in the season and in the playoffs.
Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker may be a very solid QB. The problem is he keeps getting hurt, so we may never know. He is very raw, but I see huge potential in him. Still puts them at 3rd in the division. His 52.8 QBR puts him at 19th in the league with the potential to go up. Bad thing for the Titans, potential doesn’t equal wins, just a hope. Backup situation: Pretty solid with Matt Hasselbeck, although this may go down in the near future as Hasselbeck is getting up there in age.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Not sure who the starter is, but let’s say it is Blaine Gabbert. Ranked 30th with a 30.9 QBR, and that may be being nice. The sad thing in Jacksonville is they have the tools around him to be successful. One of the teams in the league that could be almost playoff caliber with just a solid QB. It is a sad day when I think Tim Tebow would be a huge upgrade for them (and I am a Tebow lover, but know how limited he is). Backup situation: Actually not too bad. Chad Henne is not a great starter in the NFL, but is a good backup with starting experience that typically won’t lose you games, although he also rarely will win them either.
AFC East: New England Patriots: Not much of challenge here as the Patriots have been tearing up the NFL for the last decade behind Tom Brady. This year he has a QBR of 78.8 and is doing very well with average wideouts, but spectacular tight ends. He is getting up there in age, but like Peyton Manning, guys that aren’t known for running the ball tend to last longer in the league. I could see him there at an elite level 4-5 years (that kills me to say as a Dolphin fan). Backup situation: Ryan Mallett has all the tools to be great and with a great offense and QB to watch he should be solid.
Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill was considered a huge project for Miami coming into the season. He has proved to already be ready to keep his team in most games and rarely makes mistakes. With a very limited receiving corps he has kept Miami competitive. Probably right now the 3rd – 4th best of the rookie class, but may have a much higher ceiling than Wilson of Seattle. If not for a few missed FG’s Miami would be 8-6 and you’d hear a lot more about him. Backup situation: Very solid. Matt Moore, if he stays in Miami as a backup after this season, is very capable of coming into games and winning. He has already proved that this season in a win over the Jets.
Buffalo Bills: 3rd in this division shows how weak the East is in QB’s. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not a terrible quarterback, but he is not going to do much to strike fear in a defense and often makes very poor choices (which he cannot get away with because he is also limited physically and in arm strength). I think Buffalo’s team with an above average QB would be a playoff contender, but with Fitzpatrick running the show they look to be fighting to be .500 each year. This season he has a 45.1 QBR. Backup situation: Tyler Thigpen is not going to do much for you if he were to come in off the bench. Word is Buffalo may be targeting a QB in the near future.
New York Jets: Mark Sanchez has failed. He has a 29.1 QBR and has had 4 seasons with the Jets. Once teams realized he struggled with any type of pressure he had no chance. Not only does he make very few great throws/plays, but he makes game killing decisions. INT’s seem to just jump off his hand, especially in the red zone. Backup situation: Other than the overkill in the Media, I think Tebow should actually be starting for them. He is not a great starter at QB for the long term, but he is better than Sanchez. My gut tells me team would have been 2-3 wins better this year if Tebow plays from week 1. As a Dolphin fan I am thrilled to see Ryan stick by Sanchez. Overall rankings:
1) New England Patriots: Tom Brady is the class of the NFL right now and he has the better backup than Denver. Trending: Even 2) Denver Broncos: Payton Manning has answered any questions about his health. Have young backup also. Trending: Up 3) Pittsburg Steelers: Health concerns are only question here with Big Ben. Backup situation not very good either. Trending: Even 4) Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck looks to have potential to be elite. Not there yet (has to cut down turnovers), but very close. Backup situation looks good, but it doesn’t look to matter for about 15 years. Trending: Up 5) Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton may be right below elite level. But he is very solid and rarely makes mistakes. He can also win games for you. Backup situation again doesn’t matter much. Trending: Up 6) Houston Texans: Matt Schaub is another example of solid QB play. Not going to win games by himself, but rarely makes big mistakes and usually makes plays that are routine type NFL QB plays. Backup situation may be best in NFL. Trending: Even 7) Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco would have been much higher coming off last season, but in a year he needed to carry team he has been exposed somewhat. Still the answer for the Ravens, but will never be elite. Does get bonus points for winning playoff games last season. Backup situation is not very good either. Trending: Down 8) San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers has really struggled last few years. Tempted to put him lower, but still see him as a guy that will win games for his team by himself. The flip side: He will lose games by himself. Backup situation not great either. Trending: Down 9) Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill seems to be the answer for the Dolphins. Could make big jump up after this season as he gains experience and hopefully play-makers this offseason. Backup situation is one of best in NFL. Trending: Up 10) Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker has been undone with injuries, but I see big potential in him. Problem now is inconsistency. Backup situation is very solid. Trending: Even 11) Buffalo Bills: Ryan Fitzpatrick is not who I’d want as the face of my franchise, but he is not at the bottom level as some of the next QB’s are. Backup situation is not great. Trending: Down 12) Oakland Raiders: How sad is it when Carson Palmer is above 4 other teams? Backup situation not great either. Trending: Down 13) Cleveland Browns: Brandon Weeden may be the answer. Not a great statement when I guy is 30 years old and no one is sure about him. Colt McCoy is a solid backup. Trending: Even 14) Kansas City: This ranking is only because they are not tied down with either Brady Quinn or Matt Cassel. They know both are not the answer and are ready to move on. Trending: Down 15) New York Jets: Thought about putting them at the bottom, but Mark Sanchez is better than Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne. The problem is they are tied to him for at least another year. TEBOW! TEBOW! TEBOW! Will replace the J-E-T-S chants next year if he is still there. Trending: Way Down 16) Jacksonville Jaguars: Neither guy they have now is the answer, although Henne is an above average backup in the NFL. Trending: Down