Quarterback is probably the most important position in all of sports. The work that quarterbacks have to put in, and the amount of leadership that quarterbacks provide for a team are paramount. The Chiefs defense has had some success against some of the better quarterbacks the last few years, but this year’s schedule is filled with some of the better quarterbacks in the league. Most of these quarterbacks are still somewhat new to the league. Some teams are not certain who their quarterback will be for sure, as training camp battles will help teams determine where they stand. Here’s a ranking of the quarterbacks the Chiefs will face in 2017.
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13: Josh McCown/Bryce Petty/Christian Hackenberg- New York Jets
The Jets are coming into the season with a lot to gain and not much to lose. The Chiefs will not face the Jets until Week 13, so who knows who exactly the quarterback will be. Josh McCown is a veteran player, who has bounced around the league. McCown is coming into his first season with the Jets after leaving the Cleveland Browns. Both Petty and Hackenberg, were drafted by the Jets and have not seen much action. Petty finally received some playing time last year, and he showed some improvement. Who ever it is, the Chiefs defense could have a big day.
12: Tom Savage/Deshaun Watson- Houston Texans
As good of a career as Deshaun Watson had in college at Clemson, he enters as the backup to Tom Savage. The Texans have one of the best rosters in the league, but the continuation of trying to find a franchise quarterback has kept them from finding success deep in the playoffs. Savage took the job briefly from Brock Osweiler, but the Texans went back to Osweiler in the playoffs. This is one of the most exciting quarterback battles of training camp and Watson was a guy that Chiefs fans were hoping the team would draft when they decided to go with Patrick Mahomes. Luckily for the Chiefs, there has not been a lot of backlash with the decision of Mahomes.
11: Trevor Siemian/Paxton Lynch- Denver Broncos
Siemian won the job in Denver last season, and he ran with it all season. Siemian did suffer a shoulder injury, allowing Lynch to play a couple of games. Lynch was a top ranked quarterback going into the 2016 draft, and is still trying to fit that mold of a John Elway type of quarterback. The Broncos are still listing Siemian as their starter, but in the NFL changes can happen quickly. The quarterbacks are trying to keep improving, but they will have a new head coach in Vance Joseph.
10: Tyrod Taylor- Buffalo Bills
Taylor is in a weird spot with Buffalo. Taylor has continued to lead the Bills offense, and has showed toughness, playing through a couple of injuries. But, the Bills have seemed hesitant to set their future solely in the hands of Taylor. Taylor has had a couple of good seasons, he can throw the deep ball well. He also has the speed to where defenses have to worry about him taking off and running.
9: Carson Wentz- Philadelphia Eagles
Wentz has a lot of potential and the Eagles look like a good team. But, Wentz still has some work to do to get the Eagles where they consistently were in the early 2000’s, being a playoff team year after year. This matchup will be huge for the Chiefs, as the Eagles come to Arrowhead Stadium for the Chiefs home opener. Wentz is a smart quarterback and has a good arm. If Wentz continues to be aggressive, his career will continue to get better and the Eagles are building a good roster around him.
8: Ryan Tannehill- Miami Dolphins
These are rankings as of going into the season. As much potential that Wentz has, Tannehill had probably his best season last year, before getting injured with a lower body injury. Tannehill is going to continue to improve as long as he has Adam Gase for a head coach. Gase has taken other quarterbacks, like Jay Cutler, to the highest heights that they could reach. Tannehill has become more alert, as he took a lot of sacks early in his career. Tannehill has a chance to take the Dolphins to the playoffs once again, and hopefully for him, he can start in the playoffs and stay healthy.
7: Dak Prescott- Dallas Cowboys
Even though it has only been one season for Prescott in the NFL, nobody expected him to have the season he had last year. With Tony Romo’s injury in the preseason, Prescott took the job and ran with it. This quarterback job is filled with possibly more pressure than others, as he had to lead the Dallas Cowboys. The spectacle that the Cowboys have created for their environment is outstanding and with recent letdowns, the Cowboys needed to have a good season for head coach Jason Garrett. Prescott is a dual threat and has the league’s best offensive line blocking for him. Dak has a toughness about him that is hard to explain. The way the team has gotten behind Prescott is remarkable and Prescott is looking to have more success.
6: Eli Manning- New York Giants
Fans can say what they want about Eli Manning, but he has shown some guts and has won some games in big moments. Manning has won two super bowls and has a chance to win a third this year. The team has built a good wide receiving core around him, also they recently added veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Manning has been able to cut down on turnovers and is somewhat underrated in his awareness and being able to escape from the defense. Manning may not be a hall of famer when it’s all said and done, but he has been a mainstay in the NFL for thirteen seasons.
5: Kirk Cousins- Washington Redskins
Cousins has been working his way up the quarterback totem pole around the league the last few seasons. Cousins has been leading the Redskins the last few years to the success they have been able to have. He still may not be getting enough credit. Cousins is playing on the Washington franchise tag for the second straight season, and if he has another stellar season he could possibly be walking away from Washington for a deal he deserves. He has some surprising speed and his able to run and throw on the run very well. Cousins has become a top quarterback in a swift amount of time.
4: Philip Rivers- Los Angeles Chargers
Rivers is one of the most exciting quarterbacks to watch in the league with the exuberant passion he employs. Lately, Rivers has pretty much carried the Chargers on his back. The Chargers have now gotten better, and Rivers could have his best season yet. Rivers should be a future hall of famer and he will do his best to go out on a high note near the end of his career. Rivers plays with intelligence and energy that can fool some defenses. Tough for the Chiefs that they will have to face him twice once again.
3: Ben Roethlisberger- Pittsburgh Steelers
Roethlisberger has been a Chiefs killer in his career. Like Manning and Rivers, Roethlisberger is nearing the end of his career. Roethlisberger is probably one of the best pocket passers in the league, and he can escape pressure really well. As a leader, Roethlisberger is blunt and is not afraid to say what needs to be said. The Steelers have a chance to be one of the best teams in the AFC this year, but the AFC still runs through New England.
2: Derek Carr- Oakland Raiders
So far the Chiefs have been good against Carr as he is just 1-5 against the Chiefs. Unfortunately, Carr and the Raiders will continue to improve and the Chiefs will have to see him twice. If Carr did not suffer a devastating knee injury last year, the Raiders could of possibly won the AFC and went on to play in the Super Bowl. Carr is an attacker who does not slow down until the clock hits all zeros to end the game. Carr is gritty and it is hard to root against him. He can throw well to all spots on the field. The Chiefs won’t back down from the challenge Carr presents, but this year could be the year the Raiders have everything go their way.
1: Tom Brady- New England Patriots
Tom Brady is probably the best quarterback to ever play and he may still be in the league for five to six more years. In his career, Brady has taken the Patriots franchise farther than they were ever able to get in their early years. The Patriots continue to run a well oiled machine, and their players have bought into the type of show they are trying to run. Brady could hurt the Chiefs, but that game opens the season. The Chiefs may not be as damaged for their playoff hopes as they could be.
The Chiefs will have a lot of tall tasks to handle with these guys, but their defense has surprised some quarterbacks in recent history.
Braden Holecek is a writer for cover32 Chiefs. You can follow him on Twitter