Ranking Raiders’ Derek Carr Among Playoff Hopeful QBs In The AFC

With just two weeks remaining in what has been the longest NFL season in history (literally, and for Las Vegas Raiders fans, figuratively), the playoff race in the AFC is still cloudy.

Outside of the Kansas City Chiefs, no team has fully secured their position in the postseason. And since the world at large has decided that wins are a “QB stat” and not, you know, a metric given to entire teams, plenty of fans are either hand wringing over the prospect of their quarterback costing them a chance at January football or rejoicing over the fact that they have the right guy under center.

What quarterback would you want? Who has performed this year and in the past? Who’s been there before, and most importantly, whose supporting cast bolsters their case more than their actual play?

Ranking The QBs of AFC Playoff Hopefuls

  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Lamar Jackson
  3. Joe Burrow
  4. Josh Allen
  5. Derek Carr
  6. Justin Herbert
  7. Carson Wentz
  8. Ryan Tannehill
  9. Mac Jones
  10. Ben Roethlisberger
  11. Baker Mayfield
  12. Tua Tagovailoa
  13. Whatever Denver Trots Out

The Elite Four: Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen

These four quarterbacks make my top four, mostly for similar reasons. Patrick Mahomes goes without saying. Even in a down year, I’m not sure there is a more feared signal caller in all of football. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens may be long shots to make the postseason now, but the only reason they’re even sniffing contention is the arm and legs of the former Louisville Cardinal. Josh Allen may have regressed from his MVP-worthy 2020 campaign, but few are as physically gifted as he is, and his defense is more than capable of creating opportunities for the signal-caller to be successful.

Which leads us to the “dark horse” of sorts. Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow continues to impress in his sophomore season. His offense is loaded with weapons, and he has the skill set to perform under the brightest lights. There aren’t many quarterbacks I’d take over for this former LSU Tiger.

Tier 2: Derek Carr, Justin Herbert, Carson Wentz, Ryan Tannehill

Hey look, it’s everyone’s favorite Raiders quarterback!

Yes. Derek Carr over Justin Herbert

Herbert has looked great this season, but do I trust him more in the clutch than Derek Carr? Not at all. Herbert is on an offense loaded with talent that has a quality, turnover-hungry defense and a young, up-and-coming coach at the helm. And yet, the Chargers could be headed toward a Week 18 matchup with Carr’s Raiders to decide their playoff fate. No need to go over what the Raiders’ season has looked like. Surely Raiders fans would agree with me.

Carson Wentz still shows remnants of the quarterback that could have secured an MVP award in Philadelphia, and his steady play has the Colts at the door of a postseason berth and the position of most dangerous team to face. Ryan Tannehill: This rating is mostly due to the impending return of Derrick Henry. Just keep feeding AJ Brown and handing that rock off, Ryan.

Tier 3: Mac Jones, Ben Roethlisberger, Baker Mayfield, Tua Tagovailoa

Part of me just wants to see Mac Jones have a crazy playoff run to remind people that you can’t count out The Hoodie, but I digress. This kid has shown an immense amount of poise all season and has one of the best defenses in football to cover up any mistakes he may make. It sounds like early Brady to me.*

*No, that isn’t disrespectful to say. The “GOAT” spent a lot of his early career being a game manager. Get over it.

Ben Roethlisberger is at the tail end of his career. He may let it fly every now and then, but these are the dying gasps of a guy who ate too many big shots in his career. Baker Mayfield deserves a lot of credit for Cleveland’s being relevant in any form or fashion these days, but a spade must be called a spade. He is also arguably the biggest reason the Browns aren’t Super Bowl contenders.

Tua Tagovailoa is finally getting time to prove he can be a franchise guy and the Dolphins’ success coincides with his return from injury, but I’m still not quite sold on his ability to make the throws needed when the chips are down.

Whatever Denver Trots Out: Teddy Two Gloves & Young Dreezy Lock

Look, no disrespect to Teddy Bridgewater, but he’s now had multiple chances to prove he could be the guy. Leaving New Orleans clearly wasn’t the wisest move in retrospect. Drew Lock’s most impressive performance on an NFL field is still passionately rapping Jeezy lyrics on the sidelines.

Take it all in, Bronco fans.

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*Top Photo: Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

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