The AFC West is officially stacked at quarterback, with Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr, and Justin Herbert now being joined by Russell Wilson. It is without a doubt the most star power under center in any division in the NFL.
Fans now want to know who is the best of the best. At the moment, Mahomes should continue to hold onto his crown. He led the Kansas City Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game in all four years as a starter and nearly made it to his third consecutive Super Bowl this year.
The former NFL and Super Bowl MVP continues to ascend and is on a legendary path. But who is at number two behind him in the race out west? Is it Wilson, Carr, or Herbert?
The AFC West features a two-person race to dethrone Patrick Mahomes
Carr is not a bad quarterback by any means. In some divisions, he may even be the best or second-best option. He is a three-time Pro Bowler and threw for over 4,800 yards in 2021. But he lacks any past results that would vault him ahead of the competition. He lost his only ever playoff start this past season and has a career record of 57-70.
That could change with new Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels. But for now, it is a race between Herbert and Wilson for the second spot.
This is a fascinating debate because we have had a decade of Wilson in the NFL but only two years of Herbert. It would be easy to say the former is better because of his Super Bowl title, but that came almost a decade ago. This is about who is better at the moment.
Herbert is a rising star in the NFL after throwing for 5,014 yards and 38 touchdowns in 2021. Wilson barely crossed the 3,000-yard threshold but only played in 14 games due to a severe finger injury.
This comes down to a conversation about Herbert's potential and Wilson's past results, along with getting a boost in Denver with a new offensive system. Ultimately, Wilson gets the nod because he is still a nine-time Pro Bowler. 2021 was also the first losing season of his career.
Herbert has a lot of hype after throwing for a combined 69 touchdowns in his first two NFL seasons. But he has yet to make it to the postseason and tossed 15 interceptions last season. He is still learning, while Wilson has almost a decade of experience.
Mahomes is the king of the AFC West, and Wilson is right behind him based on his time in Seattle. But no one should be surprised if Herbert has a Joe Burrow-like leap in 2022.