The three youngest quarterbacks in the AFC West — all 30 or under — have shown flashes of promise in the NFL.
None, however, are as seasoned as the signal caller in Los Angeles.
On Wednesday's episode of Chargers Weekly, CBS Sports Senior Writer Pete Prisco said he sees Philip Rivers and the Chargers as the favorite in the AFC West this upcoming season. Prisco believes that at 36, Rivers is still playing at a "very, very high level," while the rest of the division is undergoing some degree of change under center.
"Those teams are in transition a little bit at the quarterback position," he said. "Whereas you've got the stability of having Philip Rivers, which I think is a big advantage to the Chargers."
Rivers threw for 4,515 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2017. Entering his 15th year, the veteran hasn't missed a game in 12 seasons.
Two of Rivers' counterparts in the division are new. Patrick Mahomes, selected No. 10 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, has taken over as the full-time starter for the reigning division-champion Kansas City Chiefs. Prisco said he's a fan of the strong-armed 22-year-old, who may have the best set of offensive weapons in the NFL.
The Denver Broncos signed 30-year-old Case Keenum this offseason to help turn around the league's 27th-ranked scoring offense. The career journeyman was one win away from taking the Minnesota Vikings to Super Bowl LII.
"He plays with a swagger," Prisco said. "He's got a chip on his shoulder. He's always out to prove people wrong, and he's an upgrade from what the Broncos had."
In Oakland, Derek Carr, 27, is two seasons removed from leading the Raiders to their first playoff appearance in 14 years. He's now under the tutelage of Super Bowl-winning Head Coach Jon Gruden.
Of Rivers' 192 regular season starts, only eight have come against Carr (4-4). Keenum and Mahomes have never faced Rivers, who has more starts than all but four active NFL quarterbacks. For the future Hall of Famer, 2018 brings new challenges, but the same fiery, competitive battles.
"I love the fact that he's one of the five nicest guys in the NFL, and when he gets on the field he's one of the five meanest," Prisco said of Rivers. "That's a compliment to him."
Listen to the entire interview with Prisco below:
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