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Ranking AFC West backup QBs

9/5/2011

Kansas City backup quarterback Tyler Palko is in the spotlight because of the report that Chiefs' starter Matt Cassel may not play Sunday against Buffalo with a rib injury.

It’s a perfect time to rank the backups of each AFC West team:

1. Billy Volek, San Diego: The Chargers have the best quarterback in the division in Philip Rivers and they have the best backup as well. It is not even close. Volek has shown he can help the Chargers win the past (the 2007 playoffs) and the team is confident in him if Rivers goes down.

2. Kyle Boller, Oakland : There is a major drop-off here. But Boller, 30, is a former starter, so he has experience. Having a backup with 46 starts is a plus for a team. Boller beat out Trent Edwards this summer.

3. Brady Quinn, Denver: I went with Boller over Quinn because of experience. But I’d say the two former first-round picks are comparable players. Quinn, 26, has started 12 games,. He had a mostly good summer in Denver. Still, there are major questions on whether he could be productive if he needed to play.

4. Tyler Palko, Kansas City: Palko’s inexperience is scary as the Chiefs prepare for this week’s game. At the age of 28, Palko has thrown just six passes in regular-season play. He was solid in the preseason this year, but there are some ball security issues.