Dilfer breaks down the QBs

January, 31, 2012
1/31/12
4:50
PM ET
ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer ranked the NFL’s top-40 quarterbacks Insider and, as usual, did an outstanding job. I truly believe he is one of the premier quarterbacks experts alive.

Let’s look how Dilfer ranks the AFC West's quarterbacks:

A Ring Away

Philip Rivers, San Diego

My take: I agree. I’ve maintained Rivers is the best quarterback without a Super Bowl ring. If Rivers wins a ring, he will be considered elite. If not, his career will be considered incomplete.

Mostly Good

Carson Palmer, Oakland

My take: Dilfer has Palmer ranked around the middle of the pack. I agree. He is a good, but not great, quarterback. Palmer, who will turn 33 during the 2012 season, must prove he is not on the decline of a strong career.

Could Go Either Way

Matt Cassel, Kansas City

My take: A very fair assessment. Cassel has been solid in Kansas City, but he needs to make strides in 2012 or the Chiefs may lose patience with him.

Kyle Orton, Kansas City

My take: I think the biggest question is where Orton will be playing in 2012. At this point, I don’t see the Chiefs signing Orton to be the starter over Cassel. His best chance to start appears to be elsewhere.

Short Leash

Tim Tebow, Denver

My take: There’s no doubt that Tebow has to prove himself. He won’t get three more seasons to do it. He has this season. If Tebow doesn’t find consistency, Denver will be looking for other options.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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