Several players from the AFC West received support in our sound-off question this week when we asked readers to name the best player in the division. However, the players who received the most votes were San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers, Oakland cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles.
Here are some of your responses:
Chris Eckert from Santa Barbara: It's got to be Nnamdi, Bill. He is such a shutdown corner, that he gave up less than one reception per game last year! Look at Darius Heyward Bey's rookie season. It was considered to be one of the worst receiver rookie seasons ever. Now, that is about how many yard and receptions that Nnamdi is giving up each year. Every year, he is giving seasoned receivers the "worst season possible". In the past 3 seasons, quarterbacks havent thrown to him more than 40 times once, and has given up less receptions in those 3 years combined than Darrelle Revis last year.
John from Detroit: Being a San Diego Chargers fan, I want to say Phillip Rivers. However, I think that Jamaal Charles is the best player currently in the division. This is a QB driven league, but the main reason the Chiefs were able to succeed the way they did last season was on Jamaal Charles's efforts in the running and receiving game. He is the complete package a solid blocker, an elusive runner who isn't afraid to put his shoulder down (Contrary to popular belief because of his stature), and has excellent hands. Touchdowns matter and people will easily dismiss him as a top runner because he doesn't have a lot of them, but there is more to look at than a running back than just how much he scores, because he was easily the most effective running back in the NFL, and he hasn't even hit his prime yet. This division is chop full of talented guys like Rivers, Asomugha, Hali, Seymour, etc. But I think Jamaal Charles stands above them because he carries the Chiefs on his back, which is typically something a QB is supposed to do. I also believe he is one of the best running backs in the NFL today.
Saracen from San Diego: Philip Rivers is without question, the best player in the AFC West. When he's at the helm, rookie WR's look like seasoned vets, above average players look like pro bowlers and the league's greatest tight end is nigh unstoppable. After two solid seasons, from 2008-2010 Rivers has been on fire. He is the only NFL QB to post three consecutive seasons with a 100+ QB rating. He has led the league in yards per completion three years in a row. In that span he has also led the league with the most deep ball completions. The only QB in that span to throw fewer interceptions than Rivers was Brady, and that's because he was inactive in 2008! All this while attempting fewer throws than any of the other top QB's. Has there ever been a more accurate deep ball passer? He was THE best quarterback in the regular season last year. If the Chargers made the playoffs he would have been getting MVP votes. Were he to have a Super Bowl ring, the question of the league's best QB would have a third name dropped in the hat. Philip Rivers is the best in the west. He plays at an elite level and makes everyone around him better.
Shane Perkins from Wasilla, AK.: Hey bill, the best player in the AFC West if he chooses to stay which I think he will is Nnamdi Asomugha. I realize there are a lot of other great players in the AFC West like Philip Rivers, Jamal Charles, Richard Seymour, and Champ Bailey. Plus the great talent from years previous drafts and this ones products such as Eric Berry, Darren McFadden, and Dwayne Bowe. Nnamdi is special. He was recognized by his peers in the top 100 of 2011 as the 19 th best player( highest of any other afc west player). He shuts down a whole side off a field. I know last year he only gave up like 166 yards and no touchdowns or something like that. Easily the best player out of em all. My gut tells me he's staying in Oakland. He knows there's about to be something special happening in the East Bay under Jackson and co.
I can’t argue with these arguments. These are the elite players in the division. I will rank the top players in the division regardless of positions later in the month. It was great to get your input for my list. Thanks to everyone who participated.