The final three weeks of the 2023 NFL Season are upon us, and the playoff push is still very much alive for nearly every team in the NFL. The AFC might be the most interesting conference the NFL has had in years. Almost every team in the AFC can still clinch a playoff spot. And there's been a ton of back and forth action here.
Outside of the Baltimore Ravens, there isn't another true contender in this conference, and it's going to make for a very competitive final stretch of the season. Part of the unknown and interest with this conference is how many backup QBs are suiting up for AFC squads. How many of these backup QBs can lead their team into the postseason? Let's rank the current AFC quarterback starters.
AFC quarterback Power Rankings ahead of Week 16
16. Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers
15. Zach Wilson, New York Jets
Where does Zach Wilson play in 2024? Canada?
14. Easton Stick, Los Angeles Chargers
Did anyone even know who Justin Herbert's backup was? Be honest. Stick had a nice game against the Las Vegas Raiders, but surely, most of his production came in garbage time when the game was out of reach. The Los Angeles Chargers are going to have an interesting offseason.
13. Bailey Zappe, New England Patriots
Bailey Zappe could stick around in New England beyond this year as a backup in the QB room and perhaps help a rookie QB. The Patriots might be in line to select QBs Caleb Williams or Drake Maye in the 2024 NFL Draft.
12. Aidan O'Connell, Las Vegas Raiders
Not the answer in Las Vegas, but O'Connell might have a future as a low-end backup option for teams. The Las Vegas Raiders need to launch a search committee to find their franchise passer, because the AFC West does have a very good stable of QBs.
11. Jake Browning, Cincinnati Bengals
Jake Browning has played very good football for the Cincinnati Bengals in Joe Burrow's absence. We'll see if Browning can keep it up during the home stretch as the Bengals hope to clinch a Wild Card spot.
10. Will Levis, Tennessee Titans
Will Levis has shown a bit of potential in his rookie season, and I think that's saying something since the Tennessee Titans don't exactly have the best of talent at wide receiver or along their offensive line. I am definitely interested to see how Levis does if he's surrounded by more talent in 2024.
9. Joe Flacco, Cleveland Browns
Joe Flacco playing meaningful football for the Cleveland Browns in 2023 is perhaps the most unexpected story of the 2023 NFL Season. He hasn't been great, but he's been more than serviceable and the Browns being 9-5 is essentially a lock for the postseason.