Wednesday, August 14, 2013

AFC West Preview

In recent years the AFC West has been a lack luster division.  With the exception of the Denver Broncos none of the other teams were considered playoff caliber.  In the 2013 draft Kansas City drafted 1st, San Diego picked 11th, and Oakland selected 12th which means 3 of the 4 teams sucked.  I'm not going to try and convince you the AFC West is going to be a powerhouse division in 2013, but I think some of the teams will make small strides toward respectability.  Here is how the AFC West will shake out.

Denver Broncos:  12-4

The preseason is under way and no one is talking about Peyton Manning's surgically repaired neck.  That's bad news for the rest of the league.  In addition, the Broncos gave Manning more weapons with Montee Ball and Wes Welker.  Even with the departure of Elvis Dumervil the AFC will have a hard time scoring points against their defense and no one will be able to keep pace on offense.  I think a Super Bowl appearance is likely. 

Kansas City:  10-6

This pick could backfire on me, but I think coach Andy Reid is going to be rejuvenated in his new surroundings.  Change is good sometimes and Reid has some quality pieces to work with.  Jamaal Charles is a star in the making and Alex Smith is the ultimate game manager.  Their last place schedule should help them pick up a few extra victories along the way.

Oakland Raiders:  8-8

Matt Flynn finally gets his chance to start in the NFL and prove all the doubters wrong.  He is not the key to Oakland's success however.  If the Raiders are going to have a decent year Darren McFadden will have to stay healthy.  With McFadden in the line up the running game allows them to control time of possession.  Without him they have a tendency to fall behind and rely too much on the passing game.

San Diego:  5-11

The window of opportunity is closed in San Diego.  Time to blow it up and start over.  Ryan Mathews is not who we thought he was, Phillip Rivers has completely lost his accuracy, and Antonio Gates is old.  Factor in the Chargers have a new head coach, no receivers, and a mediocre defense this team might as well start scouting for the 2014 NFL draft.  They're going to have a high draft choice.

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