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Friday, May 24, 2013
Tracking the AFC WestPosted Thursday, September 1, 2011, at 1:36 PM
I find it quite amusing that the biggest news coming out of the AFC West doesn't have anything to do with Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers.
It has nothing to do with the Oakland Raiders, which is shocking.
It has nothing to do with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rather, the biggest question coming out of this division so far this year is, "Who will be the starting quarterback in Denver?"
For three straight days, I have examined three of the AFC divisions and plan to crack the AFC West with this blog.
* The San Diego Chargers return a ton of talent and should be considered the front-runners for the division title.
Rivers is back and will have Vincent Jackson for the entire season, barring injury.
As well, Ryan Mathews is back for his second year and Antonio Gates, arguably the best tight end in the game, is also back.
The Chargers aren't necessarily known for defense, but they do have Bob Sanders this season.
Regardless, I see the Chargers finishing the season at 11-5, easily winning the division.
* The Oakland Raiders appear poised to make moves in this division this year.
Darren McFadden finally lived up to expectations and had a great season coming out of the backfield.
Jason Campbell is back as the starting quarterback, but has little to throw to, as the Raiders' receivers shouldn't be considered top-notch.
Defensively, Richard Seymour leads this unit, but they could take a hit with the loss of defensive back Nnamdi Asomugha.
Oakland's special teams are always fun and Sebastian Janikowski is back for another year as kicker.
I see the Raiders finishing at 9-7, placing second in the division.
* The Chiefs made it to the playoffs last season and played pretty well.
But their schedule is beefed up this season and Kansas City may have trouble getting back to the postseason.
Matt Cassel is back as is his main target Dwayne Bowe.
Kansas City's rushing attack of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones will give team fits.
Defensively, the Chiefs continue to get better and are led by coordinator Romeo Crennel.
The 2011-12 schedule may prove too difficult for this season, however.
I see the Chiefs finishing with a 7-9 record.
* The poor Broncos.
What else is there to say?
Quite a bit, actually.
And it really has nothing to do with a quarterback controversy.
I have felt for a couple of years that Kyle Orton is highly underrated. He's a quality quarterback who has put up good numbers and doesn't turn the ball over a lot.
Orton should be the starter, hands down.
As far as the rest of the offense, Brandon Lloyd is back and he blossomed into a very good target last year.
In addition, Knowshon Moreno is back and Denver added Willis McGahee.
Denver's defense is questionable, however.
John Fox will lead the team this year. Fox led the Carolina Panthers to a Super Bowl a handful of years ago.
Despite all of this, I see Denver finishing the year at 5-11.
So, I have the Chargers winning the division at 11-5, with the Raiders coming in second at 9-7, followed by Kansas City at 7-9 and Denver at 5-11.
What do you think?