The AFC West is arguably, if not, the worst division in football. Besides Denver, no other team in the division has had a truly successful season since the early to mid 2000’s. Today is a new day though. Lets preview how this division may shape up in 2013.
The Denver Broncos seem to be the class of the division for at least the next two years. After acquiring Peyton Manning last season, Denver went 13-3 with home field advantage throughout the post season. Their season ended tragically as Joe Flacco and Jacoby Jones connected on the infamous catch that got them to the AFC Championship and eventually a Super Bowl victory. This year Denver prepares to take the extra step necessary to win a championship with the signing of former Patriot Wes Welker. Welker averages just about over 100 receptions every year, but has had some costly drops in big time games. Will this get Denver over the hump?
The San Diego Chargers were not too long ago the class of the division, but my how things have changed. Quarterback Phillip Rivers, who was once acknowledged as one of the top 5 QB’s in the league, now just seems average. Rivers is the face of the franchise and a former first round draft pick out of North Carolina State. Last year Rivers turned the ball over 22 times and 47 times within the past two seasons. This eventually led to the firing of long time Head Coach Norv Turner. Now former Broncos assistant, Mike McCoy, steps in as head coach. The team acquired veteran Dwight Freeny and rookie standout Manti Te’o on the defensive side of the ball, but how far will that take San Diego?
The Kansas City Chiefs seem to have the most upside or promise in the division. After a horrible 2-14 season last year, major changes were made. Andy Reid, former Philadelphia Eagles head coach, was brought in to change things around. His first move was to bring in one of the most accurate Quarterbacks over the past two seasons in former number one overall pick Alex Smith. After Acquiring Smith, Kansas City chose Tackle Eric Fisher from Central Michigan. Chiefs already have fitting pieces on offense like Running Back Jamal Charles and Receiver Dwayne Bowe. Can KC sneak into the post season?
The Oakland Raiders seem to always be at the bottom of the division as they never seem to be able to get things together. They lost their number one receiver in Darrius Heyward-Bey to free agency and replaced him with virtually no one. Oakland also lost QB Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals, but acquired Matt Flynn in return. Unfortunately Flynn only has one career start under his belt, but he threw six touchdowns in that one start. Can he give the Oakland Raiders life again?