My last year’s preview was wrong, as the AFC West had a surprising three teams make the playoffs last year. The Broncos even represented the AFC as a whole in SuperBowl XLVIII. That’s where it ended though.
Denver Broncos: Last year, Peyton Manning came out on fire throwing seven touchdowns on opening night. This eventually led to 55 Passing touchdowns and a 13-3 record from Manning and crew. Things even seemed to be smooth sailing throughout January(Which is unusual for Peyton) then February came. Broncos were flat out dominated in a 43-8 beatdown from the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. Looking to rebound, Denver added veterans DE Demarcus Ware, CB Aqib Talib on defense and WR Emmanaual Sanders on the offensive side. The team also said farewell to WR Eric Decker and RB Knowshon Morano. I think Denver is going to sustain its success over the AFC for the most part, but in the Super Bowl their pass protection was exposed. Peyton took many hits, but was only sacked 18 times throughout the year. However in the SuperBowl Manning looked puzzled against Seattle’s stout defense. Losing Morano only hurts the teams pass protection. Nevertheless expect Denver to be in the same position it was the last two seasons, kings of the division.
Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas City started out the season as the NFL’s hottest team. In fact, they began the season 9-0. The team also ended up finishing 11-5. Although they reached the playoffs, the Chiefs choked away a 38-10 lead to Andrew Luck and the Colts, losing 45-44. Andy Reid came from Philadelphia and embraced the dynamic Jamal Charles and efficient Alex Smith, but I don’t believe, at least not yet. I feel last year was sort of an admiration. After making no significant offseason moves except drafting DE Dee Ford and releasing veteran CB Brandon Flowers, Chiefs look the same for better or worse.
San Diego Chargers:
Throughout my football lifetime I’ve watched teams like the Chargers be Good And/Or Mediocre. Last year was mostly the same with their up and down season. They eventually completed the season with a 9-7 record. After beating the Bengals in the wild card round, Chargers were simply out matched when they met Denver the following week. San Diego look to get better as they saw rookie WR Keenan Allen emerge into his own as the season progressed, and re signed RB Danny Woodhead. The team also went out and secured their secondary by drafting CB Jason Verett and signing CB Brandon Flowers away from the Chiefs. I look for the Chargers to improve. But They’re history would suggest otherwise.
Speaking of my football life, throughout most of my football life the Raiders have been horrible. Except that year Rich Gannon led them to the Super Bowl but they looked Horrible in that game too. Oakland went 4-12 last year, including losing eight out of their final ten games. This offseason the team made major splashes which included drafting Buffalo standout Khalil Mack and signing major veteran Free Agents. Justin Tuck, James Jones, Maurice Jones Drew just to name a few. Raiders also went out and traded for former Atlanta and Houston QB Matt Schaub. I think it’s all going to back fire and they still finish last in the division.