Tuesday, May 18, 2010

AFC West

So here we go, AFC West. I'm struggling with this division. I think a lot of it it still up in the air. What I am reasonably comfortable with is that Denver are going to prop up the pile this year. They lost Brandon Marshall, but more critically they lost Mike Nolan. For me, the only way is down for Denver. Their QB situation is unresolved, I'm not sure how well their defense is going to cope this year and I really think HC Josh McDaniels is causing more problems than he's solving with his abrasive attitude to man management. Sorry Broncos fans. Next, the Raiders. I don't doubt that the Raiders had one of the best drafts of any team. For them, it was practically a watershed moment in their recent history. If they keep drafting like that, people will look back at 2010 and say "that's when the Raiders got good at drafting". That said, I still see their draft as a project, a move that will take a season or two to truly bear fruit. As for this year, I'm expecting better things out of Jason Campbell and that offense than we've seen previously with JaMarcus Russell, but I still think this year is more of a rebuilding year. 2010 is the season that the Raiders get ready for the big time, not the season they actually hit it. Now, controversy brews. The Chargers. I look at the Chargers draft and I ask myself the question 'what did they actually do?' The answer is nothing. They didn't improve in this draft. I just think they've missed the boat a little here. Yes they still have a great passing offense, but where is the strong backed supplement to the run game? They have Ryan Matthews now, but they still have an O-line that struggles with run blocking. Couple that with a defense that hasn't really been made a whole lot better and I think the Chargers might struggle to win tight games this year. I just think their success last year has been more of a flash in the pan than anything lasting. The Chargers have been widely tipped to go all the way but personally I'm not buying it. What I am buying is the Kansas City Chiefs. They brought in Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel who both have proven track records in the NFL. HC Todd Haley has set the mood in Kansas and then all of that was topped by a superb draft that went largely unnoticed. The trio of Dwayne Bowe, Chris Chambers and Dexter McCluster gives them plenty of talent at the wide out position. Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles make a very good RB pair, who are made even better by the presence of the somewhat under rated OG Jon Asamoah. Tack on Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis to the back end as safeties and I really think the Chiefs have taken a big step towards improving themselves this off season. They'll probably be seen as just another team chasing the Chargers, but if I was a betting man I'd like the odds for the Chiefs to win in the West. Just for recaps sake, here they are again: 1. Chiefs (winners) 2. Chargers 3. Raiders 4. Broncos --- And so we conclude our predictive journey around the NFL. What next? Uhm, I actually have no idea. I'll get back to you on that one tomorrow. Till then, have a great day everyone.

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