What’s up kids? I’m here to talk to you about the AFC West!
This might just be the worst division in the NFL. Take away the Denver Broncos and you’re left with a fat sack of bad. It wasn’t always so. The Chargers were once a perennial 10+ win team. Believe it or not, of the four teams, the Raiders have the most divisional championships. The Chiefs use to be… well on second thought, the Chiefs were always terrible. This division is sure to be a train wreck. One that you’ll get to witness mid-afternoons on CBS (because you know, these teams are too cool to start their games at 12 PM Central Time like everyone else.)
1. Denver Broncos (13-3)
Additions: WR Wes Welker (NE), RB Monte Ball (Draft), C Dan Koppen (NE)
Losses: RB Willis Mcgahee, OLB Elvis Dumervil
Let’s face it, the Broncos have Peyton Manning. Ergo, the Broncos will win a lot of games. Their biggest strength lies in their passing game. Manning has a ridiculous amount of weapons at his disposal in Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker. Their Running Back situation is in flux but it won’t really matter. No team in their right mind will load the box against Peyton Manning. A one-legged Chimpanzee could play Running Back for the Broncos and end up with a 700 yard season.
Defensively, the loss of Von Miller for the first six games will certainly hurt. Without Miller who had 18.5 sacks last season, the next best pass rusher on the team is Derek Wolfe with a meager 6.0 sacks. Elvis Dumervil is also gone, so for the first part of the season, the Broncos will have trouble generating a pass rush. However, the defensive backfield is as solid as ever. Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie make up one of the best Corner Back tandems in the league. Rahim Moore and Mike Adams are both solid NFL Safeties. The defense should be able to do enough to help Manning. This team will look unstoppable during the regular season. Just think where this team would be now if they would’ve kept Tim Tebow. Eat your heart out Skip Bayless.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (9-7)
Additions: T Eric Fisher (Draft), QB Alex Smith (SF), WR Donnie Avery (IND), TE Anthony Fasano (MIA), Head Coach Andy Reid (PHI)
Losses: RB Peyton Hillis, WR Steve Breaston, QB Matt Cassel, QB Brady Quinn, TE Kevin Boss
Hey! What do ya know! The Chiefs have… a QUARTERBACK! They finally got the memo from HR. I mean, it’s probably important to have a Quarterback, but I don’t know, that could just be logic talking. Wow 9-7! That’s a big deal for the Chiefs! Alex Smith will be a GOD in Kansas City. He’s not even that good, but shit! You can’t get much worse than Lady Quinn. The offense has a decent amount of weapons with Dwane Bowe, Dexter McCluster and Jamaal Charles. They’ll end up somewhere in the middle of the pack offensively.
The real key to the Chiefs’ success this year will be their defense. The Chiefs’ D is stacked with young talent. Tyson Jackson and Dontari Poe are two up-and-coming Defensive Linemen. Derrick Johnson is still doing his thing at 97 years old. Tamba Hali is the best pass-rushing Outside Linebacker that no one talks about. Justin Houston will be a stud Linebacker someday. On the back end, you have a young Eric Berry at Safety who is blooming into a superstar. Cornerbacks Brandon Flowers and Dunta Robinson are two borderline Pro-Bowl players. Overall, Andy Reid and the gang will surprise a lot of people this year. Two years from now, they’ll probably go 2-14 again. But for now, WOO HOO!
3. San Diego Chargers (6-10)
Additions: T DJ Flunker (Draft), WR Keenan Allen (Draft), RB Danny Woodhead (NE), WR Eddie Royal (DEN)
Losses: TE Dante Rosario, LB Shaun Phillips
I feel bad for Phillip Rivers. I really do. “Okay Phil, here’s the plan: We’re gonna take away all your receiving weapons and give you no running game. Sound good? You’ll still be able to put up those big numbers right?” Now sure, Rivers has made his fair share of mistakes as well. But come on dude! Give him something to work with. Malcolm Floyd? Really? All defenses have to do is quadruple-team Antonio Gates and Rivers is screwed. There haven’t been any changes over the off-season that make me think 2013 will be any different from last year. Ryan Matthews is still fumbly and injured. The Offensive Line (which gave up the forth most sacks last year) is still a mess. The Charger’s number two receiver is Vincent Brown. Yeah… Vincent Brown. Good luck with that, Phillip.
Defensively, no one really scares me. Shaun Phillips (last year’s sack leader) is gone. Kendall Reyes and Cam Johnson (Who? and Who?) are set to start on the Defensive Line along side the above-average Corey Liuget. Manti Te’o is there. So there’s that. Derek Cox and Eric Weddle are the only two Defensive Backs worth noting. The aging Dwight Freeney was brought in to provide what ever pass rush he has left in those old bones. Overall, I’m unimpressed. The Chargers will toil away in mediocrity, beating playoff teams and getting blown out by shit teams. They’ll look playoff bound one week and the next week they’ll have six turnovers and look like they’ve never seen a football before. When it’s all said and done, they’ll finish under .500 and it’ll be back to the drawing board.
4. Oakland Raiders (1-15)
Additions: QB Matt Flynn (SEA), WR/KR Josh Cribbs (CLE), QB Tyler Wilson (Draft), RB Rashad Jennings (JAX), LB Nick Roach (CHI)
Losses: QB Carson Palmer, WR Darius Heyward-Bey, TE Brandon Meyers, RB Mike Goodson
Do the Oakland Raiders know they’re a football team? Seriously? This has to be the sorriest excuse for a roster that I’ve ever seen. Matt Flynn? That’s your answer? Flynn could maybe be as good as Matt Cassel was in Kansas City. That means his best-case scenario is playing like shit for a couple years, getting injured and then listening to the fans cheer as he gets carted off the field. Denarius Moore and Rod Streator are his biggest weapons… Jesus. Darren McFadden will get injured like always. Once Matt Flynn gets benched, his back up is Terrelle Pryor. So that should be fun.
On the defensive side, I’ve heard of like three players. Charles Woodson will start at Free Safety since he’s too old and slow to play Corner Back anymore. Tyvon Branch is a decent Strong Safety. Tracey Porter and Mike Jenkins will start at Corner Back. Their most notable Linebacker is Nick Roach. Sio Moore and Kevin Burnett are the other two Linebackers. Lamarr Houston, Vance Walker, Pat Sims and Jason Walker make up the Defensive Line. See what I mean? Like what the fuck?
This is going to be a shit show. No. Worse than that. This is going to be an unmitigated three-day County Fair and Music Festival of shit– a shit Carnival. A shit Extravaganza. A shit Circus! Come one, come all! Pack up the cooler and cram the kids into the SUV. Don’t be the guy that misses out on all the fun and excitement!