So the AFC West Preview might be really short. The Broncos are really, really good, and the rest of the teams aren't. But there has to be more to this, right? There is, but it will to be to talk about how bad the other teams are. So, let's get to it.
The Denver Broncos are a presumptive Super Bowl favorite, obviously. Any team with Peyton Manning is going to contend. And now he has Wes Welker to throw to. So, call off the AFC right? Not so fast. They've already lost two centers to season-ending injuries, and the offensive line will have to adapt to these changes quickly. Von Miller is out for 6 games because of suspension, and that will dramatically affect the defense, which wasn't the most amazing unit to begin with. So the Broncos will have to fight through adversity, like every other team does. Denver will likely walk to the AFC West crown, by virtue of the fact that no one else in their division can win it. But will these problems affect Denver's possible run to the Super Bowl? Debatable.
Kansas City has gone through a multitude of changes, and Andy Reid and Alex Smith are now the pair charged to take the Chiefs beyond their abysmal 2-14 record. Alex Smith is a solid QB, but him as the man with a team far inferior to the San Francisco team he marshaled for the last 1.5 seasons does bring up some questions. He has solid weapons on offense like Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles, but the question on the latter is whether Andy Reid will run the ball enough to help out Smith, and based on his Eagles era work, it's not likely. The offensive line is solid, but unspectacular, and the defense has good players like Hali, Poe, Jackson, and Brandon Flowers, but it's not an amazing unit together. The Chiefs will certainly be better, but problems are still evident and haven't really been fixed. The playoffs aren't a ridiculous thought, but for this season I think they're out of reach.
How far the Chargers have fallen can be symbolized by the falling condition of their stadium; it was great at the time it was built and held up pretty well up until recently, but is now starting to fall apart. The Chargers have a new coach and GM, and they will try to build up a team that is beginning to fall apart. Philip Rivers isn't the spring chicken he was before, Ryan Mathews isn't the most solid running back, and their receiving corps have started to fall apart as well. Basically every unit on the team is a solid one, but they are starting to show cracks. The bottom may fall out of this team this year, and it would be an unfortunate end to what was a great run for the Chargers close to the top.
The Raiders preview is going to be short and sweet, so here it goes. They have the least amount of talent on their roster in the league by a huge margin, and Terrelle Pryor might start opening day because the offensive line is so bad that the team might fear for Matt Flynn's safety. Hello Jadaveon/Teddy.
In summary... the Broncos are the class of the division and a certain Super Bowl contender, but will the problems that have cropped up in preseason show up again later? The Chiefs are going to be better than 2-14, but probably not playoff better just yet. San Diego could see the bottom fall out on the roster, and a complete rebuild begin, and the Raiders are a legit contender for 0-16, and certainly the favorite for the #1 pick in the draft in May.
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