The AFC West has not been a competitive division since 2005. The San Diego Chargers have finished ahead of their peers for two consecutive seasons, and it would be a major shocker if anyone gave them a run for the money.
The Chargers have only been to the Super Bowl once in their history, and it wasn’t a successful event. This year Philip Rivers and LaDainian Tomlinson may deliver San Diego its first Super Bowl victory. The Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders were only able to beat the Bolts once out of six outings in the 2007 season. This year they might not even be able to pull that off. Jacksonville, Indianapolis and New England figure to be their only threats in the AFC.
The rest of the division is so bad that it’s hard to separate one team from the other.
Although the Chiefs made some smart choices in the NFL Draft, they do not have much going for them at the moment. Brodie Croyle is likely to be their starting quarterback, and he failed to record a victory in all six of his 2007 starts. Croyle will gain a lot of experience this season, and he may turn into a star someday based on his statistics from Alabama. KC will struggle this season and may not be a factor in this division for at least a few more years.
Last season was Jay Culter’s first as a starting quarterback. He led the Broncos to seven victories and is going to have a tough time increasing that number this season. The Broncos lost Pro Bowlers John Lynch and Jason Elam in the off-season, and made no big moves to replace them. It’s hard to like this year’s squad unless you’re a die hard fan.
2007 was an ugly year for the Raiders. While 2008 will not be a golden season for the Sliver and Black, they certainly will make some improvement. First-round draft pick Darren McFadden and quarterback JaMarcus Russell are sure to become favorites among the Raider Nation in the years to come.
Projected AFC West standings:
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 13-3 (Super Bowl winner)
Kansas City Chiefs 6-10
Denver Broncos 6-10
Oakland Raiders 6-10
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