American Football Conference – West

San Diego Chargers: It must be hard to be a fan of a team that’s terrific every single regular season but can’t get it together in the playoffs. Phillip Rivers, for all his success in the regular season, isn’t the guy to change things. Evidently, he lacks the fortitude to take his team to the next level. They also have an aging defence: former studs Shawne Merriman and Quintin Jammer have both lost a step. Nevertheless, they smartly ditched headcase Antonio Cromartie. Defence aside, the team is good enough on offence to gun their way to 10 or 11 wins.

Denver Broncos: A tough stretch of opponents in weeks 3-6 (Colts, Titans, Ravens, Jets) will really test this team’s resilience. Based on the outspokenness of coach Josh McDaniels and drafting of noted good-boy Tim Tebow, the team is built on character. His coaching ability and the team’s commitment to competing will be on trial during that stretch. If QB Kyle Orton can go 2-2 against those wicked defences, they will be fired up and dangerous down the stretch and could even challenge for a wild-card spot.

Oakland Raiders: For the first time in eight years, the Raiders may win more than five games. Lazy, entitled locker-room cancer JaMarcus Russell is finally gone. New QB Kyle Boller might gel with young guns RB Darren Mcfadden and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey. The defence looks to be solid with studs Nnamdi Asomugha and Quentin Groves. Talented youth and low expectations can combine could make them spoilers, but they’re probably a year away from the playoffs.

 Kansas City Chiefs: It’s gonna be a long season in KC. QB Matt Cassell and RB Thomas Jones are someone else’s expensive castoffs, and outside of rookie Eric Berry and LB Mike Vrabel, their defence is anonymous. The Chiefs don’t have much to look forward to other than first pick in April’s draft. Welcome to Kansas City, Mark Ingram


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