AFC West Will Be An Interesting Division This Season
The 2011 NFL Regular Season is right around the corner. With just about almost every big named free agent signed, it’s time to look at each division and see what teams will be vying for the division crown. In this piece i’ll discuss why the AFC West is a division you should look at as the Chargers,Chiefs,Broncos and Raiders will be teams to watch out for. I will state the cases why each team could win the division.
San Diego Chargers – They have a top 10 QB in constant 4,000 yard passer Phillip Rivers. They have 6’5 WR Vincent Jackson back and to play a full season. They also re-signed 6’5 WR Malcon Floyd. Rivers is equipped with two very tall WR’s which could post match up problems with opposing corner backs. He also has arguably the best tight end in the game in Antonio Gates. Also, the run game should be a solid force to with one year veteran Ryan Matthews being the #1 back now that Darren Sproles has bolted for New Orleans. If the defense replicates last years defense as being the #1 defense in football, they could make a serious case to be a top three team in the AFC and challenge for a Super Bowl berth.
Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs won the AFC West last year in shocking fashion, surprising a lot of people. They have a solid QB in Matt Cassell, a top five RB in Jamaal Charlers and a under rated solid WR in Dwayne Bowe. They’ve added veteran WR Steve Breaston through free agency , defensive tackle Kelly Gregg from Baltimore and full back Le’Ron McClain from Baltimore. They’ve had a solid under the radar off season. I don’t see why they can’t possibly repeat as AFC West champs if the team plays at the same level as last year and shock the nation again. They had the 14th overall defense last season but with the addition of Gregg on the defensive line should be a big help and with Eric Berry having his first full season under his belt, the defense should be even better then 14th this year. If they can put it all together like last year, they should once again be a force in the AFC West.
Denver Broncos – They have a QB controversy with veteran Kyle Orton the projected starter but the fans want one year veteran Tim Tebow, who you never know could become the next Michael Vick as he can pass and run the ball. The WR’s are solid with Brandon Lloyd,Eddie Royal and Demaryious Thomas. The run game should be solid with Knowshon Moreno and LenDale White. I really can’t see the offense being much of a problem but it’s the defense you have to pay attention to as they had the 31st rush defense and 25th pass defense, both together gave them the worst overall defense last season. They didn’t make no big changes to the defense except for adding line backer Von Miller out of Texas A&M with the #2 overall pick in the 2011 draft. With Denver’s offensive options, i can see them putting up points but the defense has to be better after how bad they were last year.
Oakland Raiders – They had the 11th overall defense last year but they lost their star corner back in Nnamdi Asomugha when he went to Philadelphia this off season. Their rush defense was 25th even with the pass defense being second. Now with Asomugha out of Oakland, expect the defense to get a lot worse after not picking up no one of significance this off season. The offense is a mess as well with no consistent guy but Jason Campbell looks to be their man. The running game was second with Darren McFadden being a beast and even when he was injured for parts of the season, backup Michael Bush carried the load and did as well as McFadden. If the run game has the same success, they will be a strong force and be able to disrupt even the best rush defenses. They got a nice young WR core with Darius Heyward-Bey, Louis Murphy, and Jacoby Ford. They finished the 2010 season with an 8-8 record but they swept their other AFC West rivals. 6-0 in the division but only 2-8 outside of their division. They are always a good upset specialist but don’t fall in love with them because they are a inconsistent football team but could surprise and make a case for a AFC West title if they can beat teams outside of their division.