Previewing the 2010 NFL Season – AFC WEST DIVISION

In this segment I am going to preview every team in the NFL, division by division, and predict their level of success throughout the season.  Today, I will cover the AFC West and over the next couple of days work my way to the AFC East.

AFC WEST

1. San Diego Chargers (9-7)

(Notable games: Week 7 – October 24th vs. New England, Week 9 – November 7th at Houston, Week 11 – November 22nd vs. Denver, Week 12 – November 28th at Indianapolis, Week 15-17 – vs. San Francisco, at Cincinnati, at Denver)

You might find yourself questioning why I am expecting only 9 wins for a team that many “experts” are predicting to do very well.  It’s all about receiving.  We all know how great of an offensive weapon Antonio Gates is.  But, for those of you who are not investing your entire savings account in fantasy football, do the names Malcolm Floyd or Legedu Naanee ring a bell?  That’s who Philip Rivers is planning on throwing the ball to, and if I were a Chargers’ fan I would be pretty damn worried.  Many are also already anointing Ryan Mathews as the next Ladanian Tomlinson.  The guy is a rookie!  What are reasonable expectations for Mathews, 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns?  That isn’t enough to warrant predicting 11 or 12 wins for this team.  Not to mention that the loss Marcus McNeill is a huge blow to the offensive line that was already a question mark.  I expect the Chargers to win a very weak AFC West, but one postseason game is all they get in 2010.

2. Oakland Raiders (8-8)

(Notable games: Week 4 – October 3rd vs. Houston, Week 5 – October 10th vs. San Diego, Week 11 – November 21st at Pittsburgh, Week 13 – December 5th at San Diego, Week 16 – December 26th vs. Indianapolis)

Yea, maybe I am jumping on the bandwagon.  Maybe I’m falling into the proverbial “black hole” down the in Oakland.  Maybe I’m wrapped up in my support of Jason Campbell.  Either way, I think that the Oakland Raiders are going to have a surprisingly good season.  Jason Campbell is out from underneath that black cloud otherwise know as Washington and into a new role where he is treated like a starting quarterback.  He has an onslaught of young receiver to throw to, including second year player (and first year bust) Darrius Heyward-Bey.  Michael Bush, aside from a thumb injury, looks ready to take over the role of starting running back, while Darren McFadden (if willing to accept a lesser role) is a great compliment to Bush.  Rolando McClain leads an improved defense which features stars such as Nnamdi Asomugha and Richard Seymour, as well as Kamerion Wimbley, Lamarr Houston and Michael Huff who have all played very well this preseason.  I expect the Oakland Raiders…yes, I said the Oakland Raiders, to challenge the Chargers for the AFC West crown, but fall just short of both the division title and a playoff berth.

3. Denver Broncos (7-9)

(Notable games: Week 3 – September 26th vs. Indianapolis, Week 5 – October 10th at Baltimore, Week 6 – October 17th vs. New York Jets, Week 11 – November 22nd at San Diego, Week 16 – December 26th vs. Houston, Week 17 – January 2nd vs. San Diego)

Last season’s 2-6 finish over the last 8 games is something that I just can’t seem to get out of my head.  Josh McDaniels had fans talking about buying playoff tickets up in Denver for the first 8 games of the season, but faded a lot in the second half.  Kyle Orton exceeded expectations last season, but without a wide receiver to speak of I’m not sure if we will be seeing a repeat performance.  Rookie first round pick Demaryius Thomas has seen very little time throughout training camp, so his contribution this season is still to be determined.  Eddie Royal was a sensation his rookie season, but was dismal last year.  When Jabar Gafney is predicted to be your leading receiver, I don’t see much room for success.  On defense, the Broncos are still amidst a transition to the 3-4 defense.  They don’t yet have all of the right personnel pieces to play that defense most efficiently.  I expect McDaniels’ second season in Denver to be a bit of a letdown, but I do see this team moving in the right direction.  Maybe 2011 Broncos’ fans, keep the faith…

4. Kansas City Chiefs (5-11)

(Notable games: Week 1 – September 13th vs. San Diego, Week 5 – October 10th at Indianapolis, Week 6 – October 17th at Houston, Week 14 – December 12th at San Diego)

I love the draft picks of Eric Berry, Dexter McCluster, and Javier Arenas.  That being said, I don’t see a very successful season ahead for the Kansas City Chiefs.  I’m not going to say that Matt Cassel can’t get it done, but I will boast that I was the first to proclaim (very publicly) that he was a product of the New England Patriot offense.  Dwayne Bowe is a good receiver that is a victim of a bad offense.  Thomas Jones was a good acquisition, but Jamaal Charles looks to be my breakout back of 2010.  Even with Charles’ imminent success, the Chiefs’ offense is still too inconsistent to put up a large number of wins.  I expect the Chiefs to disappoint the Kansas City faithful again, but I guess they can look forward to another high draft pick.

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2 Responses

  1. Scottie… I hate this post because I actually had the same exact predictions with the records being the exact same…seriously put the Chiefs at 16-0 so we can argue about it

  2. i didnt write it man That would be my boy Matty O droppin his football knowledge unfortunately i agree with him

    quick joel we need to argue oh thats right the braves are choking

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