State of the AFC West
- Updated: March 26, 2014
Denver Broncos- A trip to the Superbowl didn’t stop Denver from making a splash so far this year, although the utter beating that Russell Wilson and company put on them might be the reason for the moves. Bringing in top free agents on the market in DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, T.J Ward, and Emmanuel Sanders. The move that should make the largest impact is Ward at saftey, a position that they struggled with last season. Couple that with the signing of Talib and their secondary has gotten a big shot in the arm. The hardest move for me to swallow is giving Ware all of that money, watching him lose a step after week six of 2013 makes me wonder if he is now a situational pass rusher or if they plan to use him as a three-down player. I would hope for Elway’s sake and for Bronco fans that he returns to form. Sanders is another smart move, although I’m not sure how effective he could really be. Last season he underperformed as the obvious #2 in Pittsburg, he was a sleeper last year and probably has even less apeal in 2014.
When its all said and done they should cruise to a 12-4 regular season and another trip to the AFC Championship game against New England.
San Diego Chargers- The Chargers have not made many moves except to re-sign their own players. Of the moves that they did make, giving Donald Brown a nice contract seems a little odd, but when it comes down to it he was the most productive back in the colts stable and if it wasn’t for the team trading for Trent Richarson he would still be the most productive back in Indy.
Although they didn’t make the moves fans would have hoped for, they still got better so far and with another preseason for Kennan Allen to get comfortable with Philip Rivers they should slide right into the #2 spot, probably 11-5 wild card spot.
Kansas City Chiefs- After an amazing early run, Andy Reid’s chiefs were clearly overmatched in the playoffs. But for a team that was in the cellar in 2012 they sure made it fun to watch Jamaal Charles and Alex Smith prove a lot of people wrong. After the losses of Branden Alberts, Jon Asamoah, and Geoff Schwartz the offensive line is starting to look pretty offensive. The only hope for the unit is that the 2013 #1 draft pick Eric Fisher will live up to the hype, if not their #1 weapon Jamal Charles might lose more yards than he gains in 2014.
The o-line is fixable and needed to be adressed anyway. Alberts was set to make more than they were going to be able to part with and drafting for the position last season sure does help keep the problems in front of them. most likly they will be a bubble team in 2014 but would sure love to see them take another step forward in the extremely competitive AFC West. Projection: 10-6 and the first team on the outside looking in.
Oakland Raiders- I know I’m dating myself, but I do believe Bonnie Tyler summed up the plight of Raider Nation when she said ” Once upon a time there was light in my life, now there’s only love in the dark. Nothing I can say, a total eclipse of the heart.” Bringing Matt Schaub in will help to brighten that light but who is he going to throw to? Re-signing D-Mac to prove the contract was a good idea, if he is healthy he is explosive enough to help in the passing game. Honestly the Raiders are not in that bad of shape, they are just stuck in the best division in the AFC. If you put them in the South they would have a shot at the division.
All in all, Raider nation should be happy that they didn’t put all of their hopes and dreams of a QB in their draft basket. If Sammy Watkins is there, then Oaktown could make a huge jump. Most likley finish 6-10 last in the division.