Denver Broncos (12-4). This is easily Denver’s division to lose. Though its defense is missing a few parts (Elvis Dumervil), Denver as a whole is loaded and should be a favorite to be represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. For all the talk of head coach John Fox being overly-conservative, especially in the playoffs, he and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio should have that defense ready to go. Besides, as long as Champ Bailey is playing at a high level, the defense will be in good hands.
It also doesn’t hurt that the Broncos have a motivated Peyton Manning behind center. He now has a new weapon to throw to in Wes Welker (this just in: Tom Brady is still pissed the Patriots did not retain Welker). If the Broncos could find a replacement for Willis McGahee, their running game should not slow down the Broncos offense so much.
The Broncos should have this division wrapped up 12 games into the season.
Toughest Games: vs. Ravens, at Giants, at Cowboys, vs. Redskins at Patriots, at Texans and both games against the Chiefs.
Kansas City Chiefs (9-7). There is a lot to like about the Chiefs. They are coached by Andy Reid. They got rid of former general manager Scott Pioli and that boob of a head coach Romeo Crennel. They also have Alex Smith under center, which is a HUGE upgrade over Matt Cassel. And they still have Jamal Charles toting the rock.
Kansas City will be better defensively. But I think the combination of the not-so-great defense and the time that will take for the Chiefs to embrace Reid’s coaching methods will keep this team out of the playoffs.
Toughest Games: vs. Cowboys, vs. Giants, vs. Texans, at Redskins, vs. Colts and both games against the Broncos.
San Diego Chargers (7-9). A talented, yet disappointing team that is destined to fall short once again. Philip Rivers is a stud QB, but it’s too bad that he will have deal with the garbage around him on offense. Chargers fans can thank former general manager A.J. Smith for allowing his stubbornness and stupidity to run this team into the ground. I still cannot believe that Smith once fired a coach that went 14-2…
Oakland Raiders (4-12). This team just flat out sucks. Next to Jacksonville, there is nothing on this team – okay, Darren McFadden – that is worth talking about. At least Al Davis isn’t around to run this team further into the ground, no pun intended. Okay, that was a bit harsh…