The AFC West featured three teams with identical 8-8 records in 2011 in Denver, San Diego and Oakland, while the Kansas City Chiefs finished 7-9.
Peyton Manning’s signing with the Denver Broncos will certainly upgrade that offense, but there is concern over the offensive line tasked with protecting the new franchise quarterback. If he’s not upright, the Broncos will struggle and Manning’s health will come into question.
In Oakland and Kansas City, it’s also about quarterback play. Carson Palmer and Matt Cassel each saw limited action in 2011, for their own separate reasons, but it’s their play in 2012 that determines their teams’ final standing. It starts at the top, so Palmer and Cassel will be under the magnifying glass next season.
Lastly, the San Diego Chargers have undeniable talent, but it’s the orchestration of the players that’s under fire. During Norv Turner’s reign in San Diego, the team has lacked a certain winning consistency, which has been the ultimate downfall of the proud franchise. It’s do or die for Norv Turner in 2012.
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