AFC West 2012: Bold Predictions for Each Team This NFL Season

J.P. Scott@TheJPScottSenior Analyst IJune 8, 2012

AFC West 2012: Bold Predictions for Each Team This NFL Season

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    The AFC West division will have plenty of new faces in 2012, some more recognizable than others. These changes are sure to shake up the division and almost certainly lead to some surprises. So what exactly can we expect in the Tebow-less AFC West this year?

    Here are four bold predictions, one for each team in the AFC West.

The Broncos Fail to Improve on Their 2011 Win Total of 8

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    The introduction of the new "Peyton Manning offense" combined with a brutal schedule that includes games with Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Houston, New England and New Orleans all before Halloween will spoil No. 18's comeback campaign.  

    They'll be more talented than the 2011 club, but it will take the better part of a season for the offensive chemistry to develop. 

The Chiefs Will Have 2 1000-Yard Rushers

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    Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis are both coming off disappointing, injury-marred 2011 seasons. Charles will be driven to show the league he has fully recovered from his knee injury, and Hillis will be driven to return to his 2010 form.

    The two should compliment each other in thunder-and-lightning fashion and be among the most formidable running-back tandems in the league.

Raiders Receiver Juron Criner Will Be the Most Productive WR from the 2012 Draft

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    Juron Criner is a big-bodied, possession receiver that joins a cast of deep burners on the Oakland Raiders' depth chart. His field awareness and size will make him a favorite target of Carson Palmer in the red zone.

    Criner will soon be drawing favorable comparisons to the likes of Marques Colston in New Orleans.

San Diego Will Finish Dead Last in the Division

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    For the first time in recent memory, the Chargers do not have a single player on either side of the ball who keeps opposing coaches up at night. Philip Rivers is coming off his worst season since 2007, and Norv Turner will be on the hottest hot seat in the league all season.

    It is a recipe for disaster in San Diego.