Evaluating The AFC West Rivalry In '09

Al's WingmanAnalyst IJuly 21, 2009

Interestingly, the Chiefs and Broncos share something in common other than being AFC West rivals. So far, all we have seen from both of their revamped front office and coaching staffs is a bunch of attitude and questionable decisions.


We’ll give the Chiefs a little latitude since Matt Cassel seems to have the tools of a winner. Though his price tag is beyond what he deserves: the decision to bring him in is looking a lot better than Josh McDoofus’ misguided faith in Kyle Orton. How’s that for a laughter?


Kyle Orton. Glad he’s on your team and not mine.


Let’s put it as politely as possible. Orton is very inconsistent. He’s not going to win a lot of games for you and he’s not suddenly going to turn into a winner because McDoofus is credited with mentoring Tom Brady and Cassel on his resume. The real problem for Denver is their defense so the reality is they are going to need a high quality QB (which Denver had in Jay Cutler even though the guy is a whiner) to win them tight games.


Not going to happen with Orton. That’s just how it is. Chew hard on that and then swallow (which is something Denver fans are conveniently good at).


KC is in a lot better shape with Cassell though their defense is still horrid.


If we look at the tail end of last season, optimists say Oakland is on the upswing. Can they continue that climb under head coach Tom Cable? Well, chances are they will have some good games but more likely they will sputter.


The problem is Oakland’s defense has not changed much in terms of personnel or game planning. If anyone expects a difference with John Marshall as defensive coordinator then you have consumed more Jägermeister than your brain can handle.


With a swiss chesse run defense, Oakland’s offense is going to have to avoid three and outs more often than not. How likely is that? Don’t look for Oakland to lead this division.


The Chargers have the benefit of having the best head coach in the division in Norv Turner. That says a lot right there if Norv is the best of the lot. He’s a guy who has learned the hard way how difficult it is to make the transition from assistant coach to head coach.


Yes, he has taken some lumps but Norv is far more experienced than what’s his name with the Chiefs, McDoofus or Tom Cable who is learning as he goes and will never be close in comparison to the football mind of Norv.


After last season’s surprise playoff run and retaining the core of their staunch defense along with star personnel on offense, San Diego is the clear front runner to win the AFC West in ‘09. As all teams need to do, the Chargers have to remain injury free as best as possible and play to their potential. Otherwise, one of the other three mediocre teams in the division will have a chance to slip past them in what should end up as a tight race.


Wins will not come easy for any of these teams. If San Diego chokes in the clutch (as they usually do) then it is their own fault (as it usually is). None of the other division teams will have enough oomph to do anything worthwhile even if they somehow manage to win a playoff spot.


The AFC West is San Diego's to lose (which they probably will).