With one game remaining in the season it's time to recap and look at what the teams from the AFC West have accomplished or failed to accomplish. Each team will have an MVP, Biggest Disappointment, Biggest Surprise, Who Should Stay and Who Should Go. We will start with the team that was the biggest disappointment and end with the team of the year. Let the debate begin.
This team has to be the pick for the biggest disappointment. After all the drama in the offseason with firing Mike Shanahan, trading Cutler and almost losing Marshall, the Broncos stuck it to all the non-believers and haters by starting 6-0. They were a super bowl contender with wins over the Cowboys, Bengals, Patriots and Chargers, and are the only team in the NFL that might be able to say they beat half of the leagues division champs. So why are they the biggest disappointment?
Well it can only be explained with the following sentence. The Broncos, who let Jamarcus Russell engineer a game winning drive in Denver to beat them, now need the Raiders to win their season finale.
Yes, that's right, the Broncos need the Raiders to win. They need the Raiders to do what they haven't done in the last 6 years. Win a 6th game. Deja Vu, no playoffs for the Broncos after such a great start.
MVP - Brandon Marshall - Doesn't matter who his QB is, he is catching the ball and making plays. Perhaps the offense depends too much on Marshall.
Biggest Disappointment - Eddie Royal, after a sensational rookie season, Royal has caught 54 less passes, 5 less touchdowns and 635 yards less than last year.
Biggest surprise - Elvis Dumervil, 17 sacks this season which is leading the league and he's breaking Bronco records.
Who must go - Its time for Jarvis Moss to go. To be honest he may already be gone.
Who must stay - Mike Nolan, he has given the Broncos D what they've been missing. Perhaps if they would have had Cutler . . .
I'll admit, this team was a team that I felt was going to make the biggest turn around. They got their QB, they got a new coach and Scott Pioli was ready to announce their new name, Kansas City Patriots. They had plenty of cap room and were ready to show off their new and improved team. The only thing they forgot to do this year was win.
Larry Johnson is now an after thought, and Jamal Charles is the new man.
This was the team that I felt would surprise a lot of people, but they looked like the same Chiefs from last year. There is plenty of work to do, but I see the Chiefs bouncing back and having a more respectable year next year.
MVP - How do you pick an MVP from a team who has only won 3 games? Well I have to go with Jamal Charles, he didn't start until week 10, but he has made a splash. He is averaging 5.2 yards per carry and needs 139 rushing yard to reach 1,000 yards.
Biggest disappoinment - Dwayne Bowe. Only 4 Touchdowns and 46 catches for a receiver who was becoming elite. He missed 4 games because of a suspension and his work ethic has been questioned by the coaches.
Biggest Surprise - Chris Chambers, since joining the Chiefs midway through the season, he's given the Chiefs a spark on offense. He's matched Bowe's touchdown total in only 8 games.
Who must go - Derrick Johnson. He's averaging just over 2 tackles a game.
Who must stay - Chris Chambers, he's a spark the Chiefs need, and he could be to Bowe what Boldin is to Fitzgerald.
There is always a little bit of hype surrounding the Raiders. Whether its them possibly not losing 11 games, or a coach breaking another coaches jaw. There is always something to talk about.
The Raiders have matched their highest win total since 2002, and they have a chance to eclipse that mark by beating the Ravens at home. They've beat playoff contending teams like the Eagles, Bengals, Broncos and the Steelers, but they have also lost 10 games, and been blown out by teams like the Redskins and Browns.
MVP - Zach Miller - Always a bright spot for the Raiders, Miller is always getting open and despite defenses keying on him, he still makes plays. He leads the team in Receptions, and receiving yards.
Biggest disappointment - Darrius Heyward - Bey. The 7th overall pick will always be remembered as the guy the Raiders chose over Crabtree. Fair or not, he is going to have to deal with the comparisons. He has 9 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown, in the season, not a game.
Biggest surprise - Tyvon Branch only in his 2nd year in the league he is becoming a heck of a player. He is challenging Kirk Morrison for the team lead in tackles, he currently is 2 behind Morrison with 121 tackles. Morrison has led the team in tackles since 2004.
Who must go - Tom Cable, waiting too long to bench Jamarcus, starting 2 rookie wideouts to help "Develop" Russell and not being able to get the same team to show up every week is grounds for being fired. Forget the beating of coaches and women. Any coach who can't put a winning product on the field more than 1 week in a row doesn't deserve to be coaching. He is calling the plays for one of the worst offenses in the league.
Who must stay - This is a no brainer, Richard Seymour.
This isn't the 14-2 Marty team, and this isn't the same Phillip Rivers either. The Chargers barely escaped the Raiders on opening night, and were staring at a 2-3 record after 5 games. 10 wins in a row later, the Chargers have become a team of destiny.
The Chargers are the AFC's version of the Cowboys this decade. They've always had the talent to win the big game, but they never cashed in. This season appears very different, they've clinched a first round bye, and are waiting to host a playoff game. Nobody wants to play the Chargers right now, and no team is hotter than San Diego. They have earned the AFC West Championship, and they aren't done there.
MVP - Phillip Rivers, after seeing him in person in Oakland, I'm convinced that Rivers is the QB you want to have with 2 minutes remaining in a game. He's thrown for over 4000 yards, has a 104 QB rating, and has 27 touchdowns vs 9 Interceptions. He should get serious consideration for league MVP.
Biggest disappoinment - Shawne Merriman - 36 tackles and 4 sacks for Merriman. If only the other teams players were as small as Tila Tequila . . . Jokes!
Biggest Surprise - Ladanian Tomlinson, though he isn't going to reach the 1000 yard milestone, and is only averaging 2.3 yards a carry, his 12 touchdowns have surprised many people. Perhaps a bitter sweet ending to his career in San Diego
Must Stay - Norv Turner, this guy is a winner, and though he has been criticized for the slow starts, he is money in December. He should get a nice contract at the end of the season.
Must Go - Tomlinson, after this season, I think it's time for the Chargers to go in a different direction. Though he has been great to the City of San Diego, it's time for them to move on. His production isn't where it used to be, and though his 12 touchdowns are nice, its time to add an every down back to compliment Darren Sproles.