The AFC West is going to be one of the most underrated divisions in 2010. After the San Diego Chargers have been dominating the division the past few years, it's time for a change. The AFC West has had many offseason changes, players wise, ans the Chargers, Broncos, Chiefs, and Raiders have all made big headlines. Whether its the Chargers letting Ladanian Tomlinson go or the Raiders signing Jason Campbell, there have been many changes. I highly doubt the AFC West will be poor in 2010 like in years past, but it is time for the present and not the past or future. This is my official AFC West predictions for the 2010 season.
I am sorry Broncos fans, but it does seem to me that the Denver Broncos will finish last in the division. The Broncos had a horrible free agency mixed in with a risky draft, which equals last in the division. The Broncos traded arguably their best player in Brandon Marshall and got rid of tight end Tony Scheffler who are both big losses plus Ryan Clady blew out his knee and who knows if he will return to form. The Broncos' draft was questionable, yeah the Tim Tebow pick had a lot of publicity, but I don't think there is a chance he will start in 2010. Denver also drafted Demaryius Thomas, a risky pick, who has sustained injuries and didn't participate in the combine. Denver also has an aging defense, with Brian Dawkins going to be 37 during the season and Champ Bailey going to be 32 at the start of the 2010 season. There are just way too many questions for the Broncos which is why they will finish last.
Final Record Prediction: 5-11
The Oakland Raiders will finally get a good taste in their mouths in the 2010 season and thats coming from a Chiefs fan. The Raiders had a great offseason, lead by releasing team cancer Jemarcus Russell. The Raiders signed Jason Campbell who is a good upgrade over Russell, and finally drafted someone reasonable in Rolando McClain. I think this is where the tight race comes in with the Raiders and Chiefs, both had great free agencies and both had great drafts. I don't think the Raiders will be horrible in 2010 with a defense led by Nnamdi Asomugha and an offense led by Jason Campbell. But there are still a few questions: Will the Raiders offensive line improve? will the receivers learn how to catch and run routes? Will Darren McFadden ever live up to expectations? And who is their team leader? There are still a few questions, but not as many as last year.
Final Record Prediction: 8-8
The Kansas City Chiefs finally found their identity once they found out Jamaal Charles was the real deal about week 10 of the 2009 season. The Chiefs will definitely be a run first team in 2010 led by Jamaal Charles with Thomas Jones getting 40% of the carries and Dexter McCluster going in at wildcat some plays. Run first teams have a history of succeeding in the NFL. Like the 2009 Jets for example: they led the NFL in rushing, had a horrible quarterback, and were 13 points away from reaching the Super Bowl. The Chiefs had a great offseason in both free agency and the draft. But the Chiefs' strengths will defiantly be the running game and defensive secondary. With a defensive backfield that is going to be hard to pass against with Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr, and the best safety prospect maybe ever, Eric Berry.
Final Record Prediction: 8-8
Yes, the Chargers will place first in the division once again. The Chargers are almost a complete team with one of the best passing attacks in the NFL led by Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, and Vincent Jackson. The Chargers have just too many good players to match with anyone else in the AFC West. But the Chargers still have a coupe questions: Will Ryan Mathews have a better career than LaDanian Tomlinson? Does Shawne Merriman want to be a Charger? And will the defense stay healthy? The Chargers have questions, but they aren't as crucial as the rest of the divisions'.
Final Record Prediction: 11-5