Kansas City Chiefs Go from Worst to First: Handicapping the AFC West

James Brown@@chasingballgameSenior Analyst IAugust 6, 2010

DENVER - JANUARY 03:  Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to take a snap against the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on January 3, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 44-24.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Everywhere you look the San Diego Chargers are picked to win the AFC West, arguably one of the NFL’s worst divisions.  In fact, when BetMania Sportsbook released the odds to win the AFC West in their NFL futures it was no surprise the Chargers were the favorites at -250.

The surprise was that all of the other teams were listed at 3.5 to 1 to win the division. The other teams were not getting any respect at all in the AFC West.

Picks and Predictions for the AFC West in 2010:

San Diego Chargers Odds to win the AFC West: -250

The Chargers are the favorite to win the AFC West and that is no surprise since they have been a mainstay at the top of the West and always find a way into the NFL playoffs.

Phillip Rivers leads a high octane offense alongside Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates and newcomer Ryan Matthews. There is no doubt the offense is talented but there are plenty of question marks on this team.

The defense did have some injuries, but they just finished 16th overall in total defense. They ranked 20th against the run and that is bad news in the AFC West.

The schedule is not easy for the bolts as they land tough out of division games against New England, Houston and Indianapolis and end the season with two games on the road.

Last year they started off very slow and if they do that again this year they won’t be able to recover.


Oakland Raiders Odds to win the AFC West 3.5 to 1

The Raiders are that trendy pick to do well this year in the NFL. There are only a few problems with that concept.

They ranked 26th last year in total defense and in the off season lost one of their best tacklers as Kirk Morrison was traded. The sad part is this was Oakland’s strong point last year.

The offense was dreadful finishing near the bottom of the heap in the NFL in almost every statistical category. Raider nation has now pinned their hopes on Jason Campbell? Ask Washington how that worked out.

As long as Al Davis is in charge it will be fun to see what happens next but winning the West won’t happen.


Denver Broncos Odds to win the AFC West 3.5 to 1

I don’t know if you have heard but the Broncos drafted Tim Tebow. The good news is Denver fans should not have to wait long to see him under center.

The season has not started yet and the Broncos have already lost their best pas s rusher, Elvis Dumervil to injury.  This happened just a few days after losing most of their backfield to injury as both Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter fell victim to the injury bug.

Last year Josh McDaniel led the Denver Broncos to a surprising start to the season, but this year the broncos fall flat and finish in last place in the AFC West.


2010 Projected Winner of the AFC West:

Kansas City Chiefs Odds to win the AFC West 3.5 to 1

The Kansas City Chiefs finished 2009 with just four wins last year and ended the year in the basement of the AFC West. Going from worst to first is not a stretch in this division.

Matt Cassel is a solid quarterback and he works well in the spread offense implemented by Head Coach Todd Haley.

The Chiefs bolstered the coaching staff in the off season bringing in Charlie Weis to coordinate the offense and Romeo Crennel to work on defense.

The Chiefs acquired running back Thomas Jones in the off season and he will fit right in on a team that was ranked 8th in yards per rush.

The Chiefs selected Eric Berry in the draft and he will make an impact immediately on the defense. This team has to adjust on the front line and be much better than last year.

The Chiefs schedule is in their favor as they have lightweights like St Louis, Seattle, Cleveland, and Buffalo on the schedule.

This team has a solid foundation and a great front office that has put them in position to win the AFC West in 2010.


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