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Last year, the AFC West could be called the "Yeah, but..." division.
Yeah, Kyle Orton arguably had the best statistics of his career, but the Broncos still finished with a 4-12 record. Although Pat Bowen and John Elway made a good decision to hire John Fox as their new head coach and made good pickups with Willis McGahee to give Knowshon Moreno company, the quarterback carousel of Orton and Tim Tebow could make for some calamity.
Yeah, San Diego had the No. 1 total offense and total defense, but the Chargers didn't make the playoffs. We know that Phillip Rivers is still among the top elite NFL QBs and virtually no one expected the Chargers D to be the best in the league, but they still need an extra boost to get over the hump.
We know Kansas City's defense was pretty average, but the Chiefs had a great running game and they won the division. Kansas City still has a great signal-caller in Matt Cassell and great hands with Dwayne Bowe and the elusive speed of Jamaal Charles; yet with offensive coordinator Charlie Weis fleeing for Florida, there might be a few missteps.
Yeah, Oakland swept the division, but they only won two more games.
But the Raiders have an amazing special teams attack with Jacoby Ford, a hard-hitting underrated defense led by Richard Seymour, experienced a great resurgence with running back Darren McFadden and got three quarterbacks (Jason Campbell, Kyle Boller and Trent Edwards) that can flow easily with the system of their QB-coach-turned-head-coach Hue Jackson.
So, it seems that Raider Nation should rejoice for their first playoff appearance in nine years with the AFC West crown.