San Diego Chargers: 12-4
Kansas City Chiefs: 8-8
Denver Broncos: 6-10
Oakland Raiders: 5-11
Last season’s Kansas City Chiefs squad shocked quite a few when they captured the AFC West crown. Come playoff time though, the lack of experience playing in high pressure games got to them causing turnover after turnover. The Chargers couldn’t play special teams to save their lives. The Broncos are involved in an unnecessary quarterback debate between an NFL quarterback and a college scrap. And then of course there’s Oakland and their great logic on everything football related.
The AFC West is a division where if one team gets hot at the right time, they could take the whole thing and call it a day. Streaky play has been the Achilles heel for most of these teams.
Take for example the Chargers who seemed to be the sure-fire bet to win the West last season. Another slow start coupled with the inability to stop teams on kickoff and punt returns did them in. Assuming the necessary changes have been made then there could be a new day dawning in the Chargers future.
Kansas City just didn’t have what it took to get past Baltimore in the postseason. They were outmanned and outplayed with possession style football. This high-flying offense drove itself straight into the ground. The addition of a few new pieces could make a difference.
As for the Broncos, they need to learn to play defense and quickly. They play offense without a single glitch, but not stopping your opponents is as good as causing a hole in your boat—either way you’re sinking yourself.
Oakland just straight up needs more help than can be described here in words. Here’s the easy way to think about the Raiders: If the “he ran a 4.40, we must sign him” tactic hasn’t worked yet, why would it ever? Al Davis needs to go in order for that franchise to matter again.
Brett Lyons is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials.
Follow Brett Lyons on Twitter @BrettLyons670.