Oakland Raiders: 4 Reasons Why They Will Win the AFC West and a Playoff Berth
The AFC West might be the most competitive league in the NFL.
On Sunday afternoon, it looked as if the Chiefs and Raiders would take a one-game lead over the Chargers because of their matchups against the lowly Miami Dolphins and Broncos.
But the Chiefs lost 31-3. And the Raiders were upset by 14 points at home against the Tim Tebow-led Broncos.
The Chargers didn't fare better as they lost to the Packers of Green Bay. In 2011, all four teams in the AFC West have two things in common that has plummeted the AFC West to the bottom-dwellers of the NFL—all four teams are in the bottom seven in overall defense.
And all four teams have had deplorable quarterback play.
As it stands, Tim Tebow is the only starting quarterback in the AFC West who has fewer turnovers than touchdowns.
And all the starting quarterbacks have lower QB ratings than rookies Cam Newton (87.1) and Andy Dalton (85.0).
Philip Rivers: 81.4 (QB Rating)
Tim Tebow: 80.1 (QB Rating)
Matt Cassell: 77.8 (QB Rating)
Carson Palmer: 53.9 (QB Rating)
4th Place: Kansas City Chiefs
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After the season ending injuries to their best offensive and defensive players: Eric Berry and Jamal Charles the Chiefs sunk.
If the Chiefs were playing like they were in 2010, maybe, they would have a chance. But after a 31-3 drubbing by the Dolphins, the Chiefs are doomed.
Third Place: Denver Broncos
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The Denver Broncos will be underdogs for their remaining eight games. Only one of the Broncos' last eight games is against a team with a losing record and that’s a road game against the Vikings, who will be favorites at home.
The one thing that Tim Tebow gives you that the other starting QBs in the AFC West don't give you is ball security. Tebow simply does not turn the ball over at the rate of Rivers, Palmer and Cassel. If Tebow was accurate with his throws, he could will the Broncos into the playoffs this year only because his division rivals have such pathetic quarterback play.
Runner-Up: San Diego Chargers
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The San Diego Chargers defense is poor and Philip Rivers is a turnover machine who has cost the Chargers two straight games with his turnovers.
For the season, Rivers has 17 turnovers to 11 TDs, a recipe for mediocrity.
AFC West Champions: Oakland Raiders
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Of the top teams in the AFC West, the Raiders have the easiest remaining schedule with only three teams with winning records on their schedule: Chicago, Green Bay and Detroit.
Over the past two weeks rookie head coach Hue Jackson has been like a six-year-old mad scientist in a third-grade science lab, attempting to re-fashion the Raiders into a pass-happy New England 2.0-type team, led by his sidekick and one-trick pony Carson Palmer.
The experiment was a failure and an embarrassment to Jackson and Palmer. The Raiders will go back to their ground-and-pound offense and gain their first playoff berth since 2002.