August 18 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) walks off the field following the end of the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field. The Seahawks defeated the Broncos 30-10. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Around the league:My AFC West Projections

Alright folks, I know this is the set of projections we’ve all waited (or tolerated the others) for. The AFC West is a very good, underrated, division, and one that at least three teams will be in competition for all the way to end. I’ve always said that this is my favorite division not just because the Chargers are in it, but because no one team is dominant now and they don’t have to be. I’ve always said, “You don’t have to be great in one area or even as a team to win this division, you just have to win.”

4. The Oakland Raiders: The Raiders are no longer the team they were last year and the firing of Hugh Jackson (no matter how much I didn’t like him) was the last straw for this team. They have some good offensive weapons such as obviously, Darren McFadden, Jacoby Ford, and Derious Heyward-Bay. If Carson Palmer can return to theCarson of old, they can win some games with the run game and defense; a combo that the Raiders have always been good with. The defense is just plain nasty both in a good and bad way. They commit tooooooooo many penalties year in and year out, this year shouldn’t be any different. However, they can definitely rush the passer and have aggressive players all over the field. The Raiders over-aggressiveness and undisciplined ways will be the downfall of this team until they realize it’s time to rebuild around the young guns they have.

3. The Denver Broncos *gasp*: Haha, the mighty Broncos, add one player and must be a super bowl contender, give me a break. Now before you jump on me I realize they add a very nice offseason and the one player they added was a hall of famer in Peyton Manning, I understand. However, the analysts believe that a 75% Peyton is better than basically the rest of the division, I don’t. I think the Chargers have simply owned Mr. Manning and should split the series with them, I think the Chiefs will be good again and split with them. Other than that, I think because the Broncos won the division last year they have to play the Texans and Patriots; two more losses and quite possibly a big hit on Manning once or twice. I don’t think the team around Peyton is good enough to carry themselves far. I think the defense was good for one reason last year, “The Tebow factor.” They knew they were going to have to keep the game within ten points and most of the time they did that. Now with, “The Peyton factor,” they may start to think they can slack a little more because Peyton will give them at least a ten point cushion. I’d like to see how this team fares in the tough, grind-it-out games. Once they win a couple of those, Peyton takes some real hits (hopefully a little bit of Super Melvin) and fully gets the offense, then I’ll call them real contenders.

2. The San Diego Chargers: We make the playoffs first and foremost (through the wildcard obviously) we don’t however win the division. I used to say that we would win it and go deep, big one deep. However, with Ryan Mathews out for however long, and Vincent Brown not being able to play until at least week 8, I think we fall to second place. The defense took its biggest steps in years this offseason; the young men and vets should work well together and lead us to one of the better defenses we’ve had in a while. On offense I think we’ll rebound and still be able to score, we always have. Also I think, “The Norv factor,” will play in; where the whole team plays inspired like they do every time Norv’s head is on the chopping block. I think if everything works in unison, we get some “lucky” breaks, the defense steps up, the backups step it up, and the whole team rallies to rebound, we good go all the way. This team has sooooooooo many “ifs” about it and those have to be answered soon in order to keep Norv and the guys around. We shall see.

1. The Kansas City Chiefs: I think many of us can agree the Chiefs right now are the most talented team in the division, all around they are young and solid. With Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, and Tony Moeaki returning to the lineup, they have a really nice little offense. The big question is the quarterback situation and Matt Cassel has had one good year and two, not-so-good years. On defense Tamba Halli will still rush the passer well and they lost Brandon Carr (we saw how thankful we are for that last night) and replaced him with Stanford Routt. This team is good in almost every spot except maybe the trenches. The Chargers (and rest of the league for that matter) can really challenge this team if they can rush the quarterback and protect their own. This team will return to the postseason with their second division crown in three years however, if they want to go all the way, they know they’re going to have to go through us.

This will be another thrilling division to watch and keep your eyes on; all the matchups will be good.

Well that concludes my projections, no going back on them, thank you for the comments and for reading. Have a great night everybody and remember; always, always stay bolted up!!!!!!! :)

-RRR

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