The San Diego Chargers were one game away from the Super Bowl and gave credence to an otherwise abysmal division. Truth be told, the Chargers beat up on the hobbled and/or inexperienced out west, and many a Bolt fan may be wondering how things will shape up in the AFC West come September.
Denver Broncos: The closest competition the Chargers had last season was the Broncos and their second best divisional record with a whopping seven wins. They played .500 ball in the division & conference. They were terrible on the road. I don’t see anything in the off-season that makes them better.
Releasing Travis Henry was a smart move in the sense that it builds credibility as a franchise. It holds players accountable to their work ethic. That being said, when you fail to draft a running back and only have Michael Pittman with enough experience to warrant an opening day gig, maybe you hang on to Henry for a little while longer. Obviously, Henry didn’t have the type of season that running backs in Denver are accustomed too. But when the ship springs a leak you don’t through the duct tape overboard.
Last season: 7-9This season: 5-11
Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs won their fourth game last season, raising them to 4-3, time to make a run for the division, right? Not so much. There wouldn’t be another win another the entire season.
The Chiefs struggled to find its identity. Larry Johnson seemed poised to finally and unequivocally emerge from the shadow of Preist Holmes. Instead he faded back into mediocrity.
There are promising faces on this team going forward and the draft was killer. They’re getting a lot of the rookies signed, too. The Chiefs are getting down to business. If Brodie Croyle, Dwayne Bowe and Larry Johnson can put some plays together, it can get ugly in the West. Their record last year was an aberration. I anticipate solid improvement in KC.
Last season: 4-12This season: 9-7
Oakland Raiders: If JaMarcus Russell was a team guy he wouldn’t have been the longest holdout of a top pick in NFL history. The same problem has been averted this year with the immediate signing of running back Darren McFadden. Since Russell is basically still half a rookie himself, these two guys are going to come out eager yet inexperienced. They could turn some heads but I can’t see the Raiders making a strong push, especially right out of the gate. Midway through the season they could come into their own and pull an upset or two, but it won’t be enough. I like the potential but they are at least a season away.
Last season: 4-12This season: 7-9