8 Divisions 8 Days: AFC West

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos look to win the AFC West... Again. Photo Courtesy: Rick Leal
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos look to win the AFC West… Again.
Photo Courtesy: Rick Leal

By Matthew Behrndt

In recent years it has been the Broncos division to lose. With the addition of Peyton Manning the Broncos every year have a legitimate shot at making the Super Bowl let alone the playoffs. So this year, will we see a change in the guard?

The Broncos are getting older and with a 39-year old quarterback with neck problems leading the team, injuries can completely derail this team. It doesn’t help the Broncos either that both the Chiefs and the Chargers have improved this off-season as well. The Raiders are still not a great team but they have got a young nucleus that could surprise a few people this year.

Oakland Raiders: Record (4-12)
While the Raiders have become better, they still are not a very good team. Derek Carr has sort of blossomed this past year and for right now looks like to be the Raiders quarterback of the future. Kahlil Mack was the best pick in last year’s draft and the Raiders defense isn’t as bad. However, it still isn’t that good and will be tested greatly with great offenses within the division.

San Diego Chargers: Record (8-8)
The Chargers are a good team. The problem is that this division is very talented with both the Chiefs defense and the Broncos offense; the Chargers just don’t have enough talent to make that leap. The addition of Melvin Gordon is good but the defense isn’t where it needs to be in order to stop both the Chiefs and Broncos offenses.

Kansas City Chiefs: Record (10-6)
The Chiefs and the Chargers both finished with the same record of 9-7 last year. This off-season the Chiefs have just added more pieces than the Chargers. The biggest problem last year was the play from the wide receivers. This off-season they added Jeremy Maclin, which he will increase production by himself, but also will open up the field for other players. The defense was the anchor last season and kept them in games and now paired with a better offense the Chiefs will be competing for a playoff spot.

Denver Broncos: Record (12-4)
With Peyton Manning at the helm the Broncos will be favored. The Broncos are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball as long as everyone stays healthy and the Broncos should win the division. On offense they lost Julius Thomas but acquired Owen Daniels. They also kept their receiving core and Manning can make an average player look really good. On defense they have the best outside line backer duo in football as well as a solid secondary the true test will be the d-line. If they can stop the run, the Broncos will be competing for a Super Bowl.