Hello and Welcome to the 5th installment of “The Nostradamus effect” and for this division we go to the AFC West since we play them this year. The AFC West last year was a very weak division and may not necessarily wow anyone this year. The AFC West as you know is home to the Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers. These teams have quite a bit of history and some very great football moments have come out of this division, and for old school Bucs fans you can possibly remember when we were once part of this division albeit one year only. So let’s begin with the predictions shall we. Hit the jump to see what they are.
We start with the Oakland Raiders who have more catch phrases than just about any other team in football: “Just win baby”, “Commitment to Excellence” etc. Many remember this team as the team we beat in our one and only SB victory. The Raiders are a storied franchise and a maverick one at that. Thank in part to their owner Al Davis R.I.P. he made the franchise what it is today, but what exactly is that? Since their SB run year they have been very erratic and have made some questionable choices. Most recently giving up a 1st rounder for QB Carson Palmer in the hopes they would win the division. Clearly they did not achieve that and it hurt them this year since their first pick in the draft wasn’t until 95th overall. Not only did they have a late start at picking in the draft but they did not draft well at all, they had some needs to be addressed and whiffed on those completely. They lost some areas of strengths and did not replace them with equal or better quality players i.e. RB Michael Bush. They did manage to keep some of their “star” players and added a few key positions like QB Matt Leinart and franchised S Tyvon Branch. This team seems to have a reactionary approach in terms of drafts and FA and have no “clear direction”, at least when Al Davis was there hopefully they define themselves some more. Can the new regime give clarity to the Raider nation? Can they keep their key players healthy like RB Darren McFadden?
My prediction the team goes 6-10 and QB Matt Leinart takes the starting job from QB Carson Palmer.
We shoot over to Kansas City with the Chiefs and their newly appointed head coach Romeo Crennel. I really like Crennel and think he’s a good coach and a guy that truly deserved the job he got. I like that this team was counted out and considered a push over until the beat the undefeated GB Packers on what would be then interim HC Crenels first game. It proved he had the respect and dedication of his team and control over a locker room that the previous coach clearly did not. This team has made some off season moves to improve their depth and add some much needed help. They went out and signed QB Brady Quinn, in know he’s no superstar but he could do well in KC and I think he should get a chance to start, although I think their best QB on the roster was let go to easily with QB Kyle Orton. They also signed RB Peyton Hillis lol, and CB Stanford Routt. They seemed to be adding some much needed depth and I was hoping they would have a strong draft to help build this team, their first pick NT Dontari Poe begs the question, is anyone in that organization analyzing tape? Not a right fit and not a quality player that high in the draft. But hey maybe they saw something NO ONE else saw.
My prediction for this team is that they struggle at first but pull out an improvement over last year finishing 8-8. No Major predictions here just that Crennel will make the chiefs relevant again.
We move to San Diego to the Chargers next to look at what Southern California has to offer besides surf and beautiful women. Their fans refer to them as the “super chargers” and every time I hear that I want to punch them in the face, considering they have only been in 1 SB and did not win it there’s nothing super about that but moving on. They have a franchise QB Phillip Rivers and a pretty decent overall team. They just can’t seem to get click when they need to in clutch situations, there was no reason why this team should not have won the division last year. They also seem to have a propensity to give up key players, thank you for WR Vincent Jackson by the way and others like RB Darren Sproles. This team has so much potential but no real direction; in fact it seems to be a theme with this division. Their offseason is direct proof of this as they didn’t get any wow players or fill major needs with quality players; they also did little in FA and lost more than they gained.
My prediction this team turns out a losing record at 5-11 and Norv Turner loses his job.
Lastly we head over to Denver where the Broncos are trying to compete now. They went out and got QB Peyton Manning in the hopes that he can lead the franchise to a SB victory but can he stay healthy? The fact is a lot is riding on that but I think even without Manning they are in good shape. They have arguably the best running attack in the league and their defense is really good and is what kept them in contention. This team could very well be a SB contender especially if Manning can stay healthy. They seem to have all the pieces to their puzzle in place and had a decent draft. The key thing is they got their developmental QB Brock Osweiler, a little early for my taste maybe 3rd -4th round, but hey they got him. I expected him to go there and think he is their future. This team will likely dominate this weak division for years to come. The main issue Denver has is what are they going to do with all of those WWTTD T-shirts?
My prediction is that Peyton takes them to a winning season 10-6 but gets hurt towards the end of the year where Brock Osweiler takes over and finishes the job but looses in the AFC championship to……
That’s it for now let’s see what you think….