NFL.com takes a look at AFC West

Are the Raiders the real deal?

NFL.com writer and reporter Gregg Rosenthal took a look at the AFC West this past week, including each team's projected starters.

While Rosenthal admits that Brandon Mebane's recent statement that San Diego's roster is more talented than the Seahawks is "hogwash," he also believes that the Chargers aren't necessarily in rebuilding mode and have as much a chance to win the AFC West as the other teams in the division.

He contends that while there aren't a lot of holes on defense, safety is still one of them (difficult to disagree there, though it will be interesting to see what defensive coordinator John Pagano does with his offseason additions).

MY TAKE: As always, health is a concern when it comes to the Chargers. With quarterback Philip Rivers continuing to direct a potent offense, and upgrades on the defense with players like Joey Bosa and Mebane -- among others -- it's natural to think the Chargers will do better than their 4-12 record of 2015. How much better largely remains on the team's ability to stay healthy.

Here's a few takeaways from what Rosenthal sees around the division:

RAIDERS: "It's crazy how settled this Raiders team is, especially on offense. They return nearly all their starters and they are young. It's an exciting blend of continuity and upside that should have Raider Nation dreaming big."

CHIEFS:  "With Justin Houston's status for the entire season in doubt, pressure is on underwhelming 2014 first-round pick Dee Ford to become a difference maker. Frank Zombo should get plenty of snaps."

BRONCOS:  "I'm in the camp that believes Paxton Lynch won't start right away as a rookie. But John Elway's recent comments mean it wouldn't be a surprise if Lynch starts sometime around Week 7. That's when the Broncos have 10 days to prepare for a Monday Night game against Houston that will inevitably be dubbed the Hunt for Red Brocktober."


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