Can the Kansas City Chiefs unseat the Denver Broncos for the AFC West crown this season? Or will the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have a say in who wins the division? Our experts Nick Athan and Sean Keeler offer their thoughts on the order of finish in the AFC West.
The Kansas City Chiefs appear to have their best team since the Hank Stram era. However, they're still fighting for respect and face an uphill battle in changing the culure in the AFC West. The Broncos have been the cream of the crop since Quarterback, Peyton Manning arrived.
So who wins the AFC West this year? Our experts chime in with their thoughts.
1. Denver (predicted record: 11-5)
The clock is ticking for Ol' Number 18. Will Peyton Manning be truly happy as a Hall of Famer whose primary job is to hand off?
2. Kansas City (predicted record: 10-6)
In Year 3 of the Reid Era, the Chiefs boast the best defense in the division and a passing game that believes it can chuck when it has to. If the latter holds true, and a wacky schedule can be navigated without major bumps, meet your AFC postseason sleeper.
3. San Diego (predicted record: 8-8)
The other three teams in the division have shown they can run the ball. Until the Chargers prove they can stop the ground game, how can we take the Bolts seriously?
4. Oakland (predicted record: 5-11)
Them young bucks can ball. But the Raiders might have better luck changing cities than changing the franchise culture.
1. Kansas City (predicted record 11-5)
The Kansas City Chiefs are primed to end the Broncos reign in 2015. Not since their glory days in the 60's has a Chiefs roster been filled with playmakers on offense, defense and special teams. This is by far Andy Reid's best team and it will be good enough to host a playoff game in January at Arrowhead.
2. San Diego (predicted record 10-6)
No matter how you slice up the Chargers it all begins and ends with Quarterback, Philip Rivers. He might be the divisions best at his craft and he'll need to be razor sharp to carry this team into a post-season birth. The Chargers defense is average at best so all eyes will be on Rivers and rookie running back, Melvin Gordon.
3. Denver (predicted record 9-7)
It's over! The Broncos have struggled offensively in the pre-season. Peyton Manning has been unable to adapt to Head Coach Gary Kubiak's new system behind a suspect offensive line. For me, the writing is on the wall. Though the Broncos still possess one of the games best defensive units, it won't be enough to overcome Father Time for their All-World quarterback and the likelihood he'll hang up his cleats at the end of the year.
4. Oakland (predicted record 7-9)
Though they've made progress putting together a more balanced roster (especially on defense), second year Quarterback, Derek Carr, has to overcome the sophomore jinx in order to become a consistant winning performer at the NFL level. Rookie Wide Receiver, Amari Cooper should certainly help the offense but this team has no rushing attack and that will be their demise in 2015.