It's time for the AFC West to receive my weekly oracles regarding the division's final standings. Is this finally the year for San Diego? Are the Brocos destined for Elwayish levels of greatness with their new Messiah QB? Are Raiders fans really all bad? Are they better than the Chiefs? Yes, no, yes, yes! Read on for how I think it's all going to end. Wow, that sounded a little dark.
Division Winners, San Diego Chargers, 12-4. The Chargers had a great season in 2009 but couldn't keep the momentum going in the playoffs. This year they fixed three of their big issues in the draft by moving up to get RB Ryan Mathews in the 1st round and up again to get LB Donald Butler in the 3rd and getting quality DT Cam Thomas in the 5th. Aggressive! With LT shipped off to the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS Ryan Mathews should see immediate playtime and step up in a big way (he is also best fantasy rookie pick). Also the Chargers have a very easy schedule for the first 10 or so games and a weak division, there's no reason they shouldn't have another run to the playoffs. Philip Rivers will be a top 5 QB. San Diego Chargers to win the AFC West.Division Runners Up, Denver Broncos, 8-8. In my completely unprofessional opinion the Broncos probably had the second worst off-season this year with only the Cardinals slightly beating them out. They traded away Brandon Marshall for more draft picks and then used them to move up to reach for a QB who was probably going to land at their feet in the second round anyway. No kidding. The pick in question is Florida's QB Tim Tebow who while will not get a single start in 2010 will still outsell EVERYBODY in jersey sales. Trust me, it's already happening. Poor Brady Quinn who pretty much now has no chance of eventually starting will have to watch his back. They also grabbed relatively untested rookie WR Demaryius Thomas over Dez Bryant with their 22nd pick. 8-8 might even be generous, but I do like Knowshon Moreno still. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="234" caption="Al Davis: Aaaaahh!"][/caption] Then, Oakland Raiders, 7-9. The Raiders ended their 2010 season pretty cold but have had a GREAT off-season. Not only did they address all their needs but they did it without going star crazy. LB Rolando McClain picked up with their 8th pick gives their defence instant credibility and managing to snatch up Maryland's Bruce Campbell as a developmental OL in the 4th was smooth. Oh did I mention they finally fired JaMarcus Russell? Now they want some of their money back too, wouldn't you? They then grabbed Jason Campbell from the Redskins for next to nothing. Nice work Oakland. If I didn't think the Ghost of Al Davis was still hanging around scaring everybody I would probably have you beating out the Broncos this season. Wait, Davis is still alive? [caption id="attachment_908" align="aligncenter" width="260" caption="Jamaal Charles: Another promising RB seemingly replaced in the draft. What is it with bad teams doing that?"][/caption] Finally, Kansas City Chiefs, 3-13. The Chiefs needed to add some talent on both offence and defence this season and actually managed just that with S Eric Berry from Tennessee in the 1st round and RB/WR/anything Dexter McCluster in the 2nd. Despite this its hard to see their veterans step up in any real way with Matt Cassel getting off to a poor start and Dwayne Bowe going through something of a slump. That said, picking up Thomas Jones to split carries with Jamaal Charles (who I genuinely believe is good) was a solid, if not spectacular move. Thomas Jones is a quality back, aged sure, a little broken sure, but quality. There you have it! Expect San Diego to dominate again but perhaps the most interesting story will be exactly how the Bronco's will play given all the criticism they have faced this off-season. Stay tuned for more next week!