Well as the preseason comes to an end and the season begins I will be breaking down each division and have my picks in for the playoffs, NFC and AFC Championship Games, as well as the 2010 Super Bowl Champion.
First though, we need to take a look through each division and that, well that, may be all done tonight, or over the next couple of days.
Here we go:
I figure I should start with the worst division in football, as it should take the shortest amount of time to pick the winner.
4. Kansas City Chiefs:
I hope I am wrong here, for more than one reason. I love Todd Haley as a coach, and think he has a bright future as a head coach in the NFL. Secondly, I would like to see Matt Cassel be successful and earn that money that they paid him. I just don’t see that happening this year, especially with the schedule they have.
Who to Watch For- Has to be Matt Cassel. This team will only go as far as their new franchise quarterback takes them. The offensive line is rebuilding, and has some nice pieces, especially on the left side, but they must stay healthy and turn into a cohesive unit to keep Cassel upright for the entire season.
Final Outlook and Analysis- 3-13
How does a team that went 2-14 end up with such a hard schedule? I know it is the AFC West’s year to play the NFC East and AFC North, but come on. They have some pieces on the offense with Cassel, Dwayne Bowe and Larry Johnson looking for one more payday. The defense is transitioning to a 3-4, and they have some nice pieces for that defense, but it will be a work in progress.
3. Denver Broncos:
Well, I am sure this is not what Josh McDaniels envisioned when he took over a Broncos team that was one win away from the playoffs last year. Factor in the injuries that are already piling up and the questionable decision making by a rookie head coach and you have a recipe for disaster.
Who to Watch For- Knowshon Moreno, Kyle Orton, when and where will Brandon Marshall end up playing? Those are all intriguing questions, but Josh McDaniels is who I am interested in following this year. Is he truly a Belichick disciple, or is he just a hot shot that ran off the team’s future at quarterback? Truly will be an intriguing season in the Mile High City.
Final Outlook and Analysis- 5-11
This is definitely a different Broncos team from past years. They have a new head coach for the first time in 14 seasons, and he has already put his stamp, good or bad on this team. They made some… interesting draft picks, but Moreno could be a star. Can McDaniels turn Orton into the next great quarterback? Will they find anyone to help Champ Bailey, Brian Dawkins and D.J Williams on defense? So many questions for a team that was so close last year.
2. Oakland Raiders:
Call me crazy, but I think the Raiders finish the season in second place in this division. Now, that being said, they will in no way challenge for a playoff spot, or anything like that, but I expect them to continue to move forward. I love their running backs, I love the way they are piecing their defense together, but I do not like their quarterback situation with Russell in there, in fact I think they could play a little better with Garcia.
Who to Watch For- JaMarcus Russell is entering his third season, and second full season as the starter. He has to show improvements this year and continue to grow as a quarterback. If he does that then the Raiders future might be a little brighter than even they expected.
Final Outlook and Analysis- 5-11
The Raiders have a nice nucleus of players, but I worry about Russell going forward. Can he truly lead a team and be a franchise quarterback? I haven’t seen that yet and that makes me hesitate. Look for Darren McFadden to have a big year both running and catching, as the Raiders still lack a true number one receiver. Zack Miller should also continue his ascent to becoming one of the better tight ends in the NFL. Hopefully Nnamdi Asomugha can get back and healthy, as he is truly a joy to watch play CB, unless he is playing your team.
1.San Diego Chargers:
The best player, the best quarterback, the best defense in the division. Oh and maybe the worst coach in all of football. Honestly, how Norv Turner continues to be employed is amazing, and is truly the only reason I would be worried about the season if I was a Chargers fan. Sure LaDainian Tomlinson is another year older, but he is still one of the best ever at the position. Can the Chargers overcome their biggest hindrance and make a deep playoff run?
Who to Watch For- LT has a lot of questions to answer and a lot of doubters to prove wrong, but he is not the key to the season, as the Chargers proved they can win even if he is not the LT of old, but rather an old LT. No, what matter is the defense. Can the defensive unit as a whole get back to the defense that used to terrorize the league and was one of the best units in football? Can the addition of a healthy Shawne Merriman put this team over the top? That is what is the most important part of the season for the Chargers really is.
Final Outlook and Analysis- 11-5
The Chargers have one of the most talented rosters top to bottom in the entire NFL. Can they finally put it all together, and get healthy and productive seasons from LT, Rivers, Merriman and Gates all in the same season? Can they finally shed the label of regular season wonders and make a run to the Super Bowl in the ultra competitive AFC?