2013 NFL Preseason Predictions: AFC West (Trifone)
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Here are my AFC West preseason predictions (vote in our division-winner polls here):
1. Denver Broncos (schedule): 13-3
The Broncos were the best team in the AFC last year, earning a first-round bye with a 13-3 record. I expect more of the same. Wes Welker will add another dimension to the offense for Peyton Manning. Barring injury, the Broncos are the class of the AFC, and are the clear favorite in the conference.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (schedule): 9-7
The Chiefs need Alex Smith to be the quarterback he was the past two years in San Francisco, and not the one that played there before Jim Harbaugh showed up. The Chiefs were fifth in the league running the ball, but were dead last in the league in passing offense. Jamaal Charles can carry the load rushing, but they need to add a passing threat if they want to have a successful year.
3. San Diego Chargers (schedule): 7-9
The Chargers are a shell of the team that years ago had Super Bowl aspirations. Philip Rivers appears to be on the decline, and the Chargers did not improve in the off season as much as other teams. I have them with the same record as last year.
4. Oakland Raiders (schedule): 5-11
I like the offensive potential that the Raiders have. If Darren McFadden can stay healthy, he’s one of the more versatile backs in the league. The Raiders also have very athletic receivers, they just lack that real go-to guy at crunch time. If Denarius Moore can have a breakout season, the Raiders may be on the right track. I’m a believer in Matt Flynn, so I think Oakland has a chance to be better than most people think.
All of our contributors will make their division and Super Bowl picks and we will track those on this centralized predictions page.