San Diego Chargers look to strike on AFC West, once again

Ignacio Marquez

San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers will look to lead the team to another AFC West championship with newcomer Ryan Mathews and returning receiver Malcolm Floyd helping on offense. Photo Credit: courtesy of MCT

It’s hard to believe that another football offseason has ended and we can finally start making our predictions. As always, some teams have made improvements while others have made stupid moves.

In a preview of the 32 NFL teams, here is the AFC West, which may have a possible Super Bowl contender.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Here’s a team that has won six combined games in the past two seasons and hasn’t even won a playoff game since 1993. The team has problems on both sides of the field. The offense starts with Matt Cassel, who has only shown skill with Tom Brady’s offense. He has the leadership skills to make plays and shows the ability to throw downfield when needed, but he has a lot to prove after being a backup for most of his career.

The Chiefs’ lack of depth and talent may be behind them. They need defense after ranking at the bottom last year and it seems like they’re heading in the right direction with players like safety Eric Berry and cornerback Brandon Flowers, one of the NFL’s most underrated players.

DENVER BRONCOS – KYLE ORTON IS THE MAN! There I said it; I’m sorry Tim Tebow fans, but there is no way Orton is losing his job as starting quarterback. Orton put up career numbers even with a new head coach in Josh McDaniels. His numbers were better than most quarterbacks and he showed that he could succeed in the face of chaos.

There’s no reason why the Broncos can’t win eight or nine games.

OAKLAND RAIDERS – The bucs from the west are starting to create buzz again.

Here’s a team that has averaged five wins since 2002, with no direction at all. There have been several coaches, different quarterbacks, no defense at all and to top it off, a cynical owner.

However, the grass seems greener for the Raiders. They appear to have built a solid defense with a lot of versatility. Their safeties can play cornerbacks and vice versa. They even have defensive backs that can play defensive tackle. These players can play different positions, which can create problems for single-dimension players.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – The Bolts could very well take it all in 2010.

They have Phillip Rivers and capable receivers to pick up the slack of Vincent Jackson, who’s still holding out. No more LaDainian Tomlinson, but San Diego was able to pick up rookie Ryan Mathews, an explosive, strong back, who can run between tackles and is incredibly hard to bring down in open space. Mathews is the future, let’s face it, Darren Sproles is too small and weak to be an every down back.

Receiver Malcolm Floyd will be a central piece, especially with Jackson out, because of his speed with his ability to run down the field and make plays in more than single coverage.

PREDICTED STANDINGS – 1. Chargers, 2. Raiders, 3. Broncos, 4. Chiefs.