2007 AFC West Preview

2007 AFC West preview from MadduxSports.com. In addition to the excellent editorials we write the backbone of our company are winning NFL Football Picks. Also if you are betting football check out the NFL lines page with up to date football odds from multiple sources.

AFC West Division Preview
By Adam Barone

1. Chargers: Despite the fact that they’ve lost almost their entire coaching staff, San Diego still has LaDanian Tomlinson, Phillip Rivers, Antonio Gates and Shawne Merriman. The Chargers went 14-2 last season, and though that high a mark probably can’t be duplicated this year, this is a veteran team that will be able to stay consistent even under a new staff. With plenty of past NFL coaching experience, Norv Turner has taken over as head coach. The team traded a handful of draft picks just to acquire S Eric Weddle out of Utah because they felt that his athleticism and versatility was the only thing they were missing in 2006. Rivers is a year older and more mature, and LT is LT. There’s not much to say about the Chargers; they’ll win the division at 12-4.

2. Broncos: Though they missed the playoffs last season at 9-7, the Broncos are my team to watch in 2007. Mike Shanahan is one of the best coaches in the NFL and he has one of the most promising young quarterbacks around to run his offense. The Broncos signed former Titans’ RB Travis Henry and they still have last year’s surprise undrafted free agent signing, RB Mike Bell. They also picked up former Patriot TE Daniel Graham to help Cutler out if none of the many quality receivers he’ll be looking for can get open. Javon Walker had a good season in 2006, but has the potential to be much better. With Cutler getting the starting job for the full season, and with a quality feature back behind him, the offense should flourish. The defense let MLB Al Wilson go, but he’s replaced by the capable Nate Webster. Denver will challenge San Diego for the division crown and wrap up the year at 11-5.

3. Chiefs: Kansas City managed to eek out a playoff berth in ’06 at 9-7, going 4-2 in their division. Just like the Chargers still have LT, the Chiefs still have LJ. Larry Johnson is enough of an offensive presence to carry a team as far as it wants to go, but K.C.’s problem is on D. They’re getting old at cornerback and have very little depth at the position. With the playmakers they’ll be facing in the division again this season, they’re going to need to improve in every aspect on the defensive side of the ball. With QB Trent Green now in Miami, the starting job will go to the winner of the “Brodie Croyle versus Damon Huard” battle. Drafting LSU WR Dwayne Bowe should help whichever of them wins the starting job, but I still see the emphasis on improving defense. As long as the Chiefs avoid injuries to Ty Law and Patrick Surtain, they could challenge for a playoff spot again this year and will teeter on the 9-7/10-6 line, more likely 9-7.

4. Raiders: Even though they got JaMarcus Russell with the top overall pick in the draft after going 2-14, the Raiders will still be terrible in the coming season. They traded away their resident malcontent, Randy Moss, to the Patriots, and made a deal with the Lions to get WR Mike Williams. Williams has attitude issues of his own, but is not nearly as good; he’s fatter and slower. On the other side of the field is Jerry Porter, possibly the biggest cry baby in the NFL. He played in 4 games last season and caught only one pass, basically because he’s a five year-old trapped in a man’s body. The running back position has some promise, with the returning LaMont Jordan joined by the newly signed and newly suspended Dominic Rhodes, incumbent backup Justin Fargas and high-ceiling rookie Michael Bush. The defense was actually a major strength last season, managing to finish number one in the NFL against the pass, but a large part of that is likely due to their divisional opponents’ running backs. I don’t think JaMarcus Russell will have much success in his first NFL season, and overall the team isn’t too different from a year ago. In such a tough division, their best hope is about a 3-13 record.

We have broken down each AFC West team even further to give you the edge this season. Read the individual football previews of the Chargers, Broncos, Chiefs, and Raiders from Maddux Sports.


2007 NFL Team Previews

As usual Maddux presents its anual 2007 NFL preview sorted by divisions. From each division you can find our predictions as well an individual team report of each National League Football Team. Click here to return to the main NFL season preview page.

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