The 2010 season seems like two decades ago to the Denver Broncos. That season, the team had a franchise-worst 4-12 season that was marred by a league-worst defense, and resulted in the firing of head coach Josh McDaniels.
It’s just three years later and a lot has happened. Since that season, the Broncos have won two playoff games with veteran signal-caller Peyton Manning calling the shots on offense, and Von Miller leading a rejuvenated defense that led the league in sacks last year. Adding Wes Welker is just icing on the cake for this season.
They’ve become one of the most complete teams in the entire NFL, and in doing so, created an almost inseparable gap in their AFC West division.
Or at least while Manning is throwing the football.
The Chargers and Chiefs are the only teams that pose even remote threats to the football juggernaut that is Denver. Still, these teams might have more going against them than the other way around.
The Chargers have a solid veteran quarterback in Philip Rivers, but his career is in a state of decline. At this point, Rivers has become more of an above-average game manager than anything else. The occasional spectacular game, and then the occasional case of dropping the ball.
The Chiefs have a lot of talent on their team, but just haven’t found a way to make anything of it, with the division title in the 2010-11 season being the only exception. Despite a star running back in Charles and a star receiver in Bowe, the team hasn’t found repeated success. Maybe Alex Smith can change that next year?
And then there’s Oakland. Well, where do I start? There are problems at every position except kicker. Unfortunately, Janikowski can’t win football games by himself. Matt Flynn’s ability to start at quarterback can be disputed, but they don’t really have anyone else. And the defense? Oakland’s defense may be the worst defense I have ever seen on any team, and in any league. Sorry, Raiders fans. I tried my best to sugar-coat it.
For the predictions:
Denver Broncos: 14-2
San Diego Chargers: 8-8
Kansas City Chiefs: 7-9
Oakland Raiders: 2-14