Peyton Manning was a genius to decide to go to the Denver Broncos for 2 reasons. Reason number one is that the Broncos proved themselves last year by taking a less than mediocre quarterback led team into the second round of the playoffs in a quarterback driven league. The second reason is that Peyton Manning knows that his odds of making it into the playoffs sky rocket when he joins one of the teams in the worst division in football.
It is no secret that the AFC West has been one of the worst divisions in the NFL for about a decade now and this year is no different. If you take away the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos, what you have left is the worst team in the NFL in the Kansas City Chiefs, followed by the 3rd worst team in the AFC in the Oakland Raiders. Then you have the San Diego Chargers who finished the season 7-9 and have continued to be one of the most disappointing and underachieving teams each and every season.
Why is it that we continue to see the AFC West be so bad so often? Well, it’s easy to see with a team like the Raiders. They have had a revolving door policy when it comes to coaches. I feel like over the last ten years there have been ten head coaches in Oakland. I know that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s hard for a team to establish any sort of stability or continuity when the coaches are constantly changing. It’s also hard for a team to rise out of a patchy history of achievement when you make poor draft choices every year.
As for the Chiefs and the Chargers, they have lots of talent. They need good coaches. The Chargers at least have one thing that the Chiefs don’t have; a good quarterback. The duo of Matt Cassell and Brady Quinn were not the answer to the Chiefs’ problems. Now, in a league where a good quarterback is crucial to a teams’ success, the Chiefs are in hot water. Granted, they have the number one pick in this year’s draft, but there really isn’t any great quarterbacks coming out of college this year.
So we have two teams with good quarterbacks with the Raiders and the Chargers and two teams who are getting new coaches with the Chargers and the Chiefs. Keeping Denver out of the picture, I think that the Chargers are going to be the next team out of the AFC West to rise out of mediocrity. They have a decent offense with a good quarterback in Phillip Rivers and a new coach may be just what they need to get back on the saddle and give Peyton Manning and the Broncos a run for their money.
As for now, I think all three teams have a lot of work to do to get to the level that the Broncos are currently at. The Broncos are going to dominate the AFC West for the next few years as long as Manning stays healthy. You have to give it to Peyton Manning for choosing the Broncos. Each team has six division games each season and being in the worst division in the league you almost guarantee yourself six wins right there.