2005 AFC West Preview

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2005 AFC West Preview ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>

AFC WestFirst – RaidersSecond – ChiefsThird – BroncosFourth – Chargers

RAIDERS

· The Raiders couldn’t stop a decent high-schoolteam last year from gaining yards and scoring points. So, in fineRaider fashion, they added more offense.

· Randy Moss belongs on the Raiders.

· The addition of Lamont Jordan may be more importantthat the addition of Moss.

· The Raiders passed the ball 612 times lastyear while rushing only 387.

A year ago, Oakland finished next to last inpoints allowed (442), 30th in total yards allowed (5,936) andpassing yards allowed and let opponents convert on third-downa league high 47.4 percent of the time. So what’s the answer tosuch problems? Return balance to the offense, help it controlthe clock and keep that defense off the field long enough to improvetheir play. Last season Oakland finished last in time of possession,controlling the ball only 26:47 a game. No defense could longstand up to that kind of weekly pressure. The Addition of Moss,along with Porter and Curry, will open up the running game, andthe Silver and Black will be back….back in the play-offs.

CHIEFS

· First in yards gained, second in points and31st in total defense, Derrick Johnson, Patrick Surtain and SammyKnight will help to change that.

· This will be the last hurrah for Dick Vermeiland the Chiefs for a while….age.

· Priest Holmes has had both the last two seasonscut short due to injuries.

· KC started off with 0-3 last year. Jets, Eaglesat home…Raiders and Broncos on the road…might be 0-4 this year.

This year the Chiefs need only an average defenseto go with their explosive offense. With the new faces in themix, they have a better than average defense, but there is nota whole lot of depth. Will this Kansas City team get Dick Vermeilone last shot at the Super Bowl before he retires? NO, but ifthey can overcome the first ¼ of the season, the play-offs arein their grasp, and anything can happen from there.

BRONCOS

· Shanahan has not won a playoff game withoutElway (0-3 since 1999).

· The Broncos finished 2004 fourth in total defenseand fifth in total offense.

· Gerard Warren, Courtney Brown, Michael Myersand Ebenezer Ekuban, while at Cleveland last year, Helped theBrowns to be 32nd in the league in stopping the run. Now they’reall in Denver.

· Shanahan traded away Reuben Droughns believingthat Tatum Bell was next in line to be the premier back…Mike Andersonhas things to say about that.

Jake Plummer has improved his stats somewhatsince moving over to the Broncos two years ago. He’s also hasan improved record (19-8 compared to 12-20) But as long as hecontinues to make stupid mistakes (left handed pass interceptionon his own goal line trying to avoid a sack) improved stats meannothing. The Broncos once again got spanked in the play-offs.That spanking seemed to trigger major changes. Changed that mightnot have been necessary. Look for a step back this year.

CHARGERS

· The Chargers were 12-4 last year, 2-5 againstteams with winning records and 1-5 against playoff teams.

· San Diego returns all 22 starters.

· Drew Brees completed 65.5 percent of his passesfor 3159 yards and 27 TD’s with only 7 picks.

· Antonio Gates is the NFL’s best Tight End,LaDainian Tomlinson is the NFL’s best running back.

· Shawne Merriman will be a dominant pass rusherfor years to come.

WAKE UP CHARGERS – this year the San Diego teamwill travel 4 times to the east coast, facing both Superbowl teamsas well as the Colts. The Chargers will probably be a better teamthan last year, but they WILL NOT even have a winning record.They’ll start the season at 2-1 and then roll off 7 straight losses.Rivers will be the starting QB by week 5 and Brees will be tradedto Dallas for a 4th round pick. As a Raider fan, It Pleases meto say. San Diego Chargers – LAST PLACE!

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