Our sound-off question this week was for fans of each AFC West team to give their best team in the franchise history.
Here is a sample of what you had to say. By the way, we’re light on Kansas City responses because we just didn’t get many. Thanks to everyone who participated.
Rob from the Bay Area: As far as the Chargers go, you nailed it. The 2006 team was absolutely rock solid. I liked the non-flashy quality, it was just a straight up, powerful, physical football team that was in sync. I remember, vividly, standing in the line for the trolley after that playoff game. I felt like someone hit me in the gut with a 4x4. I had this terrible feeling like that was it; that was the best team we'd had in my lifetime (I'm 40) and the best team we'd see for a long, long time. You nailed it Bill, when you said the Chargers haven't been the same since. They've put up wins, but don't have anywhere near the same quality. (((sigh)))
Chris from Denver: I have to respectfully disagree with your choice of the 2006 Chargers as that franchises "Best Ever." Sorry Bill, you can't name a team "Best Ever", when they "couldn't get it done." The Chargers best team is still the '63 AFL Champs, the best team in football that year. The Chargers were in the midst of a great run in those years, going to the AFL Championship five times in six years, and '63 was when they cashed in. That team featured the Chargers best ever player in Alworth and their best ever coach in Sid Gillman. To call the '06 chokers the best ever is an insult to those champions and to the franchise. Sorry, but you are wrong.
Chris B. Anchorage, Alaska.: Bill, It's got to be the '98 Broncos. This team had perfected the Zone Blocking Scheme and the league had yet to catch up to defend it, allowing Terrell Davis to steamroll defenses for 2k yards. Elway had a trio of All Pro receivers in Sharpe, Eddie Mac and Rod Smith. A defense that brought the NASTY week in and week out. You knew that no mattered who they played that they were going to win. No team in the AFC west has ever garnered that feeling. And to top it off they WON THE SUPER BOWL. On a side note, that year there were two teams worth a darn. The Broncos and the Vikings. It was a shame the Falcons pulled off the upset that year. It was destined to be the highest scoring and possibly greatest Super Bowl in history.
Rob Phillips from Sacramento: The best team of all time has to be the 1976 Super Bowl Champion Oakland Raiders. Coached by a man of legendary status with the second highest winning percentage of all time. The team had seven hall of fame players and the only punter who should be in the hall of fame. The duo of Art Shell and Gene Upshaw on the offensive line has to be one greatest ever. This team was full of great personalities and players the bad boy safeties Atkinson and Tatum helped make this team notorious for being a tough group of individuals who inflicted fear into there opponents.
Kenny Fish from Colorado Springs: Hands down it has to be the 1998 Broncos, there was nothing to stop that team, Terrell Davis being a 6th round pick coming to light in those years 96-98, Elway heading towards the end of his career, leaving the game on top, I do think that the 1996 Denver team was the team that should have won a superbowl, but they bounced back 97 and 98 to be on top of the AFC, that was a hall of fame bound team, as Elway has already entered, Rod Smith, TD and Shannon Sharpe are all right behind him in line.
Ryan from N.J.: Easy, the 98 Broncos. Not only did they win back to back Super Bowl championships (which is nearly impossible) but they also had a 2000 yard rusher, a Hall of Fame QB, a should be Hall of Fame Tight End, their best WR in franchise history, a great O-Line, and what people tend to forget, a great defense. When you were going over the Defense, you forgot to mention legends Steve Atwater, Neil Smith, the original Romo, Mobley, and everyone else on that team was great. Not only are they the best team in the AFC West's history, but there can be an argument made that they were one of the best teams in NFL history!
Wil from Rocklin, Calif.: I really believe pound for pound, the 83 Raiders represent the greatest Raiders team ever. If not for a fluke loss at home (vs the Jets) the previous season that team might have won two SB's in a row. Plunkett at QB, Allen at RB, Cliff Branch was still catching bombs, and the defense was nasty. During the 83 season the Raiders put out 8 quarterbacks during the season (Lyle Alzado and Howie) couple that with Lester Hayes and Michael Haines and I believe that team could have beat ANY team. As for the 76 Raiders, I believe it was just their time, they had better teams in the 70's, they just couldn't close the deal in Pittsburgh for most of the decade. Just to make sure, go ask Joe Theismann about that SB game, he'll tell you how good that team was.
Cody from Fort Collins, Colo.: This is easily the '98 Broncos. That team was absolutely dominant. Anytime the Super Bowl is not really a contest, you know you're dealing with a great team. The best part about it is that they knew they were the superior team every time they stepped on the field. And if not for a late TD in the Meadowlands, we may be talking about them like we did the '07 Pats (only we won the SB.) With that being said, they have to in the top 10 greatest teams of all-time.
Michael from Bedford, Va.: 76 Raiders more HOFS had A HOF coach and were very strong on both Sides of the ball...
Taylor from Omaha: Dude, out of that list easily the 1976 Oakland Raiders. Ken Stabler, Jack Tatum, George Atkinson, Willie Brown, Skip Thomas, Otis Sistrunk, Ted Hendricks, Dave Casper, Fred Biletnikoff, Cliff Branch, Mark Van Eeghen, Ray Guy. The list goes on and on! No other team in that list comes close to this team. Go Raiders!!!
Colby from Denver: I would say that the best team of my afc west team would be the 1993 Chiefs that advance to afc championship team with Joe Montana and Derrick Thomas.
Josh from Mission Viejo, Calif.: I remember the euphoria of every TD run from LT in 2006. It was a record year, and I will always remember that. Not only was LT proving that he deserves to be a first ballot Hall of Famer, but the defense was great. Rivers proved to be worthy of the starting job. However, I still think that the 1981 Chargers are the best Chargers. The defense wasn't good, but they had Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner, and Kellen Winslow. In their day, they were the most explosive offense ever. And even though they didn't win a SB, they did win the Epic in Miami, which is easily the best game of football I have ever seen. I think the 2006 and 1981 Chargers are close only because the 1981 Chargers had an awful defense. If their defense had been better, they would be unquestionably the best Chargers team ever (they'd probably have a couple SB rings as well).
Nathan from New Orleans: Easily the 98 Broncos. They dominated that year. Had a Hall of Fame QB and a 2000 yard rusher. Not to discount Ed and Rod. Plus the defense was incredible.
Will from Harrisburg, Pa.: I can't disagree with your choices for Best Teams Ever in regards to the Raiders. I would like to point out that the 2000-01 Raiders came off of a long stretch of mediocre seasons in the mid-late 90's, and finally made it back to the playoffs after a long drought. This team came back from being down 21 points to a young Peyton Manning in September, and won several close games (something they failed to do in the years prior; they lost 6 games by a TD or less in 1998). They also shalacked the Dolphins 27-0 in the divisional playoff game, before losing Gannon and the AFC Championship to the best Ravens team ever. This was MY favorite Raiders team of all time, but I've only been a fan since 1989.
Jerry from San Jose, Calif.: I believe it's the '76 Raiders by a nose over the '83 Raiders. That '76 squad boasted what has been voted to be the greatest offensive line in NFL history, and with the Snake at the controls along with HOF'ers Dave Casper and Fred Biletnikoff, Cliff Branch (who should be in the HOF), Clarence Davis and Mark van Eeghen in the backfield this team could win any game in any time. The '83 squad was not quite as dominant, at least until the playoffs began. In the playoffs they destroyed everyone in their path, the closest game was the 30-14 beatdown they put on Seattle in the AFC title game. But I have to go with the '76 team by just a little.
Tre from Blackfoot, Idaho.: The Broncos of 1998 may have the best overall player in John Elway, but they don't have the best team. I think you have to give that one to the Raiders.The Chiefs and Chargers have never had a team that can be put into the same category as the Broncos and Raiders.