There is not a general consensus after our sound-off question this week. I asked readers what AFC West team they think is best equipped to make a Super Bowl run.
The Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders all got their fair share of support. Denver, which was 4-12 in 2010, didn’t get much support and that is fair. The rebuilding Broncos currently look behind the other three teams.
The Chiefs won 10 games in 2010, while San Diego won nine games and Oakland won eight games. I could see the arguments for all three of those teams since all three have things going for them.
Below are some of your responses. Thanks to everyone who participated:
Troy Epperson from Lee’s Summit, Mo.: I definitely think the Chiefs have the makings to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender in the upcoming years. They have a great young nucleus with a quarterback who could develop in to an upper level player. With Coach Todd Haley coming off what should of been a coach of the year type of season, the Chiefs are moving in the direction to become a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
Juan Moreno from Boise: If you look at the way this last year panned out, you notice that the Raiders all but dominated the afc west in 2010. the only real close call being the 3pt win against KC in Oakland. if the raiders figure out which are the right guys to sign and which are best let free they have a great shot at a Superbowl win before any other AFC West team. they are young, tough, and fast. they do need to find a strong starting five along the offensive line. i say keep Barnes and leave Veldheer at left tackle. we need center and guard help big time and we will have to see where Bruce Campbell plays next year (likely rg) or at right tackle. if we spend the first two picks at the least on the o-line we will be running to a Superbowl and also run to another Lombardi Trophy....number 4.
Clinton Bever from Denver: I think the Kansas City Chiefs have the best opportunity to make a Super Bowl run next season. They are a young team with a lot of firepower on both offense and defense. With a good draft this year to solidify their defense in the middle along with getting receiver help, they will have another season like the most recent but will have the tools to make a deep playoff run.
Paul M. from San Diego: I think that the Chargers will be the best team in the division next year and possibly one year beyond that - however I don't think there's any way to deny that they are heading in the wrong direction and are getting older. The Chiefs are still young and showed a lot of promise next year. I think they'll be the class of the division within a few years. Meanwhile, Oakland will never be better than "mediocre" until they settle on a coaching staff and develop some continuity. They have plenty of talent but Al Davis seems hellbent on setting them back each and every off-season. Denver is a few years off.
Tyler from Kansas City: I think it has got to be the Chiefs, if they can acquire a few key components, namely receiver, nose tackle, and edge rusher. If they can fill these needs in the offseason, and we have a season in 2011 the Chiefs could be a Super Bowl dark horse.
Brandon from B-Town, Mont.: I am kind of bias in this situation, but I think the Chiefs have the best shot and at a very close, a "Too Close for Comfort" close, is Oakland. I think SD time has passed and I dont think Norv is a SB caliber Coach or they'd already be there. Denver took several steps back in the McD era and stepped back even further by firing him. Chiefs have alot of good pieces in place right down to the front office. I think we are only missing a LB and WR to compliment Bowe and maybe get some depth on the O-line, but the Chiefs look better than the rest. I just dont see how firing Cable puts Oakland ahead of the curve.
Walker from Littleton, Colo.: I would have to go with the Kansas City Chiefs because the San Diego Chargers are not going to be as dominate with the departure of Ron Rivera. Also the Chargers are also starting to get beaten inside of their division. Not a believer in the Raiders because they fired the head coach that got them to a 8-8 season in a long time. The Denver Broncos NO! Sure they will be better with new head coach John Fox. They have a very good coaching staff but they have to many missing pieces. But will be a contender in the AFC West in a few years. Go Broncos!
Chris from N.J.: Kansas City Chiefs- Young team with a little more experience by making the playoffs. Charles is one of the best Running backs in the game, Cassel rising, and Bowe building off a good season their ready for success. More experience on Defense with a WR, DT, Offensive line, and OLB in the offseason they are a team ready for greatness.
Billy Shoen from Virginia Beach: Bill, I think the Chargers will actually dominate the AFC West next year. The only reason I can see them not dominating is another slow start. I assume they will shore up the Special Teams, which did much better in the second half. They just have too much firepower. Also, I think losing this year will make them much meaner, more hungry than ever. The Broncos are just in shambles. The Raidahs will be hurt by not keeping Cable. Talk about disfunction? And I think the Chiefs are just not as strong as that record was. Losing Wiess will hurt as well. I think even with a tough schedule, the Chargers will win the West with an 12-4 record.
Dave Wilson from Italy: It has to be the Chargers. What could 2010 have been without the unbelievable breakdown of Special Teams. How would we have fared against the Jets, Colts, Ravens and Steelers if only...if only...So, a new year begins. Rivers is the best quarterback in his class and should lead the Chargers to their first Superbowl title. By the way, thanks to NFL GamePass we are able to watch all of the NFL games live in HD here in Italy. Gotta love it!
Pretty Toney from Memphis: Well, the Chiefs will not win a Super Bowl with Matt Cassel and the Raiders will not win a Super Bowl with Jason Campbell. The Broncos have talent on the offensive side of the football, but the defense is just too putrid right now to take them seriously (this coming from a die-hard Broncos fan). Can't win a title with Kyle Orton, maybe Tebow but that is a long shot at this point. The obvious choice here has to be the Chargers. Rivers is an elite QB in his prime, with plenty of weapons offensively and a defense that is no slouch either. If they can get a solid rookie starter or two via the draft this year I would not be surprised to see San Diego as far as the AFC Title game next season.
Rod Rosa from Kingman, AZ.: I say Raiders, Because they have so much young talent. They blew up in several games last year putting up huge points. These young players will continue to flourish further under Gruden like Hue Jackson. Though they will need to sign there key free agents. I think Al will get it done. He's knows the Raiders are close to something special!
Josh Friesen from Cheney, Wash.: Hey Bill. I think the power is beginning to shift from San Diego to Kansas City. Scott Pioli and Todd Haley have formed a fantastic combination and they have put together a fine team. Granted, they are young and inexperienced, but I believe they have the best raw talent out of anyone else in the AFC West. A couple more years, and this team will grow into themselves. I truly believe that, by 2020, the Chiefs will bring the Lombardi Trophy to Kansas City. If they can win the AFC West while they are young, there's no telling what they're capable of.
Tony from San Diego: I think the team most prepared to make a legitimate Super Bowl run has got to be the Raiders. I think San Diego might be the most prepared this coming season, but I dont think they will make a real Superbowl run (as long as Turner is running things). The Raiders have tremendous upside with all of their young talent. Jason Campbell isnt amazing, but he can be a good game manager. If the run game stays at the level it has been, I think they can definitely make a push with just a few tweaks on defense (mainly against the run). First things first, resign Aso! They need to find a way to hold onto Bush as well. And go after a verteran receiver.
Tye Copeland from Springfield, Mo.: Huge Chiefs fan here. While I do think the Chiefs are on the right track I'm just not sure they have quite enough talent yet to make a serious run. The Chargers do have the talent though. With Philip Rivers at the helm they will always have a shot to win a game. Even in sort of a rebuild year (first year w/o LT and Merriman) they nearly won the West and could have been dangerous in the playoffs. It all starts with Rivers though.