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Friday, December 21, 2012
Final Word: AFC West

By Bill Williamson

NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 16:

No Luck in 2013 draft: The Kansas City Chiefs will get an up-close look at what it means to be able to get a star quarterback with the No. 1 pick in the draft. The Chiefs host the Indianapolis Colts and rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft, has led the Colts to the cusp of the playoffs. The 2-13 Chiefs are on pace for the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft, and quarterback is their greatest need. But there are no Lucks in the 2013 class, so the Chiefs will have to either take a chance on someone like West Virginia’s Geno Smith or acquire a veteran and take the best player available. Seeing Luck on Sunday won’t make reality easier to take.

Peyton Manning
The Broncos got their top QB choice in the offseason by acquiring Peyton Manning, but Brandon Weeden was on their radar.
Denver Broncos will get close look at Weeden: Brandon Weeden will be quarterbacking the Cleveland Browns in Denver on Sunday. It could have been different. Weeden could have been Denver’s quarterback. Had Peyton Manning not opted to sign with the Broncos, they very well could have tried to move up a few spots from No. 25 to take Weeden. But, of course, Manning signed with Denver in March and the Browns took Weeden at No. 22. The Broncos were scouting Weeden when they sent their jet to fetch Manning for an early-March meeting that set the signing into motion. It is clear the Broncos wanted to move away from Tim Tebow, and the strong-armed, pocket-passing Weeden impressed Denver’s brass. But in the end, Denver got its ultimate quarterback choice and did not have to draft its fallback choice.

Raiders trying to salvage NFC South slate: The Oakland Raiders’ game at the Carolina Panthers completes the AFC West-NFC South series this season. It has not gone well for Oakland or the AFC West as a whole. The Raiders are 0-3 against the NFC South and the AFC West is 5-10. Denver has three wins and both of Kansas City’s wins have come against the NFC South. Considering Oakland coach Dennis Allen’s roots are with the Falcons and the Saints, I’m sure he’d like to end this series on a high note. By the way, the AFC West plays the NFC East next season.

Could Chargers take another look at Ryan? The San Diego Chargers are ending the Norv Turner era and the Rex Ryan era could be coming to a close as well. Sunday’s game between the Chargers and the host New York Jets may mark the end of two tenures. If Ryan is fired by the Jets, could he be a possible replacement for Turner? The team interviewed Ryan and he was a top candidate before Turner was hired in 2007. If ownership likes Ryan, perhaps he will be on the list again. I’m not sure he would be the right choice. Ryan is a defensive coach and the Chargers need to get their offense and quarterback Philip Rivers right. We’ve seen Ryan’s New York offense flounder. The Chargers can’t risk that again.

Manning owns the Browns: Last week, Manning beat the Baltimore Ravens for the ninth straight time. It was the Broncos' first win at Baltimore. Denver’s opponent this Sunday is Cleveland. Manning owns the Browns, too. He is 5-0 against them. He also has been stellar at home this season. He has thrown 16 touchdowns and just two interceptions in Denver this season.