- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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We present our 2012 AFC West midseason team.
A few notes before we get to the list.
I used a 3-4 defense because half of the division (Kansas City and San Diego) uses it as a base defense and I thought the linebackers were stronger in the first half so I wanted to recognize four of them. This list features the best players at the position, so I used two left tackles instead of forcing a right tackle, two tailbacks instead of a fullback, etc.
The list features 10 Broncos, eight Chargers, five Raiders and three Chiefs. Coincidentally, that is the order of the division standings halfway through the season.
Let’s point out some picks of note. Some may be surprised to see Denver defensive lineman Kevin Vickerson on the list. If you talked to NFL scouts, you wouldn’t be. He’s been strong.
I really like this group of linebackers. I wanted to find a place for the Chiefs’ Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson, but I felt like I needed to get San Diego’s Donald Butler, Oakland's Philip Wheeler and Denver’s Wesley Woodyard on the list. Again, this was a very tough position to choose from.
This isn’t a great year for returners in the division. I was going to go with San Diego’s Richard Goodman, but he is out for the season. Holliday returned a touchdown for a score in Week 9, so he’s your winner despite playing just three games with Denver.
On to the list. I’m sure you’ll have a lot to say in the comments section below.