AFC West: Matt Casel

AFC West: More or Less

June, 19, 2012
6/19/12
12:00
PM ET
AFC More or Less: East | West | North | South NFC: East | West | North | South

After running the numbers, ESPN.com pro football writer John Clayton arrived at a win total for every team in the division for 2012. Is the figure too high, too low or spot on?

DENVER BRONCOS: I’m not surprised Clayton has Denver pegged to win the most games in this division. I think the Broncos will be the favorite to win the division nationally. That’s what happens when a team adds a legend like Peyton Manning.

I think it is a fair number, because the team around Manning is getting better. John Fox is a premier coach and this program is on the rise. I can see Manning being the difference from an 8-8 team in 2011 to a 10-6 outfit in 2012.

The biggest challenge is Denver’s schedule. It is the second-toughest schedule in the NFL, behind the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.

More or less? I think this a fair number.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: The Chargers have been a difficult team to gauge. They have been considered a Super Bowl contender the past several years, but have failed to make the playoffs the past two seasons.

Because of that, they have fallen off the national radar. I don’t think much more than an 8-8 season is expected from San Diego. But I like Clayton’s number.

Any team with Philip Rivers at quarterback has a puncher’s chance. The Chargers were aggressive in free agency and they had a productive draft. If the defense can bounce back, Clayton’s number is attainable.

More or less? I can’t complain about this number, either.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: I have to respectfully -- but vehemently -- disagree with Clayton on this one. While Manning overshadowed the Chiefs this offseason, I think Kansas City had a top-five offseason in the NFL. This roster is stacked.

There are a few holes in Kansas City, but it did get better and it will get back Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry and Tony Moeaki from season-ending knee injuries.

I know why Clayton went low on this one. He probably doesn’t believe in quarterback Matt Cassel. But the Chiefs are so strong around Cassel that I think he should be able to succeed. If this team isn’t decimated by injuries, I see it having a winning record and making a strong playoff run.

More or less? This is way too few wins.

OAKLAND RAIDERS: From 2003 to 2009, the Raiders lost at least 11 games each season, an NFL record for futility. However, in the past two seasons, Oakland has finished a respectable 8-8. I have a difficult time thinking the Raiders will revert to their 11-loss days.

The Raiders have lost some talent, and their additions have been modest. Overall, they are on track for the long-term, though they may have taken a step back in the meantime. Yet I don’t think they will be 5-11. There is too much talent on the roster for that.

More or less? I’d go a game or two higher.

Evening AFC West news and notes

February, 16, 2010
2/16/10
8:25
PM ET
The Seattle Times looks at whether the Seahawks will deal receiver Deion Branch. If so, both Denver and Kansas City could be options. Because of Branch’s ties with both Denver coach Josh McDaniels and Kansas City general manger Scott Pioli. Reuniting with McDaniels likely would be more feasible than Pioli because Branch had a sticky departure from New England. Perhaps Branch could be part of a Brandon Marshall deal between Seattle and Denver.

The Kansas City Star believes Matt Cassel needs a lot of help this season. I couldn’t agree more.

The Oakland Tribune breaks down the Sebastian Janikowski signing.

I hear there has been little communication between San Diego and likely restricted free agent Vincent Jackson about a new deal. Do not take that as a sign of San Diego not being interested in retaining Jackson. It is. It’s just been a slow start like many other free-agent situations around the league.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

AFC WEST SCOREBOARD