Sunday, July 26, 2009

AFC West/Chiefs Season Preview

You could make an argument that the Chiefs had the biggest offseason of any team in the AFC. Acquiring Matt Cassel from the Patriots for a 2nd round pick.

Other than Cassel, the Chiefs have more holes on offense than most teams in the NFL. But as we head in to Training Camp, we can allow ourselves to dream (hell, it worked with the Royals in March). In my mind, the AFC West can be won with a 9-7 record this year. A .500 team won it last year...

The Chargers are definitely better than 8-8, I could see them going 9-7, but with the West playing the NFC East this year, I doubt it. LT is likely to continue breaking down. If he has a repeat performance of his 2007 season, then he is officially a freak of nature.

The Broncos are without a quarterback. Yes, Kyle Orton is a decent QB, but I doubt he can help the Broncos defense, which is almost as bad as the Chiefs.

The Raiders. Ha, oh the Raiders. Al Davis continues his "commitment to excellence" by drafting Darius Heyward-Bey, a guy who was predicted to go in the 2nd round, but drafted because he ran a 4.3 40 yd dash. Jamarcus Russel has one season to prove that he isn't a bust, but I think we already know the answer to that question. Tom Cable as head coach? Yikes. Just when you think things have gotten as bad as they can be, just remember, at least we're not the Raiders.

On to the Chiefs. If Matt Cassel can lead this offense like Tyler Thigpen did in some games last year, then I think the Chiefs have a winning 5 games. If this team is going to win more than 5 games this year, the defense has to have a complete turnaround. Heres the good news, we only have to worry about three down-linemen instead of four this year! The combo of Jackson, Dorsey, Boone doesn't sound scary, but lets not forget that Dorsey and Jackson wreaked havoc on the SEC two years ago. Maybe Jackson's prescence is what could bring out the beast in Glenn Dorsey. Tamba Hali's move to outside linebacker is a smart move. I think the move to the 3-4 also takes pressure off of Derrick Johnson. Look folks, just because his first name is Derrick, does not mean this guy will ever be like Derrick Thomas. Mike Vrabel and Zach Thomas give this linebacking corps an All-Pro look rather than a journeyman look.

On to the secondary. The cornerbacks were ok last year, Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr are future stars in this league, no doubt, but the problem lies in our safeties. Bernard Pollard and Jarrad Page looked lost last year and more concerned with de-cleating people than breaking up passes and disrupting routes. The addition of Mike Brown is a perfect move. I know a few Chicago Bears fans, and when I asked them about Mike Brown, they ranted and raved about this guy. In fact, they went as far to say as Brown was the anchor of that Super Bowl defense, not Brian Urlacher. I see Brown as the 3rd safety and a special teamer. But if Page or Pollard continues playing like last year, we could see him switch roles with one of those two. Of course, this is all contingent on Mike Brown staying healthy.

The offensive side of the football raises just as many questions as the denfense. I'll get to that tomorrow along with my prediction of the Chiefs' record and whether or not this is FINALLY the year that we win at Mile High.

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