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With the 2008 NFL season right around the corner, it’s time to predict how each division will pan out. Let’s take a look at the AFC West.
1.San Diego Chargers: This team took down the Colts, albeit without Marvin Harrison and Dwight Freeney, and gave the Patriots a run for their money in the AFC Championship without LaDainian Tomlinson and with a hobbled Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates. The Chargers’ roster is filled with Pro Bowlers and they have two of the best defensive players in the league in Shawne Merriman and Antonio Cromartie. Merriman could miss the season with a knee injury, but the Chargers will still fare very well, even without him. This is all but a lock.
2.Denver Broncos: The Broncos have some good players and a bright future on offense, but the defense is aging and the overall roster doesn’t look like a playoff team. Jay Cutler is one of the league’s up-and-coming studs, as is his favorite target Brandon “Baby T.O.” Marshall. These two guys should be hooking up for big gains for the next decade if Marshall can stay out of trouble. The backfield situation is unclear as usual, but probably won’t matter much if history is an indication.
3.Oakland Raiders: The Raiders still have a ways to go, but they should definitely make some strides this season. There is a chance that they’ll finish second in the division due to their defense and soft schedule, but I just wasn’t prepared to make that my official prediction. The team has perhaps the best secondary in the league aside from the Dallas Cowboys and the defensive unit as a whole should be pretty stingy. The offense is young and lacks receivers, but both JaMarcus Russell and Darren McFadden have the potential to be superstars and guys who sell loads of NFL tickets. Look for Russell to take some steps in the right direction by using tight end Zach Miller early and often in games. McFadden should outshine supposed starter Justin Fargas and earn the starting gig by the end of the season.
4.Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs have a bright future and had one of the best rebuilding drafts I’ve ever seen, but they’re just not ready to contend as of now. The Chiefs nabbed the best defensive player in the draft in Glenn Dorsey, who should be dominant as long as he can stay healthy. I do think that Brodie Croyle is a quality player and will develop into a starting caliber signal caller in the NFL, but I also believe that Larry Johnson is out of gas and will never return to Pro Bowl form.
Morgan C. Dunn wrote this article in association with StubHub. If you are looking for NFL tickets, sports tickets, theatre tickets, concert tickets, or any other kinds of tickets, StubHub.com is one of the best places to find them.