Thursday, September 10, 2015

AFC West: Biggest Questions

        We wrap up our NFL preview with the biggest questions regarding the AFC West. This division features two teams that could be moving to Hollywood by the end of this season. Anyways, here we go!

Denver Broncos: Is the window of opportunity for the Broncos closing? Peyton Manning might be giving his last hurrah this season. If he's truly done, his stats certainly don't show deterioration. He had a rating of 101.5 while throwing for 4,727 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. But he hasn't been the sole reason (Aside from Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders) for why Denver was great last season. Denver ranked third in total defense, allowing 4,883 yards. They also allowed 36.5% of third downs to be converted, fifth lowest in the NFL.
Kansas City Chiefs: Can the receivers step up? The Chiefs lost long-time receiver Dwayne Bowe to Cleveland. However, the Chiefs brought in Jeremy Maclin (85 receptions, 1,310 yards, ten touchdowns) to help boost the receiving corps. Maclin becomes reunited with head coach Andy Reid, who was his head coach in Philadelphia. Kansas City's also hoping that receivers like De'anthony Thomas and Albert Wilson can have bigger roles on the team.
Oakland Raiders: Can Amari Cooper avoid becoming another Raiders receiving bust? The Oakland Raiders haven't been well known for having the best receivers, nor have they been known for franchise quarterbacks. From JaMarcus Russell to Darrius Heyward-Bey, it seems that they've had a hard time finding a receiver or a quarterback with staying power. Good players like Carson Palmer and Zach Miller have bailed for other teams. Oakland's hoping that Amari Cooper and Derek Carr can become the next great QB-WR duo before what could be their last season in the Bay Area.
San Diego Chargers: How much of a difference will Melvin Gordon make? Oakland's not the only AFC team that could potentially be headed to Hollywood. Both Oakland and San Diego are working on possibly sharing a stadium in Carson, California if they can't get new stadiums built in their respective cities. Anyways, the Chargers got a good draft pick (at least on paper) in Melvin Gordon. Gordon ran the ball 631 times for 4,915 yards and 45 touchdowns in his collegiate career with Wisconsin. One thing that the Chargers do need to work on is their discipline; San Diego was the fourth-most penalized team in the NFL on defense with 1,067 penalty yards.

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