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Old 08-03-2003, 04:12 AM   #1
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's 2003 Picks: AFC West

1. OAKLAND RAIDERS (10-6): It looks like the stack of high draft choices they obtained for Jon Gruden (the last time something like this will ever happen because the NFL has since banned trades for coaches) comes just in time to prevent them from sliding significantly; sooner or later they're going to have to find a successor to Rich Gannon, but he still should have at least one more productive year left, and his receivers may be diverse in age but they're monotonous in talent. Defense is also a wacky mix of the very old and the very young, yet it remains both a cohesive and tough unit. May not be head and shoulders above the AFC's madding crowd, but they definitely must be considered a part of it.

2. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (10-6): Have gone from 1-15 to 5-11 to 8-8 in just two years, although gnarly late-season fades in both 2001 and '02 take away much of the luster; but David Boston is on hand to spice up an offense that already boasts one of the league's premiere runners in LaDanian Tomlinson, and defense in general and pass defense in particular can't possibly be as bad as last year's numbers, can it? Once again the team to catch in the division, if not the conference as a whole - and just might forget to slam on those brakes this time around.

3. DENVER BRONCOS (8-8): How Jake Plummer represents any upgrade over Brian Griese is a mystery, although the mile-high elevation will serve to mask Plummer's weak arm; he's got some nice receivers in his new surroundings too, and this team never seems to be short of quality running backs no matter how many of them get hurt. But the bottom line is that Plummer is 3-28 lifetime against teams with winning records, and the defense looks great on the stat sheet but tends to crack in crucial situations. They're still trying to craft a post-Elway identity, and chances are they won't find one this year either; others excite more.

4. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (7-9): Spent mucho bucks over the spring in an effort to bolster woeful defense, but you don't always get what you pay for (see Washington) and RB Priest Holmes and WR Sylvester Morris both have injury clouds hanging over their heads. So Trent Green might have to carry the whole team, and one wonders what he can do for an encore after performing so brilliantly in 2002; longshot.
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Old 08-03-2003, 05:53 PM   #2
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I see it this way:

1. Chargers (12-4)
2. Broncos (11-5)
3. Raiders (9-7)
4. Chiefs (8-8)

Chargers are finally going to make the playoffs. I really like their offense now with Brees, Tomlinson, and Boston. Holmes will have a year similar to James did last year (mediocre) after a serious injury.
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Old 08-04-2003, 12:30 PM   #3
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Chargers pick up Lorenzo Neal, so Tomlinson might be even better now if that is possible. Marty is a good regular season coach, and I like the Chargers to make the playoffs this seaon.

Raiders should contend for the playoffs with that offense they have, one would wonder how they will bounce back after that Super Bowl loss.

Broncos secondary will be their downfall, but they are very good against the run. It is time to show whether or not Plummer is actually an effective starting QB in the league.

Chiefs have an explosive offense obviously, and even with the pickups of Barber and Mccleon it won't be good enough to get them to the playoffs. Once again I talk about secondaries, and their's is lousy.

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Old 08-11-2003, 05:47 PM   #4
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Anyone else want to comment on the AFC West? This division was arguably the toughest in the NFL last season and only two people commented on it. One team to watch out for, even though I had them finishing last, is the Chargers because they already have the high-powered offense and they did a lot to improve their defense in the offseason with the acquiring of Vonnie Holliday, etc.
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Old 08-11-2003, 05:50 PM   #5
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I see teh Chargers getting better but they still have arent there yet. Brees is still inexperienced and overall they are a very young team. I see them improving dramatically but not beating out the Raiders.
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Old 08-12-2003, 12:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marc
Anyone else want to comment on the AFC West? This division was arguably the toughest in the NFL last season and only two people commented on it. One team to watch out for, even though I had them finishing last, is the Chargers because they already have the high-powered offense and they did a lot to improve their defense in the offseason with the acquiring of Vonnie Holliday, etc.

Maybe you've been working a bit too hard, Marc? Vonnie Holliday signed with the Chiefs, not the Chargers! (Don't feel too bad, though; when I started to post my AFC North picks I included a remark about Dwayne Rudd, not realizing that he had gone to Tampa Bay as a free agent over the spring. It's definitely not like it was when I was growing up - with free agency, there are entirely too many transactions going on to keep up with them all!).
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Old 08-13-2003, 12:45 PM   #7
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For some reason I just really have a good feel about Chiefs and I think they could surprise a lot of people. I like what they have on defense now, although it's nothing world beating. I also like the insurance plan that Larry Johnson gives them, should Priest go down.

As for my Broncos, I honestly believe they can make a run into the playoffs since IMHO, Jake Plummer is a savior to some extent, and the running game is potent as ever with Portis. The secondary is something that worries me and especially with 2 games against Gannon, Green and the ever improving Hasselbeck. Deltha will make big plays as usual, but sometimes he's just not really with it at all. The other side of the secondary will be totally shaky, as either Lenny Walls or Jimmy Spencer is to be starting at right corner.
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Old 08-13-2003, 01:05 PM   #8
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Seattle plays in the NFC West, so Denver no longer plays Seattle and the ever improving Hasselbeck twice a year. As a matter of fact Denver does not play Seattle at all this year. But they do have 2 games against Gannon and Green like you said, then add in Brees to Boston as their last opponent in which they play twice within the division.

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Old 08-13-2003, 03:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by I OWN THIS
Seattle plays in the NFC West, so Denver no longer plays Seattle and the ever improving Hasselbeck twice a year. As a matter of fact Denver does not play Seattle at all this year. But they do have 2 games against Gannon and Green like you said, then add in Brees to Boston as their last opponent in which they play twice within the division.

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Old 08-17-2003, 05:07 AM   #10
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Marc, those picks would put the division average at 10-6. Has that ever been done? I think more likely at least one team will dissappoint and become the division whipping boy.
Not the Raiders with that many vets that know how to win. I would say most likely the Chiefs with their star RB suspect and defense that "hopes" to improve. Denver seems nearly unstoppable at times and then just suddenly fall apart so maybe the division headcase will drop out of it, but I don't see these teams (while very good) beating up on the rest of the league that badly.
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Old 08-17-2003, 09:45 AM   #11
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To answer your question, Fallfever: In 1984, Denver won the AFC West with a record of 13-3, while your Seahawks were 12-4, the Raiders finished 11-5, the Chiefs 8-8, and the Chargers 7-9. As a whole, the division went 31-9 in games outside the division - this is an NFL record.

Of course that was a five-team division; in the four-team AFC Central of 1975, Pittsburgh won it at 12-2, with Cincinnati finishing second (and making the playoffs as a wild card) at 11-3, and the then Houston Oilers were third at 10-4, the best record ever to finish third in a four-team division. Unfortunately Cleveland "spolied" things by going 3-11.
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Old 08-18-2003, 10:40 AM   #12
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I think..

1. Raiders (10-6)
2. Broncos (10-6)
3. Chargers (9-7)
4. Chiefs (8-8)
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Old 08-26-2003, 11:52 AM   #13
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1. Oakland (tie)
1. Kansas City (tie)
3. San Diego
4. Denver
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Old 08-26-2003, 01:57 PM   #14
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1. Chargers
2. Oakland
3. Denver
4. Kansas City
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Old 08-26-2003, 03:04 PM   #15
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1. Denver
2. Oakland
3. Chargers
4. Kansas City
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