AFC West Prediction: The Chargers Era Is Over!

For the last few years, the AFC West has been considered one of the weakest divisions in the NFL.  San Diego was the only team that was considered a playoff and Super Bowl contender before the season. 

Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders had the Al Davis-Lane Kiffin Civil War of 2007-08 which followed a two-win season under Art Shell in 2006. 

The Kansas City Chiefs fell into a nose dive which included coaching changes, Priest Holmes' retirement, Tony Gonzalez asking for a trade and receiving one to Atlanta. Let's not forget the Larry Johnson ordeal that left a sour taste in the mouth of Chiefs fans. 

Then the Broncos lost Mike Shanahan to a premature retirement followed by trades of emerging stars Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall.

Yet this year looks different, for better or worse, for all four teams in the division.  Here are my predictions for the AFC West teams in 2010.

1. Oakland Raiders

With such a storied and historic franchise, it is impossible for the Raiders to be bad forever.  Raiders fans have had false hope in the latest off-seasons caused by new coaches or star player signings and blockbuster trades.  This year, many experts agree that the Raiders have got it right. 


Gone is JaMarcus Russell and in comes a new play-caller in Hue Jackson and new quarterback Jason Campbell.  You can look at Campbell’s win-loss record and say he hasn’t done anything or you can look at his stat card and see the progress he has made. 

Last year, he threw for 3,600 yards and 20 TDs with 15 INTs in the Redskins offense.  This year, he has a rising star at TE in Zach Miller and a rejuvenated WR in Darrius Heyward-Bey.  The running backs will combine speed (Darren McFadden) and power (Michael Bush) to give the Raiders an effective ground game.  Article Source: Bleacher Report - Oakland Raiders