AFC West Preview: Chargers Team To Beat, but Raiders Bring Competition

At this point in the offseason, most of the additions by NFL clubs have been made. Obviously, that can change.

Just last season, the Oakland Raiders acquired defensive lineman Richard Seymour by trade only a week before the regular season.  Nevertheless, it's safe to discuss the majority of moves made thus far for any team. 

Here I will focus on the AFC West.

The San Diego Chargers are still the team to beat in the AFC West. 

I won't put on any airs, and instead I will just say for those who don't know that I'm a Raider fan, and I think that the Raiders can compete for a wild-card spot in the AFC.

Kansas City and Denver still seem a mile-and-a-half from contention.


San Diego Chargers

San Diego traded-up in the first round to acquire halfback Ryan Mathews to replace LaDainian Tomlinson.  In recent seasons, the Chargers have asked less from LT because the offense has shifted in favor of the passing game, so some might think that a halfback is inconsequential.

Those are the same people that complained after the Chargers lost to the Ravens because the Chargers gave the ball to Darren Sproles instead of Philip Rivers. This was based on the premise that Rivers was the best player, despite the fact that Sproles had been having a field-day against Baltimore.

Not every "great" player remains respected in the twilight of his career, because not every "great" player was truly great.  It was just a premature perception.  Someone like LT is a great player, regardless of career "lows" in recent years. 

For LT, "low" would be a great season for another player.

Regardless of offensive philosophy, LT still scored 12 touchdowns in 2009. 

Psychologically, a great player like LT still demanded respect from the defense, which conversely means less time is spent studying other playe...

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