SD (13-3). Runaway winners of this division. The Merriman situation could affect their season/overall record, but this division is very weak so they should win regardless of Merriman’s latest crap. Still have a hard time believing in this team come playoff time though because I don’t think Norv Turner is that great. Turner may end up being remembered in San Diego for having the same finishing problem as his predecessor Marty “I’m too stubborn to buy contemporary glasses” Shottenheimer.
KC (8-8). Nobody really knows what to expect from KC. They could totally suck – like 2-14 suck, or they could be 9-7. Something is telling me that with Scott Pioli on board as the new GM, the culture in KC is about to change for the better. But what makes them difficult to predict is the presence of Todd Haley. I’m not sure if he will end up being one of those brilliant coaches who gets it, is refreshingly creative, makes great, gutsy in-game decisions – or if he will end up being the hot-headed hard ass coach who just pisses off good players thinking he’s motivating them until nobody is inspired to play well for him anymore. I think this year, they’ll get some wins just from playing in a weak division, but I think they will also be a strong team at home. I have a hard time believing the following: that KC really wants to waste roster space by continuing to keep 4 QBs, that Brodie “way-too-weak-for-the-NFL-frat-guy” Croyle is the #2 QB over Tyler Thigpen and that some team weak at QB hasn’t come running to the Chiefs to trade for Tyler Thigpen – the guy can play.
Den (5-11). Simply because Josh McDaniels has Bill Belichick tutoring, I can’t help but wonder if he has something sneaky up his sleeve. Maybe this whole nightmare beginning to his head coaching career is some kind of clever ruse. Maybe he and Brandon Marshall faked all this ridiculousness, Marshall will come back and start and score 6 TDs Sunday in Cincinnati. Ok maybe not. But it’s kind of funny to take a minute to think about Belichick and 3 of his main disciples: Charlie Weis, Eric Mangini and Josh McDaniels. All 4 seem to be petty about stuff (injuries, announcing starting QBs) and they all seem to relish controversy while generally surrounding themselves in a similar cloud of negative publicity. Interesting coaching tree.
Oak (4-12). Oakland is not going to be good. Al Davis is a joke and he’s making the team he cared about so much into the joke of the NFL. It’s just really sad. It’s possible this year that someone like Darren McFadden might create some nice highlights, but overall, I’m expecting more frustration for Oakland fans. What’s really sad is that one of the biggest things Raider fans have to look forward to is the possibility of Shane Lechler punting a ball into Jerry Jones’ new ridiculous scoreboard at Cowboy stadium – resulting in the official NFL ruling of, yes, a do-over. Lechler just got a ton of money to stay Oakland so I wouldn’t be surprised if he obliges and gives the fans something to cheer about.
KC: I just don’t see the Chefs getting to 8 wins this year, especially now they don’t have Tony Gonzales.
SD: 13 wins?! I’ll believe it when I see it. They’ve got a tough schedule this year too (AFC North and NFC East). Sure, they’ll win the division, but I think even 10 wins will be a stretch.
DEN: You’ve got to wonder how much of a genius McDaniels is when his QB depth chart reads 1) Kyle Orton, 2) Chris Simms, 3) a rookie. The only good news (for the Broncos) is Tom Brandstater (the rookie QB) looks like he’s got some skills, and will probably be starting either this year or next.
OAK: No prize for predicting 4 wins for the raiders 😉