I think the Raiders fans will be happy after week one. Photo by Icon Sports Media
These are my week one of the regular season, AFC West predictions. I will give a prediction and breakdown for each game a member of the division plays in week one of the 2012 NFL regular season. Since it's a bit early I reserve the right to change a game prediction due to injury or trade tipping the balance.
Atlanta Falcons at the Kansas City Chiefs Prediction
The Falcons have gone all in for a Super Bowl run this season and they visit the underrated Chiefs in week one. This will be a good test for the Falcons as they come to Arrowhead Stadium where it's always tough to play.
I like the Falcons to win this one because of all the offensive firepower they bring to the table. Dez White and Julio Jones bring too much for the Chiefs to defend. Of course Tony Gonzalez will be looking to play well against his former team.
The Chiefs will be able to run against Atlanta so I expect the score to be close. I like the Falcons to win 24 to 17.
San Diego Chargers at the Oakland Raiders Prediction
This is the first AFC West division matchup of the 2012 season as the Chargers come to visit the Raiders. The Chargers are banged up on the offensive line and may or may not have Ryan Matthews. The Raiders are installing a new offense that does not fit Carson Palmer very well.
I like the Oakland Raiders to beat the San Diego Chargers by the score of 17 to 13. I just think the Chargers will come out flat in the first week and maybe for the entire season. Oakland has a strong enough running game and defense to pop the Chargers in week one.
Pittsburgh Steelers at the Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning's regular season debut as a Denver Bronco will be a true test as they host the Steelers. Peyton Manning is rumored to have trouble throwing to his right and hasn't played a real game in over a year. The Steelers are installing a new offense and want to establish the run like they did in yesteryear.
The Steelers will come into Denver with a chip on their shoulder and will blitz from all over the field to try to rattle Peyton Manning. I like the Steelers to knock off the Broncos 21 to 13 in Denver. I just don't see Denver being able to match up well with Pittsburgh in week one.
Peyton Manning has problems throwing to the right. Photo by Daniel Gluskoter/Icon SMI
Thanks for checking out the AFC News and Notes written on August 26th 2012. This will cover what is going on with each AFC West team. As always please feel free to post questions or comments below. Also don't forget to check out or friends at Schoolofthelegends.com for the best NFL player interaction on the internet.
Oakland Raiders News and Notes
Terrell Pryor played well recently against the second team Detroit Lions defense during a preseason game. I think Pryor can do well in this offense that requires a mobile quarterback once he gets more experience under his belt. As I predicted several times on this blog Carson Palmer has NOT been a good fit in this system. I think you need to use a system that your quarterback can do well. Forcing an immobile quarterback to try to roll out and pass on the run is not a good idea.
Kansas City Chiefs News and Notes
The Chiefs looked very flat in a blowout loss to former division rival Seattle in their preseason game. I don't play a lot of attention to preseason other than injuries and sloppy penalty filled play. But the Chiefs at least need to give some effort to get in mental shape for the season.
Tamba Hall has been suspended for a game and fined a game check for a second game for failing a drug test. The Pro Bowl linebacker needs to get his prorates in order if he wants to stay in the NFL. Dwayne Bowe reportedly came into camp after his holdout in top physical shape, which is good news for Chiefs fans.
San Diego Chargers News and Notes
The Chargers offensive line is banged up which led to the benching of Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates for the Vikings preseason game. Wide receiver Vincent Brown broke his ankle but he could return before the end of the regular season. The Chargers need all the receiver help they can get.
Defensive tackle Garrett Brown will miss the first four regular season games while serving a drug suspension. Running back Ryan Matthews targets the first game for his return from a broken shoulder.
Denver Broncos News and Notes
Peyton Manning is having trouble getting zip on the ball when throwing to his right. This will hurt the Broncos in a huge way if it continues in the regular season. Teams will load up coverage on Manning's "Good" side. And if Manning does throw to the right with no velocity then it will lead to interceptions on that side.
However if anyone can overcome a problem like this it is Peyton Manning. Being a coach on the field shows that Manning is very smart and he can outfox some people when he has to.
Fox and Del Rio will have the defense in shape . Photo by Warren Wimmer Icon SMI
Was the John Fox and Peyton Manning marriage made in Heaven?
Maybe not at lest from Fox's point of view. As a North Carolina resident and Carolina Panther's
fan, I have followed John Fox pretty closely during his coaching stay there.
John Fox probably wanted Peyton Manning more than he did Tim
Tebow but not much more. John Fox will appreciate that Manning is a veteran
that don't take much coaching. The Broncos probably owe Peyton Manning for
letting them get rid of Tebow without a bunch of media and fan backlash. Who
can fault them for trading Tebow when you have Manning?
The problem John Fox will have is letting Peyton Manning
call the shots and actually be the offensive coordinator. Fox is old school and
he wants to win with defense and the running game.
Of course Peyton Manning wants to win with passing the ball
all over the yard at times mixed in with a strong running game. Apparently
Manning was assured he could coach the offense before he even signed with the
Denver Broncos. I am sure that came from John Elway and Fox had nothing to do
with that call.
Part of John Fox's reluctance to pass the ball in Carolina may have come
from subpar quarterbacks. Jake Delhomme and Jimmy Clausen are hardly elite NFL
passers. Still it is plain by all the third down and long draw plays that Fox
is very conservative.
With Peyton Manning at the helm John Fox will have to bite
his nails while the ball is in the air often. I really think Fox is willing to
put up with this to show that he can coach and to show up the Panthers for
letting him go. It got ugly between Fox and the Panthers towards the end and
the quick hire by Denver
shows that Fox is respected in some NFL circles still.
The Denver Broncos 2012 season depends on the health of
Peyton Manning. If Manning is healthy he can win games even if his physical skills
have declined. Fox and new defensive coach Jack Del Rio will have the defense
in good shape to help out Manning.
The AFC does not have a dominant team in my opinion and if
the Broncos make the playoffs they could have a Super Bowl run in them. It is
possible Manning is even better than the average fan thinks. He played on a
clearly terrible Colts team and had them in contention. The Broncos have much
more talent than what Manning had with him for his last season or two.
If the Broncos are successful then the Manning and Fox
marriage will be a good one. If not then Fox will probably lose another job as
the Broncos start all over soon. Only time will tell.