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AFC West Power Rankings

Photo by Marc Piscotty/Icon SMI

Here is an early look at how I think the AFC West stacks up. Thanks for checking out my AFC West power rankings compiled on July 8th 2012. Of course with no games being played yet it's hard to tell who the best AFC West team is at this point but I will give it a shot. With the Broncos, Chargers and Raiders finishing at 8-8 and the Chiefs at 7-9 last year, we know the teams are close in talent.

4 Oakland Raiders

This will be the Raiders first full season without Al Davis and his somewhat questionable player moves. The team has new coaches and new systems again and I feel it will take a year to really get comfortable with that

. I am not at all sold on putting Carson Palmer into an offense that requires him to be mobile. I feel that the team should have installed a traditional drop back offense and concentrated on improving pass protection for Palmer.

3 San Diego Chargers

I love Ryan Matthews and expect his best season as a pro. But I think the offense will miss Jackson a great deal at wide receiver. I also sense that Coach Norv Turner has lost the team.

I also wonder how much the fans in San Diego will be behind the Chargers. This team is one of the ones rumored to be moving to Los Angeles. The fans have been lukewarm towards the team as it is. I rank the Chargers number three in my AFC West power rankings

.2 Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs need to get Dwayne Bowe in and happy to be successful but I don't see major problems. The Chiefs are very solid and have a coach they will play for in Romeo Crenel. I am convinced the team tanked some games to get rid of their previous coach last year.

I like the stress on ball control and strong defense. This plays well into Matt Cassel's strengths in not asking him to throw for 350 yards each game. If the Chiefs stay healthy they can make a strong playoff run.

1 Denver Broncos

Heck this team played well for Tim Tebow, Payton Manning will demand they play even better. If and this is a big IF Peyton Manning is healthy and anything like his old self then the Broncos are the class of the AFC West.

I wonder how ultra conservative John Fox will like seeing the ball thrown all over the yard. But Fox now has his beloved 4-3 defense and Jack Del Rio to coach it. The defense may start a little slow but should be good by mid season. I have the Broncos at number one in the AFC West power ranking.