Week One AFC West Regular Season Predictions

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 still not healed and other AFC West News and Notes

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.

John Fox and Peyton Manning a marriage made in Heaven?

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.


John Fox and Peyton Manning a marriage made in Heaven?

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.


Oakland Raiders 2012 Fantasy Football Forecast

2012 Oakland Raiders Fantasy Football Guide Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon SMI

This is my fantasy football forecast for the 2012 Oakland Raiders. In this I will tell you who if anyone to draft from the Raiders for your 2012 fantasy football league. As always feel free to leave a comment below.

 

Carson Palmer 2012 Fantasy Football Forecast

Carson Palmer should be a quality backup fantasy football quarterback for your 2012 team. I wouldn't want him as a week to week starter. Palmer is solid but I am not at all sure he fits the new Oakland Raiders offense The new offense requires a mobile passer which Palmer is not. Look for Carson Palmer to throw for 3,100 yards, 21 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in the 2012 NFL season.

 

Darren McFadden 2012 Fantasy Football Forecast

Darren McFadden is by far the best fantasy football player the Oakland Raiders have, if he can stay healthy. McFadden is a workhorse will get lots of couches in 2012 and may be considered an elite NFL runner after this season. Look for Darren McFadden to rush for 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. Expect him to add 35 to 45 catches for another couple of scores.

 

Darius Heyward-Bey 2012 Fantasy Football Forecast

I really like Heyward-Bey to have his breakout NFL season in 2012. This will be his second season with Carson Palmer and I expect them to jell this year. I think Darius Heyward-Bey can become the best receiver in the AFC West if he and Palmer stay healthy. I like Darius Heyward-Bey to bring in 75-80 catches for 1,100 yards and eight to ten scores in 2012.

 

Jacoby Ford 2012 Fantasy Football Forecast

I kind of like Jacoby Ford as a fantasy football sleeper in 2012. Ford has speed to burn and can make big plays in the passing game. I think Jacoby Ford will catch 35-40 balls for 600 yards and five touchdowns. He could be a nice guy to pick off the street to cover a bye for your starter.

 

Denarius Moore 2012 Fantasy Football Forecast

I also like Moore who always seems to come up with some good plays. Moore is an after thought behind Heyward-Bey and that is good for him. Moore should catch 50-55 passes for 900 yards or so and six to eight touchdowns in 2012.

 

Oakland Raiders Defense/Special Teams 2012 Fantasy Football Forecast

The Raiders defense may produce some sacks but don't look for a large amount of turnovers in 2012. This is a solid unit but nothing spectacular. However the Raiders return game can provide some pop for your special teams/defense.

Ryan Matthews injured and other AFC West News and Notes

Ryan Matthews is out four to six weeks. Photo by Tom Croke ICON/SMI

Many thanks for reading my AFC West News and Notes written on August 10, 2012. This will cover whatever is going on with each team in the division and my take on it. As always feel free to leave a comment below.

San Diego Chargers News and Notes

Running back Ryan Matthews will miss four to six weeks with a broken clavicle. Matthews was injured in the Chargers, Packers preseason game. Look for a running back by committee approach with Ronnie Brown and company. Cedric Benson is the only quality back available and he is probably signing with the Packers. The team wouldn't want to add a veteran with Matthews only out a few weeks.

Lee looked good in relief of Rivers in the 21 to 13 win over the Packers. But as happens in every preseason some team lost a starter for a significant amount of time. I have been touting Matthews all offseason to have a great season. Let's hope he can recover and do just that. Chargers offensive tackle Marcus McNeil is probably going to retire due to a spinal injury.

Denver Broncos News and Notes

Peyton Manning made his Denver Broncos debut in a 31 to 3 preseason win over the Chicago Bears. Manning looked sharp for the most part completing four of seven passes but did toss a pick. Rookie Osweiler also completed four of seven and had a touchdown pass

Linebacker Keith Brooking has signed a one year deal with the Broncos. Brooking has 14 seasons under his belt with the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys. John Fox and Jack Del Rio are very familiar with Brooking and think he will help the depth of the linebackers.

Oakland Raiders News and Notes

The Raiders will be playing the Dallas Cowboys next Monday Night. Raider's fans hope the team can regain that old Monday Night Football magic, even if it's a preseason game. Running back Mike Goodson spent some time in the hospital after a big hit in practice but is ok and will return to action soon.

Backup quarterback Terrelle Pryor lost his father and also a mentor during the same week. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Pryor and his family in these tough times.

Kansas City Chiefs News and Notes

Dwayne Bowe has reportedly agreed to sign his tender contract with the Chiefs. That means Bowe will be in camp and is ready to play this season with the team. Bowe will return to free agency next season.

WFNZ sports radio show host Marc James from "The Drive" keeps promoting the Chiefs as a dark horse team to make a run in the playoffs. James is out of Charlotte North Carolina and is actually an Oakland Raiders fan.

 

Kansas City Chiefs Fantasy Football Forecast

Photo of Jamaal Charles by Jeff Moffett/Icon SMI

This is fantasy football forecast for the Kansas City Chiefs and the 2012 NFL season. I will give my opinion on some of the Chiefs and whether or not they should be taken in your fantasy football draft. Feel free to ask me any fantasy football questions in the comments below.

 

Matt Cassel Fantasy Football Forecast

I like Cassel in fantasy football only as a backup or to be used when he has a very favorable matchup. Cassel is a game manager type with few weapons in the passing game. Cassel can be accurate and won't throw a lot of picks but this Chiefs offense is a ground and pound attack and won't be throwing the ball often.

 

Jamaal Charles Fantasy Football Forecast

Jamaal Charles is coming off a knee injury that cost him most of the 2011 NFL season. While Charles is a great running back he may not be a great fantasy football player. Charles just does not score enough to be an elite fantasy football running back. The fact that he is not a goal line type of back hurts him in fantasy football. I do like him as a starter but not as the first back you take unless the cupboard is very bare.

 

Peyton Hillis Fantasy Football Forecast

Peyton Hillis could be a fantasy football sleeper or a bust, it depends on him. Hillis signed a one year deal to show what he can do after a very strange year in Cleveland in 2011. Hillis fought sickness and reportedly a desire to retire and was a true victim of the "Madden Curse".  This offense is made for Hillis who is a good power back. Hillis may get more carries early in the season as the team brings Jamaal Charles back from injury.

 

Dwayne Bowe Fantasy Football Forecast

First Dwayne Bowe needs to get to camp but when he does I expect a huge fantasy football season from him. With Bowe being a free agent again next year look for him to put up some good numbers to show teams what he offers. I love using fantasy football players in a contract year as they put out the most effort at that time. I also like Steve Breaston as a backup or starter in multiple receiver leagues.

 

Ryan Succop Fantasy Football Forecast

I love Succop as a fantasy football kicker though I have some bias as he is from my home county. But Succop is accurate and teams who stress running the ball in the modern NFL tend to kick lots of field goals.

 

Kansas City Chiefs Defense/Special Teams Fantasy Football Forecast

I like the Chiefs defense to have plenty of sack from their 3-4 base but not a large number of interceptions. The team needs better defensive backs but the return of Eric Berry will help. The Chiefs should be solid in the return game and I would have no problem using this defense/special teams unit on my fantasy football team.

San Diego Chargers Fantasy Football Forecast

Gates can still score and is a good fantasy football tight end. Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon SMI

This is a discussion of fantasy football players on the San Diego Chargers for the 2012 NFL season. I will tell you which ones to pick and if there are any to stay away from. I do advise that fantasy football owners not load up on players from their favorite team unless they are really good players. If you team has a bad game then you are hurting on your fantasy team as well as your usual favorite.

 

Phillip Rivers Fantasy Football Forecast

Phillip Rivers is coming off a subpar season in a fantasy sense as well as in real football. I love Rivers as a backup or if you need a starter and most elite fantasy quarterbacks are gone. I just sense that Norv Turner has lost this team and they will not do well in 2012. The fact that Rivers is missing his best weapon in Vincent Jackson does not help River's cause. I predict Phillip Rivers will throw for about 3,900 yards, 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 2012.

 

Ryan Matthews Fantasy Football Forecast

I do love Ryan Matthews in fantasy football in 2012 and may even pick him as my first running back if he is there. Matthews has been improving and I think Turner will feed him the ball in 2012. The above mentioned lack of weapons in the passing game will help Matthews get more opportunities.

 

Antonio Gates Fantasy Football Forecast

Once an elite fantasy football tight end Antonio Gates has been slowed by injuries in recent seasons. Still I like that Gates has a nose for the end zone as he showed with seven scores last year. Gates is worthy of a starting role in fantasy football as long as he stays healthy in 2012.

 

Malcom Floyd Fantasy Football Forecast

Malcom Floyd is a rare deep threat wide receiver in today's dink and plink NFL. Floyd averaged almost 20 yards per catch in 2011. I like Floyd as a starter especially in three wideout offenses. However as the top receiver in San Diego now, he will have to face the best corner on each team.

 

San Diego Chargers Defense/Special Teams Fantasy Football Forecast

The Chargers have a decent return game but I don't like their defense much in regards to them starting in fantasy football. This is an aging defense that does not force many turnovers. I advise staying away from this defense unless they play very well early or you are desperate.

Denver Broncos Fantasy Football Discussion

Photo of Peyton Manning by Zuma Press/Icon SMI

This is my discussion of the Denver Broncos fantasy football players for the 2012 NFL season. If you are a fan of the Broncos and want to use some of them on your fantasy football team then read on. To tell the truth I don't really recommend loading up your fantasy team with players from your favorite team. I will now list my picks from the Denver Broncos to be good fantasy football players in 2012.

 

Peyton Manning

 

I am not sold on Peyton Manning being healthy for the entire 2012 NFL season and feel he was in decline when he last played for the Colts. Then again that terrible team may well have made Manning look less than stellar.

 

Peyton Manning is running his own offense like he did in Indy and that will help him. Look for the team to be a little flat at first as they get used to that offense. I would draft Peyton Manning if the elite fantasy football quarterbacks are off the board but make sure you have a good second stringer.

 

Demaryius Thomas

 

I actually think Demaryius Thomas will be the best fantasy football player on the Denver Broncos. Thomas came on late last year with big games while playing with Tim Tebow. Manning is already raving about Thomas's size.

 

If Peyton Manning stays healthy I think Demaryius Thomas can catch 80 balls for 1,200 yards and 10 to 12 touchdowns in 2012.  I thought he would have a breakout season no matter the quarterback.

 

Willis McGahee

 

Willis McGahee found the fountain of youth in Denver last year but it may have dried up. McGahee will share more carries this season and not be such a feature pounder. With Peyton Manning running the show McGahee may be fresher due to less carries but I wouldn't want him as my first RB on a fantasy football team.

 

Eric Decker

 

I like Eric Decker as an option in multiple wide receiver leagues or as a backup to use when your guy is on his bye. Decker is a hard worker and Peyton Manning tends to reward that. And Decker smells the endzone and  could catch 65 balls for 900 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.

 

Matt Prater

 

Prater got a nice new contract and he can be a very good fantasy football kicker for your team. He is accurate and the team scoring will go up if Manning stays healthy.

 

Denver Broncos Defense/Special Teams

 

I like the Broncos defense though it may start out slow in 2012. The team switched from the 3-4 to the 4-3 under new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. This defense will get plenty of sacks but probably not a large number of interceptions. I am not in love with the Broncos return game but it could be ok.

Manning in camp and other AFC West News and Notes

Peyton Manning Denver Bronco photo by Zumapress/Icon SMI

Thanks for reading this addition of News and Notes for the AFC West. This post was written on July 29th 2012. If you are getting fired up about the upcoming NFL season don't forget our friends at Schoolofthelegends.com where you can interact with current and former players.

 

Denver Broncos News and Notes

 

The Broncos set an attendance record when over 4,300 fans showed up at training camp to watch Peyton Manning in a walk through practice. Manning looked sharp but keep in mind it WAS a walk through. The Broncos have now signed all their draft picks and gotten them into camp.

The shooting victims from Aurora are still on the minds of the NFL players. Former Bronco Tim Tebow who lived very close to that theatre has pledged some support for the victims. Carolina Panther wide receiver Steve Smith has pledged $100,000 to help the people involved in the tragedy.

 

Kansas City Chiefs News and Notes

 

The Chiefs have signed their first round bust, err pick to his rookie contract. Sorry folks I just don't think the Chiefs needed a project like Dontari Poe who didn't even dominate small college competition.Chiefs fans are disgruntled with Matt Cassel but I think they need to cut him some slack. It's not like he has had a lot of help while playing for the Chiefs. The team needs to get Bowe into camp soon so he can get ready. I think Bowe needs to be there to prepare for his chance to excel before being a free agent next year.

 Oakland Raiders News and Notes

The Oakland Raiders have traded backup wide receiver Louis Murphy to the Carolina Panthers for a seventh round draft pick. Murphy played well in spots for Oakland but has had some hamstring injuries. Darius Heyward-Bey pled no contest to a DUI charge in exchange for getting probation, fines and DUI classes instead of jail.

Offensive lineman coach and former player Steve Wisniewski has resigned from the coaching staff. Apparently the team will keep him on as an ambassador. The starting center for the Raiders is Wisniewski's nephew.

San Diego Chargers News and Notes

Quarterback Kyle Boller signed with the Chargers, stayed one day and retired. Boller may have made the team since Charlie Whitehurst injured his knee. Look for Billy Volek to be brought back. I always got the feeling though that Volek is unpopular with coaches and maybe teammates.

Charlie Whitehurst was a flop in Seattle and I questioned the team even bringing him back. I think it is a situation of him knowing the offense and not needing a lot of reps. If Rivers goes down the team is hosed anyway.