AFC West: Offseason offensive grades
There might be some sneaky value in the NFL Odds with some of these teams, so let’s take a brief look into the four teams, and what they will look like when they line up on offense.
What else can be said about the Broncos? This team has the best offense on paper of any team in the NFL by far. They already had a spectacular offense in 2012 despite the lack of rushing. Their offense ranked 4th in total offense, and Peyton Manning was the 2nd ranked quarterback in passer rating only behind Aaron Rodgers.
Not only did they add Wes Welker to an already stacked receiving core, but they drafted Montee Ball to help with a running game that was injured and often underperformed in crucial games. All I know is I would not wish planning for this offense on anyone, and that is why the Broncos are only my second A of the offseason.
My Grade: A
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers were the exact opposite of the Broncos last season. Constant disappointment on an offense was the story for San Diego, who ranked 31st in the NFL in total yards last season, and despite all of that still won seven games. Phillip Rivers had one of the worst seasons of his career, and Ryan “The Glass Man” Matthews was hurt again. Stop me if you have heard this before Charger fans.
They have done some work on their offense this offseason, resigning Danario Alexander, and adding King Dunlap and Max Starks to the offensive line. All in all, I’m still worried about some of their playmakers, but if Matthews finally stays healthy, and Rivers gets the ball accurately to the wealth of receivers they have, this could be a dark horse offense.
My Grade: B
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs may be the most improved team of any in the NFL this season, but it’s easy to improve when you are as bad as the Chiefs were last season. The defense had a lot to do with their improvements as well, but the offensive end will likely flourish under Andy Reid. This team already had talent in Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles, but adding a competent quarterback in Alex Smith, and a genius offense mind of Reid, this team is going to be a sleeper on offense this year.
Despite how bad the Chiefs were a season ago, they still ranked 5th in the NFL in rushing yards behind a stellar comeback effort from Charles that went unnoticed because of the year Adrian Peterson had. I see KC bouncing back big-time this season.
My Grade: B
All this positivity comes to a halt when we get to the Raiders. Even though the addition of Matt Flynn will surely be an upgrade over the play of Carson Palmer a year ago, however other than that, there isn’t much to get excited about on offense for Oakland.
The fact of the matter for Oakland is they have seemingly no leadership. Flynn has never been a starter longer than a day, and he has almost no weapons in the receiving core, and if Darren McFadden can’t stay healthy for this team, they are dead before they even get started. This offseason has been nothing more than average for the Raiders on offense, and that is probably going to reflect on their season. It should be another year of fading the Raiders for our NFL picks.
My Grade: C