Part 7- The Preview for the AFC West Division.
Prices- (Division Winner)
• Denver Broncos $1.25
• San Diego Chargers $6
• Kansas City Chiefs $7.50
• Oakland Raiders $31
Under/Over regular Season wins
• Denver 11.5 wins Over 2.00, Under $1.82
• San Diego Chargers 7.5 wins over $2.00, under $1.83
• Kansas City Chiefs 7.5 wins Over $1.71, Under $2.15
• Oakland Raiders 5 wins Over $1.77, Under $2.15
Gargy- Denver win this division and they do it fairly easily, Manning will look better throwing to Wes Welker, they are solid all over the park. Dont worry that their best defensive player (Von Miller) wont be there for the first 4 games. They play the AFC South who are dreadful and cross over to the NFC East who are always a mixed bag. 12 wins is a lot of wins but given their schedule I am taking the $2, shirt?
Shirt- Homer opens the door to find a football team on his front lawn – they are bumbling idiots, dropping balls, wearing their helmets backwards etc. Homer: “Aw, the Denver Broncos”. Marge: ”I think owning the Denver Broncos is pretty good!” Homer: (Despondent) “Yeah yeah”. Marge: “Well explain to me why it isn’t?” Homer: “You just don’t understand football, Marge” If that little intro didn’t have you rolling on the floor laughing, conjuring up some fabulous memories, then you sir, are a philistine (or one of those Gen Y people I’ve been hearing so much about). That is of course the final scene from the fabulous Season 8 episode of The Simpsons which hit screens back in the 90’s. Things were simpler then. The Denver Broncos certainly were. And it wasn’t that long ago that they, (along with the rest of this division, let’s be honest) were the laughing stock of the NFL. That all changed of course, firstly when on the back of awesome defence they managed to sneak into the playoffs 2 years ago and Tim F*cking Tebow won them a few games, and then when their GM, the great John Elway gambled on an injured Peyton Manning to recover from career threatening neck surgery and take the team to the next level. And did he ever. They were one hail Mary away from a superbowl appearance last year (don’t get me started about the positioning of their safety on that play), and there’s little to suggest that they won’t be there or thereabouts again with Manning already in devastating form. They are a certainty to win the division, and can probably pull out 12+ wins, though I think there are better bets around than the $2.
Gargy-The chargers had a negative season (7-9) last year and it was their first ordinary year for quite a while. Phillip Rivers has been around for a long time, but I do not rate him. I think they will be in the range of 6-8 wins, but I think I am on unders, shirt you?
Shirt- The Chargers must lift this year – they’ve got a new coach in Mike McCoy and a new GM. If they don’t turn it around this year, the next man to go must be pretty boy QB Phil Rivers. Rivers has been, for all his promise, a bit of a bust for mine. And if you don’t think that the Chargers management don’t still have nightmares about trading away Drew Brees to the Saints to make room for this guy you are a lunatic. Having said that, he is a good player, and if the defence can get their sh!t together and Rivers can get some O-line protection, I am predicting them to have a better year this year and go 8+. I may be talking through my kick though as I backed them in a preseason game over the Cardinals (who were favourites!?) and cleaned up. The biggest challenge is figuring out where the wins come from, with a division that includes the Broncos and (I predict) a resurgent Chiefs outfit. On the plus side the rest of their schedule looks relatively winnable.
Gargy- The Kansas City Chiefs. I like them to improve and improve a lot. Last year they were awful but still had 5 pro bowlers, and while shirt will poke fun and say the pro bowl is an absolute waste of time and a joke, the fact remains they have quality players. They have been able to add the #1 draft pick to an already strong O-line, they now have a QB in Alex Smith- who I think is a good QB and new coach Andy Reid who is a good coach. I think they are a chance of a wildcard spot, I like to go over 7.5 wins. Shirt?
Shirt- With all the backups, unavailables and such like, it seems to me that there are almost as many players selected for pro-bowl as missing out. And the actual game, don’t even get me started on what a farcical waste of time that is [A free punting tip while I’m on the topic of the pro-bowl (punting advice on a punting blog, who’d have thunk it)….always take the overs in the Pro-bowl game. They are invariably a scoreathon, since it is easier for a good QB to throw to a good receiver on the fly than it is for a bunch of good defenders to work together when their preparation consists of sketching schemes on the back of bar napkins.] Almost every team has a few probowlers, so that don’t impress me much, but the Chiefs as a betting proposition certainly do. They have Andy Reid, they have Alex Smith, but even without these two stellar changes, the biggest factor in their favour is probability. Last year they had a shocking record in getting “the rub of the green”. Anything that could go against them, did, and if you don’t believe me check out the very detailed, very excellent work of the great Bill Barnwell (my pick for the best stats man in football) here (please don’t dump us for Grantland and come on back…). For that reason alone, they are 7+ wins this year. Add in the smarts of Reid and the solidity of Smith and they are a 9+ team.
Gargy- The Oakland Raiders, they were a bad side last year, I don’t see anything changing- I think they will be a bad side this year. They have a crap stadium, they dont have cash to build a new one, why dont they move back to LA? They wont win more than 5 games. Shirt why doesnt LA have a football team?
Shirt- You’re potting them based on the quality of their Stadium, Gargy? That’s a new one! “I think they will struggle this year based on the poor parking arrangements and sub standard food available at the concession stands”. Crappy stadium notwithstanding, they also have a fanatical fan base, owing largely, I suspect, to the fact there is f*ck all else to do in Oakland other than paint your face and support your team. LA doesn’t have a football team because every time they get a chance to support one, they f*ck it up and don’t turn up. F*ck ‘em – the fickle, apathetic glameratzi don’t deserve a team, even one as bad as the Raiders. And they are bad, don’t you worry about that. Where they are getting their 6 wins from to return a paltry $1.77 is anyone’s guess. They lose 6 just in the division alone. Take the $2.15 and start speculating on who they take with their high draft pick next year.