19 August 2007

NFL previews: AFC West

Denver Broncos

Total wins: 91/2
They won nine last year and look like a lock to improve this year, right? Cutler the starter from day one of camp, upgraded running game, fresh meat on the d-line, what's not to like here?

Let's say four division: sweep Oak, split the other two. Then they play the AFCS: @Ind's a tough break, but they get TN and Jac at home; let's say three there. They should sweep the NFCN, but I'll play it cool and give them three, somebody might pull an upset. That leaves Pit and @Buf, both of which they should win, but again I'll play it close and give them one. That's eleven being conservative; I think they'll really win at least twelve. Over.

Division champ: 3–2
I wish these odds were a little better, but let's face it, their only real competition for this is SD, and they've got Norv Turner this year. What the hell, take it.

SB champ: 17–1
Not at all unrealistic; I can't believe they're getting double-digit odds. SD has Norv, NE has Moss, Ind's defense is gonna be even worse... I think their only real threat in the AFC is Cin, whom I like a lot. And it's worth noting that there's already a generic SB line in Vegas: AFC –7. Take this one, too.

Week one: –4 @Buf
I think they'll win this, but I could see it happening by a field goal. No thanks. Besides, that's enough money on Den.

Full disclosure: I've got family in Denver: my dad's sister lives there. Her whole family are hockey freaks. Avs and DU. I've never even heard them mention football.

Kansas City Chiefs

Total wins: 71/2
Classic middle of the road team, this looks about right. I really liked Herm when he was with NYJ, but without my fan-goggles his flaws are a lot more glaring. When he ran Curtis Martin into the ground you could chalk it up as like, well, the guy's old. When LJ's knees implode the first week in October it'll become a pattern.

I'll give 'em splits across the board in the division. SD could've swept them if the schedule fell right, but they play in Arrowhead in December. I'll say two from the AFCS: lose @Ind, win @Hou, split the other two. I'm stumped as to how they'll match up with the NFCN. They don't have to go to Lambeau, but the do go to Soldier Field. But it's in September. Split those, beat MN, lose @Det, that's two, let's move on. I think they'll lose to Cin and @NYJ, which makes seven. But they could win one of those, that makes eight. Don't bet this line.

Division champ: 10–1
I'm not ruling them out for a wild card, but Den or SD's taking this.

SB champ: 60–1
Only if they get home field throughout the playoffs. Which they won't. So no.

Week one: +1 @Hou
Why on earth are they getting a point? I understand this is basically a pick-'em line, but shouldn't Hou always be the underdog, even at home? Whatever, Johnson'll still be healthy week one, take the Chiefs.

Full disclosure: My brother-in-law loves him some Chiefs, being born and raised in KC n' all. And I like him, so I always kinda root for these guys if they're not playing anybody I care about. But I don't think I'm being biased here; do I seem biased? Is this a 5–11 team waiting to happen? I don't think so.

Oakland Raiders

Total wins: 5
Last year I picked these guys to cover a line of like, six, and have no idea why. Even re-reading my explanation I am no closer to understanding what I was thinking. I do, however, think they'll be better this year. But not by much. It's just hard to lose fourteen games two years in a row.

Tough division; I'll be nice and give 'em one. They could beat KC at home. AFCS? One. Anybody but Ind. They could take two from the NFCN, any two except @GB in December. That leaves Cle and @Mia. Back-to-back. They gotta win ona those. That's five. Don't bother.

Division champ: 10–1
Gimme a break.

SB champ: 75–1
How is this not triple digits?

Week one: –21/2 vDet
I've said before I think Det's gonna win this and I stand by that despite what I wrote above about their chances against the NFCN.

Full disclosure: The Raiders are every headbanger's team by default, so I probably know a bunch of their fans. I hate them because they beat the Jets a few times in the Rich Gannon era.

San Diego Chargers

Total wins: 101/2
It's even harder to win fourteen games in back-to-back years than it is to lose them, but they should still break ten pretty easily. I think. Say they win five division games, splitting with KC or Den. I could see them dropping Ind and @Jac or @TN in a fluke upset, so that's two. They should sweep the NFCN, but I'll say three there. That leaves Bal and @NE. Again, capable of taking both, but I'll say one. That's... eleven. Tight. Skip this.

Division champ: 5–7
Wouldn't surprise me, but don't bother with sub-one odds unless it's a complete no-brainer.

SB champ: 6–1
Why the fuck did this team hire Norv Turner? What a yellow-bellied move. This is a team that's ready to win right now, with an all-time talent at the position with the shortest career life-expectancy in football, and they hire a guy whose only function as a coach is to be a warm body during rebuilding years. Why recycle? Why not take a chance on somebody new? Why didn't these guys get Whisenhunt instead of AZ? Surely he would have gone for this situation over that one. That's the only reason this team isn't winning the Super Bowl.

Week one: –61/2 vChi
I think they're gonna fuck the Bears up two times. Chargers.

Full disclosure: I don't think I've ever met a Chargers fan.

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