San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are an explosive offensive unit who has proven they can score against anyone. I am concerned that they will have to move the ball in the air more this year than ever before. L.T. is showing signs of a breakdown and I think the end is near. But even with a fading Tomlinson this team still has enough talent to put up points and win the majority of their games.
Philip Rivers has been throwing a Touchdown 1 out of every 7 completions, and a run and shoot style of offense will make Rivers even more effective. The Defense should improve in 2009, but not sure it will make much difference. The defensive unit allowed the opponents to complete 68% of their pass attempts in 2008. The Chargers where required to win more than a few games via the shoot out. That makes for exciting games but never translates into playoff victories.
The Super Chargers should work into their bye week (week 5) with a 3-1 record, losing at Pittsburgh in week 4. Coming out of the bye week they should get 3 wins over Denver, and Kansas City, and Oakland. Weeks 9 and 10 are a true test for the Chargers as travel to New York, and welcome Phily. Look for the New York game to be close and that game can go either way.
Phily on the other hand should roll over San Diego. Following the defeat at the hands of the Eagles look for the Chargers to win their next 3 over sub par teams in Denver, Kansas City, and Cleveland. Week 14 spells a loss in Dallas, followed by another shoot out with the Bengals. Once again expect the Chargers to have just enough to outscore the Bengals. They will close the season with a win over Tennessee, and a test with Washington.
Absolute win total = 9
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City is a team soon to rise. I still believe that K.C had the best draft in 2008, and had a good draft in 2009. So they have pieces in place. Those pieces need time to mature. Kansas City made huge additions this offseason, and brought in Matt Cassel to be there starting quarterback of the next decade. They also now have a solid front office in place, which is lead by Scott Pioli. Look for this team to be The divisions best in 3-4 years. The biggest issue I have with the current Chiefs is there lack of weapons on offense. Matt Cassel was productive last season, but with a multitude of talented players around him. Cassel will not have that luxury in 2009. He will have Dwayne Bowe, but that is where it ends.
The make a trip to Baltimore to open the season and the game should be close. I can see the game going either way. Week 2 should bring a victory with a home win over division rival Oakland. Then comes the pain and suffering, I see 5 consecutive losses going into the bye week. They should come out of the bye week looking good in a victory over a lackluster Jacksonville squad in week 9.
Follow that up with 3 consecutive loses to Oakland, Pittsburgh, and San Diego. I’d expect a victory over Denver in one of 2 division games weeks 13 and 17. The 3 remaining games on the schedule, I can only see one victory and that is week 15 when Cleveland come to town.
Absolute win total = 4
I expect Oakland to struggle on defense in 2009. The defense is young, fast , and very small. This defense is not capable of stopping the running game. They are to undersized. The offense should see a increase in production from the running game. They have Lorenzo Neal at the blocking back and that alone means 1000 yard rusher in the backfield. Everywhere Lorenzo plays, production follows. The quarterback is the question mark, Jamarcus Russell is supposed to be the future. But I would expect him to see alot of time carrying a clipboard. Jeff Garcia will get playing time, and will be productive. But you cant expect many victories.
They have a week 3 matchup with Denver that will be a toss up. both team are relatively bad. If they fail to win that game they should slide all the way into their bye week without a single victory. There bye week is week 9, and with an extra week of preparation and the big 0 in the win column. I would expect to see the quarterback change, Russell to Garcia…..Garcia to Russell…..it won’t matter much, it’s all motivation at that point. But the motivation will work and the win week 10 against Kansas City. That victory will be short lived as they lose their next 4 games with Cincinnati, at Dallas, at Pittsburgh, at home with Washington. Week 15 and 16 bring a little home stand and 2 wins against Denver, and Cleveland. They should close out the season with a loss to Baltimore and another high draft pick in 2010.
Absolute win total = 3
The Broncos of 2009 are far removed from the Broncos of 2008. as they lost not just a coach who was a stabilizing force in the locker room, but a Pro Bowl quarterback as well. This team has no chemistry and everyone on the roster has to be looking over his shoulder wondering about there future in Denver. They have quality receivers, but now have a quarterback in Kyle Orton who will consistently miss the deep throw.
Orton is a quarterback who can make all the reads pre snap, and knows where to go with the ball in nearly every situation.But he lacks the ability to put the ball where it need to be. To be blunt Orton should be a backup quarterback on a contending team ,but not a starter on any team. The biggest asset is the Broncos offensive line, It never seems to matter who is in the backfield as they always run the ball well.
Denver will get there first win in week 2 against Cleveland, I look for this game to be as much Cleveland giving the game away as Denver winning.The week 3 matchup with Oakland is an even match up, and neither team stands above the other, Denver has a shot at win number two. If they fail to win in week 3 they may not win again all season.
I have Denver as the underdog in their next 10 games. In all honesty I don’t think they have a shot at a single win in that 10 week span. Week 15 they again meet Oakland and that is and even match up. Week 16 they make a trip into Phily for what will be the biggest blow out of the entire 2009 season, this game will be ugly. They close the season out with a home game against Kansas City. The game is pretty even but by this point in the season I believe Kansas City is growing as a unit and Denver is falling apart at the seems.
Absolute win total = 1