Last season the AFC West had three teams make the playoff and one team was once again left at the bottom of the barrel... Raider Nation - a Conquered Nation
But our friend Dennis Allen and the new GM over there seem to finally have a vision and care about winning games. They have recently struck a deal with MJD but that isnt what impresses me the most.
All of a sudden, their defense, (under the direction of DA whom i hold in high regard for what he did for the Saints breifly and our Broncos briefly as well) looks like they could actually cause some people fits on their way to the endzone.
All they need is Matt Schaub to play like his normal, middle of the road, turnover minimizing self (i'm going to say last season was an anomaly) and the Raiders look like a .500 team contending for a wild card spot
Their only problem? They play in a division which has risen from one of the weakest in recent years to one of the strongest. I hate the Chiefs (and most of their annoying fans over at AP) as much as the next Broncos fan, but you have to admit they have a talented D, and a QB that makes sure that the Chiefs dont beat themselves.
The Chargers are also on the rise now that we have passed on Mike Mccoy and Phyllis Quivers has started playing like we've seen in the past. Still a whiney be-otch, but an effective one. They are drafting well and made the playoffs last year with a little help.
The Raiders may be one dynamic receiver and a solid draft in the area of LB/OL away from making the playoffs. But the problem is they are in a Win Now mode because they have signed so many players 30+. Will this add 2-3 wins to your record? Probably. Is it a huge risk to sign all these old players if you're not a couple of pieces away from a SB? Yes.
So who is the biggest threat to the Broncos really? Still the Defense led Chiefs? Phyllis's Chargers? Or this new incarnation of the Raiders? Older and more competitive than they have been in the last 6 years.
I think the easy and most predictable answer is the Chiefs. And if i was putting money on it, i would probably say the Chiefs as well, but something has me paying a little more attention to what Oakland does in the draft and how they look in the preseason.