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sappx-large.jpgSan Diego Chargers – How do you improve on a 14-2 record?  You fire the Head Coach.  At least that is the Chargers’ plan.  Gone is Marty-ball and in is Norv Turner.  The question is: Are the Chargers so good that they will make this change look like a great decision, or will it prove once again that just because a man has great success as a Coordinator that doesn’t mean he will as a Head Coach?  And, haven’t we learned this lesson from Norv before?  Twice?  (Cough… 58-82-1… cough, cough)  I’ll tell you, I don’t think the Bolts will miss Marty as much as the two departed Coordinators – Wade Phillips to play puppet for Jerry Jones in Big D, and Cam Cameron to sop up the oil spill Nick Saban left in Biscayne Bay.  Year two of the Phillip Rivers era, and that looks promising.  Anytime you hand the ball off to LaDanian Tomlinson 20 plus times a game you’re going to have a good year.  The defense looks very formidable.  So, it will come down to the Norv-Factor.  I say they will look a lot like last year’s version – a playoff run… and then watching the big game on a big screen.

Denver Broncos – If I were to pick a ‘sleeper’ to make a bit of a stir, it might be the Broncos.  Jay Cutler is a year wiser.  The Broncos system always equals a thousand yard running back – then they send the guy packing, go figure.  Let’s see: Portis (03), Droughns (04), Anderson (05), and Bell (06).  This year’s thousand yarder… and next year’s bound for elsewhere… looks to be Travis Henry.  Shoot, start a cheerleader at tailback, it’s the system, remember?   It was the defense that sort of collapsed midway thru last season.  Mike Shanahan cleaned house among his coaches.  So, I’m not into the trendy picks, but this is one team that might fly in from under the radar.

Kansas City Chiefs – Why this team did not go after a QB in the off-season I will never understand.  What did Herman Edwards see in Brodie Croyle that led him to think this guy was the answer?  Brodie stunk up the pre-season.  Herm is back where he was when Trent Green came up seeing double last year – the keys have been handed to Damon Huard.  Damon will manage a game for you, but don’t look for him to go out and win too many.  Chiefs fans breathed a huge sigh of relief when Larry Johnson ended his holdout and came into camp.  Of course, it was the Chiefs braintrust that got a preview of their team without L.J. and ordered a dozen armored trucks to deliver a mountain of cash.  So, everyone will know the gameplan: L.J. right.  L.J. left.  L.J. middle.  Look for L.J. to break his own record for carries in a season, and for the Chiefs to struggle to see .500.

Oakland Raiders – So, will it be the Raiders that go from worst to first in their division?  Ha!  But, they will improve.  Gone are Art Shell and his mix of coaches from the seventies.  In is Lane Kiffin and his staff with acne riddled faces.  The defense is respectable.  They’re going to keep the Raiders in games.  Daunte Culpepper and Josh McCown will fare better at QB than we think.  JaMarcus Russell will watch from his mother’s porch in Alabama.  Will he ever sign?  You have to think so, don’t you?  I’ll be brave and predict that the Raiders will at least equal their win total from last year (okay, so that’s wimping out as the Raiders have both Cleveland and Houston on the schedule).  I’ll be braver still and say they may double last year’s win total.  How’s that?