July 23, 2009
As the formal predictions begin, we are taking a look at the AFC
West, a division that had an 8-8 team as a representative. Yet, there
is promise in the future of this division.
The Denver Broncos begin the post-Cutler era. The Oakland Raiders
are still trying to live up to the expectations of their fans, while
the Chiefs begin a new plan under a new front office, and head coach
Who will take the division? Who will slump? Who shall make the most improvement in the AFC West?
1. San Diego Chargers—The San Diego Chargers head
into the season as the favorite to win the division, with not much
surprise. While no major moves were made this off season, every
contributor was brought back to the roster in 2009. San Diego’s defense
comes at full strength this year, especially with linebacker Shawn
Merriman back on the field.
On the offensive sign of the ball, Philip Rivers continues to
improve his game, along with returning Antonio Gates at full health.
Not much trouble for San Diego this year, as the Chargers will head back to the playoffs once again.
2. Denver Broncos—The Denver Broncos begin the 2009
season, known as the post Cutler era, without their franchise
quarterback in Jay Cutler. In the offseason, they signed Pro-Bowl
safety Brian Dawkins to try and improve the offseason woes. In his
first season as head coach, Josh McDaniels will find it difficult.
Kyle Orton could play well in McDaniels’ system, yet he didn’t prove
in Chicago he can throw the ball downfield where the receiving corps,
led by Brandon Marshall,who loves to make the big grabs.
The addition of Dawkins helps the defense; but there are many holes on the field, particularly the lack of pass-rush.
The Broncos will play well in their home stadium; though a rough season does await in 2009.
3. Oakland Raiders—The silver and black finished the 2008 season on a winning streak under Tom Cable, despite being six games under .500.
The organization is expecting a progression from JaMarcus Russell, who has underachieved as the number one pick in the draft.
Darren McFadden and Justin Fargas are becoming a forceful running back combo beneath our eyes.
On the defensive side, the brightest spot is Nnamdi Asomugha, whom
they signed to a long-term contract as a building piece on defense.
Tom Cable could be the answer in Oakland, that is, if he gets lee-way as coach to help build the roster.
The Raiders do face a tough schedule on the road, which includes;
New York, Pittsburgh, and Dallas, along with games against the Eagles,
Ravens, and Redskins.
The Raiders will put on a show, but are a few off seasons away from
contending again, another losing season is coming for Oakland.
4. Kansas City Chiefs—The Kansas City Chiefs began
their project by hiring new head coach Todd Haley, an offensive
mastermind who led the Arizona Cardinals to a Super Bowl appearance.
With that, Kansas City traded for quarterback Matt Cassel, who had
his career year with the Patriots. Just a few weeks ago the front
office signed him to an extension, making him the quarterback for the
Receiver Dwayne Bowe continues to make strides as an offense threat, however, he is still the only bright spot in a weak team.
One of the worst offenses in the league in 2008, Kansas City shipped
Tony Gonzalez out of town, their only productive weapon, statistically
the best tight end in the NFL.
This year with the third overall pick, the Chiefs selected Tyson
Jackson out of LSU. Along with Glenn Dorsey, Kansas City is building a
defensive line for the future. However, with a very young squad, the
talent is simply not there to build a winning team at the moment.
July 14, 2009
by Matt Miselis… Toronto Blue Jays started listening to offers for Roy Halladay, their strong ace, after falling out of the AL East race. Surely there are teams interested, but not many may want to pay the high asking price.
I have come up with a list of four teams that should consider going after the ace to make a run at this year’s playoffs.
Number Four: Milwaukee Brewers
Around this time last year, when the All-Star break neared, the Milwaukee Brewers traded for C.C Sabathia to lead their playoff surge. Could they be back at it again?
Last week Ryan Braun called out the front office to make a move like they did last year, as they are in the hunt for a playoff spot once again. He specifically said they needed help in the rotation.
Well, Halladay would be a great fit, wouldn’t he? A 1-2 punch of Halladay and Gallardo at the top of the rotation would mean a playoff berth for the Brew Crew this year.
But are they willing to pay up again for another top starter on the market?
Number Three: Los Angeles Dodgers
According to recent reports, the Los Angeles Dodgers are interested in bringing Halladay to California.
The Dodgers have solid young talent, led by Clayton Kershaw, that would surely interest the Jays. They also have the revenue to give Halladay an extension, as he is a free agent next winter.
The question that still arises, though, is whether they are willing to trade the future in order to win now?
Number Two: Los Angeles Angels
After the slow start to the first half of the season, the Angels have heated up, and are neck-and-neck with the Texas Rangers in the AL West. Being known for bringing in big acquisitions at the deadline, Halladay would be a perfect fit to lead a rotation which has been disappointing up to this point.
Even though the Jays may not want to trade him to a team in the American League, the Angels seem like a good fit to make that happen.
Number One: Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies have showed great interest in Roy Halladay, enough interest to be the top team on this list. They have enough prospects to put together a nice package for Halladay, who would take over the rotation that has battled injuries.
When you’re the world champs, and are in a position where you may come short of the playoffs, drastic times calls for drastic measures.