At this point, the Oakland Raiders are the only team no one is talking about. Sometimes that's a good thing, but for now, everyone believes they won't matter much in the AFC West in 2012. Unfortunately for the Chiefs and Chargers, everyone also believes they won't matter much either after the Denver Broncos acquired Peyton Manning.
As John Clayton of ESPN surveys the land of the division, he says the Chargers could present the most problems for Manning given their success over the years against the Colts. He also acknowledges the Chiefs' recent success in the division. However, the addition of Manning is likely to be too much in his opinion.
Clayton writes, "Manning meant a least six wins a season for the Colts. If he is half the quarterback he was in Indianapolis, he should provide three extra wins for the Broncos. That puts them ahead in their division... Tebow could perform in situational plays for the Patriots. Mallett could learn behind Manning as he did behind Brady. Fans love Tebow, but he could take the Broncos to only a certain level. Manning can take the Broncos a mile higher."
He's right when he calculates the impact of that amount of wins in the AFC West. Last year, the entire division was separated by a single game. It was as if no team wanted to really win the division outright and kept losing enough to have everyone else in it. The Broncos saw that brass ring and grabbed it, so credit goes to them. The Chiefs, however, are not resting on their laurels and are making strides to improve all over the offense. It should be an interesting year in 2012.