As a division the last 3-5 seasons have been pretty rough for the AFC West. Other then the brief Tebow Show in 2011 and the arrival of Payton Manning last season, the division hasn’t received much attention from the league and the media—because they weren’t any good. Last year the division saw some success with Broncos, but other then that, the rest of the division was kind of a joke. The Chiefs and the Raiders were tough to watch, and the Chargers way underperformed as a team. In 2013, the AFC West looks to improve upon its recent history and make a name for itself as a division.
This week the new schedules were released for the 2013 regular season. A couple thing s stood out to me when looking at each teams schedule.
First, The NFL has Scheduled 8 primetime games featuring teams from the AFC West. I get that people around the country want to see Payton Manning—cant blame them–but does anyone really want to see Phillip Rivers and the San Diego super Chargers three times in one season? I know I don’t. Meanwhile, teams like the Raiders and Chiefs are hardly getting any primetime love from the NFL.
What’s even more surprising about the AFC West’s schedule is just how easy it is. According to 2012 results, the Denver Broncos have the NFL’s easiest schedule in 2013. This could provide the foundations for another super bowl run for Payton Manning and the Broncos. The charges also have it pretty easy and claim the NFL’s easiest road schedule in 2013. On the other hand the raiders have a brutal schedule. 4 out of the Raiders first 5 games are against NFL elite quarterbacks—they face Andrew Luck, Payton Manning, RG3, and Phillip Rivers all by week 5. If Raider-Nation is anxious to see how their offseason defensive acquisitions pan out, they’ll have a good idea by the middle of the second month of the season.
Overall, I think the Broncos and the Chargers should be pretty happy with how their 2013 schedules turned out. Both teams have a lot of talent and need to take advantage of the gift the NFL has given them. On the flip side, the Raiders just need to remain competotibe. Although the franchise is still rebuilding, and the schedule isn’t in their favor, if they can make of good year out of 2013 it could go a long way to reestablishing a winning culture in Oakland.
What do you guys think of the AFC West Schedule? Anything stand out to you? Feel free to leave comments below.