Denver Broncos (6-2, 1st)
Last week: Lost to Pittsburgh 28-10 at home
We thought: Still skeptical despite a 6-0 start, a lopsided final score in Baltimore didn't help matters. The defense is tough, but seems like a team that needs to have most or all of the breaks go their way.
They are: Not a team that can fall behind a blitzing Steelers team and hope to come back. A couple weeks ago, you might've felt safe giving the West to the Broncos. Now, it feels safer to call the Chargers the favorites. But cupcakes like Oakland, KC, and maybe Washington should help Denver sneak in.
San Diego Chargers (5-3, 2nd)
Last week: Def. NY Giants 21-20 on the road
We thought: Dangerous but not trustworthy. A Giants blowout or a Chargers comeback - neither would have been surprising.
They are: Zero production from Tomlinson, and still not sure about that run D, but Philip Rivers and Vincent Jackson are suddenly becoming indestructible. Still kind of shocked that a Norv Turner team executed a two-minute drill so well.
Oakland Raiders (2-6, 3rd)
Last week: Bye
We thought: Jamarcus Russell felt he played well over the bye week.
They are: Of course the Raiders were one of the first teams you heard expressing interest in Larry Johnson. Of course they were/are.
Kansas City Chiefs (1-7, 4th)
Last week: Lost to Jacksonville 24-21 on the road
We thought: At the time, getting only a 2nd rounder for Matt Cassel seemed a bit weak for the Pats. Now? Maybe they got a steal.
They are: Bad team, might be able to put up a fight at home. Not a real good representation in the 50th anniversary of the AFL, huh?