Next up, the AFC West, in the style of Cold Coors Light 6-Pack of Questions:
1) When you're talking about the running backs in the AFC West, you're talking about a lot of good running backs under the age of 25. How do you rank Jamaal Charles, Knowshon Moreno, Ryan Mathews and Darren McFadden?
Dave Hendrie: Charles and McFadden are a clear one and two. Choosing between Moreno and Matthews is hard. They both are young with potential, but neither has been especially productive so far in their respective careers. I will give the edge to Matthews because of the situation he is in.
Sam Widdoes: Darren, Jamaal, Ryan, Knowshon. Ryan might get to the level of the top two, but McFadden and Charles are clearly way ahead of the pack.
Scott Simon: Mathews is last. Sorting out the other three is like ranking my favorite pairs of socks. 1,400 is a big number these days so I respect Charles' 2010 season. Ill give Charles my #1 ranking, followed by McFadden, then Moreno (then Mathews).
Johnny Hendrie: Great question. Jamaal Charles has to be the top dawg in this group as he is an established, elite back already. Right now, Run DMC narrowly beats out Ryan Matthews in my book but I was head over heels in love Matthews when he was coming out of Fresno and he could have a breakout year in 2011. Moreno is solid but unproven.
2) True or False: The Chargers can get to the Super Bowl this year and Phillip Rivers can win the MVP.
DH: False and True. I really don't see the Chargers making it to the Super Bowl. The Steelers, Pats, Ravens, Colts, and Jets are all better teams top to bottom. Rivers, however, could win the MVP. He puts up monster numbers, and if his team wins the division he will be on almost everyones short list for the award.
SW: Absolutely true. That dude has the talent, the moxy and the sticktuitiveness to take that team to a title.
SS: False. You know the old saying "Once a Norv Turner, Always a Norv Turner."
JH: False and false. The Charges have turned themselves into the Colts 2.0. They are both stacked with talent, great in the regular season, whine like babies on a consistent basis and fold in the playoffs.
3) What happens first, Al Davis leaves us or Terrell Pryor sees game time.
DH: Although the sea monster looks a little peaked lately I'll go with a Pryor appearence on this one. I would really like the Raiders to open up week 6 with a "wild pirate" formation.
SW: Davis doesn't look so good these days, and I can't imagine Pryor stepping on a field for real game action this season. Then again, he's only got two mediocre QB's to hurdle in order to get some burn.
SS: Al Davis is like genital warts. We're not sure where he came from, he provides slight discomfort, and he ain't leaving any time soon. Terrelle Pryor will play. Why else use a valuable pick on him?
JH: I certainly hope the latter. I'm on the Terrel Pryor train. Seems like a great guy and has proven that he can play multiple positions. Plus he learn under Richard Seymour. Al Davis has been half dead for years, no signs of the final nail in the coffin coming anytime soon.
4) Finish the analogy: Matt Cassel is to the Chiefs as ..... (e.g. Brad Johnson was to the Bucs? Bacon is to a BLT?)
DH: ...the meatball sub is to Subway. You need a flagship quarterback/sandwich to carry an organization.
SW: ...Corned beef hash is to a diner menu -- A bad performance doesn't necessarily ruin the whole restaurant, but a spectacular one is a real game changer.
SS: ...Lettuce is to my cheeseburger. While probably good for me, there really isn't much value in the lettuce (or Matt Cassell). If replaced (or omitted) I doubt anybody would be able to tell.
JH: ....Christian Bale is to Newsies. Great leaders and great team/movie. The Bill Pullman/Scott Pioli comparison also works.
5) How bad did Josh McDaniel F up the Broncos? Will they stop anyone from scoring?
DH: I think the McDaniel hate has gone a bit far. He personel guy, but his in game coaching was not terrible. People forget that his best offensive (Clady) and defensive (Dumervil) players were out for the year last year. I expect the Broncos to win between 6 and 9 games this year despite having Von Miller on their roster.
SW: When there is a good chance you cut your first round pick after his second season, and that pick is a QB, you're in trouble. Their D was terrible last year, and my cousins tell me Von Miller is gonna get swallowed by NFL linemen.
SS: Perhaps I'm in the minority but I think the Broncos will be okay. It doesn't take too long to turn a franchise around IF you have the right pieces in place- and I think John Fox is the right man for that job. He's Tom Coughlin lite. The Broncos will be back. It's not like they're in a division with juggernauts.
JH: The Broncos are struggling but they weren't exactly so great before McDaniels showed up. The problem is that most of his picks turned out to just be average (Ayers, Moreno, Quinn). Thomas could still be good and Tebow is the next Daniel Graham.
Who will be rookie of the year?
DH: Close tie between Rodney Hudson (KC) andStefen Wisniewski (Oak). Look for both of these guys to be future all pros.
SW: In this division, probably someone drafted by Scott Pioli, not Al Davis.
SS: Von Miller. (Look out for Raiders WR Denarius Moore too!)
JH: Justin Houston, Chiefs. He fell a little due to character concerns but he is a natural 3-4 LB who excelled in SEC.
Wait he's there?
Johnny: Le'Ron McClain, Chiefs. Pioli did a great job by getting this bulldozer to open up lanes for Charles and Jones.
Who is going to win the division?
DH: I will flip a coin between the Chargers and Chiefs and say the Chargers. It is hard to imagine that they have as bad luck this year, and they are sneaky stacked with talent.