Predicting All Eight NFL Division Winners

3 of 9

Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) is hurried by Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

AFC West

San Diego: 10-6

Denver: 8-8

Kansas City: 7-9

Oakland: 3-13

Yup, I did it. I have the Denver Broncos finishing at a measly .500 this year, and missing the playoffs for the first time since Peyton Manning took over.

What made this pick so hard, is I don’t like any of the teams in this division. The Broncos have major offensive line issues, along with issues in the middle of their defense, while the Chiefs have an extremely limited passing game, and San Diego just doesn’t do anything amazing that really sells me on a deep playoff run. But when I look at these three teams side-by-side, and I checked their respective schedules, I had to give the Chargers the slight edge in 2015.

The Chargers have a plethora of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, especially if rookie Melvin Gordon can make an impact in his first year. Their defense is also stellar, as they have a high quality secondary, and a front seven that while inconsistent, has a few dynamic players that you have to be on the lookout for when facing this squad.

Peyton Manning is getting up there in age, and he needs a running game to help him at this point in his career. And while C.J. Anderson is a good back, you need an offensive line to run the ball (and protect your aging quarterback), and Denver’s offensive line is going to be very bad this year. Because of that, the Broncos will miss the playoffs.

Next: AFC South