NFL Schedule 2012: Breaking Down The Most Important Games In The AFC West

peyton denver

Now that the wait is finally over, and the NFL delivered the fans their 2012 season schedule, it’s time for a major preview. If ESPN’s three-hour special wasn’t good enough, Full Scale Sports brings you 32 teams in eight days. If you do the quick math, that’s one division every day, leading us up to the NFL Draft on Thursday, April 26th.

Starting with the division that has the biggest make-over, we head to the AFC West where the Denver Broncos who last year were led by Tim Tebow, are now led by the completely opposite type of player, Peyton Manning.

Going by last year’s final division standings, here’s a list of the most important games for each team in the AFC West, enjoy.

All eyes on Peyton to see just how healthy he really is.

Denver Broncos: The NFL certainly wants to showcase the new look Broncos, as they were given five primetime games, three on the road (Falcons, Chargers, and Raiders) and two at home (Steelers and Saints).

While the fans will certainly be watching, everyone should have weeks 5-8 circled on their Broncos calender. It is during this time in which Manning will face Tom Brady’s Patriots (week 5), Phillip Rivers’ Chargers (week 6), have a bye during week 7, but then quickly come home for a showdown against Drew Brees’ Saints.

It won’t be easy for the Broncos during the middle of the year, but if they make it out, Peyton knows how to take over the season.

It will be interesting to see if Malcolm Floyd can make the big leap to Rivers' go-to target.

San Diego Chargers: Opposite of the Broncos, the Chargers actually lost one of their most important offensive weapons, as Vincent Jackson signed a free agent deal with the Buccaneers. With that being said the team who had last year’s #1 defense and #1 offense, plays only six games against teams that made the playoffs last year, two of which, come against Denver.

The most important part of the schedule for the Chargers will fall during weeks 11-14 when they go on the road to Denver, then have a two game home stint vs Cincinnati and Baltimore, then wrap it up on the road against Pittsburgh.

Tons of good defensive teams will be opposite the Chargers this year, so how will they adapt to their off-season subtractions? They could be in for a hard fall.

Will a full season on the West Coast help Palmer's success with the Raiders?

Oakland Raiders: They lost Jason Campbell, Michael Bush, and cornerback Stanford Routt but for the first time in over fifty years, Al Davis won’t be there to make any controversial draft picks.

The toughness will be tested for the Raiders during their span of weeks 3-6. It starts with a home game against Pittsburgh, then they head on the road for a divisional game against Denver, have their bye week, then caps off with an away game inside the Georgia Dome against the Falcons.

Three great quarterbacks, four big weeks, can the Raiders come out with a winning record during that span? New players will certainly have to make a big impact, though Carson Palmer could be a solid threat with the weapons he has at receiver. They can set a nice tone with their Monday Night Football home opener vs the Chargers.

Thoughts wonder if Crennel can have a better coaching tenure in Kansas City than in Cleveland? He certainly has the talent to do so.

Kansas City Chiefs: The loss of corner Brandon Carr hurts, but ex-Raider, Standford Routt may be able to fill that gap. The Chiefs went out and signed former Brown running back Peyton Hillis and now form a trio of runners with Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones, Peyton Hillis and at times, Dexter McCluster.

Whether Matt Cassel or Kyle Orton start week one is totally on the call of new head coach Romeo Crennel, but the first five weeks put the defense to test. They have three home games (week 1, 4, 5,) against Atlanta, San Diego, and Baltimore while their two away games (week 2 and 3) come against Buffalo and New Orleans.

It won’t be an easy test early on for the Chiefs, but it will give a chance for them to make a statement.

Well, there you have it, a breakdown of the most important games for each team in the AFC West. In a short conclusion, the Broncos will be featured more than a Tim Tebow Broadway show, the Chargers have six very tough games, three coming in the middle of the season, the Raiders have a lot of proving to do, and some schedule makers clearly don’t like Kansas City.

In a division that has been wild for the past several years, it will certainly be one to follow. Not to mention, the fact that they got some guy named Manning in their division now.

 

 

One Comment

  1. erik

    April 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Exactly right on the Broncos. Peyton will rise to the challenge, and the tougher schedule will better prepare them for the playoffs! I’m extremely glad they will be airing more games on the major networks during prime time. I used to have DirecTV and got sick of paying $400 or so for the Sunday Ticket. Now, since I started working at DISH I learned about the new Hopper Whole Home DVR. It’ll be perfect for this season, as the Hopper lets me record up to 6 live HD programs at once. When I have friends over I can turn on the games in different rooms, and with Prime Time Anytime I will automatically have all the prime time shows recorded for me! I’ll get more games, on more TVs, and save a bundle at the same time.

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