Scouts Inc.'s AFC West projections

It’s prediction season. You’ll see many in the coming days. In the latest issue of ESPN The Magazine, the fine folks at Scouts Inc. breakdown each team and give an projected order of finish in an Insider piece.Insider

Let’s check out some of what they had to say.

San Diego Chargers

Scouts Inc.’s 2011 projected record: 10-6

Scouts Inc. comment: (Philip) Rivers loves to stretch the field with his wideouts and then come back to Antonio Gates underneath. With (Vincent) Jackson back in the lineup, the NFL's top offense could be even more explosive.

My comment: If healthy, I think the Chargers could easily win more than 10 games.

Kansas City Chiefs

Scouts Inc.’s 2011 projected record: 10-6

Scouts Inc. comment: Big defenses give the Chiefs fits, so they spread the field to force sub packages and then run between the tackles. That's ideal for Jamaal Charles, who is explosive through the hole and dangerous in the open field.

My comment: The story lists the Chargers ahead of the Chiefs even though it projects 10 wins for both teams, so I assume the belief is San Diego will win the tiebreaker. With the Chiefs’ schedule, a 10-win season would be huge.

Oakland Raiders

Scouts Inc.’s 2011 projected record: 7-9

Scouts Inc. comment: A 6-0 division record couldn't save Tom Cable's job -- or his zone blocking scheme. (Hue) Jackson will implement a straight-ahead attack. With (Darren) McFadden coming off a breakout season in which he finally showed patience to match his physical gifts, the new scheme should still be effective between the tackles.

My comment: If Jason Campbell continues to improve and the defense tightens, Oakland could vie for a winning record.

Denver Broncos

Scouts Inc.’s 2011 projected record: 4-12

Scouts Inc. comment: Six coordinators in six years and a return to a 4-3 after a failed 3-4 experiment don't bode well. (John) Fox wants a physical front four, but it's unclear how that will work with defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, who prefers to attack with the back seven. At least (Champ) Bailey is still around.

My comment: I think Denver is clearly the fourth-best team in this division, but I think it could easily win more than four games.