The Chargers to win the AFC West?

I suppose it’s never too early to predict the 2012 season.

I mean, after all, the 2011 season is already three days old. In an Insider pieceInsider, the popular NFL playoff predictor is back at it.

And there‘s good news for the San Diego Chargers. What about the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders? Not so much.

The playoff predictor pegs the Chargers to end their two-year playoff drought, go 10-6 and win the AFC West and be the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. It doesn’t project any other AFC West playoff teams. It projects the Chiefs to go 7-9, the Raiders to go 6-10 and the Broncos to go 5-11.

My thoughts? Well, I look at this deal as being a fun talking point for an early February day. Let’s see what happens in free agency and in the draft before we really dig into the forecast for 2012.

However, based on last season, I’d say these projections are bit conservative. The AFC West was the closest division in the NFL in 2011. Denver emerged from a three-way tie at 8-8 with the Raiders and the Chargers. The Chiefs were a game back at 7-9. I could easily see all four teams having better records than they did last year. For me, because we don’t know what will happen in the offseason, I find it difficult to pick one team that will be, at least, three games better than the rest of the division.

Also, in an Insider pieceInsider, here’s a look at how the Chiefs would be affected by adding Peyton Manning.

I’m sure you all have plenty to say on this matter, so I will step away and duck. It’s all yours.