Today's question: The Broncos have won five straight AFC West titles. Is another team poised to break the streak? Who? Why?
Adam Teicher, Kansas City Chiefs reporter: The race certainly looks more open and the division title more up for grabs more than any season since 2011, the year before the Broncos acquired Peyton Manning. Denver has come back to the pack and not since being quarterbacked by Tim Tebow has it looked so vulnerable. That doesn’t mean the Broncos won’t emerge with their sixth straight division championship. The issue is whether any of the other three teams are good enough to catch them. The Chiefs might have been the AFC West’s best team at the end of last season and almost caught the Broncos to win the division title. But they, at best, held their ground during a rocky offseason. The Raiders are talented enough to win the division, but they need a lot of things to fit together and have to change the franchise’s losing culture. The Chargers have too much ground to cover to think a division title is reasonable. There’s no clear and compelling reason to believe the division crown will change residences and in that instance, I go with what I know. The Broncos are the five-time defending division champions, so I’ll stick with them to make it six in a row in 2016.
Eric D. Williams, San Diego Chargers reporter: With a dominant defense and a quarterback in Alex Smith who makes few mistakes, the Chiefs have enough talent to overtake Denver. But it really depends more on the uncertainty at the quarterback position in Denver than anything Kansas City accomplished this offseason. The Chiefs split with Denver last season, including a convincing, 29-13 victory on the road at Sports Authority Field in November, so Kansas City knows it can play with the Super Bowl champs. The Chiefs also have continuity on both sides of the ball, losing just four starters from last year’s team that finished the regular season with 10 straight wins. That should help Kansas City get off to a strong start in 2016.
Paul Gutierrez, Oakland Raiders reporter: Oh boy. Thanks for putting this one up on the tee for me, Leggy. Look, there’s no more important position in team sports than quarterback, and the Super Bowl champion Broncos just lost an all-time great in Peyton Manning to retirement and his heir apparent in Brock Osweiler to free agency. Sure, the Broncos brought in Mark Sanchez, who was a top-five pick in 2009 and drafted Paxton Lynch while eschewing a trade for Colin Kaepernick, but the learning curve for an offense as detailed as Denver’s is a steep one. And the Raiders, yes, the same team that has not had a winning season since 2002, seem to be following Denver’s formula for success with a dominant defense and an opportunistic offense. Khalil Mack, who made league history by being voted All-Pro at two positions, is the Raiders’ answer to Von Miller, and he's younger. Derek Carr is on the fast track to being the best QB in the division and the Raiders match up well with Denver, giving the Broncos all they could handle in a 16-10 Week 5 loss before beating them, 15-12, in Denver on Dec. 13, the Broncos’ final home loss of the season. Yeah, the Raiders are the popular pick to supplant Denver ... if the champs are ready to be supplanted.