AFC West Q&A: With Peyton Manning retired, who is the division's most feared player?

Today's question: Peyton Manning was the division’s most-feared player the past four years. Manning retired, so who takes on that role?

Adam Teicher, Kansas City Chiefs reporter: The Chiefs were certainly relieved to see Manning retire. They were 1-7 against him when he played for the Broncos. They were similarly futile against him when he was with the Colts. With Manning gone, the player the Chiefs will fear most won’t be another quarterback or an offensive player at all. The top candidates are defensive players, with Oakland linebacker Khalil Mack being the strongest of the bunch. The Broncos and Chiefs have their respective linebacking versions of Mack in Von Miller and Justin Houston, respectively, but Houston is coming off knee surgery and probably won’t play a full season in 2016. One more defensive player to consider is Kansas City’s Marcus Peters. He’s a cornerback, so his ability to have an impact on any given play is limited. That’s why he isn’t as strong a candidate in this category. But Peters is a playmaker. He made more than his share of plays as a rookie last season.

Paul Gutierrez, Oakland Raiders reporter: Let’s change from one side of the ball to the other, going from offense to defense, while staying put in the Mile High City. Did you miss Miller's Tour De Force performance in Super Bowl 50, which allowed the Denver Broncos to overcome Manning’s subpar performance against the Carolina Panthers? Miller, no doubt helped by the presence of DeMarcus Ware on the other side of the defensive line, had 2.5 sacks for 27 yards, including two game-changing strip sacks of Cam Newton, six tackles, two quarterback hits and a pass defended. Yes, Miller, a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro selection, can single-handedly take over a game and is now the most feared player in the AFC West. He has 60 sacks in 72 career games, with 25 the past two seasons, and has averaged 14.5 sacks the three years he played in all 16 games. And if his contract squabble with the Broncos becomes a distraction, the Raiders have Miller’s clone waiting to step into his fearsome shadow -- Mack, who made history last season by becoming the first player in NFL history to be named All-Pro at two positions in the same season.

Eric D. Williams, San Diego Chargers reporter: With a similar skill set and ability to take over a game, you could make a good argument for Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. But there’s still question marks about San Diego’s offensive line and if the Chargers have enough playmakers around Rivers for the offense to be successful. So I think you have to go back to the Mile High City and Denver's Miller. Teams in the AFC West need to plan for the speedy pass-rusher each time they play the Broncos, or he can wreck a game.