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Now It’s Peyton Manning in Chargers’ Way – the AFC West: A Fan's Take

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NFL Week 2 Review: A Jet Fan’s View of the Competition
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Peyton Manning

With the New York Jets residing in the same division as the New England Patriots, everyone associated with Gang Green - players, coaches, ownership, and fans - are probably realistic about divisional title chances. There are none.

So, then, the Jets' only hope, as usual, is to capture a wild card, as unlikely a scenario as that even seems, given their apparently broadening flaws. They'll have to check the other AFC divisions for that opportunity. 

Here's a look at the competition they'll face this year in the AFC West, newly graced with the golden right arm of Peyton Manning in Denver.

For so many years, the San Diego Chargers have been fighting to advance to the next level. In many cases, they've been fighting themselves, often allowing poor starts to sabotage what were supposed to be and expected to be significant seasons. Many have pointed the finger at embattled coach Norv Turner, who has somehow managed to remain employed in San Diego despite all the disappointment. Even Rex Ryan, New York Jets' coach, inadvertently referred to Turner's shortcomings by indicating he'd have a Super Bowl ring if he was coaching the Charger players all these years.

Unfortunately for Turner, quarterback Philip Rivers, and the rest of the Chargers, there's a new sheriff in town. Perhaps the Chargers won't need to fret about beating themselves, since the Denver Broncos seem perfectly capable of handling it for them. The Broncos were a playoff team last year, actually won a game in the tournament, and they somehow accomplished it with a running back behind center in Tim Tebow. Now there's Manning and that stingy defense. This could be fun.

The problem for the Jets lies beyond the Broncos, because along with the Chargers, the rest of the division is fairly representative. The Kansas City Chiefs have a pretty good defense as well, and if not for multiple injuries last year, would have contended. And the Oakland Raiders feature a full year of a possibly resurgent Carson Palmer.

What the Jets do not need are more wild card contenders in the playoff mix.

Glenn Vallach has been a football fan for most of his lifetime, but never played organized pigskin unless you consider the thousands of youth hours running slant routes on city streets with a friend serving as Joe Willie. Don Maynard was his idol, an adulation he took seriously, complete with a number 13 stitched to his sweatshirt. He remains a New York Jet fan through so much disappointment and embarrassment over the years. Coach Rex Ryan has rekindled a dormant fire, but sometimes he feels as if he doesn't understand the likely end result of all his efforts. It has been 42 years, after all.

Sources:

  • Yahoo! Sports New York Jets page
  • Yahoo! Sports Denver Broncos page
  • Yahoo! Sports Peyton Manning page
  • Yahoo! Sports Philip Rivers page
  • Yahoo! Sports Tim Tebow page
  • Will Graves, The Associated Press, Steelers not out for revenge against Broncos

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