The defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos have the same horsepower they had a year ago when they broke the AFC jinx against the Packers in San Diego. They've got the talent, the experience and the coaching to repeat, but Denver fans must hope that the aging Broncos will stay healthy. Any broken hips or trick knees could send this team prematurely out to pasture.
The Kansas City Chiefs had the best record in the AFC last season but stumbled badly in the playoffs. With a new offensive coordinator, the Chiefs, while continuing to emphasize the passing game, will need to learn to run the ball better. It will be a tall task too, because their top back a year ago, Marcus Allen, has retired. The only real mystery for them remains whether they can run well enough to keep opposing defenses honest.
Can Ricky Watters finally find happiness? Will Dennis Erickson survive the season? Will Joey Galloway burn every cornerback in the league? Exactly how old is Warren Moon? The answers to these questions among others will determine whether the Seattle Seahawks will be able compete in one of the tightest divisions in the NFL.
The offense will be scary again this year, but Charles Woodson or no Charles Woodson, the Oakland Raiders defense will once again be the worst in the league. They'll lose more high-scoring games than they'll win. The San Diego Chargers have a rookie quarterback, no proven receivers and a running back with baggage. Simply put, the Chargers are rebuilding. Chargers fans must hope that Ryan Leaf, a.k.a. "The Franchise", survives.