The scariest team every winter is arguably the same one season after season – the New England Patriots. The Patriots have been on a tear lately with Tom Brady playing some of the best football of his illustrious career. With the playoff seeding starting to take form, it is very possible that three AFC West teams will all be in the fold and looking to beat the dominant Patriots.
“Everything is going to probably head through the Patriots. The Patriots are the team to beat,” said NFL on CBS analyst Steve Tasker on the DA Show with Damon Amendolara on CBS Sports Radio. “I don’t think Kansas City could do it, as good as they’ve played and as good as their record is. I don’t know that a team like Oakland could get it done either.I don’t think they would be able to run the ball well enough in Foxboro. I think the weather would be a factor for the Raiders, I don’t think their passing game would be as efficient.”
The defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos could be the third AFC West team to make it into the playoffs and, even with a lower record, still have a great shot at beating a team like the Patriots. With their incredible defense, the Broncos certainly have what it takes to hang in with just any offense. Even on the other side of the ball, they have been just as productive as they were with Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler under center last season. The Broncos force lots of turnovers as do the Chiefs and Raiders but the other two lack the consistency that Denver has night in and night out on defense.
“The Raiders are good, don’t get me wrong but I don’t think they can do enough defensively. They do two things: they get after the passer and, once in awhile, they’ll cause a lot of turnovers. That’s a little bit like Kansas City,” he continued. “Kansas City is a turnover machine; they don’t even have to play defense if they keep causing turnovers. I think that’s what you can’t depend on when you get to the playoffs because you’re playing offenses that know how to protect the football, protect the quarterback and that’s a recipe for keeping turnovers off the board.”