It has been four seasons since an NFL betting team other than the San Diego Chargers have claimed the top spot in the AFC West, and heading in to 2010-11, it doesn’t appear as though there are any legitimate contenders to end that streak.
This year will be very different in California however, as for the first time in a decade running back LaDainian Tomlinson will not be leading the charge in Qualcomm Stadium. After nine years of record-setting production, age and future salary cap concerns kept the Chargers’ all-time leading rusher from resigning long term with the club, causing Tomlinson to take his talents to the Big Apple where he is now employed by the New York Jets. The move completes the transition from a rushing-based offense to an air-it-out attack, a change that was inevitable given the talents of quarterback Phillip Rivers and his receivers. Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd, and tight end Antonio Gates are all taller than 6’4 with speed to burn, and rarely does a ball thrown in any of their directions touch the ground.
The Denver Broncos finished second to the Chargers a year ago, missing out on the betting postseason for a fourth straight year despite finishing .500. The fact that head coach Josh McDaniels was able to keep his team above a losing record despite being in his first year with the team, and the considerable turnover that took place, is a testament to that he was ready to make the leap from coordinator to top dog. McDaniels and company will be hard-pressed just to maintain their eight-win mark in 2010-11, especially considering they dropped 13 spots in offensive rankings from 2008 to 2009, and lost top receiver Brandon Marshall and top tight end Tony Scheffler.
Get your NFL jerseys discounted now on Amazon.com by clicking here
Check out the NFL Film Classics – Legends of Autumn, Vols. 1-3 DVD by clicking here.
Join ESPN Insider today for the best sports analysis online, plus ESPN The Magazine!
Order the Madden NFL 10: Official Strategy Game Guide by clicking here.