It was not a pretty season for the AFC West outside of the Denver Broncos. However, tradition dictates that we produce an all-AFC West team. This one actually doesn’t look so bad, considering how tragic the division was this year. Here’s the offense:
QB: Peyton Manning, Denver – This is an obvious choice, as Manning has put together an MVP-caliber season in his first year in Denver.
RB: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City – On a really bad team, Charles was somehow able to shine, finishing 4th in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,509. Among running backs he was third in yards per carry with 5.3.
FB: Marcel Reece, Oakland – After the injury to Denver’s Willis McGahee, the AFC West was short on quality running backs, so let’s give some love to Reece at fullback. In addition to his blocking duties, Reece was Oakland’s second leading rusher and second on the team in receptions with 52.
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WR: Demaryius Thomas, Denver – It’s a head scratcher why Thomas isn’t a pro-bowler this year, because he’s as good as any AFC receiver who made it. He’s clearly the best receiver in the AFC West, with 94 catches for over 1,400 yards.
WR: Eric Decker, Denver – Decker was a favorite target of Manning’s all season, and as a result he finished second in the NFL in touchdown receptions this year with 13.
TE: Brandon Myers, Oakland – After a 79-catch season, leading the Raiders in receptions, Myers has eclipsed Antonio Gates as the top tight end in the AFC West; and that’s quite an accomplishment.
OT: Ryan Clady, Denver – Clady made his third Pro Bowl this year, and he is well-deserving of that honor yet again after protecting Manning’s blindside all season. Manning didn’t see many hits this year, and a lot of that is due to Clady’s play at left tackle.
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LG: Zane Beadles, Denver – Beadles may be the second best lineman to Clady on what is easily the best offensive line in the AFC West. Beadles is one of the top linemen in the league that doesn’t get recognized for being as good as he is.
C: Stefen Wisniewski, Oakland – The younger Wisniewski is doing for the Raiders at center what his uncle Steve did for the Raiders for so many years. He is a budding star in the middle of Oakland’s offensive line.
RG: Louis Vazquez, San Diego – Without much help around him, Vazquez still managed to stand out for the Chargers. His future is bright at right guard.
RT: Orlando Franklin, Denver – Franklin is a nice compliment to Clady on the right side of Denver’s offensive line, and is an important part of a pass protection unit that has kept Manning’s jersey clean all season.