It’s the midway point in the season, so it’s a perfect time to put together a mid-season all-star team for the AFC West. Let’s start with the offense.
QB: Peyton Manning, Denver – Manning is the class of the AFC West as far as quarterbacks are concerned. He has not missed a beat after sitting out all of last season and figures to be a prominent part of the MVP conversation in the second half of the season.
RB: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City – Despite a rather inept passing game and a recent lack of carries, Charles is the leading rusher in the AFC West and is averaging close to five yards per carry. He is one of the few bright spots for the Chiefs this year.
RB: Willis McGahee, Denver – The seemingly ageless McGahee has topped the century mark three times over the first eight games and has been a great compliment to Denver’s new passing attack.
WR: Demaryius Thomas, Denver – Thomas has made huge strides as a receiver in his 3rd NFL season. Even with Manning spreading the ball around, Thomas has stood out with 39 receptions for 679 yards and four touchdowns.
WR: Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City – Bowe is on pace to rack up over 1,000 yards receiving this season, even with KC’s lackluster quarterback play this year.
TE: Antonio Gates, San Diego – He’s no spring chicken anymore, but Gates is still one of the top tight ends around, catching three touchdown passes in his last three games while also averaging close to 12 yards per reception for the season.
LT: Ryan Clady, Denver – Clady has played at a high level all season long and has done a fantastic job of protecting Manning’s blindside.
LG: Zane Beadles, Denver – Beadles is a big reason why McGahee has been able to run up the middle this year, which has helped give the Broncos a balanced offense.
C: Nick Hardwick, San Diego – The former pro-bowler is having a solid season in front of Philip Rivers, and is the only non-Bronco to make the all-star team along the o-line.
RG: Chris Kuper, Denver – The Broncos have been better up front since Kuper returned from injury, which goes to show just how valuable he is.
RT: Orlando Franklin, Denver – He hasn’t been perfect, but he’s been the best in his division, and he’s done his part in keeping Manning upright this season.
The Broncos dominate this list with seven selections, and for good reason. With the re-emergence of Peyton Manning the Denver offense has carried the team to a 5-3 record at the midway point in the season, and there’s reason to think they can be even better over the final eight games. The offensive line position is filled almost exclusively with Broncos, but the rest of the division has been very poor at that position most of the year, while Denver’s o-line has kept Manning on his feet and looking downfield all season long.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for the AFC West’s defensive all-stars at the midway point in the season.