SAN DIEGO, CA: Charger Girls perform during a game in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
We're launching another new weekly feature today with our AFC West Division Predictions. Each week, the staff of Bolts From The Blue will humiliate themselves by attempting to pick the winners of NFL games. Orz has attempted to blunt his humiliation by using humor to make it seem like he didn't actually spend hours agonizing over his predictions. Don't be fooled. He's taking this seriously and should be held up for scorn and ridicule when (if?) he's wrong.
Also worth noting is that Jeff (sliderockmpc) and AvengingJM couldn't be bothered to submit their picks on time and should similarly be taken to task by you the reader. Enough yapping, to the picks!
Atlanta Falcons @ Kansas City Chiefs
John Gennaro: Chiefs - Still a really dangerous team at Arrowhead, fans are going to be going nuts for Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki, Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe and Peyton Hillis. The Falcons are an above-average team at home, but this is the type of game they usually lose.
creanium: Falcons - Two Words: Matt Cassel
Richard Wade: Falcons - The Chiefs are set to be a very good team this year, but I think the Falcons may just be on a different level.
jkvandal: Falcons - I'm not sure the Chiefs are quite ready to take on a team like this...yet. The Chiefs have a lot of young talent returning from injury, and maybe could pull this off if the matchup was later in the year, but it's not. Also, in the battle of the "Matts", Ryan > Cassel.
Orz: Chiefs - Because red is a much more aggressive color than black. Also, I thought Native Americans usually trained falcons to do their bidding.
Superduperboltman: Falcons - Both offense and defense a step above KC's
Staff picking the Falcons: crean, jk, Richard, SDBM
Staff picking the Chiefs: John, Orz
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos
John Gennaro: Steelers - We know Peyton Manning hates 3-4 defenses, and this is the best one in the league.
creanium: Steelers - #Manningface
Richard Wade: Steelers - Pittsburgh, even without Ryan Clark, has a dominant defense that should give the Broncos problems while they're still getting used to a new system. Also, Denver's defense is awful.
jkvandal: Steelers - Again like the matchup between Atlanta and KC, I would give the Broncos more of a chance later on in the season when Manning has had more time to gel with the rest of that offense.
Orz: Broncos - I just don't see union labor knowing what to do with a bunch of wild animals.
Superduperboltman: Steelers - Manning needs more ridin' time with his donkeys
Staff picking the Steelers:John, crean, Richard, jk, SDBM
Staff picking the Broncos: Orz
San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders
John Gennaro: Chargers - Still not sold on Carson Palmer or the Raiders defense. Keep McFadden in check and the Bolts could win this one 16-13.
creanium: Chargers - The Raiders will lose this game more than the Chargers will win.
Richard Wade: Raiders - These teams are more evenly matched than Chargers fans want to admit and home field advantage combined with the Chargers injuries makes the Raiders the favorite in my mind.
jkvandal: Raiders - I hate myself for making this pick, but there has been a lot of turnover on the Chargers roster in this offseason. Not only that but with the injuries to the Chargers on offense, doesn't look good. That Raiders DLine traditionally gives a HEALTHY Chargers Oline trouble...
Orz: Chargers - Pirates and war horses definitely do not mix well. This matchup basically equates to professional military versus a motley crew of thugs.
Superduperboltman: Chargers - Raiders suck.
Staff picking the Chargers: John, crean, Orz, SDBM
Staff picking the Raiders: Richard, jk