AFC West: Players who can be game changers

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Join us as TTR Game Changers takes a tour through all 32 teams, identifying one player from every squad that I believe has a great chance of being a game changer in 2012.  To see the full series click here.

Kansas City Chiefs – Knowing the challenge of knee injuries from first-hand experience, I am concerned for the Chiefs this fall.  A large part of their future rests on the surgically repaired knees of Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki.  Furthermore, we don’t know how they will handle the rigors of  the season.  Perhaps it is overly optimistic to believe Jamaal will retain his trademark explosiveness that has led to a career rushing average of 6.1 yards per carry, but I think that even in a rotational work-share type of role, that Jamaal Charles will once again terrorize opposing defense, starting in 2012.San Diego Chargers –  I think that for a long time A.J. Smith has been given too much credit, and perhaps kept his job for too long.  The talent erosion in San Diego over the last five years has been awful, and the personnel decisions in the draft and free agency have primarily backfired on a once loaded team.  The Chargers are a team with a mix of the oft-injured and aging players, that appear to be on the decline.  That is why I think it is amazing that Philip Rivers gets so little credit for what he continues to do with this team.  Yes we saw him struggle last year, but he helped this team make a strong push at the end of the season, it was just too little too late.  I expect this team to continue to struggle as the defense will still be their Achilles heal.  They will still struggle on offense too, but Rivers will  carry this team on his shoulders yet again as one of the lone bright spots in San Diego. Read more…

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