Commentary

Plugging the Holes: AFC West

Important offseason questions about the Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers

Originally Published: February 10, 2011
By Doug Farrar | Football Outsiders
John Elway and Tim TebowUS Presswire/Getty ImagesDoes John Elway think Tim Tebow is the answer at QB for Denver? Time will tell.

On Wednesday, Football Outsiders began its Plugging the Holes series, in which it will target the offseason issues facing each team in the NFL by division. Doug Farrar continues with the AFC West.

In this edition, Outsiders looks at the Broncos' QB situation, the Chiefs' star running back, the Raiders' possible turnaround and the Chargers' personnel problems.


Denver Broncos: Who will play quarterback … and how?

The move from Josh McDaniels to John Fox at head coach was just one of many shape-shifts this offseason for the Broncos. John Elway took over the entire operation and hired Fox, who promoted Mike McCoy from offensive coordinator in name only (which he was under McDaniels) to offensive coordinator in real life. McCoy is now the man who will set the tone for Denver's offense. McCoy and Fox worked together in Carolina, and the first most obvious challenge they'll face together in Denver -- especially with the franchise's legendary quarterback overseeing the process -- will be choosing a franchise quarterback.

Kyle Orton put together the kind of hyped-up numbers every quarterback seems to attain under McDaniels. He was remarkably consistent in each game, with career-high totals for the Broncos in 2009 and 2010. In 2010, Brandon Lloyd became one of the best deep receivers in the league and finished second in Football Outsiders' cumulative efficiency metric behind Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace. Orton ranked 12th among quarterbacks in that same metric, setting him up to be one of the league's better quarterbacks under the right conditions.