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TEAM NEEDS: AFC WEST
published 02/27/13 9:06am
New Chiefs coach Andy Reid has a lot of work to do to put his team back on track.
Photo: Zuma Press / Icon SMI
The Broncos surprised in 2012 but did show some weaknesses; The Chargers are in rebuilding mode; The Raiders have a lot of holes to fill; And can it get worse for the Chiefs? The AFC West team needs.

Denver Broncos
(13-3 record in 2012)
Few observers expected Peyton and the Broncos to be that good last year as they posted the best record in the NFL (tied with the Atlanta Falcons), and Peyton Manning was even a finalist for the MVP award. However, this team has some weaknesses that need to be addressed.

Primary Need: A dominant defensive tackle. Both LT {p Kevin Dickerson and RT Justin Bannan are free agents and are not expected back (and they weren't exactly dominant last season). They need to fill that gap with solid interior pass-rushing ability.

Other Needs: Surprisingly, they could use some help at running back. Willis McGahee is not getting any younger (and is injury-prone) and Knowshon Moreno remains unproven after four seasons in the pros. The middle linebacker position also needs some depth behind Joe Mays as Keith Brooking is aging.

San Diego Chargers
(7-9 record in 2012)
Expectations were high in San Diego last season but the Chargers failed to reach the .500 mark, which led to the firing of both GM A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner. Despite the presence of Philip Rivers behind center, this franchise is clearly in rebuilding mode.

Primary Need: They must boost the offensive line, especially at the tackle position. RT Jeromey Clary and LT Jared Gaither are simply not getting the job done. Rivers was sacked 49 times last season and the running game didn’t do much either.

Other Needs: That entire line needs some revamping. At guard, Louis Vasquez and Tyronne Green are both very solid starters but they’re hitting the free agency market. If they leave, the situation will become dramatic. The Chargers could also use help at running back with the fragile Ryan Mathews as their main man in the backfield for now.

Oakland Raiders
(4-12 record in 2012)
The Raiders haven't made the playoffs in 10 years and they definitely need to address their issues. And there are many. And the fact that head coach Dennis Allen is still around isn
Primary Need: The front office situation (which has been a mess for years) should really be addressed once and for all but we'll concentrate on the field here. The cornerback situation is problematic. Veteran Michael Huff (a converted safety) is solid but there's very little depth behind him. Shawntae Spencer isn't the best solution on the opposite side.

Other Needs: Linebackers. That position is in really bad shape. Rolando McClain’s status is in limbo, Miles Burris never delivered last season and if they lose free agent Philip Wheeler, the situation becomes even more problematic. Free agent tight end Brandon Myers was a nice part of the offense last season but should be replaced if he walks away.

Kansas City Chiefs
(2-14 record in 2012)
When you go 2-14, you have problems and holes everywhere. Such is life for new head coach Andy Reid, who was let go by the Philadelphia Eagles but immediately snapped up by Kansas City. He's a quality offensive mind. Now, Reid needs players to help him with the rebuild.

Primary Need: Simply put, a quarterback is needed here to begin the long road to recovery in Missouri. The Chiefs own the top pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, but there really isn't a QB good enough to be selected there. So, the plan is to land a veteran signal-caller who can be a leader.

Other Needs: Once KC lands a starting quarterback, he will need weapons. Unfortunately, top wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is probably on his way out the door (one way or another). The new QB's blindside is also an issue, since LT Branden Albert may leave as a free agent. When you go 2-14, you obviously have many, many needs.

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