Madden NFL 16 Ratings continue with a division-by-division look at team and player ratings. We conclude our AFC Previews with the AFC West.
A one-and-done in the playoffs puts the Broncos in uncomfortable territory, but have the Chiefs and the Chargers made enough improvements to topple them?
DENVER BRONCOS (TEAM 89 OVR)
Even with growing concerns about his arm strength, there are few quarterbacks better than Peyton Manning (92 OVR). New head coach Gary Kubiak should bring balance to the offense, using HB C. J. Anderson (85 OVR) and FB James Casey (80 OVR) to establish the run. Demaryius Thomas (93 OVR) and Emmanuel Sanders (89 OVR) return as starting WRs, with Cody Latimer (73 OVR) in the slot. Virgil Green (82 OVR) and Owen Daniels (80 OVR) will see time at TE following the departure of Julius Thomas.
LOLB Von Miller (97 OVR), MLB Brandon Marshall (84 OVR), and ROLB DeMarcus Ware (83 OVR) all return, but first-round pick ROLB Shane Ray (72 OVR) will push for playing time. Pro BowlersChris Harris Jr. (94 OVR) and Aqib Talib (90 OVR) start at cornerback.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (TEAM 82 OVR)
The Chiefs went an entire season without a touchdown reception from a wide receiver. Newly acquired Jeremy Maclin (88 OVR), Albert Wilson (73 OVR), and De’Anthony Thomas (73 OVR) are setting out to change that. TE Travis Kelce (91 OVR) is ready for a breakout year. HB Jamaal Charles (94 OVR) and FB Anthony Sherman (95 OVR) are in the backfield with QB Alex Smith (84 OVR). New additions LG Ben Grubbs (85 OVR) and RG Paul Fanaika (74 OVR) help anchor the offensive line.
The emotional return of SS Eric Berry (84 OVR) improves the secondary immensely. He’s joined by Sean Smith (91 OVR) and Phillip Gaines (77 OVR) at the corners. LOLB Justin Houston (97 OVR) and Tamba Hali (90 OVR) are mainstay at linebacker, and arguably the best pass rush duo in football.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (TEAM 82 OVR)
Rookie HB Melvin Gordon (78 OVR) should provide stability and power to the Chargers’ running game. Ex-Bronco LG Orlando Franklin (90 OVR) will help the offensive line. QB Philip Rivers (90 OVR) may find his best targets in two-TE sets that feature Antonio Gates (88 OVR) and Ladarius Green (78 OVR). WRs include Keenan Allen (86 OVR), Malcolm Floyd (83 OVR), and Stevie Johnson (83 OVR).
RE Corey Liuget (84 OVR) the bright spot in the front seven, and the Chargers will need a big year from Melvin Ingram (79 OVR). The secondary is sparked by FS Eric Weddle (96 OVR) and CB Brandon Flowers (89 OVR).
OAKLAND RAIDERS (TEAM 74 OVR)
Second-year quarterback Derek Carr (79 OVR) has a couple of new targets in rookie WR Amari Cooper (82 OVR) and Michael Crabtree (82 OVR). FB Marcel Reece (82 OVR) will block for HBs Latavius Murray (78 OVR) and Roy Helu (77 OVR). TE Mychal Rivera (75 OVR) will be pushed by rookie Clive Walford (72 OVR) before the season is over.
LOLB Khalil Mack (91 OVR) is the star of the defense, and the other linebackers are solid with ROLB Sio Moore (80 OVR) and MLB Curtis Lofton (79 OVR). RE C. J. Wilson (74 OVR) may lose his job to rookie Mario Edwards (71 OVR) before long.