Chargers Smith labels Broncos as AFC West favorite

San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith admits he's not much into predictions, but he does admit that the Denver Broncos could be the team to beat in the AFC West this season.

The Broncos won the division last season and how have revamped their offense around free agent signing Peyton Manning.

"As far as the division race is concerned, I know this, it will be very difficult to win the West. The Broncos are defending champs, and they added Peyton Manning," Smith told the San Diego Union-Tribune." The Raiders and the Chiefs are much better. The Broncos are led by one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. I just hope the Broncos don't run away with the division and leave the rest of us behind in the dust."

Smith, however, seems to think the division will end up being a close race, given that all four teams were separated by one game last year. (Translated: Everyone in the AFC West was mediocre in 2011 as Denver's 8-8 won the division).

"I hope it's a tight, competitive race to the finish line for all of us," Smith said. "That way, whoever comes out on top in the West will be primed for their playoff run. May the best team win, and I hope it's us."

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

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