Welcome to the NFL's Dynamite Division. Make no mistake: This was the league's most explosive division last season with an aggregate .638 winning percentage.
So what's in store for '85? It seems unlikely that Denver (13-3) will be able to match its division title without greater production from John Elway (18 touchdowns, 15 interceptions). The defense did its share last year, allowing an AFC-best 15 points per game.
The Broncos have a durable runner in Sammy Winder (1,153 yards rushing) and a should-be all-pro receiver in Steve Watson (69 catches). But if Elway is the quarterback of the future, when does the future start? How about now?
It's hard to imagine that Seattle (12-4) will not match its franchise-best mark of 1984, especially when you consider its leading rusher last season (David Hughes) gained 327 yards.
The Seahawks have several things on their side. First, Curt Warner (1,449 yards as a rookie in 1983) appears to have recovered from a knee injury. Second, the defense topped the NFL with 38 interceptions and even scored eight touchdowns.
Quarterback Dave Krieg's 32 scoring passes rated second best in the league to Dan Marino's 48, but he must cut down on his 24 interceptions. If he can, royalty may inhabit the Kingdome.
Ah, the Raiders. Al Davis loves the deep ball, so it's not surprising the Raiders' top draft picks were receivers Jessie Hester (Florida State) and Tim Moffett (Mississippi). The question is, who will throw to them -- Jim Plunkett, 37, or Marc Wilson?
The Raiders have age on the offensive line: tackle Henry Lawrence (33) and center Dave Dalby (33) are near-ancient for offensive linemen. But the defense remains ornery as ever, with five all-pros: end Howie Long, linebacker Rod Martin and defensive backs Mike Haynes, Lester Hayes and Vann McElroy.
Has anybody told running back Ethan Horton how much pressure rests on his shoulder pads? If Kansas City (8-8) is to make its move into this division's elite, it needs major production from Horton, the rookie from North Carolina.
The defense possesses one of the best young lines with ends Art Still (14 1/2 sacks) and Mike Bell (13 1/2) and all-rookie nose tackle Bill Maas.
In San Diego, tight end Kellen Winslow suffered a serious knee injury last season and is expected back at midseason, at the earliest. Quarterback Dan Fouts, 34, has missed nine games due to injuries over past two years.
The Chargers signed Trumaine Johnson, a talented, acrobatic receiver, from the USFL. Running back Earnest Jackson ran for 1,179 yards last season.
Defense? Maybe. The Chargers drafted five defensive backs, which should tell you something. The defense ranked 26th overall and 28th against the pass.