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Audibles Podcast: Examining burning offseason questions in AFC West

 

AFC West burning offseason questionsAlex Smith is reportedly seeking a deal in the neighborhood of $18M a year. (Robert Beck/SI)

 

In 2013, the AFC West sent three teams (Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers) to the postseason, cementing its status as arguably the best division in the AFC. How many teams can make the playoffs this season? That's just one of the burning questions that SI.com's John DePetro, Chris Burke and Doug Farrar examine in this edition of the Audibles Podcast.

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Other topics include:

• Alex Smith extension talks: "I view Alex Smith as I would view a McRib from McDonalds," says Chris Burke. "If you want to give me a McRib for $2, I'll gladly take that McRib. But if you're going to charge me the same for a McRib as you would a steak at a nice restaurant, I don't want that McRib anymore."

• Will the Broncos miss wideout Eric Decker? "There's a tendency to say he [and others] are just a product of Peyton [Manning]," says Doug Farrar. "Decker was really good in college ... [But] I don't see a big drop-off in their passing game. Not that Decker isn't a good player, but I think they replaced the parts pretty well."

MORE COVERAGEOffseason Report Cards | NFL Power Rankings | 2015 NFL Mock Draft 

• Which team had the best draft? "I think Oakland really did a nice job," says Chris Burke. "The top three rounds were really strong for them, and we don't give them a lot of pats on the back, but I think they deserve one this year."

• Can Chargers replicate their success from 2013? "I think if they can get to about the middle of the pack in defense, they'll be OK," says Doug Farrar. "But it's a division in which you can see anyone of three teams winning 10 games, so I do think they will have to do better [on defense to make the playoffs again]."

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