The big news today is that the Broncos have fired head coach John Fox following the team's one-and-done playoff loss Sunday to the Colts. The coaching staff has been told they are free to look elsewhere for opportunities.
This announcement could be the first in a domino effect that would be the end of the Broncos as we knew them.
The Raiders are already looking like they are ready to hire Broncos Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio as their next head coach, while Broncos Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase has been a hot name in the head coaching market, with San Francisco looking like a strong possibility for his landing spot.
Peyton Manning was already uncertain of his future and appears to be contemplating retirement. He is also said to have been very close to current Gase and has even been calling teams looking for a head coach praising Gase as a head coaching candidate.
That means with Fox out and Gase on his way out, it could very well help the 38-year-old Manning out the door. And it may be John Elway's intention to move on from Manning anyway considering he is due to make $19 million this coming season and his play lately has suggested he may not have much left.
Manning is the key here. If he is out, the Broncos are officially in rebuilding mode. Fox and Gase look like they could be the first two bricks to fall.
This doesn't suddenly give the Raiders a shot at the division. After all, they still have to deal with two very good teams in San Diego and Kansas City. But it does help not to have to know the Broncos are the favorite to win the division again. It also signals a changing of the guards in the AFC West.
This situation is very fluid. To keep up on it, you can check out this constantly updated stream over at SB Nation Broncos blog, Mile High Report.