The Chiefs are heavy favourites to win the AFC West for the sixth straight year. I think they’ll do it. However, the division is getting better as a whole. The Chargers now have the team to make some noise in the playoffs. I expect Herbert to have an even better year than his rookie year. The Broncos will be a good to great team as long as they can get production from their QB. The Raiders may struggle this year and Derek Carr will need to be more consistent if he wants to continuing being QB1 in Las Vegas.
In order of where I think each team will finish the season:
1) Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs will win the division barring any significant injuries. Mahomes is the best player in the NFL and he has weapons for days. They addressed their O-line issues after the Super Bowl. Their defense seems to be getting better year after year. I’m excited to see Edwards-Helaire in this offense for an entire season. Before his injury he was fitting in just fine. The Chiefs are ready to put the Super Bowl behind them and win another title.
Record Prediction: 14-3
2) Los Angeles Chargers: Is it me or have we been talking about the Chargers potentially breaking out and having a monster season for years now? They were always someone’s sleeper pick to win the Super Bowl and do something in the playoffs. Do not be surprised if this is the year. I love Justin Herbert… maybe my Dolphins should’ve drafted him??? Nah, too early for that talk. But seriously, the man is a giant and throws the ball with purpose. Keenan Allen will continue to be the team’s WR1 but needs a solid WR2 by his side. Mike Williams has gotta start producing. We continue to hear how good he is and how much potential he has. First things first, he’s gotta stay healthy. Austin Ekeler is shaping up to be a solid RB. I like the Chargers and think they’ll make the playoffs.
Record Prediction: 11-6
3) Denver Broncos: The success of the Broncos will fall primarily on the shoulders of Teddy Bridgewater. I was never a big fan of his, but he definitely won the QB1 spot throughout preseason. The Broncos have a fun squad. It’s only a matter of time before we start seeing consistent production from their trio of young receivers, Sutton, Jeudy, and Hamler. Patrick Surtain II is a stud, but I would’ve drafted Fields or Mac Jones with the 9th pick. I think the Broncos will finish middle of the pack and even top ten in some defensive categories. It’s going to be interesting to see what type of season Melvin Gordon has. He seems like an old 28, and rookie Javonte Williams can steal that RB1 spot in a blink of an eye. The Broncos should improve this season but I don’t expect them to grab a playoff spot.
Record Prediction: 8-9
4) Las Vegas Raiders: I’m not gonna lie, the Raiders are a tough team for me to figure out. They have talented players but can’t seem to gel as a unit. Of course it all starts at the QB position. I would classify Carr as a very average QB. There are games where he looks great, and others where you question every second throw he makes. Having Darren Waller has helped him and it will continue to. If the Raiders are going to make the playoffs Henry Ruggs III will need to have a dominate season. It’s a lot to ask for the sophomore, but he was the first receiver picked in his draft for a reason. Josh Jacobs will continue to get a ton of carries and will have a better season than last. At the end of the day, I don’t think the Raiders have an identity. I can’t see them having a winning season.
Record Prediction: 6-11