The AFC West has easily become of the best and most entertaining divisions to look out for next season. This division has been won by the Kansas City Chiefs for the past few seasons, however that may all change as they had just lost quarterback Alex Smith. The division title is up for grabs this upcoming season as any team could potentially head to the playoffs. This is probably the toughest division to predict as every team in this division has changed drastically and nobody really knows what to expect from certain teams.
1. Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers are easily one of the dark horse teams to win the super bowl this year as they have made major improvements. They finished last year winning their last nine out of twelve games after starting the season 0-4. Many believe the Chargers should’ve made the playoffs last year as they lost some games due to issues at the kicker position. Finishing the season last year with a record of nine wins and seven losses doesn’t say much, however, they were easily better than that. The Chargers have the ninth-easiest strength schedule in the league to start of the season and in their second year of being in Los Angeles, the Chargers will most likely be in the post-season.
Record Prediction: 10-6
2. Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders have been a team to look out for in the past few seasons as they do have the potential to be a dangerous team in the playoffs. Last season, they had issues with staying healthy as they finished last year with a record of six wins and ten losses. With new head coach Jon Gruden coming into the picture, he brings toughness and an identity to the team. This team definitely lacked an identity as all great teams need one in order to be successful in the league. After week 6 in London against the Seattle Seahawks, the Raiders will have an easier schedule to deal with as they could be looking from outside in this upcoming season.
Record Prediction: 9-7
3. Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos missed out on the best quarterback in the market which was Kirk Cousins, however, was able to obtain quarterback Case Keenum this free agency. The Broncos will improve this year as they did obtain Keenum and star linebacker Bradley Chubb out of NC State in the NFL Draft. This team should be able to get to .500 this year as the Broncos haven’t had back-to-back losing seasons since 1971-1972. The division has gotten significantly better and time will tell whether or not the Broncos can make the playoffs. If we can get a version of the Minnesota Vikings Case Keenum, then it is most definitely possible that this team will be in the post-season this upcoming year, but that’s asking for a lot.
Record Prediction: 8-8
4. Kansas City Chiefs
It doesn’t seem right to say that the best team in the division from last year will become the worst team in the division this upcoming year. But after losing quarterback Alex Smith, the Chiefs won’t be the same dangerous team. Though they do have a ton of depth and talent as they have star players like Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce, this team probably won’t be able to advance to the post-season this time around as their quarterback Patrick Mahomes hasn’t proven anything. The Chiefs have a tough schedule in the first six games and will most likely not have a record over .500 by the time the six games are over. Mahomes hasn’t played much and reports state that he threw many interceptions in camp which could mean that he just isn’t NFL ready yet. If the Chiefs want a chance to advance to the post-season, then Mahomes needs to perform at a good level.
Record Prediction: 7-9