NFL: AFC West Previews and Predictions
We are now in the final division of predictions. The Raiders will be picked by many to win the AFC West, but the Broncos are just 2 years removed from a Super Bowl. The Chiefs are always a tough out. And the Chargers have arguably the best offense in the division to go with an up an coming defense. This will be a tough division from top to bottom. So, without further ado, let’s get right to the AFC West Team Previews and Predictions.
It’s a bit of a shame to see 2 very good WRs like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders waste away on an offense like this. The Broncos refuse to get the QB they need and they continue to go with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. Neither is ready to lead this team right now. Their offensive line is average at best, and they don’t have a dominant RB that they can lean on. They do have a side of the ball that can carry then, but it isn’t the offensive side.
The Broncos have 1 of, if not the best defenses in the NFL. Von Miller is still one of the most feared pass rushers in the league and their secondary is looked at by some as the best secondary in football. They are so good that they literally carried the team all the way to a Superbowl trophy, but as people have gotten older and left for more money, they aren’t at that same level anymore. Still very good though.
Record Last Year 9-7
Vegas Win Line 8.5
My Prediction 7-9
Kansas City Chiefs
I am not as high on the Chiefs as some are, however, they should be good enough to get 9 wins. Alex Smith will be the starter, but everyone knows his time is limited. They traded their 1st round pick next year and this year’s 1st round pick to move up and draft QB Pat Mahomes. Teams don’t give up that much to keep a guy on the bench very long. RB Spencer Ware is out for the year, but they draft Kareem Hunt and I am very high on him. He will be a top 10 back, this year. Yes, I said that.
The Chiefs have a very good defense. However, they are starting to get a little long in the tooth. Between their trio of LBs, Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, and Justin Houston, they are either hurt or in their mid-30s. Dee Ford is another pass rusher, who is actually young. They still have Marcus Peters and Eric Berry as 2 turnover magnets in the secondary, so I’m not throwing their defense out the door anytime soon. This team should be in every game this year. Now, the question is, how will they close?
Record Last Year 12-4
Vegas Win Line 8.5
My Prediction 9-7
Los Angeles Chargers
I’m not the biggest fan of Philip Rivers. He reminds me of Tony Romo. He’s a guy who can put up good numbers, he can make all the throws, his teammates love him, but when it comes to winning the big game, he can’t get them over the hill. The Chargers know he may not have too much time left and have done the smart thing by trying to slowly move the team towards more of a running team. Melvin Gordon is a good, young back who can put up big numbers if he can stay healthy this year.
Between Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, they Chargers have 2 young pass rushers that can change how a defense is looked at. They still have their holes, but they are on the way up and the most important thing on a defense is a pass rush. A good pass rush can make the entire defense look better than it is. I great pass rush can make a team a playoff contender. I don’t think the Chargers are there yet, but they do have potential.
Record Last Year 5-11
Vegas Win Line 7.5
My Prediction 6-10
Everyone’s pick to win the division will be the Raiders and I’m with that group. The Raiders ran into bad luck last year when Derek Carr got hurt going down the stretch of the season last year. If healthy, the Raiders likely win 13 games, they get a bye, and with an extra week to prepare, who knows what could have been. I still think they have room to improve and they will have to improve if they want to be on the same level, or even compete, with the New England Patriots.
Khalil Mack is one of the many dominant pass rushers in the division. Thankfully for the Raiders, he may be the best. The problem is, other than Mack, this defense still leaves a lot to be desired. They need 1-2 more pass rushers, they need to be sturdier against the run, and they need to be better in the secondary. They drafted a CB, Safety, and a DT in their 1st 3 picks of the draft, but it is very hard to depend on rookies. They have talent, but that means nothing until they fulfill that potential.
Record Last Year 12-4
Vegas Win Line 9.5
My Prediction 13-3
With that, we are now complete with the team previews and predictions for every team in the NFL. If you paid attention to all the records, then you should now know if I had your team making the playoffs or not. There is one more article to go before the season starts and that will be the big one, the Super Bowl prediction. Until then, sit back, relax, and enjoy the last week before the real games start, as we get ready to kickoff the start of the 2017 NFL Season.