I think the AFC West is going to play out similarly to how it did last year. You’ve got to still love the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs Still Have Top-Tier Weapons
The Chiefs have one of the best tight ends in Travis Kelce. Their best defensive lineman, and probably their best player on the defense as a whole, Chris Jones, is coming back. They brought in Marquez Valdes-Scantling from the Green Bay Packers, and they brought JuJu Smith-Schuster from the Pittsburgh Steelers to replace Tyreek Hill.
The receiving group is going to be good enough, and Mahomes is a difference-maker. He’s a guy that can still make plays down the field. He won’t have Hill’s speed, but he’s still got Mecole Hardman, and Hardman can run, so I think they are going to win the AFC West.
The Raiders are Close Behind
The Las Vegas Raiders with Derek Carr and his new, improved receiving group with Davante Adams are going to make them better this season. You have Adams, Hunter Renfrow and arguably one of the other best tight ends in the league in Darren Waller. They also have a solid running game with Josh Jacobs, so I think Carr is going to be very happy.
I’m pretty sure I saw a smile on Carr’s face every time I saw him this summer, so I would think they are going to be the No. 2 seed in the AFC West.
The Chargers’ Fate Rests With Their QB
Justin Herbert is a great quarterback. He’s just so natural and a lot of the things he does inside and outside of the pocket you just can’t teach. It just comes with him. Herbert’s got some big receivers in Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, who I think is the best route runner in the NFL. I know he’s an older player, but he’s still got the same skill set.
Then, they got Khalil Mack, who was with the Raiders and Bears, so if he and Joey Bosa can get it together and put a pass rush on the opposing quarterbacks, then Derwin James, who is healthy this year, can get a lot of interceptions.
Denver Could Miss the Playoffs
I think the team that brings up the end of the AFC West is going to be the Denver Broncos. I know we made a big deal about them getting Russell Wilson, and we should’ve. Wilson is a generational player, who can make you a better football team. They have receivers, too. They have Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. They’ve got players, and they have a solid defense.
I just think they are playing in a stacked division that is going to put them in fourth place. I don’t think they are going to make the playoffs this year. Hopefully, in a couple of years, the Broncos fans can be happy.