2017 Division Preview: AFC West

 

 

 

When I think of the best division in the NFL, the AFC West automatically pops into my head. The rivalries between the teams in this division are filled with passion. Not only from the players, but the fans feel the pressure to win each game because of the stacked division. Each team has bright spots and more.

 

Denver Broncos

Two seasons ago, the Broncos won their 3rd Super Bowl while having a historically amazing defense. Last season the Broncos still had a fantastic defense led by Von Miller and company in which they ranked 4th on defense, but the problems lied on the offensive end. When the defense was  ALWAYS doing their job the offense wasn’t good enough to do theirs. With a young quarterback in Trevor Siemian and a lackluster running game, the offense ranked 22nd in the league. With Siemian’s development and the addition of a veteran running back in Jamaal Charles the offense should definitely improve from last season. I didn’t even mention the addition of Ronald Leary who will help improve a below average offensive line, thus creating a better run game.

Prediction: 9-7 record

 

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are in a very peculiar spot. With the drafting of Patrick Mahome, Alex Smith’s days are obviously numbered. Could the pressure weigh down Alex Smith this upcoming season? The losses of guys like Dontari Poe and Jeremy Maclin should weigh down the Chiefs in some way next season. Plus the culture and presence of Jamaal Charles is gone and with a rival team. Last season the Chiefs ranked 13th on offense and 7th on defense. Their schedule has lots of challenges, but the Chiefs are still a top team in the NFL.

Prediction: 11-5

 

Oakland Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders soon to be proved so much last season. Their improvement from years past carried them to the playoffs, where the injury to Derek Carr proved to be fatal. The Raiders ranked 7th on offense and 20th on defense. Latavius Murray was a big loss for the team, but the addition of Marshawn Lynch could be a game changer. Even though Beast Mode took a year off from football, he can still provide a lot of production for the offense and the presence he brings will positively impact the Raiders. If Derek Carr, Khalil Mack, and the rest of the team can stay healthy, this Raiders team will be a force to be reckoned with.

Prediction: 10-6

 

Los Angeles Chargers

Philip Rivers is a great quarterback and is the leader of this Chargers team. The problem is the rest of team isn’t there. The defense is one of the worst defenses in the whole league, and the run game isn’t great either. The Offense ranked 9th, while they ranked 29th on defense last season. The key players on the team this upcoming year is an older Philip Rivers, a 37 year-old Antonio Gates, Keenan Aleen, a great cornerback in Casey Hayward, and a promising young defensive end in Joey Bosa. Don’t forget rookie 1st-rounder WR Mike Williams if he can prove to be healthy. The only proplem with this team is the rest of the squad. If the Chargers want to do anything this season they have to get help from their other players, which I don’t see happening.

Prediction: 4-12

 

Written by: Felipe Arias

 

 

 

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