A Brief Look At The AFC West

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Let’s take a moment to see how the Chiefs stack up against the rest of the West.

Now that most of the big-name free agent acquisitions have been signed and the Draft has come and gone, how do we feel about the Chiefs when compared to their division rivals?

Oakland

Las Vegas

… the Raiders

Key Personnel Losses: Jon Feliciano, Martavius Bryant (lol), Jared Cook

Key Personnel Acquisitions: Antonio Brown, Trent Brown, Lamarcus Joyner

Notable Draft Picks: Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs, Johnathon Abram

Outlook: Even with AB and some decent prospects, this team will only go as far as Carr and Gruden take them — which, by all indications, is down. A middling-at-best offense combined with a lackluster defense and a pending venue change on the horizon doesn’t equate to ingredients for success. If they’re featured on “Hard Knocks” there’s a chance Antonio Brown may even quit the team before Week One.

Prediction: 4-12

Denver Broncos

Key Personnel Losses: Shaquil Barrett, Tramaine Brock, Matt Paradis

Key Personnel Acquisitions: De’Vante Bausby, Bryce Callahan, Kareem Jackson

Notable Draft Picks: Noah Fant, Dalton Risner, Drew Lock

Outlook: Free agent pickups all indicate that Denver is well aware the Chiefs have the best quarterback in the league, while their draft picks indicate that they aren’t very happy with their quarterback play or offense in general. None of this will matter. Travis Kelce is still the best TE in the league, Mahomes is the best quarterback, and while the Hill question still permeates the background it should be noted that Reid is one of the best offensive minds currently in the NFL. Denver will flail until Elway thrusts Lock into the starting role, and then they will collapse completely.

Prediction: 5-11

Los Angeles Chargers

Key Personnel Losses: Jason Verrett, Tyrell Williams, Darius Philon

Key Personnel Acquisitions: Thomas Davis, Tyrod Taylor, Brandon Mebane (re-signed)

Notable Draft Picks: Jerry Tillery, Nasir Adderley, Trey Pipkins

Outlook: Sad to say, but the Chargers are once again a team that can absolutely contend if — and only if — Philip Rivers can avoid the age regression he seems to be losing against. Keenan Allen is typically a non-factor after week 8 or so (injury-wise) and when he inevitably goes down once more they won’t have Tyrell Williams to lean against. The coaching staff isn’t exactly one to make people raise an eyebrow per se, but the defensive side of the ball is fairly formidable. The Chiefs will have to avoid as many “should’ve won that game” scenarios as possible to stay ahead of the Chargers, but my confidence in L.A.’s ability to get things done when needed hit an all-time low when watching their playoff game against the Patriots.

Prediction: 11-5, Wild Card berth

Kansas City Chiefs

Key Personnel Losses: Dee Ford, Justin Houston, Eric Berry

Key Personnel Acquisitions: Tyrann Matthieu, Frank Clark, Bashaud Breeland

Notable Draft Picks: Mecole Hardman, Khalen Saunders, Juan Thornhill

Outlook: Coming off a season in which a slightly better defense may have been the lynchpin for a Superbowl trip (and perhaps, victory), a lot of eyes will be on Steve Spagnuolo and what difference he can create on that side of the ball. Mahomes will likely see a slight decrease in box statistics if the defense can reach anywhere near middle-of-the-pack, but the needle is trending up high.

Prediction: 13-3, Division Winners, 1st seed in the Conference

How do you see the division unfolding?

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Enite
Enite

I believe the Raiders might be better than the Broncos this year. I haven’t had a chance to look at their schedules, so I don’t have a guess as far as the actual records, but I coukd definitely see the Broncos at the bottom.

ArrowheadRed
ArrowheadRed

1. Chiefs will go 16-0, because the Defense will be close to average and Mahomes happens. Every loss last season was on the D. Yeah, it’s a team game but we all saw it.

2. Chargers finish 10-6. Their Defense has improved, but Rivers will decline.

3. Broncos at 5-11 will replace Flacco at 4-8. Elway is such a gift to the Chiefs.

4. Raiders 2-14, tank for Tua! All year Gruden will insist they’re doing all they can to win. Carr will cry at Arrowhead and claim he wasn’t crying.

CHIEFSandSABRES

1. Whatever your avatar is, it’s pretty freaking cool.
2. I hope Carr cries a lot this coming season!

MasterChief
MasterChief

Chiefs 11-5* (maybe 12-4)
Chargers 11-5
Oakland 6-10
Denver 6-10

Not even sure if that’s mathematically possible but I don’t see Oaktown or Denver being as bad as people think. I hope I’m wrong. Also, I could see the Chargers nipping at our heals all year but I also could see them falling off a cliff with Rivers getting up there in age.

CHIEFSandSABRES

Chiefs 12-4
Chargers 10-6
Oakland 7-9
Denver 0-16

slackator
slackator

I just dont see the Chargers hype. Phyllis is a year older and probably has 3 or 4 more kids to stress him out so I see them taking a step back to their normal position of hovering around .500. I could actually see Denver finishing 2nd in the division but nobody but the Chiefs being near the playoffs.

As for the Raiders, I dont buy the “tank” excuse and they really are and will be that bad so I see them in the running for Tua next year

Fozzyboyd
Fozzyboyd

Every year the talking heads are all in on the Chargers and they rarely do anything. The Chargers have had to be one of the most loved teams by analysts ever since Rivers started for them. They have some talent but they’ve never been a team I’ve been afraid of, at least not since LT left them.

hayoli
hayoli

The Donkey fans are pretty optimistic over at MHR. I think it’s great because their hopes are most likely crushed again for a long while. QB purgatory is hard to escape and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving fan base. Good luck getting anything close to Mahomes out of your 2nd round QB.

Jdklks
Jdklks

Really hoping age catches up once and for all this season and Rivers retires after going 7-9 and having his worst numbers in a decade.

Tarkus

Meh. We’ve owned them in recent years, and they were lucky to get a win against us last year.

Kim Jong Pete
Kim Jong Pete

We’ve owned the division. Something like 21-3 against the AFCW since 2015

Sudden
Sudden

And a “Worst decade ever” graphic

Dave B.
Dave B.

Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr ranked most accurate deep passer by PFF

But then there’s this…

Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr’s 2018 season using advanced stats

Highest deep-ball completion accuracy. Third-lowest attempts past 20 yards. Am I crazy for thinking the smaller sample size is responsible for the higher percentage?

Tarkus

Matt Cassel led the league one year. So yeah, sample size matters.

KC Dude (A.K.A Zif)

Cassel also lead the league in 3rd and long conversions. I remember that year. Anything under 3rd and 7 and we would fail to convert. Anything over and it was almost a sure 1st down.

Tarkus

The year I’m talking about, he was a Viking (I think). He was tied with Russell Wilson for long distance accuracy.

slackator
slackator

The Alex Smith effect, you can be called accurate if you never attempt

MasterChief
MasterChief

The people on the receiving end probably have a lot to do with it too.

Tyrone
Tyrone

Excellent troll of the Broncos by not including their quarterback in their key acquisitions.

01lowbird

They got a Quarterback?

Tarkus

Especially a guy Elway said is just coming into his prime.

stjoechief
stjoechief

If Fangio is a competent head coach, Denver might aspire to 7-9. Otherwise completely agree.