We’re finally to the final division in the AFC after going through the East, North and South. The AFC West saw key changes to all the teams in the division. Kansas City took the division last year and Denver was one of the more disappointing teams in the league. Oakland is trying to repeat their successful season from two seasons ago. The Los Angeles Chargers have the potential to shock a lot of teams and possibly take the division. In the end, can the Chargers finally capture their first division title since 2008? Let’s see how things will play out this year.
The Denver Broncos finished with a 5-11 record last season and they finished last in their division. The Broncos are hoping that they found their franchise QB in Case Keenum. Case Keenum is hoping to duplicate his success he experienced with the Vikings last season. Denver lost a key part of their defense when Aqib Talib was traded to the Los Angeles Rams. With their first round draft pick, Denver selected Bradley Chubb to go on the other side of Von Miller. Denver is hoping to get back to having a dominant defense that’s lead by two great edge rushers. I’m a huge fan of Case Keenum and his story, but I don’t think he’s the answer for Denver. Denver will improve from a year ago, but still will miss the playoffs as they’ll finish with a 7-9 record.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs finished with a 10-6 record last season, finished atop of the division, but lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Kansas City will be turning to their future as they traded Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins. Patrick Mahomes will take over the QB position as he has one of the better arms in the league. Kansas City have a plethora of weapons on offense like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. They added another deep threat in Sammy Watkins to go with this high level offense. The Chiefs are hoping that Eric Berry can return to Pro Bowl form and anchor that defense that loss Marcus Peters. Patrick Mahomes will go through growing pains, but he’ll lead the Chiefs to another 10-6 record.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers finished with a 9-7 record last year and barely missed the playoffs. The Chargers are hoping they can stay healthy for an entire season and make a run at the division crown. Los Angeles still have Philip Rivers at QB and he’s money. Keenan Allen is one of the top-5 WRs in the game and he should have another great season. If healthy, Mike Pouncey could help man up that offensive line to help out Rivers and the run game. With their first round pick, they drafted Derwin James and he could be an impact player in that secondary. I’m predicting a great season from the Chargers that will end in a playoff appearance by finishing with a 11-5 record.
The Oakland Raiders finished with a 6-10 record after having an impressive season the year before. Oakland made several changes during the offseason with hopes of getting back to the playoffs. First off, they brought back their old coach in Jon Gruden by giving him a 10-year deal. On the offensive side of the ball, they’re hoping Derek Carr can remain healthy for an entire season. The year before, Carr looked like an MVP candidate, which is why they gave him a huge contract extension. They brought in Jordy Nelson to offset the loss of Michael Crabtree, plus they signed RB Doug Martin. They vamped up their defense, but Khalil Mack is still missing as he’s holding out for a new contract. Oakland will improve from a year ago but will miss the playoffs with an 8-8 record.
My 2018-2019 AFC West Prediction
- Los Angeles Chargers 11-5
- Kansas City Chiefs 10-6
- Oakland Raiders 8-8
- Denver Broncos 7-9
What do you think about my thoughts of the AFC West this upcoming season? How do you see things playing out? Can the Chargers overtake the Chiefs for the division? Will the Raiders or Broncos make a run? Leave a comment below.