We have reached my final AFC division prediction with the AFC West. The AFC West was a two team division last season with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers both finishing 12-4 with the Chiefs taking the tiebreaker. This season could be interesting for the AFC West as the Raiders added star receiver Antonio Brown and controversial defender Vontaze Burfict while the Broncos added quarterback Joe Flacco. While I don’t think those additions will give them a chance to win the division, they can certainly improve from their production last season. So who wins the AFC West division this season? The Chiefs? The Chargers? Let’s find out!
Kansas City Chiefs: 13-3
Winning the AFC West division for the second year in a row is the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs to me are the clear best team in the AFC West and to me are right behind the Patriots for the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. In addition to having arguably the best offense in the NFL, the Chiefs made some key additions to their defense (specifically their secondary) to improve their defense. Former Pro Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu and cornerback Bashaud Breeland will look to improve the Chiefs pass defense that ranked second worst in passing yards allowed, 22nd in passing touchdows allowed and help a Chiefs defense that overall ranked 24th in the league in points allowed per game. I think these signings will pay dividends for the Chiefs making them better defensively and complimenting their high powered offense well.
Denver Broncos: 9-7 (tie)
This is probably my boldest prediction of all my predictions but I have the Denver Broncos finishing in a tie for second in the AFC West taking the tiebreaker over the Los Angeles Chargers. Ultimately, I think the Broncos offseason addition of quarterback Joe Flacco was a huge offseason acquisition for the Broncos on and off the field. Joe Flacco will help the Broncos offense that struggled last season giving them a Super Bowl level quarterback that can make plays with solid players around him while also helping to mentor their 2019 draft pick Drew Lock who the Broncos will be grooming as their quarterback of the future. Running back Phillip Lindsay will certainly benefit from having Flacco under center making their offense more flexible and versatile threat on offense. Not to mention the Broncos have a pretty good defense that is sure to continue their high level of play.
Los Angeles Chargers: 9-7 (tie)
Coming in at third in the AFC West losing the tiebreaker for second place against the Denver Broncos is the Los Angeles Chargers. With running back Melvin Gordon holding out for a new contract, the Chargers running game could suffer in his absence. Depending on how long his holdout lasts, the Chargers offense as a whole will be forced to become one-dimensional. Now I could be very wrong because the Chargers passing attack is very good even without Gordon and have some talented players on defense. I would not be surprised if I was wrong about this but I am betting that Melvin Gordon’s absence will affect the Chargers offense and the Broncos will be able to take advantage as a result.
Oakland Raiders: 6-10
Finishing last in the AFC West for the second year in a row will be the Oakland Raiders. A big reason for why I have the Raiders finishing last in the divisio again is that besides their passing attack, in every other area on the field, the Raiders are either just average to below average. The Raiders did not make any offseason changes on the defensive end to make them any better than they were last season. The addition of Antonio Brown and drafting Hunter Renfrow will give Derek Carr two very good new receiving targets but I can’t see it making much of a difference when it comes to getting wins.