The AFC West is a division of the National Football League (NFL)’s American Football Conference (AFC) The division represented the AFC sixteen times beginning with Super Bowl where Kansas City Chiefs lost to Green Bay 35-10. The Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders lead the conference with three super bowl victories. The Chiefs won one in 1970 defeating Minnesota Vikings 23-7. The Chargers lost in Super Bowl XXIX, their lone Super Bowl appearance. The division formed in 1960. The original AFL West had four members –the Dallas Texans (who moved to KC and became the Chiefs in 1963), Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers (who moved to San Diego in 1961) and Oakland Raiders. In 1970 as part of the new NFL’s two-conference, six-division alignment, the AFL West entered the merged league more or less intact as the AFC West. For example, the Los Angeles Chargers moved to San Diego in 1961 only to move back in 2017–until stadium ready in Vegas. Seattle Seahawks moved into AFC West from the NFC West division (1977 Season). In 2002 they moved back to the NFC West. The Kansas City Chief and Oakland Raiders are co favourites to win the division. I give the edge to Oakland barring injury to QB.
The Oakland Raiders is my pick to finish first. Oakland e teams as youth and experience. Last year is the first time since 2002 that the team finished above 500. However, the season is a disappointment in that they could not go to war in the playoffs with starting QB. Derek Carr broke his leg on December 24th during a 33-25 win against the Colts. They lost final two games of the season and an AFC wild card playoff to Houston. I pick the Raiders because to win the division and challenge Pittsburgh and New England for AFC supremacy due to top rated offence and improving D. They coaxed Marshawn Lynch out of 1-year retirement. They have a massive O-line with such powerhouses as left tackle Donald Penn, guard Kelechi Osemele, and pro bowl centre Rodney Hudson. I must not forget guard Rodney Hudson an alternate for pro bowl team. The Raiders did well in the draft, they took 6’6”, 343 pound OT David Sharpe out of Florida. The Raiders will improve on 26th rank D which had not played that bad. Surprisingly D coordinator Ken Norton kept his job, but not all the control in that San Diego D guru got lured to the Raiders. Yes, the Raiders will use Pagano experience. On special teams, they signed Cordelle Patterson from Minnesota. My final analysis is the Raiders finishing 12-4 to 13-3. Good enough for first place. However, the D will have to improve if they hope to reach the super bowl finals.
My pick to finish second the Kansas City Chiefs is a team who will need to develop more explosions on offence and less methodical ball control play. The team’s centres around Alex Smith who has led them to a 41-20 record the past four years. Travis Kelce is the leading receiver and goes to the guy at clutch times. The running game is decent but lacks explosion. The receiver position is something of concern due to the style of O the Chiefs run. If the coaches develop deep ball plays for wideouts, it is going to present new problems for teams around the league. The Chiefs got some speed in back up Tyreek Hill, and Jeremey Maclin hopes to return to his dominant self. On D Kansas City is always stacked the strong point of Reid team. The strong point is the cornerbacks Berry and Peters. My final analysis is a 2nd place finish possibly with an 11-5 or 12-4 record. Kansas City is a well-coached team that could repeat as the division champs.
San Diego is my call for 3rd place because of the offence. I hope they can stay healthy to show the league the potential. QB Philip Rivers, the old man, leads the show. Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams’ is a nice addition and RB Melvin Gordon, Kenyon Barner and Walt Derek provides stability. Mike Williams will start at wide out with Keenan Allen who has returned from injury. The D showed signs of taking a step forward. Joey Bosa is going to be a force to deal with for the next 5 or more years. Bosa is the defensive rookie of the year who received honours after recording 10.5 sacks in 12 games. Bosa held out of training camp last season, so we expect big things in a full season. The Chargers return to LA after 50 odd years. It’s going to be tough due to a top 5 schedule rated in toughness. To open the season, they have a winnable game in Denver. I see the Chargers going 3-5 during the first half of season. These Chargers are capable of 7-9 or 8—8. It’s going to an upset or two for a 10-6 wild card season. It’s possible, but more likely the team will finish at 500.
The Denver Broncos is my pick to finish in the basement. Von Miller is the best player on the team year in year out. Not so long ago this team was a super bowl champion and contender every year. Denver should be worried about the starting QB. The battle is between Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. The RB tandem is getting old. Davontae Booker is the man of the future whose future is now. C.J Anderson is a four-year starter with adequate numbers at RB. My final analysis is the Broncos will be a competitive team that is tough to beat. However, the lack of fire power at QB and wide out is a major concern. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders may be too old to produce big numbers at wide out. The Broncos drafted undersized, unproven wideouts. Most sports books rate the draft an A. I rate their draft a D or lower. Don’t be surprised to see Denver starting the season 0-4 or 1-3 I see them at 1-7 at the halfway y point. A rebuilding year I hope the Broncos realise. I surprised they never sought help at QB. Denver will end up 5-11 or 6-10. It will take a miracle to win ten games.