The champs won’t be unseated so easily, as Kansas City and Los Angeles battle for supremacy in a tightly packed AFC West. Are these all playoff teams? Will the unthinkable happen? Deja vu.
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Everyone seems to be assuming we have reached the end of the Kansas City dominance in the AFC West. The Chiefs are, supposedly, going to be taking a step back after trading away Tyreek Hill and retooling on defense. More than that, the rest of the division made large strides to compete right now.
Even still, according to the Vegas odds, Kansas City is the favorite to win the West. That may surprise some folks, though the separation between the divisional peers is rather minuscule. By the time the season actually begins, the expected order of finish could completely flip around.
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After Kansas City at +160, Los Angeles and Denver are neck-and-neck with odds of +250 and +260 respectively. The Chargers have been making incremental leaps for a few seasons now. Everyone is counting on Justin Herbert to be one of the best passers in the game from here on out. In Denver, Russell Wilson is expected to bring the Broncos into a similar echelon of competition. Both teams seem to outclass the Chiefs in terms of skill players on offense and talent on defense. But it is no small feat to also top them at the most important pairing; that of quarterback and head coach.
Trailing the group is perhaps the best, last-place team in the league, the Las Vegas Raiders. All the Raiders did this offseason to stay competitive was add Davante Adams and Chandler Jones, two of the biggest names and best players at their respective positions in the sport. It may not be enough to avoid last place, but that has more to do with their fellow Westerners than with the talent on this roster. New head coach Josh McDaniels has a tall hill to climb. Who will win the AFC West? Prepare for some deja vu.
AFC West 2022 Predictions
Todd Salem: Chiefs Win Division
I don’t see Vegas getting out of it. I think this is indeed a last-place team, even if they perform well outside of the division this year. They have the worst quarterback in the division, even if Derek Carr is better than half the QBs in the league. They might also have the worst coach and worst offensive line. Things are too tough in the AFC West.
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On the opposite end, call me old-fashioned, but I need to see it before I believe it. I don’t believe in the Chargers yet. LA finishes third, as it still is learning to win. Denver, though, cannot unseat the favorites. The Broncos come up short, and the Chiefs, once again, reign supreme. You can’t tell me that all the talk about the strength of this division isn’t motivating the champs. Make it seven consecutive West titles for Reid, Mahomes, and company.
Dan Salem: Chargers Win Division
The AFC West is certainly going to be competitive, but I see it much more like the AFC North of last season. All four teams will be separated by two games or fewer, with the division winner grabbing only ten or eleven wins at most. This is because every team has a good quarterback and solid supporting cast. With no injuries as of yet, very little separates them on paper.
I watched a ton of the Chargers last year and they could have easily won two more games. Los Angeles pulls it off this season and tops the Chiefs by a game for the division title. Experience is what keeps making them better and I like the LA defense more than Kansas City’s. The Chiefs grab an easy second place.
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Denver pulls up third because Wilson certainly makes them better, but I need to see it to believe it with the Broncos. Something always feels off about Denver, no matter who is at quarterback. This uncertainty and lack of time playing together costs them two games which makes the difference between first and third place in the AFC West.
Leaving the most interesting for last, the Raiders will have a decent season but come up short. The reason is their new head coach. It’s not like he’s inheriting a well run team. Las Vegas was a mess last year off the field. McDaniels will need at least one season to round his team into shape. They will be good, but not great. Since the division is so competitive, this leaves the Raiders in last place, despite playing like a good team.
Meet our Writers:
Dan Salem is Lead Editor, Writer, and Co-owner of BuzzChomp. He’s a published author, as well as an award winning Actor, Director and Producer. Visit M Square Productions for his film work, or get lost in his old-school comedy on Pillow Talk TV. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
Todd Salem is a Staff Writer and Contributing Editor at BuzzChomp. He’s also a fantasy football and fantasy baseball Staff Writer for RotoBaller. Follow him on Twitter or comment below for his unfiltered opinions.
AFC West Photo Credits: NFL.com and PredominantlyOrange.com
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