By Vincent Pensabene
I’m going to be completely transparent here, I’m not a fan of any of these teams making noise in the playoffs. The Chiefs have a quarterback that doesn’t pass the eye test, the Raiders got rid of a top three defensive lineman, the Broncos can’t find someone who can throw a ball and the Chargers don’t have receivers or a defense. If any division can have a seven game winner lead the division this season, it would be here. However, here are my predictions for the AFC West.
Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
This team hasn’t won a playoff game since Joe Montana was their quarterback. I do like their offense with the addition of Sammy Watkins. Patrick Mahomes led this team to the playoffs last year and have a great fullback, a decent tight end, good receivers that can get separation, and an okay line. I’m not a fan of their defense but the offense should carry the team into the playoffs.
Los Angeles Chargers (8-8)
This team is bland, plain and simple. They feel like the Spurs of the NFL without the winning. They have the best quarterback in the division with Philip Rivers and have a solid running back in Melvin Gordon. I also am a fan of Keenan Allen putting up big numbers this year. However, they already lost Hunter Henry to a torn ACL. Joey Bosa is the star on the defense, which is middle of the road as a whole but the offense will need to play their asses off if this team wants to overthrow the Chiefs in the division. With an aging Rivers and Antonio Gates, I don’t see that happening this season.
Denver Broncos (7-9)
Who plays quarterback for this team again? Case Keenum. That should say enough but I will continue. This team is decent with Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas but will have to either depend on Keenum or a rookie running back in Royce Freeman. The team still has a solid defense and adding Bradley Chubb as a linebacker will make this team fun to watch on the defensive side of the ball.
Oakland Raiders (7-9)
I had the win totals figured out for all 32 teams before creating any of this to make sure the amount of combined wins and losses were even. This was before the Khalil Mack trade and that is going to be a big hit on the team. The three keys of building a team are: get a quarterback, protect the quarterback, and get some players to attack the opposing quarterback. They have Carr at quarterback and a decent line. In a winnable division, the team decided to let go of their franchise cornerstone. Jordy Nelson and Amari Cooper together are a great duo and Marshawn Lynch is still a formidable running back. This team could have been a playoff contender, but now will be difficult to see this team get some victories outside of the division.