The AFC West has not been the centre of attention in recent years. Partly due to the Kansas City Chiefs’ dominance, partly due to the lesser quality of teams from the division. However, this year it’s set to be shaken to its core. Let’s delve into exactly how.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs will be without underrated quarterback Alex Smith this year who was traded to the Redskins. The trade marks an exciting moment for Patrick Mahomes II who will takeover at the helm of the offence, in what could be a make or break decision for the franchise. Luckily, Mahomes has many assets at his disposal.
Sammy Watkins was acquired from the Rams this year, who when fit is an absolute game changer. Joining Watkins will be Pro-Bowlers, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Finally, Rookie Of The Year, Kareem Hunt, returns to the line-up in the hope of making another huge impact.
The biggest question revolving around the franchise remains their newly promoted quarterback. Many believe the young gunslinger isn’t quite NFL “ready”. In addition, there have been several reports pointing toward an extensive list of thrown interceptions, which is not a good look for the upcoming season.
By now, the Oakland Raiders are a veteran team edging ever closer to a win at all cost season. With talent on the team like Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch and Kahlil Mack, they could be a serious threat in the AFC. Furthermore, the acquisitions of Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant brings speed to the receiving core this season.
There’s no real worries to be too concerned with for this talented team, other than the looming presence of injury which has derailed countless Raiders in the past.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are another franchise who have had seasons destroyed by injuries to star players. Luckily for the Chargers, that’s the only threat to their potential dominance.
The Chargers are immensely talented on offence this year. Philip Rivers is the one immovable object on the roster, whose lacked the right assets in recent years to help him. However, Keenan Allen returning from a huge year looks hellbent on exercising his right to the best wideout in the league. He is joined by the talented Melvin Gordon and Mike Williams. Moreover, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram look to combine with added defensive pieces like exciting safety, Derwin James.
In just their second year in Los Angeles, the Chargers look to stake their claim for the division championship.
Finally, the Denver Broncos.
This year the Broncos attempted to stabilise the quarterback position with the arrival of Case Keenum from the Vikings. The QB spot has been void of a prominent starter since the departure of Peyton Manning, which has caused the franchise a multitude of problems in the past few years.
Bradley Chubb was selected fifth overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, who appears to be a superior calibre athlete on that tough Broncos defence. He will line-up with six-time Pro-Bowler Von Miller, who has been arguably the league’s best defensive talent for years.
The big issue for the Broncos will be designing a playbook for their new franchise QB. If they can nail that aspect, the sky is the limit for the team in Mile High this season.