The NFL season is less than ten days away! Next up, we’ve got our full rankings and predictions for the AFC West.
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are back on top of the NFL heading into 2023. Last year, many questioned if the team could get it done without Tyreek Hill stretching the field. Now, confidence in Kansas City is at an all-time high following their second title in four years. Even with the departure of Juju Smith-Schuster and the lack of a true standout wide receiver, Kansas City is clearly a threat to win in the AFC every year that Patrick Mahomes plays football. They’ve had a top-6 offence in both yards and points for the past six years, and I don’t expect them to fall off any time soon. Barring injuries, this team is still the top contender in the AFC this season and sits comfortably at the top of the AFC West.
Los Angeles Chargers
This offseason, the Chargers did what they had to do by locking up Justin Herbert on a five-year deal. Then, they brought in a rookie WR with a ton of upside in Quentin Johnston. They also managed to hang on to Austin Ekeler despite a surge of rumors that his playing days in Los Angeles were behind him. The Chargers never seem to stay healthy over a full season, but if they ever do, they’ll be on everyone’s radar. The team has star players everywhere on the field, with guys like Herbert, Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Joey Bosa, Derwin James Jr. and Khalil Mack all back in the locker room.
When Los Angeles is going strong, they’re one of the most talented teams in the league. Unfortunately, they’re another great team in a very strong conference that’s going to have to prove they can win before we pick them to win. This will be Herbert’s fourth year as the quarterback, but he’s never won more than ten games in a season.
Can Sean Payton really turn over a new leaf in Denver and get Russell Wilson back to his old self? That’ll be the question in Denver, as the team comes into 2023 looking to rid themselves of the stench that was 2022. Wilson isn’t getting any younger, but if any coach could at least improve that offence to a serviceable unit, it’s Peyton. If they can do that successfully, Denver may just be a team to make some noise in the AFC West, given just how good their defence was last year.
In the best case scenario for the Broncos, Russell bounces back and finds great chemistry with talented wideouts Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, while Javonte Williams comes back 100% from injury and the defence doesn’t lose a step. It’s a lot to go right, but it’s what Denver needs to get back in the mix to where people thought they would be last season.
Las Vegas Raiders
Jimmy Garoppolo and the Raiders certainly have their work cut out for them this year in the AFC West. They do have some of the most talented players in the league in Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs and Maxx Crosby, but the roster takes a pretty big fall after those three. Defence has been an issue for this organization for a long time, as they haven’t ranked in the top half of the league in points against in twenty years. The trend will seemingly continue this year as Vegas plays in a very offensive conference with a very below-average amount of talent on defence. The play of rookie Tyree Wilson will certainly be something to watch, but besides that and Maxx Crosby, there’s not a lot to get excited about.
Love the NFL? Sign up for our FREE Public Pic’em Pool today at officepools.com before the season gets underway.