The Chiefs Reign in AFC West Comes to an End

Happy Madden Day, folks. I’m not a gamer, but I know many people look forward to this day every year. In fact, in my younger days working in retail, we used to have scheduled extra people and security because of the excitement of the release and how many workers would call off to play the game all day. I bring this up because I just watched something on Kyler Murray being such a big gamer that there was a clause in his contract about it. People actually proved he played worse in games after Call of Duty was released and on double XP weekends. That’s some deep-level handicapping. Tip of the cap there.

We’ve already covered the NFC West, so let’s now talk about the AFC West.

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Kansas City is still the top dog in the vision, but it is significantly closer than the past two or three years. Last year, the Chiefs ended up winning the division after going 5-1. I wouldn’t say they really dominated the division though. Despite that record, they really struggled against the Chargers. They absolutely demolished the Raiders, and the Broncos were kind of a split between good and bad. Still, they have Patrick Mahomes and he is the best player at the best position, they also have Andy Reid, probably the best coach. Their defense will lose them games though. Travis Kelce had a decent season, but his lowest yardage total since 2017. They also lost Tyreek Hill. I can’t back them to win the division.

The Chargers are my bet for the team that wins this division. Justin Herbert has been a great player basically since he stepped onto the field. He led them to a 9-8 record last year, and they were just 3-3 in the division, but I think the addition of Khalil Mack should strengthen an already solid defensive unit. I think if their defense can even be a little bit better this year, Herbert and Austin Ekeler could lead the team to extra wins. The biggest, and only question mark I have is the wide receiving corps. Keenan Allen is the best wide receiver that you can count on for six games a year. Mike Williams was setting the world on fire for his first five games – he had 471 yards and six touchdowns in those games. In the following 11 games? Williams had just 675 yards and three touchdowns. In order for my +220 ticket to cash, Williams needs to be much more consistent and Allen needs to be more reliable than the paper straws that California loves so much.

The Broncos fixed their biggest issue, clearly. Russell Wilson takes over as the quarterback of Denver and that should instantly fix the offense, right? Not quite. Wilson is good, and clearly an upgrade over the trash that was thrown out there last year. Their offense should be pretty solid though. I just don’t think they are going to magically be one of the best teams in the division. They could win nine games this season. They also could lose all of the games against their division teams. I don’t see this happening and at +260, I won’t waste my money.

The Raiders are a dysfunctional franchise. Maybe that’s harsh, but last year was an ugly year filled with a lot of distractions. They do have some good things going for them. Their offense stacks up with the rest of the teams in the division. Carr is probably the worst quarterback in the division, unfortunately. However, with Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs, and Darren Waller, we should see their team be successful offensively. Defensively they could be good, too. I’m not sure they will be able to stop the Chargers or the Chiefs to win all four of those games, but maybe they can split the games. At +650, I do like them to win the division, but after the first game against the Chargers, if they lose, you might be able to get a better number. Still, I’ll take a flyer on this and grab it for a half unit.

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Written by David Troy

2 Comments

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  1. Honestly? This is something like the fifth or sixth year in a row the ‘experts’ have told us the Chargers are the best team in the AFC West ‘on paper.’

    Part of me thinks they had to move into a new stadium not because of pathetic fan support but because they needed a new place to hang all those April championship banners.

    For those interested in facts, here are your AFC West champs the last six years.

    2016–Chiefs
    2017–Chiefs
    2018–Chiefs
    2019–Chiefs
    2020–Chiefs
    2021–Chiefs

    It doesn’t take an algorithm to recognize a pattern here. Call me when Andy Reid retires or Mahomes gets hurt. Until then, any division bet against the Chiefs is just a long-unanswered prayer.

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