AFC West preview and predictions: A blog that previews the AFC West teams, their season outlook and predictions.
The Broncos have a new quarterback, but do they have enough weapons? Are the Chargers getting old? Can the Chiefs overcome another year of coaching upheaval? How bad will the Raiders be this season? The AFC West blog breaks down those questions and many more, with one prediction: It’s going to be another wild ride in the division.
After a busy offseason, Denver still has plenty of questions. What are its biggest concerns as it heads into training camp?
Bill Williamson: The Broncos have a lot of issues. However, there are two big ones at the top of the list.
First, Denver needs to develop depth on the defensive line. The Broncos were fortunate last season to stay relatively healthy on the line. If that changes this year, Denver could get exposed on this unit.
Second, Denver needs to find options for new quarterback Joe Flacco other than wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and tight end Noah Fant. Flacco threw for 3,500 yards last season for Baltimore with good options around him. He does not have that in Denver other than Sanders. The Broncos need Courtland Sutton and rookie tight end Dawson Knox or another receiver to emerge as a
AFC West preview and predictions: A blog that previews the AFC West teams, their strengths and weaknesses, and predicts which team will finish the season on top of the division.
In this blog I will write about each team in the AFC West, their strengths, weaknesses, and who I think will finish on top of the division.
The Kansas City Chiefs are coming off a very successful season. Winning the division with a record of 10-6 and finishing 3rd in point differential per game (minimum 8 games played), behind only the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the eventual NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles. However, due to a first round playoff loss to Tennessee, they were unable to make it to the Super Bowl. Although they lost some key players from last year’s team like quarterback Alex Smith, running back Kareem Hunt, and linebacker Derrick Johnson; they still have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. On defense they return all 11 starters from last year’s team including defensive tackle Chris Jones who finished with 7 sacks last year in 15 games played. On offense they return all 11 starters as well including quarterback Patrick Mahomes who threw for 5 touchdowns in his first 2 NFL starts. Overall this team is very talented and I expect them to
AFC West preview and predictions: A blog that previews the AFC West teams, their strengths, weaknesses and predictions for the 2013 season. The AFC West blog is part of the NFL Today Blog on ESPN.com.
The AFC North was the only division in football where all four teams had a winning record last season. Three of those teams made it to the playoffs and two were one-and-done.
Which of these clubs can rise above this season? Here are ESPN.com’s projections:
1. Baltimore Ravens (11-5). The Ravens were riding high after winning Super Bowl XLVII, but they lost several key players this offseason, including future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis. With Lewis at the helm, the Ravens’ defense has ranked in the top 10 in yards allowed every year since 2000 — and in the top six in points allowed every year since 2003 — according to ESPN Stats & Information. As great as Lewis was, he wasn’t responsible for all of that success, but his leadership will be missed in Baltimore. The offense will continue to revolve around Joe Flacco, who just became one of the richest quarterbacks in football history when he agreed to a new contract extension earlier this month. Although Flacco put up some great numbers during last season
The AFC West is the only division in the NFL that has four teams that are all expected to be competitive. The Chiefs and Raiders are both playoff contenders, while the Chargers and Broncos are rebuilding but still have plenty of talent to make some noise. If anyone can win this division with two or three wins, I could see it happen here. Here is a preview and prediction for how the season will play out in the AFC West:
San Diego Chargers
The one constant for the Chargers over the last few years has been change. They have had a different head coach each of the past three seasons, and they enter 2017 with yet another new coach in Anthony Lynn. Despite having some familiar faces on offense (Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon), they have also had to replace several key players on that side of the ball (Danny Woodhead, Brandon Oliver). On defense, they have only seven players returning who started at least eight games last season. As far as their offense goes, they will once again rely heavily on Rivers and Allen to lead the way. Rivers threw for 4,386 yards last season and will look to continue his streak of eight consecutive seasons with at least 4,000 yards passing. Allen is coming off an injury-shortened season but has
The 2007 NFL season is just a couple weeks away, which means it’s time for my annual blog previewing and predicting the upcoming season. I’ll start with the AFC West and work my way through the rest of the league over the next couple of weeks.
AFC West Preview
Last Year: 9-7, 2nd place
Star Players: QB Jay Cutler, RB Travis Henry, WR Javon Walker, WR Brandon Marshall, LB Al Wilson
Key Losses: QB Jake Plummer (retired), S John Lynch (retired), CB Darrent Williams (murdered)
Outlook: The offense should be improved over last year. Jay Cutler has proven to be a more than capable replacement for Jake Plummer at QB. Travis Henry was also a nice pickup at running back after a disappointing 2006 from rookie Mike Bell. The receiving corp is definitely top notch with Walker and Marshall being one of the best 1-2 combos in the NFL. They should have no trouble moving the ball this season, but they will have trouble stopping anyone else on defense. In addition to losing Lynch and Williams, they also lost DE Courtney Brown to injury and LB Ian Gold to free agency. Their secondary is still among the league’s best with Champ Bailey
The AFC West is a division that many believe will be the most competitive in the NFL this season. The Broncos, Chargers and Chiefs all made the playoffs last season. The fourth team, the Oakland Raiders, went 4-12 but have improved their roster significantly this offseason. The four teams in the AFC West are going to beat each other up this season. That’s great news for Broncos Country because it should make the path to a fourth consecutive division title easier.
The Chiefs had the best record in the AFC West last season and won their first division title since 2010. The Chargers, who finished second to last in the division, won just four games.
Here’s a look at the teams that make up the AFC West, listed in alphabetical order:
DENVER BRONCOS: After missing the playoffs two seasons in a row, general manager John Elway decided to go with Case Keenum as his new starting quarterback.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Kansas City will have a quarterback competition on its hands heading into training camp. Two-year starter Alex Smith was traded to Washington after leading Kansas City to a second straight AFC West title with an 11-5 record.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: Injuries decimated Los Angeles’ roster last season, but if it can stay healthy in 2018, it could be one of the most balanced teams in the NFL on offense and defense.
OAKLAND RAIDERS: Jon Gruden returns for his second stint as Raiders coach after working for ESPN as a commentator for nine years. He’ll be inheriting a team that went 6-10 last season under Jack Del Rio and missed the playoffs for the 15th time in 16 seasons.