Go west young man! Those famous words by Horace Greeley couldn’t be truer thanks to the AFC West having two of the most gifted young quarterbacks in the NFL in Justin Herbert and Super Bowl champion and NFL MVP, Patrick Mahomes. In a division that is expected to be both wide open and exciting—just like during its AFL heyday, check out my AFC West divisional preview!
Denver Broncos — Drew Lock, Teddy Bridgewater? It doesn’t matter who is under center, as The Donkeys will be pulling up the rear out west until they solve their own self-inflicted dilemma at QB?
It’s sad that a talented team with Melvin Gordon at RB, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler at WR and TE Noah Fant on offense and a sig-nasty defense led by Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are continuing to suffer due to the incompetence of John Elway in the front office. Until he is out, and someone else is in, the broncos are destined to be picking in the top ten.
Projected record: 8-9
Las Vegas Raiders – Dangerous. Unpredictable. Deadly. Daring. If any franchise prides itself on being on brand it is the Silver and Black! Sadly, it hasn’t translated to the football field. When a playoff contender has a potent offense with a quality starter at QB in Derek Carr, the THIRD best tight end in the league—after George Kittle and Travis Kelce—in Darren Waller, a speedy throwback Al Davis pick in WR Henry Ruggs and a defense that can wreak havoc, then what is the problem?
Not sure if Marc Davis is beginning to have buyer’s remorse in giving ol’ Chucky all those Benjamins, but he better demand to see a return on his $100 million gamble on Jon Gruden, and fast!
Projected record: 10-7
Los Angeles Chargers – Don’t look now, but the Justin Herbert NFL MVP talk is more than just a thing, and thanks to the second-year QB from Oregon, the Chargers look to be the real deal out in L.A. Very few quarterbacks get to mentioned in the same breath as Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino. And even fewerbreak the single-season TD mark for a rookie the way that Herbert has.
What’s scary is that he is only scratching the surface of his true potential. On offense, the Chargers have Keenan Allen and Mike Williams on the outside at WR, a much-needed bodyguard at LT for Herbert in rookie Rashawn Slater and a dynamic all-purpose tailback in Austin Ekeler, who –acoording to reports is doing his best Alvin Kamara impersonation in new OC Joe Lombardi’s system.
Just the thought of Herbert playing in the same system as Drew Brees in New Orleans is enough to really push the MVP talk into the stratosphere.
Ad let’s not forget that the Chargers defense was nothing to sleep on thanks to Joey Bosa, Linval Joseph up front and S Derwin James patrolling the secondary.
If Herbert puts it all together and takes things to the next level, watch out!
Projected record: 12-5
Kinda like Mahomes on Sundays. Think about it.
You have a QB who is still in his twenties, playing at the peak of his career already, in a system that is tailor-made for his style of ball. You have the game’s best TE in Travis Kelce—Heights High!—the fastest wideout in Tyreke Hill, a game-breaking dual-threat at RB in Clyde Edwards-Helaire and a sneaky good No.2 WR in Nicole Hardman, and the Chiefs are pretty much unstoppable.
While they did get smothered in Super Bowl LV by Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, the Chiefs have now rebuilt and bolstered their offensive line to better protect their $500 million man under center. The Chiefs are that rare breed that looks invincible to any kind of Super Bowl hangover or letdown.
After getting humiliated down in Tampa, look for KC to come back with a vengeance in sending a message to all teams that are in their path.
Projected record: 15-2