We have looked into the NFC West, so now let’s turn our attention to the AFC West. The Kansas City come into this season as the defending Super Bowl Champions. The Chiefs defeated the Eagles to win their second championship in four years. Last year, many thought the AFC West would be the toughest division in the NFL. The Broncos flopped and finished at the bottom of the division. Las Vegas also had a disastrous season and only finished one game above the Broncos. The Chargers were my pick from a season ago to finish first, but they barely made the playoffs. Kansas City ran away with the division as they finished four games ahead of Los Angeles. How will this season turn out? Who will be crowned the 2023 AFC West division champions?
When Denver traded for Russell Wilson a year ago, many believed they were a Super Bowl contender. Russell Wilson had his worst season and the Broncos finished at the bottom of the division. Denver brought in Sean Payton as the new coach with hopes he could work his magic. The Broncos had one of the best defenses in the league last season but couldn’t protect Wilson on offense. They beefed up their offensive line and signed Samaje Perine to help in the backfield. Jerry Jeudy could have a breakout season and they’ll need him to step up with Tim Patrick due to miss the season. Can Sean Payton get the best out of Russell Wilson? Will the defense be one of the better ones this upcoming season? This could be a 3-team race with the Broncos being in the thick of it.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl champions entering this season. Patrick Mahomes is already known as one of the greatest QBs to ever do it. He enters the season as the #1 player in the league voted by the players. All the Chiefs need to do is give Mahomes enough time to carve up other defenses. Unfortunately, they lost their best offensive lineman Orlando Brown to Cincinnati. They also lost Juju Smith-Schuster via free agency also. With Mahomes, you can plug in a new receiver, and he’ll thrive in that Chiefs offense. The defense lost one of their stars in Frank Clark. With all the losses, Kansas City will be one of the Super Bowl favorites this season and could win the division again. Can Mahomes help lead Kansas City to another run to the Super Bowl?
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas had a season they would like to forget a year ago. Josh Jacobs was one of the best running backs in the league a season ago. Jacobs is rumored to be on the move because of his contract situation. Davante Adams is still one of the best receivers in the league. Derek Carr is out as the starting QB, and they brought in Jimmy Garoppolo to be the starter. Darren Waller was traded to the Giants so the Raiders could be without two of their biggest weapons. Las Vegas invested in their secondary and rightfully so in a division with Mahomes, Herbert and Wilson. They also drafted Tyree Wilson to get after the opposing QB. Denver, Kansas City and Los Angeles will be good and that means Las Vegas will most likely finish last.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers were my team to beat in the division a year ago. The Chargers made the playoffs last season but lost in their first game. After leading the Jaguars 27-0, but had a major meltdown and lost 31-30. Justin Herbert is still one of the best young signal callers in the league. The Chargers rewarded him with the richest contract in league history with a 5-year, $262.5 million dollar extension. The Chargers were hampered by injuries all season on both sides of the ball. Los Angeles drafted Quentin Johnson in the first round to help an already impressive offense. Los Angeles is hoping the defense can stay healthy this season. Los Angeles will be fighting with Denver and Kansas City for the top spot in the AFC West. Can they dethrone the Chiefs in the AFC West?
My 2023 AFC West Standings
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Denver Broncos
- Las Vegas Raiders