The AFC West has fielded two playoff teams in three of the last four seasons which speaks about the competitiveness in the division.
Despite the injury to wide receiver Tyreek Hill, the Kansas City Chiefs still have the reigning MVP in Patrick Mahomes under center and will look to pick up the offense right where it left off at 35 points per game; which was the best in football. Can the Chargers, Broncos, or Raiders unseat the three-time defending champion Kansas City Chiefs in 2019?
The Oakland Raiders made a big splash in the offseason acquiring star wide receiver Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Raiders also had a great draft, taking the top running back, Josh Jacobs, from the University of Alabama with the 24th overall pick and bolstering their defense. But was it enough to turn the team with the No. 32 defense and No. 28 offense into a contender? Right from the opening kickoff, the Raiders will look to show off their new weapons and will stun the Broncos and Chiefs. After that, it will get ugly for the black and silver. Road trips to Minnesota, Indianapolis, Green Bay, Houston, and a date with last year’s No. 1 rated defense in the NFL – the Chicago Bears at home won’t be easy for the Raiders. A lengthy losing streak could deflate the young Raiders for the second half of the season which features a friendlier schedule.
Prediction: 4-12 (4-2)
The Broncos made a change under center bringing in quarterback Joe Flacco to replace Case Keenum. Flacco should do well with a change of scenery and a strong rushing game to help take the pressure off of him. The light air in Denver should help his deep ball as well. After a tough three games against the Raiders, Bears, and Packers, the Broncos should settle in the win column at least six times in their next eight games against Jacksonville, Tennessee, Cleveland, Kansas City (at home), Buffalo, and Los Angeles (at home). How they finish in their final four games will determine if they are a playoff team. They will face Houston and Kansas City on the road and close with Detroit and Oakland at home. Last year the Broncos lost their final four and finished 6-10.
Prediction: 8-8 (3-3)
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Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs will open their schedule with their toughest opponents at home. A place where they finished 7-1 last season (not including playoffs). With Mahomes picking up where he left off, the Chiefs will rack up wins against the Jaguars, Ravens, Lions, Colts, Texans, Packers, and Vikings. Tough road matches against the Patriots, Bears, and a battle in Mexico against the Chargers could bring the Chiefs back to reality. The final game against the Chargers will decide the division champion.
Prediction: 10-6 (3-3)
Los Angeles Chargers
USAToday predicted the Chargers to win the Super Bowl, and with a stacked roster they are a true championship contender. Sprinting out of the gate, the Chargers will down the Colts, Lions, Texans, Dolphins, Broncos, and Steelers before suffering their first defeats in Tennessee and Chicago. Los Angeles will get back in the win column against the Packers, Chiefs, Jaguars, and Vikings setting up key division matchups to finish the season. The Raiders will look to avenge getting swept last season, and possibly earn a sweep for themselves. A week 15, and 16 loss would push Los Angeles back into the Wild Card.
Prediction: 10-6 (2-4)
AFC West Standings: 2019-20 Prediction
Chiefs 10-6 (3-3)
Chargers 10-6 (2-4
Broncos 8-8 (3-3)
Raiders 4-12 (4-2)
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