The AFC West was a one or two team division last year and recent years before, and neither of those teams being Oakland. It had mostly been either owned by Denver, or competitive between Denver and Kansas City. San Diego at one point was even better than Oakland for a while, but this next year Oakland is primed to take the division.
The first problem to address is Denver. Peyton Manning is retired, Brock Osweiller is gone, Denver has had to sign Mark Sanchez and draft Paxton Lynch, which results in the fact that no current QB for Denver has played in their system.
Denver has the worst QB situation in the NFL and it’s not even close, and they lost defensive personnel too. Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan are prime examples, and Denver also had losses on the O-Line. Long story short, Denver has been gutted out. This isn’t their division.
The second problem is the Chiefs. The Chiefs are the biggest threat right now, with their amazing LB core. Alex Smith with Travis Kelce are also strong weapons on offense, and let’s not forget Jamaal Charles.
Charles has been regarded as at least a top 5 RB in the league, but he’s coming off a torn ACL, and Oakland has improved its LB core with the signing of former Seahawks Bruce Irvin.
We all know of Alex Smith’s long former streak without a touchdown to a wide receiver, which still shows a lack of a threat besides Kelce.
Latavius Murray continues to show promise to maybe answer the Chiefs front seven. As long as Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree keep up from last year, the front seven won’t matter because the secondary will be beat, even with Eric Berry.
Last problem, San Diego. Oakland didn’t even need to improve to solve this problem. San Diego is officially in the process of rebuilding. Eric Weddle is gone, Joey Bosa continues to struggle, Melvin Gordon didn’t live up to expectations last year, Phillip Rivers is only getting older, and there’s more problems I won’t go through the trouble of listing.
San Diego finished last in the division last year and they’ll stay there. This was easy enough to solve.
Division Record predictions
Oakland split with Denver last year with Denvers strong team, now Denver is weaker and Oakland is stronger. I don’t see Sanchez, Lynch, or Siemiean beating Oaklands secondary. The front seven will easily contain CJ Anderson or Ronnie Hillman, whoever wins that starting job. Oakland is ready to sweep Denver. Sorry Broncos fans.
Kansas City: 1-1
Like I said, Kansas City is Oaklands biggest threat, and I see a split. Both teams win at home in my eyes. Kansas City’s defense, particularly their front seven, is very strong. I figure Jamal Charles to rebound well off the torn ACL, and for Kelce to be a big target once again. No way Oakland sweeps this team, but no way they get swept either.
San Diego: 2-0
Like I said before, San Diego is on a rebuild. No secondary, no D-Line, no RB, no receiving core, Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates, who are both aging. Oakland has a field day with this team.
San Diego may put up a fight in one game but neither game should be particularly close. Unless San Diego really improves, they’ll be swept by Oakland and Kansas City, maybe Denver as well.
I have Oakland going 5-1 in the division, that being the best record. This is based on rosters right now and stats last year if possible. I understand that Denvers defense is still elite, but they won’t have a reliable offense. I understand that San Diego may not as bad as I’ve made them out to be, but as of now, the outlook is bad. I believe if every team stays healthy, Oakland is the best.