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  • Writer's pictureBeatinTheBookie

AFC West - What You Need To Know

Kansas City Chiefs

-Record Last Year 12-4, AFC West Champions

-Season Win total 10 -155, +130

-Odds to win AFC West -155

-Odds to win AFC +400, 2nd favorite behind Patriots

-Odds to win Super Bowl +850

-Odds to make Playoffs -280

-Barring some catastrophic regression from Patrick Mahomes, this team is going to be just fine offensively. They avoid losing Tyreek Hill for an extended period of time...and while they did lose Kareem Hunt to Cleveland, they were already used to playing without him, and Damien Williams was perfectly fine as his replacement last year.

-This was a historically bad defense, 31st in yards per game allowed, and 24th in ppg allowed, and that number is lower than it should be only because Mahomes and the offense was able to control the ball for long periods of time and keep the other team off the field. 

-They lost Justin Houston to the Colts which doesn't help, but they were able to acquire Frank Clark from Seattle and also signed Bausaud Breeland, which I think went under the radar--Speaking of under the radar EJ Manuel retired as well on May 13th! Huge!

-If this team can improve even a little bit on defense and go from atrocious to even below average, they will show improvement overall. 

-The win total has taken a bit of Under money, as some are just betting on regression across the board for this team. The schedule gets harder for them as well--5th hardest strength of schedule headed into the season. 

Los Angeles Chargers

-Record Last Year 12-4, made the Wildcard

-Season Win total 9.5 -135 +110

-Odds to win AFC West +180

-Odds to win AFC +750

-Odds to win Super Bowl 16-1

-Odds to make Playoffs -190

-First of all, I think Melvin Gordon is getting some really bad advice on this holdout. It's hard enough for RBs to have leverage to do this. LeVeon Bell was able to because he could just walk the next year, and Zeke can because he's probably the best RB in the league...but Melvin Gordon is not. It also doesn't help when Philip Rivers comes right out and says essentially 'no big deal' and they'll be fine without him. 

-That said, this Chargers team is loaded yet again. One thing I worry about with these aging QBs is the inevitable regression season. We saw it with Favre, Manning etc..they all of a sudden just hit a wall. It'll happen for Rivers sooner than later. The other aspect of course is Anthony Lynn. Some of his in-game coaching decisions are suspect, and I have little confidence in him in late game situations. 

-This is the "sexy" "it" team every year seemingly, and the same thing happens---They either miss the playoffs completely, or get bounced in Round 1. We saw it again last year in NE with them getting blow out. 

-But they are absolutely stacked on both sides of the ball, were top 10 in total defense last year and were 6th in total ppg on offense with 26.8. A lot to like here with this team and the schedule breaks well for them too with the 16th overall strength of schedule, which is good for a team that made the playoffs the year before.  Denver Broncos 

-Record Last Year 6-10

-Season Win total 6.5 -135, +110

-Odds to win AFC West 12-1

-Odds to win AFC 35-1

-Odds to win Super Bowl 66-1

-Odds to make Playoffs 4-1

-First and foremost, this is an example of addition by subtraction the minute they fired Vance Joseph. It's still baffling how he got hired in the 1st place after being a mediocre DC in Miami. When he went for the FG down 4 last season on 4th and 1 with a few minutes left, his fate was sealed. 

-They bring in Vic Fangio which I found a little surprising because he's a defensive guy, and the offense is what needed the most help in Denver. We saw numerous teams going toward the Sean McVay model of hiring "offensive gurus", but Denver chose otherwise. 

-They don't have much on offense that impresses me. Their #1 WR is Daesean Hamilton, and their starting RB is Philip Lindsley. Joe Flacco could very easily be over the hill and washed up, we'll see, and their OLine is nothing to write home about either. They did sign Ja'Wuan James which...isn't saying much. 

-Defensively, they'll be solid yet again, led of course by Von Miller--although they did take a step back from previous years finishing 13th in ppg allowed last year. 

-I find this situation similar to the one in Jacksonville that I discussed in the AFC South previews. I think a lot of the Broncos defenders were mentally checked out toward the end of the year--completely frustrated with both Vance Joseph and the offense / Case Keenum (18TD and 15Int). It takes its toll...

-Regardless of the outcome of this season, they made the right decision in cleaning house of both Joseph and Keenum. The entire franchise needed a fresh start. 

Oakland Raiders 

-Record Last Year 4-12

-Season Win total 6 -110, -110

-Odds to win AFC West 14-1

-Odds to win AFC 40-1

-Odds to win Super Bowl 80-1

-Odds to make Playoffs +550

-I said at the time that the Jon Gruden hiring and 10-year contract would go down as one of the worst in NFL history, which looks correct so far. Between Hard Knocks, the Antonio Brown helmet and feet fiasco, and this team halfway out the door getting ready for the move to Las Vegas next year all indications are this may be a tough season for the Raiders. 

-Other than Antonio Brown, who may not even play, they have very little depth on the offensive side of the ball. They head into training camp with Doug Martin as their RB1 and Tyrell Williams as their WR1 with Brown out. 

-They signed Vontaze Burfict and Richie Incognito in the offseason which goes against Gruden's claim of building a team of high character individuals based on their past. 

-As you can imagine after losing Khalil Mack, the defense went into a tailspin, giving up the most ppg in the league at 29.2, finishing dead last and 30th against the run at 140 yards per game. 

-There are some who are banking on Derek Carr having a rebound year, and have even bet his MVP number down from 50-1 to 25-1, which are shorter odds than Jimmy G, Alvin Kamara and Cam Newton--all guys I would take to win the MVP over Derek Carr. 



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