Every so often I like to travel across the country. Ya know, see what’s so great about that other coast. While I like 72 and sunny, a little variety is better. So, we’re going to visit the West coast, just for the day, but we’ll be back soon New York — I promise.
This brings us to a potentially very good division in the NFL; the AFC West.
Last Season’s Standings:
Kansas City Chiefs: 12-4
Oakland Raiders: 12-4
Denver Broncos: 9-7
Los Angeles Chargers: 5-11
As always, we’ll go from worst to first….
Los Angeles Chargers
New place, mostly the same faces. The Chargers, formerly known as the San Diego Chargers, packed up their fancy cars, drove 120 miles up the coast, and relocated in Los Angeles. Well, not yet technically. Their new stadium won’t be finished until 2020, but you get the point. The Chargers tried to beef up their offensive line and add some offensive weapons in the offseason. While their offensive line should be improved, Philip Rivers’ newest toy, Mike Williams, is still sidelined with a back injury. Williams, the Chargers 1st-round pick this year, is targeting an October return. Hey Chargers’ fans — don’t hold your breath.
Key Additions: Russell Okung, Kenjon Barner, Robert McClain
Key Losses: Brandon Flowers, Manti Te’O, Danny Woodhead
Vance Josephs made some noise yesterday. As the new head coach of the Denver Broncos, Joseph’s made his 1st big announcement, naming Trevor Siemian, not Paxton Lynch, his starting quarterback. From the 7th round (2015) to the starting quarterback position, Siemian must be psyched for this opportunity. The question is, how much will Siemian be asked to do in a run-first, conservative offensive scheme?? Time will tell. Until then, we’ll see how far their stellar defense can take them.
Key Additions: Jamaal Charles, Ron Leary, Domata Peko
Key Losses: Russell Okung, Vance Walker, DeMarcus Ware (retirement)
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs kicked off their summer by firing their general manager and signing Andy Reid to an extension. That’s really all they did. They lost more talent than they gained, and I think they will regress from their 12-4 record in 2016. I don’t see them falling off a cliff, but when your biggest acquisition in the offseason is an unproven rookie quarterback (who they traded up for), I’m not overly optimistic.
Key Additions: C.J. Spiller, Bennie Logan, Patrick Mahomes II (Draft)
Key Losses: Jamaal Charles, Jeremy Maclin, Dontari Poe
The Oakland Raiders had a busy offseason. Their move to Las Vegas was approved. They signed head coach Jack Del Rio to a 4-year extension. And then they signed their quarterback, Derek Carr, to a monstrous 5-year extension worth 100 Trillion Dollars (Dr. Evil Voice). No, not really, but he’s getting a lot of money. The Raiders are a popular pick this year to challenge the Patriots’ supremacy in the AFC. Man, I really hope so, but that’s doubtful. I do think the Raiders are good enough to lose to the Patriots in the AFC Championship though. They have the talent on the offensive side of the ball. The bottom line: Is their defense good enough to make them a Super Bowl contender??
Key Additions: Marshawn Lynch, Cordarelle Patterson, Jared Cook
Key Losses: Latavius Murray, Menelik Watson, Malcolm Smith
This Season’s Predictions:
Oakland Raiders: 11-5
Kansas City Chiefs: 9-7
Denver Broncos: 8-8
Los Angeles Chargers: 6-10
We’d better hurry up and get back to the East coast before this tan becomes permanent. Next thing you know, we’ll be growing out our hair, surfing, and smokin’ that green stuff. Yeah, let’s stick to overpaying for everything.
Tune in tomorrow for a preview of the AFC North.
Do you think the Raiders can win the Super Bowl this year?? Are your predictions different than mine?? If so, please post them in the comment section below.
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