Season Outlook: The Wild, Wild AFC West
Out to the wild AFC West where no-look passes and fifty touchdowns took the Chiefs to the AFC championship game. Is Andy Reid the offensive version of Marty Schottenheimer? Old San Diego gunslinger Philip Rivers now stuck in LA vaulted the Chargers to a tie with the Chiefs at 12-4. Can he finally add a Superbowl to his resume? The Broncos got a rookie phenom and a 6-10 record. Joe Flacco? The Raiders hired Gruden and traded the team away to go 4-12. Is the shine coming off the old coach?
Kansas City Chiefs, 1st AFC West
Team MVP: Pat Mahomes
Did you watch football last season? The only way you don’t know the value of Mahomes is if you didn’t. After a first season that will be impossible to replicate, Mahomes will try to take it one step further with a Superbowl win.
Breakout Player: Damien Williams
Over his five games as the starter, Williams averaged 114.4 scrimmage yards and almost two touchdowns per game. With Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware out of the picture, he will get plenty of chances to be the featured back in Kansas City. Based on the production at the end of last year it looks like Williams star is about to shine very bright in 2019.
Season Outlook: The Chiefs have Pat Mahomes at the helm, Damien Williams blowing up in the backfield, and Tyreek Hill not being disciplined by the NFL. So they are still the best offense in the NFL in many peoples minds. They should not only win the division but could be raising a Lombardi trophy by the end of the season.
Los Angeles Chargers, 2nd AFC West
Team MVP: Philip Rivers
Rivers is the straw that stirs the drink for the Chargers, and he will be counted on even more if Melvin Gordon holds out or he’s traded. He has what most believe is a Hall of Fame resume, and if he can somehow add a Superbowl ring late in his career, he would seal it. Rivers is the heart and soul of this team. Expect another exceptional season from the fiery quarterback.
Breakout Player: Uchenna Nwosu
As a rookie, he flashed in a limited role with 27 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Now locked in as a starter in year three the Chargers are expecting big things. Nwosu will get every chance to be a substantial contributor to the Chargers defense this upcoming season.
Season Outlook: Even without Melvin Gordon the Chargers are loaded and headed for the playoffs once again. The defense is as talented as they come at all three levels. Philip Rivers is as good he has ever been, and the offensive line should improve from a year ago. If it falls into place, they could push Kansas City for the division once again.
Denver Broncos, 3rd AFC
Team MVP: Bradley Chubb
A rookie with 12 sacks already had his breakout season. With Fangio in town as the new head coach, Chubb’s production could grow in year two. Especially since Fangio has already said, he is tailor-made for his defense. A big year is ahead for the young edge rusher.
Breakout Player: Courtland Sutton
Sutton finished his rookie year with 42 catches for 704 yards which is 16.7 yards per catch. He will now have strong-armed veteran Joe Flacco chucking bombs downfield. Sutton has a chance to put up big numbers as one of the Broncos main targets.
Season Outlook: John Elway keeps shuffling through quarterbacks like Icky Woods after a touchdown. Since Peyton Manning retired, Elway has not been able to land a suitable replacement. This years ‘fix’ is former Raven Joe Flacco along with youngster Drew Lock waiting in the wings. Denver is a mediocre team in a division with two of the best teams in the AFC. It’s going to be another long season Broncos fans.
Oakland Raiders, 4th AFC West
Team MVP: Trent Brown
Brown signed as a free agent after winning a Superbowl in New England. He will settle in at right tackle for the Raiders, with Kolton Miller fortifying the left side. Brown will be vital in keeping Carr upright, which is crucial to get John Gruden’s offense off the ground in Oakland.
Breakout Player: Tyrell Williams
The blockbuster trade for Antonio Brown grabbed all the headlines but adding Tyrell Williams was a nice under the radar signing. Williams burst onto the scene his rookie year with 1000 yards but has been unable to duplicate that production the following two years. Williams is big, fast, and his targets should increase in Oakland. The explosive wideout might put up a career year in Gruden’s pass-happy offense.
Season Outlook: While the Raiders had a solid offseason, they are starting from 4-12 and its a long climb back. The key to this year will be building chemistry and developing young players for 2020. They will improve, but it is hard to see more than six wins for this club. The Raiders should ready to make the jump to contender once they make their move to Sin City.
Up Next: NFC East