2019 AFC West Divisional Futures Predictions
The AFC West, unlike many other divisions in the league, has two Super Bowl LIV contenders. Before thinking that far ahead, winning the AFC West will give any of the teams a positive boost for the playoffs.
Last season both the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers finished with a 12-4 record, earning a spot in the postseason. The Chiefs won the division because of the strength of schedule, but it was quite a tight race for the top.
The good thing about this division is the Denver Broncos could play the part of an unwanted judge if they beat any of the two favorites at any point in the season.
And then, there is the Oakland Raiders. All drama and no wins Oakland Raiders, who deserve an entire reality show for the season.
odds To Win AFC West 2019
|Kansas City Chiefs||-155|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+150|
Kansas City Chiefs -155
The Kansas City Chiefs have dominated the AFC West over the last three seasons. Two division titles came under QB Alex Smith, and last season under young superstar Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes took home the Offensive Rookie
The Chiefs will aim for a fourth divisional title the same way they did it last season, with a juggernaut offense and a bend but don’t break type of defense.
Mahomes is the new face of the NFL, and Kansas City will be a Super Bowl contender for the next ten years if the QB remains playing like a stud. The division is just a small token to a bigger prize.
Los Angeles Chargers +160
The Chargers hadn’t won the AFC West division since 2009 when they played in San Diego. Last season they had a legitimate chance, but they blew the opportunity by losing late in the season to the Baltimore Ravens at home.
The LA Chargers have one of the most loaded teams not only in the division but in the entire NFL. Since the days of LaDainian Tomlinson, almost a decade ago, they haven’t found themselves in a position to be labeled contenders. They are in 2019.
Denver Broncos +1300
Denver is trying to put together an old recipe together. They hired a former Super Bowl MVP to fill the holes at the quarterback position. The Broncos have done it before with Peyton Manning, and they will try it again with Joe Flacco.
There is a world of difference between Manning and Flacco. But at this point, GM John Elway only wants a decent QB under center, after seeing so many blunders over the last few years. The last time Denver won the division was in 2015.
Oakland Raiders +1800
Jay Gruden is listed as the head coach with the best odds to get fired first this season at +340. The Redskins have won the NFC East two times over the last seven years and once under Gruden.
Neither of those times they were the favorite to win the division. At this point, Washington doesn’t have a clue who will be the starting quarterback for the opening weekend, and that’s never a good thing.
2019 NFL AFC West Divisional Pick – Kansas City Chiefs -155
The Chiefs offense was smooth last season. Since the start of the year, it was clear Kansas City became another animal with QB Patrick Mahomes under center, rather than in the previous years with Alex Smith.
The same smooth and potent offense should carry with this team to win its fourth consecutive divisional title. Kansas City’s weak link is, of course, their defense.
But the team added safety Tyrann Mathieu to help a secondary that sprung many leaks during big games last year. The Chiefs still have not prioritized that side of the ball, however. They have the type of offense that can and will outscore opponents every weekend.
The Los Angeles Chargers are the natural threat to the Chiefs’ current kingdom in the AFC West. I can argue LA has a better roster on both sides of the ball, but there is something about this team that can’t remain healthy.
Derwin James Situation
This year they already lost safety stud Derwin James to stress fracture during training camp. James will be out between three and four months, making it hard for the Chargers to remain a contender in the AFC West. Derwin James should have won the
Defensive Rookie of the year award in 2018. His absent becomes a big hole in the Chargers secondary. With that said, I haven’t even mentioned the contract dispute between the Chargers and their starting running back Melvin Gordon.
Los Angeles will enter the season without Gordon on the roster, and that’s not a good thing. Teams believe running backs are not necessary, but you don’t replace Melvin Gordon’s production so quickly.
The Broncos and the Raiders are far behind in terms of talent. For Denver, things will have to go perfect for them to win the division. Not only would Joe Flacco have to throw the ball like never before, but the defense would have to play over their heads, like the 2015 version that won Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers.
Broncos And Raiders
If Denver needs the perfect storm, the Raiders would need close to a miracle for them to win their first division title in 17 years. Oakland is too far away from their divisional opponents.
Their team is young and not ready to compete. Head coach Jon Gruden is under pressure to deliver after a bad first year. And their biggest star, Antonio Brown, spent three weeks looking and complaining about his new helmet. If the Derwin James hadn’t gotten injured, I might have lean on the Chargers to win the division.
But his absence is too noticeable not to consider the negative impact it will have on the defensive side. The Chiefs have dominated the recent series against the Chargers, which in the end decides the divisional champ. Without James in the lineup, things became a lot easier for Kansas City. Take the Chiefs -155.
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