2016 NFL Preview: AFC West

NFL-LogoAfter taking a brief break from my NFL preview series, I’m back in the saddle with the AFC West.

(In order of predicted finish)

Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)

Head coach Andy Reid has done one helluva job with the Chiefs.  They may not be the most talented, nor the flashiest bunch, but man do the put in work.

The fact that the Chiefs’ running game still hummed along after Jamaal Charles’ season-ending injury last season is proof-positive that Kansas City is one of the most resourceful teams in the NFL.  Imagine if the Chiefs had a game-breaking receiver, or if QB Alex Smith had a few more tools in his skillset.  The fact that Smith still produces at a high level despite his limitations is an obvious positive.

Couple that with a scary defense led by sack masters Justin Houston and Tamba Ali, the Chiefs should be the team to beat in this division.

Oakland Raiders (10-6)

At the risk of prematurely crowning, and subsequently jinxing them, I think the Raiders are going to be one of the breakout teams this season.

They are well-coached by Jack Del Rio.  They FINALLY have their franchise QB in Derek Carr.  They have weapons on the outside such as Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree.  And their suddenly legit defense is led by pass rushers Khalil Mack and the newly signed Bruce Irvin.

Lots of optimism in Raider Nation, in fact folks in Oakland should be excited  Too bad they will lose their team to Las Vegas…

Denver Broncos (9-7)

Well Broncos fans, this season officially marks the end of the Peyton Manning era.  But not all is lost, y’all.

For starters, the Broncos STILL have the best defensive unit in the league.

Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller and Demarcus Ware will be still coming off the edge to sack the hell out of QBs.  And as long as Aqib Talib is not getting his ass shot up, the secondary should be still strong this season.

And then there’s the offense.

QB Mark Sanchez is having trouble beating out a rookie (Paxton Lynch) and a second year player (Trevor Siemian).  The coaching staff has yet to name a starting QB.  Somewhere out there Demaryius Thomas is crying his eyes out…

San Diego Chargers (4-12)

Sorry-ass team was so terrible, it picked 3rd in the NFL draft.  Same sorry-ass team had the audacity to play hardball with rookie Joey Bosa, making this essentially a redshirt season for him.

I bet there are times where QB Philip Rivers wishes he was traded away from said sorry-ass team.  It’s not like the coaching staff could pick up the slack.

This is the 2016 San Diego Chargers.

Poor Chargers fans.  I bet y’all really want your team to move the hell to Los Angeles fast, quick and in a hurry…

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