NFL fans rejoice, the 2021 season is just on the horizon. It’s the last month without football until March. Regardless of what team they root for, they widely remain optimistic that this is their year. Even the pessimistic fans are hopeful enough, besides their team has yet to lose a game this season. While there are a few questions left to be answered around the league, it’s never too early for bold predictions for each of the NFL’S eight divisions. Here are those predictions for the AFC West.
The Quarterback Turmoil Continues
Another season and another controversy at the quarterback position in Denver. Injuries plagued this team last season, especially at the receiver position. But the organization’s confidence in Drew Lock has wavered just a bit. The Broncos acquired Teddy Bridgewater, who was one and done in Carolina after the Panthers traded for Sam Darnold. The decision of who will start Week 1 will likely be decided after the preseason. Even then the decision may not be set in stone, but rather week by week. With the young receivers healthy, whoever the quarterback is, will have viable options in the passing game.
Changing of the Guard
This division has belonged to Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs, but that will come to an end. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert‘s career path took an early turn thanks to the team’s medical staff. He made the most amazing opportunity. The Chargers were a must-watch every week. Although he didn’t record many wins, the Chargers were in every game. The Offensive Rookie of the Year will put up even more impressive numbers than last season.
Sin City gets Wins, Baby
The Raiders in their second season in Las Vegas, the first with fans, are hoping their defense can stay healthy. Offensively, receiver Henry Ruggs will have more of an impact than in his rookie campaign last season. Derek Carr will finally quiet the naysayers who have questioned whether or not he is head coach Jon Gruden’s guy, and whether he can take his team to the next level. The answer to both will remain unanswered for another season.
The Competition has Final Caught up to Them
The Chiefs are the perennial favorite in this division, as they represented the AFC in the last two Super Bowls. Their offense is still a high-powered one that is almost impossible to defend. But opposing teams, especially the trio in this division, have tried to build their team to compete with them. Some opted to bolster their defenses to attempt to slow them down, while others added to their offenses to be able to keep up with the Chiefs on the scoreboard and hope to come out on top. The Patrick Mahomes led offense will still put points up with efficiency.
Three Playoff Teams, Not Quite
This division is poised to score points, and they will do so better than any other division in the NFL. The Chargers will take the division crown with their explosive offense and healthy defense, which didn’t help Herbert’s cause last season. The Chiefs and Raiders will battle all year for second place in the AFC West and the final Wild Card spot. Down the stretch, the Raiders will lose two or three crucial games and miss the playoffs. The Chiefs will make the postseason, albeit not the way they have been accustomed to recently.
Follow Joe Heller on Twitter @JerseyJoe317
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