Has there ever been a more unpredictable division than the 2022 AFC West?

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Will the Broncos with Russ at QB trip to an AFC West title?
Picture: Getty Photos

All through this collection we’ve been doing this week, we at all times attempt to begin each preview with a logical end result. What is anticipated from the division? How are consultants and analysts predicting this division to play out come season’s finish? Who’s more than likely to exceed expectations, and who’s more than likely to fail to succeed in their expectations? With the AFC West although, any and each query in regards to the end-of-year standings can kind of be answered with an inconclusive shrug, and one way or the other, that’s a viable response.

Logical Final result

Right here’s every little thing that appears to be agreed upon so far: the Chargers is not going to end final, the Broncos will end higher than their 2021 file of 7-10….that’s just about it. It appears straightforward to imagine that the Chiefs will likely be good as soon as once more, however some folks appear adamant that they’ll end in fourth place. In spite of everything, they’re the one group within the division that didn’t enhance this offseason. They misplaced WR Tyreek Hill, S Tyrann Mathieu, and CB Charvarius Ward. Each different group gained elite gamers at key positions, however not the Chiefs. Nonetheless, projecting them to complete final looks as if a idiot’s errand. All we are able to predict from the AFC West is unpredictability. That stated, the agreed-upon standings appear to be 1. Chargers, 2. Chiefs, 3. Broncos, 4. Raiders.

That’s an inoffensive prediction that wouldn’t ruffle too many feathers, in contrast to our different attainable end result.

Shock Alternate Final result

Brandon Staley’s all-or-nothing mentality falls flat on its face because the Chargers’ head coach proves to be their downfall. Not even J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack can fill the holes the Chargers protection displayed final season. They lose each shut sport they’re concerned in and fail to push the ball ahead on any of their many fourth-down tries. Justin Herbert’s connection to Mike Williams proves to be a one-year surprise and Ekeler’s landing complete regresses far previous what anyone anticipated, dropping from 20 in 2021 to single digits in 2022.

The Chiefs’ secondary can’t survive with out Ward and Mathieu. Each sport leads to a shootout, however with out Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs are unable to attain at will and can’t sustain in these shut video games. The place 13 seconds was loads of time to place collectively a scoring drive in years previous, 1:30 appears to tick away quicker than ever earlier than in 2022. Travis Kelce and JuJu Smith-Schuster can’t present the explosiveness that made Ok.C.’s offense so devastating, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling proves ineffective because the group’s deep menace, simply as he was ineffective as Rodgers’ deep menace for a few years in Inexperienced Bay. Maybe younger weapons Nick Bolton and Skyy Moore might assist ease the load on the getting old core, however that’s asking a little bit an excessive amount of because the Chiefs fall below .500 for the primary time in a decade.

In the meantime, the Raiders notice that they want turmoil of their locker room with a purpose to succeed. No racism from the coach? No cornerback waving weapons round? No extensive receiver rushing down highways? Rapidly the Raiders can’t rating. They’ll’t defend. They’ll’t do something. Chandler Jones has been dropping in manufacturing for a number of seasons now. Whereas he alongside Maxx Crosby ought to be a formidable duo, Jones proves ineffective and doesn’t take any offensive line consideration away from the 2021 second-team All-Professional Crosby. Regardless of arguably one of the best set of weapons within the NFL, the Raiders’ offensive line fails to guard QB Derek Carr. Carr constantly will get pounded within the pocket and by no means has time to progress via his reads. Davante Adams finishes the season together with his fewest receiving yards since 2017, as Carr by no means has sufficient time to attend for his routes to develop. The Raiders are the third AFC West group to complete below .500.

The Broncos, alternatively, trip the corny management of Russell Wilson to new heights by no means earlier than seen. Sutton and Jeudy grow to be the brand new Metcalf and Lockett as Wilson re-emerges as an MVP candidate after just a few years of declining manufacturing. His disdain for Pete Carroll shines via his play as he and Broncos Nation trip off into the sundown atop a mountain of underperforming divisional opponents. Javonte Williams takes 70 p.c of the carries away from Melvin Gordon. The absence of Von Miller doesn’t have an effect on the go rush as Randy Gregory and Bradley Chubb show greater than able to pressuring opposing quarterbacks. That strain results in numerous errant throws ripe for interceptions for Patrick Surtain II and Justin Simmons. After years of quarterback turmoil, the Broncos have discovered their man. Wilson began his profession with 9 straight profitable seasons, and he finds his means again over .500 in 2022, reminding the league that he’s removed from washed.



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