How will the AFC West shake out? Will the Kansas City Chiefs continue to control the division?
The AFC West has belonged to the Kansas City Chiefs for many years now. Could they have some competition this year? Now, we all know training camp stories are almost always blown way out of proportion, and sometimes have no merit to them at all. With that being said, every now and then we do have a training camp hero that produces and helps his team win.
Here are some of the biggest questions and standouts from all the AFC West training camps, and my prediction for their finish.
No. 4: Las Vegas Raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders have made some of the most head scratching draft picks over the last two years. Are they wrong or are we?
The Raiders were the third worst team in the NFL last year when it came to turnovers. This will be one of the biggest tasks for new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to fix. Word out of Raiders’ camp is that they’ve had some success in getting turnovers.
Take that with a grain of salt however, because many of those came off backup quarterback Marcus Mariota. If there’s one thing we have learned about Mariota, he is good at turning the ball over.
The biggest standout to me for Las Vegas has to be Bryan Edwards. When the Raiders let Nelson Agholor go this offseason and brought in John Brown, it was the common assumption that Brown would just fill that role. However, Edwards has been taking the snaps with the 1st team offense and impressing many people. Edwards had some buzz coming out of camp last year and his season was de-railed by injuries and lack of production once the season got here.
Outside of Darren Waller the Raiders pass catchers have been, well, disappointing to say the least. Last years first round pick, Henry Ruggs III, just never showed that he could be that top guy. So, Raiders coaches and fans hope the Edwards hype is real, and that Ruggs can make that second year leap.
My Prediction: I have the Raiders going 5-12 and finishing 4th in the AFC West.
No. 3: Denver Broncos
For Broncos fans the heartbreak set in when Aaron Rodgers reported to Packers camp. Can they be competitive without him?
Denver has to be excited about getting Von Miller back from a season lost to injury in 2020. The combination of Bradley Chubb and Von Miller to go along with guys like safety Justin Simmons and new corner back Kyle Fuller give the Broncos a stout defense that will keep them in games.
Reports out of camp say Drew Lock has looked very good. This is the biggest question mark for the Broncos. Courtland Sutton coming back from injury will help the receiving core, to go along with what they hope is a big second year jump from 2020 first round pick Jerry Jeudy.
The addition of Javonte Williams will eventually help the running game and take some of the load off the quarterback, but for now that is Melvin Gordon’s job.
If Drew Lock can make that adjustment and finally get comfortable at the NFL level, the Broncos could easily be a big time surprise team this year. If not, Broncos fans will be calling for Teddy Bridgewater to take over. We will have to wait and see if that happens in season or possibly before the season even starts.
My Prediction: I have the Broncos going 7-10 and finishing 3rd in the AFC West.