By the numbers, there are no bad teams in the AFC West. The transplanted Chargers are listed with the 10th best odds to win the AFC crown, by far the highest odds of any projected last place squad.
Oakland is the favorite and deservedly so. Nonetheless, they are not perfect and have flaws. Kansas City is starting to remind everyone of another team Andy Reid coached, Philadelphia, who other than a year or two was never a real threat in the postseason. Remember last year when Denver as the defending Super Bowl champions were gushing about new quarterback Trevor Siemian, now, not so much.
Oakland was ready to challenge New England last year in the AFC and is even more prepared in 2017....Still not sure how good a coach Jack Del Rio is, but he's much better than he was in Jacksonville....Derek Carr is ready to be Top 5 quarterback and having TE Jared Cook really adds to this offense....The Raiders guard-center-guard combo in the O-Line is the best in the NFL....Defense still worrisome and hard to make prediction unless the secondary is improved and the linebackers begin making plays....Khalil Mack is unreal talent, yet took quite a few plays off in run defense in reviewing film....This is 12-4 team again and easy OVER bet for NFL picks.
Odds to Win the Division (as of 7/26)
Kansas City +235
L.A. Chargers +475KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Watching the Chiefs, you are always impressed how many aspects they are sound in, yet with QB Alex Smith under center, he doesn't place the team in bad spots and he does not make a lot of winning plays....Offensive line is barely adequate for a supposed playoff club....Other than TE Travis Kelce, everyone else on offense can be contained....In the secondary, S Eric Berry and DB Marcus Peters are fun to watch....Kansas City is too light up front to stop the run against power teams....Maybe Reid coaxes 10 wins out of this bunch, still hard to see them as OVER play.
Season Win Totals (as of 7/26)
Kansas City Ov9
L.A. Chargers Ov7DENVER BRONCOS
Quite of bit change with Denver, as they have Vance Joseph as head coach and new coordinators on both sides of the ball, though Mike McCoy was here before taking San Diego job as head coach. There will be growing pains....The Broncos are returning to man blocking schemes in the offensive line and will go with running back by committee, and most likely go with 'hot' runner in a given game....Trevor Siemian is safe at QB, with Paxton Lynch having bigger upside....Denver's defense is still exceptional and they addressed 28th ranked run defense with more size up the middle. Linebackers are ordinary....A deep, versatile secondary....If this defense has opponent in third and long, its punting time....Quarterback determines playoff team or not.
Odds To Win the AFC (as of 7/26)
Oakland +825 (3rd in AFC)
Kansas City +1250 (4th)
Denver +1400 (6th)
L.A. Chargers +2300 (10th)LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
After losing so many close games the past few years, we find out this year if Coach McCoy was the culprit or Philip Rivers....This team has quietly added quite a bit of talent through the draft and could reach as high as second in the division if they remain relatively healthy and Rivers doesn't make a cargo-load of turnovers....Rivers is strictly a gunslinger and new coach Anthony Lynn and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt have to dial him down....Really like the Chargers edge rushers corners, but do not like their linebackers in pass coverage at all....Offensive line always a concern the past several seasons and might be starting two rookies, not thrilled about that....No problem in believing this is .500 club and OVER play.