AFC West Predictions, Odds & Projections 2021/2022
- The Chiefs dominated the regular & postseason but performed poorly in the Super Bowl
- Chargers QB Justin Herbert has L.A. excited, while Vegas loves their new Raiders
- Before the Broncos can hope for greatness, they need to add defensive roster depth
The Kansas City Chiefs dominated the AFC West last season while the other three teams couldn’t break.500, but 2021 could see an improved Chargers, Raiders, and Broncos franchises vying for divisional greatness as we share our predictions odds, and picks. Good luck!
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AFC West Division Winner Odds
Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, updated on October 20, 2021.
|Kansas City Chiefs||+110 |
|Los Angeles Chargers||+130 |
|Las Vegas Raiders||+800 |
|Denver Broncos||+1100 |
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AFC West Division Predictions and Picks
Kansas City Chiefs
How to Watch 2021/22 NFL Regular Season
|2021/22 NFL Regular Season|
|What||2021/22 NFL Regular Season|
|Where||USA + International|
|When||Thu, Sept 9 thru TBD|
|How to watch||CBS/ESPN/Fox/NBC/NFLN|
Favorites to Win
Kansas City Chiefs
As good as the 14-2 Chiefs were last year, the last we saw of them was in Super Bowl LV against Tom Brady and the TB Buccaneers who crushed them by the lopsided score of 31-9, the worst offensive performance by QB Patrick Mahomes since he has been in the NFL.
That was most likely an easily fixed fluke, whereas the defense of KC has been notoriously weaker than their offense, so expect the front office to use the offseason to add depth to that side of the ball as well as keep whatever free agents they can give the challenging salary cap situation this season.
Linebacker Damien Wilson and safety Daniel Sorensen are both free agents, as are starting cornerbacks Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland, so it will be up to Chiefs FM Brett Veach to work some financial magic in order to keep that side of the roster somewhat in place.
Los Angeles Chargers
It was quite a surprise to watch rookie quarterback Justin Herbert adjust so quickly to the NFL last season, the kid completing almost 67 percent of his passes for 31 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions on the year, fantastic numbers for a veteran let alone a freshman player.
The job this offseason of the Chargers front office is to figure out how to work around the salary cap limitations and keep players like defensive end Melvin Ingram and safety Derwin James on the roster, perhaps with the money they are saving by having a young QB on a rookie contract.
A big need for the Chargers is better protection upfront, so GM Tom Telesco could use the upcoming draft to fill those spots, with some mocks having them use their 13th pick overall to select USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker or Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw, both predicted to be instant starters in the NFL.
Las Vegas Raiders
As great as the Raiders played last season on offense – they were top-10 in both points and yards – they lacked an effective defense, their squad allowing almost 30 points per game, which was the third-most in the league.
To make room given the limited salary cap, the front office will be cutting certain veterans no doubt, with productive but expensive players like backup QB Marcus Mariota, guard Richie Incognito and running back Jalen Richard most likely the first to go.
The Raiders went 8-8 last season, which earned them the 17th pick overall, and some mocks have them using that selection to add a potential starter on the defensive line, with Alabama’s Christian Barmore high on the list, assuming he is still on the board when Las Vegas is ready to make their selection.
No Chance to Win
Denver Broncos – there are a number of problems with the Denver Broncos right now, with a big one being the question of who will be starting under center, though second-year player Drew Lock has been trying, so far with an 8-10 record as the starting QB in Denver.
Lock’s main problem was with accuracy – he tied for the league lead in interceptions with 15 – so his development must continue under head coach Vic Fangio and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, plus they have to find a way to keep Lock better protected after being sacked 19 times last season.
Some mock drafts have Denver GM George Paton looking towards the draft to find depth on the defensive side of the ball, with names like Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons being mentioned as possible ninth overall selections for the Broncos.
Which Team Has Won the Most AFC West Divisional Titles?
|Las Vegas Raiders||15|
|Kansas City Chiefs||13|
Which AFC West Team Has Won the Most Super Bowls?
|Las Vegas Raiders||3|
|Kansas City Chiefs||2|
That honor goes to two AFC West teams, the Las Vegas Raiders and the Denver Broncos, who each have three Lombardi’s and the associated fat Super Bowl rings that go along with them.
The Raiders, who have won four AFC championships, turned those into three Super Bowl wins: XI in 1976, XV in 1980 and XVIII in 1983.
The Denver Broncos, who have won eight AFC championships, turned those into three Super Bowl wins: XXXII in 1997, XXXIII in 1998 and L in 2015.
Next are the Kansas City Chiefs, who lifted the Lombardi in 2020 bringing their total number of Super Bowl wins to two: IV in 1969 and LIV in 2020.
Finally are the Los Angeles Chargers, who won an AFC Championship in 1994 but then lost in Super Bowl XXIX.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]