Fantasy Gunslinger

Football with an Emphasis on Fantasy & Gambling

2018 AFC WEST PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS

It’s difficult to come up with a theme for the AFC West because there has been so much change associated with the division when you really dive in. As the starting QB for the Kansas Chiefs, Alex Smith compiled a 53-27 record including back-to-back division titles, but KC went 1-4 in the playoffs and Patrick Mahomes was drafted & now Smith is playing for the Redskins!

John Fox won 4 straight division titles as HC of the Broncos compiling a 58-22 record, but Denver didn’t think he could win them a Super Bowl so Fox was out and Gary Kubiak (who had a less than stellar track record as the HC of the Houston Texans) was in. Denver would go on to win the 2015 Super Bowl & Kubiak would leave after the 2016 season.

Jack Del Rio went 12-4 in 2016, but injuries hit Oakland hard in 2017 and the Silver & Black fell to 6-10. Del Rio was out and Jon Gruden returned to the Oakland sideline after a significant coaching hiatus.

Mike McCoy had some terrible luck both on the field in close games along with injuries which lead the Chargers to go 9-23 in 2015 & 2016 and McCoy was let go even after going 9-7 in each of his first two years. Anthony Lynn was brought in to replace McCoy and the Chargers get a bit more lucky and stave off an abundance of injuries & the Bolts go……9-7!

Staying the the Chargers, Norv Turner had a great first three years in San Diego going 32-16 and winning the West in all three seasons, but his next 3 years produced a 24-24 record & Turner was sent packing.

Possibly the most egregious change in the AFC West happened after the 2006 season when the Chargers let HC Marty Schottenheimer despite San Diego going 14-2 which was the best record in the NFL! San Diego would lose their divisional game 24-21 to the New England Patriots and that was all she wrote for Schottenheimer!

I think 2018 belongs to the Chargers. Regression can sometimes work in your favor if bad luck has followed you around like the plague. That should be the case for LA as Lady Luck is past overdue to shine on the Bolts. The entire division should be interesting as Denver tries to bounce back, Jon Gruden returns to the sidelines & Kansas City break in a new QB, but the Chargers should finally cash in on their immense potential.

What can be for certain in the AFC West is regardless of outcome, we should see some changes next off-season!

# TEAM AFC WEST
1 Computer Hope The Chargers were arguably the hottest team in the NFL down the stretch last year going 6-1 in their last 7 games. If not for their horrible 0-4 start, LA would have won the West & would have been the team NOBODY wanted to play in January. The AFC won’t get the benefit of a Chargers slow start this year. The offense is going to be even better adding Mike Pouncy & DeForest Lamp to the O-Line. I think WR Mike Williams also has a big year. The defense is outstanding & it’s hard to believe S Derwin James fell into their lap in the draft. Losing Hunter Henry hurts, but the Chargers should be the AFC favorites to get to the Super Bowl.
2 Computer Hope The Broncos should be in line for a huge bounce back season after a rough 5-11 campaign in 2017. Denver essentially played without a QB last year & if Case Keenum can come close to replicating his ’17 season with the Vikings, Denver’s offense will improve dramatically. Royce Freeman should be a big addition & WRs Courtland Sutton & DaeSean Hamilton will give the Broncos plenty of weapons at the skill positions. The defense got a HUGE upgrade with drafting DE Bradley Chubb, but I think LB Josey Jewell will also make an impact going forward. The defense is championship ready. If the offense follows, they’ll be playoff threats.
3 Computer Hope CHUCKY’S BACK!!!! The Raiders aren’t coming off a great season at 6-10, but they’ll need some younger players to really step up. Amari Cooper had an off year last season & the Raiders are hoping the additions of Jordy Nelson & Martavis Bryant can jump start the passing attack & give Derek Carr some weapons. The Raiders also doubled down on their defense by drafting Arden Key, Maurice Hurst & PJ Hill. Even Gareon Conley is basically a rookie after only playing in 2 games last year. The Raiders should be about balance. They need their secondary to get better defending the pass & they need to get better passing. Will they?
4 Computer Hope During his time in Kansas City, HC Andy Reid has won the AFC West twice and finished 2nd three times. His record with the Chiefs is 53-27 over those 5 seasons & he’s won double-digit games in four of those years. Unfortunately for Coach Reid, the Chiefs are going to regress a bit. The Chiefs have gone all in on QB Patrick Mahomes, but I think most people don’t realize what an advantage KC had with Alex Smith’s ability to not turn the ball over. Mahomes is going to make his share of mistakes & while KC’s skill players are ridiculously good, the defense might not be good enough to overcome new QB errors. It’ll be fun, but wins will be few.
Advertisements

August 7, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: