The NFL season is upon us, and with just over two weeks left until the season starts, everyone is starting to make their predictions. Some bold and some old hat, everyone is gearing up for a great season. Here are my predictions for the American Football Conference West this season.
4. San Diego Chargers
Sand Diego is coming off of a 4-12 year last year and are already off to a bad start this year. Their first-round pick, Joey Bosa, has not signed a contract yet and has refused their latest offer. Bosa was supposed to bring much-needed help to the defensive end position. It seems this will not happen. Although I do not think Bosa will help the chargers as much as they need; anything at this point is a step in the right direction for the Chargers. I predict the Chargers will have a repeat 4-12 season and will once again finish last in the division.
3. Denver Broncos
Denver is coming off a super bowl winning season, but the offseason was brutal to the Broncos. They lost star quarterback, Peyton Manning, backup quarterback, Brock Osweiler, and two defensive stars in Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan. The Broncos are primarily a passing team so losing their top two quarterbacks was a huge hit, but signing Mark Sanchez and drafting Paxton Lynch at least gave them something to work with. Broncos fans seem eager for their season, but I predict they will finish with a lousy 7-9 record and lose the division for the first time in five years.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs had their best season in a few years last year. After starting a sad 1-5, they were able to salvage the season with 10 straight wins to finish 11-5. In the first round of the playoffs, they pounded the Texans 30-0, but in the second round, they lost to the Patriots in a close game, 27-20. This year, the Chiefs will have another impressive season as they are bringing back almost all of their starters from last year. They will go 10-6 this year and once again make it to the playoffs as a wild card. I predict they will win their wild card game, but lose in the second round.
1. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders have not had a winning season since their super bowl appearance in 2002 and have also not had a winning season since then. Those will both change this year. With Derek Carr and Amari cooper leading the offense along with Latavius Murray and Michael Crabtree, the raiders will have impressive offensive stats. On Defense, the Raiders picked some much-needed help in free agency. Signing Bruce Irvin was, in my opinion, their best move. Also, they were able to pick up Sean Smith from the rival Kansas City Chiefs to replace the retired Charles Woodson. With a much better-looking defense, the Raiders will have their first winning season and their first trip to playoffs since 2002 with a 10-6 record. Although I don't see a super bowl trip for them this year, they will make a deep run in the playoffs making it to the AFC championship game.