Your Team And Me: AFC West

Past, Present & Future – Denver Broncos

Previously on the Denver Broncos…

7-10 season as the Broncos sputtered out against the better opponents in the league to compile another losing record. They lost every game against the AFC North and went 1-5 against AFC West rivals. Teddy Bridgewater hung in there but couldn’t get the job done most nights. Just not enough stars on this offense and explosive plays on either side of the ball to really cause any damage. Von Miller left mid-season after a weird goodbye and won a Super Bowl with the Rams after recovering from injury. Drew Lock even had to come in for the last few games to finish 0-3, losing against each AFC West opponent. They had two 900+ rushers in Melvin Gordon III and Javonte Williams as they formed a solid tandem behind a lukewarm offense. Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson form a solid tandem at the safety position to form a good secondary. Patrick Surtain II should be a name you can get familiar with as he established himself one of the premier cornerbacks in the league. Vic Fangio just couldn’t propel this squad into any real Super Bowl contention and was let go at the end of the season. 

Currently on the Denver Broncos…

New head coach Nathanial Hackett comes over from Green Bay to try and establish a Super Bowl caliber team early. Speaking of new, LETS RIDE!!! Russell Wilson takes over the Broncos offense as Elway finally gets the elite quarterback he’s been looking for since Peyton Manning. They acquire the Super Bowl winning quarterback from Seattle as he looks to repeat what he did for Seattle all those years ago. Melvin Gordon III and Javonte Williams are both back and hope to get 1500+ all-purpose yards each.  Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and KJ Hamler all look to explode for big statistical seasons behind their new QB. I really like Sutton’s receiving yards over for the season as long as it remains below 940 yards, but even then, he should get that easily. Randy Gregory joins the Broncos from the Dallas Cowboys on a nice deal. Hopefully Bradley Chubb can stay healthy and develop more as the defense could use sacks from anywhere. DJ Jones helps plug that D-line front. Baron Browning hopes to become the next great Broncos linebacker, if not this team is a solid addition at linebacker away from truly being a problem because the secondary is still stacked. 

Upcoming on the Denver Broncos…

New captain of the team “Russ” came in with Super Bowl ambitions and John Elway has made it known he wants to win immediately. The AFC West is one of the best divisions in the NFL and it will be a dog fight from all 4 teams who hope to make the playoffs. The Broncos have a Week 9 bye, and it will help to weigh out the front and back half of the season. 

Week 1 @ Seattle – How ironic that Russell Wilson returns to his former home in Week 1? Seattle is severely overmatched in every aspect and this should be a resounding warmup for the Broncos. 

Week 2 vs Houston – Easy win.

Week 3 vs San Francisco – First real test of the season for the boys in orange. Would be a big statement win. 

Week 4 @ Raiders – Another tough test as they need to compile the divisional wins as early and often as they can. Derek Carr has a new coach in Josh McDaniels and the team looks pretty formidable on paper. Let’s see how the Broncos hold up in “Sin City”.

Week 5 vs Indianapolis – Colts are stacked offensively and defensively so a win against them would be a huge message to the league. Matt Ryan has Super Bowl ambitions left to accomplish and he joins this team to try and achieve the dream that eluded him with the Falcons. 

Week 6 @ Chargers – Divisional battle that will pit the youth in Justin Herbert vs the veteran in Russell Wilson. Could easily go either way. 

Week 7 vs Jets – Easy win.

Week 8 vs Jacksonville – Easy win.

Week 9 BYE

Week 10 @ Tennessee – Taking on Derrick Henry is never easy and rush defense was a weakness for the Broncos last season so this will be a great test to see how well they’ve developed. 

Week 11 vs Las Vegas – Round 2 of this divisional matchup and Broncos better hope to get 1 win out of these two matchups. 

Week 12 @ Carolina – If Baker Mayfield is still quarterback by this time, then it will be an easy win. If Sam Darnold has taken over by then, it should still be an easy victory. Fingers crossed no trap game. 

Week 13 @ Baltimore – Primetime matchup as contract year Lamar goes against Russell Wilson. Historically, these matchups have always been great and at Baltimore should be difficult. 

Week 14 vs Kansas City – First matchup against Mahomes and the boys. Buckle up and grab your popcorn. 

Week 15 vs Arizona – Kyler Murray is never an easy matchup and Deandre Hopkins should be available for this game. 

Week 16 @ Rams – Super Bowl champions who’ve added Bobby Wagner, who has plenty of reps against the Broncos. 

Week 17 @ Kansas City – Oh boy, a tough task for anybody in the league as they travel to the home of the Chiefs and try and win round 2. 

Week 18 vs Chargers – Round 2 matchup and once again we are reminded that this will be a much-needed win no matter where they are at in the standings.

Past, Present & Future – Kansas City Chiefs

Previously on the Kansas City Chiefs…

12-5 with a big failure in the AFC Conference Championship against the Cincinnati Bengals. What an amazing game but obviously it didn’t go in the way the Chiefs had wanted. Mahomes threw an interception on the first drive in overtime and the Bengals worked their way down the field to win with a field goal. After the heroics needed against Buffalo, there wasn’t enough magic to push this team to another Super Bowl. Mahomes had himself one helluva season statistically and socially because of his brother and fiancée acting wild on Tik Tok and such. Travis Kelce proved he’s still one of the best tight ends to ever play in the NFL. Tyreek Hill is still very fast, and the touchdown play was on full display this season. The offensive line crumpled towards the end of the season. The defense got a much-needed boost when Chris Jones came back to solidify the D-line but even still the defense was not good. Pretty bad against the pass as they ranked towards the bottom in yards allowed. 

Currently on the Kansas City Chiefs…

No more Tyreek Hill! The cheetah was traded to Miami and gave the peace sign to Kansas City. Travis Kelce is still there. Mahomes is still there. Andy Reid is geared up for another run at the Super Bowl as the Chiefs have a fleeting glimpse of their dynasty slipping away. Juju and Valdez-Scantling join the Chiefs from free agency and will try to make up for Tyreek’s production. Skyy Moore, 2nd round pick from Western Michigan in the most recent draft, has some serious speed and could be an immediate impact to this team at the wide receiver position. George Karlaftis, 1st round pick from Purdue, brings much needed size and skill to the defensive line as he will try to add to the sack total. Justin Reid got paid nicely to take over for the Honey Badger who makes his way back home to New Orleans. Still a stacked squad with some new, interesting pieces. 

Upcoming on the Kansas City Chiefs…

You have got to assume Mahomes & the boys want another Super Bowl and establish that dynasty they have mentioned so often. I don’t see why they couldn’t, but I can see plenty of obstacles along the way, including its own division – the AFC West – in this very difficult schedule. Their win total is 10.5 and they are +1000 to win the Super bowl. 

Week 1 @ Arizona – Mahomes vs Kyler in this highly anticipated season opener that pits two Super Bowl caliber teams against each other. 

Week 2 vs Chargers – Divisional battle with Herbert who they will face twice. Chargers have a pretty solid team and should give the Chiefs some hard fought games. 

Week 3 @ Colts – Tough matchup as Colts feature a premier defense, and new QB Matt Ryan hopes to take that talented team to the Super Bowl. 

Week 4 @ Tampa Bay – Back-to-back teams with tough defense and a seasoned vet but none of them compare to Tom Brady. This will be an electric game as Mahomes vs Brady are always exciting, even in golf. 

Week 5 vs Las Vegas – We are still rolling with the punches as the Chiefs have another tough opponent and AFC rival Raiders at home. 

Week 6 vs Buffalo – Another tough opponent in the early weeks and this will be extra special because its Allen vs Mahomes – a rematch of last year’s Divisional Round game.

Week 7 @ San Francisco – Tough game vs a tough opponent as the trend continues into the bye week.

Week 8 BYE

Week 9 vs Tennessee – Can the Chiefs contain Derrick Henry?

Week 10 vs Jacksonville – First easy game of the season and it should be an easy win.

Week 11 @ Chargers – Round 2 of the AFC West matchup and it should be an nice one as they have to travel to LA.

Week 12 vs Rams – Super Bowl champions go against the Super Bowl hopefuls in the Kansas City Chiefs. Grab your popcorn because this will be a great game.

Week 13 @ Cincinnati – Joe Burrow vs Mahomes is peak NFL football as Mahomes works his way down the schedule. 

Week 14 @ Denver – Russell Wilson vs Patrick Mahomes as the Chiefs have a tough task entering the “No fly zone” in their territory. 

Week 15 @ Houston – Easy win #2.

Week 16 vs Seattle – Easy win #3. 

Week 17 vs Denver – Round 2 vs Russ, so lets so how things go as we come closer to the end of the season. 

Week 18 @ Las Vegas – Season finale as they enter another crucial AFC West matchup, and there probably won’t be a chance to rest the starters after this difficult schedule.

Past, Present & Future – Las Vegas Raiders

Previously on the Las Vegas Raiders…

10-7 with a massive loss against the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card. You clawed and fought your way through a wild and somehow competitive season. Henry Ruggs III is facing jailtime for vehicular manslaughter so you can pretty much wave goodbye to this guy’s career after such a stupid decision. Jon Gruden was fired after derogatory emails were found that he had sent out during his tenure as head coach. 3 of those losses were to the Bears, Giants, and Commanders. Just a brutal season that saw the Raiders make the wild card from some overtime heroics against the Chargers in the final week of the regular season. Josh Jacobs never took off like everybody had been hoping for but nobody knows if the blame is on him, the offensive line, or both. On a brighter note, Derek Carr almost had 5,000 yards passing and looks to be a solid quarterback in the NFL. He has a great command of the field, and his arm can sling that football anywhere on the field. His go-to, Hunter Renfrow, collected over 1,000 yards receiving and proved to be a favorite target of Derek. Darren Waller was pretty much MIA as the offense and his injuries could never line up for some explosive plays. Defensively, the unit struggled as a whole, especially against the run. Denzel Perryman was a tackling machine as he racked up 154 tackles for the season. Trayvon Mullen was injured early in the season. Maxx Crosby has made a splash in the NFL world and got his street cred up this season but otherwise, there were minimum defensive standouts. 

Currently on the Las Vegas Raiders…

New head coach Josh “MacDaddy” McDaniels. He finally leaves the arms of Bill Belichek and takes control of a solid team that needs some direction. Davante Adams made a big splash in free agency as the Raiders signed the monster wide receiver from Green Bay. Chandler Jones, former Patriot, hopes to rekindle whatever relationship he had with Josh and will try to bring some much-needed sacks. Richie Incognito is still in the league and has a job on the Raiders O-line. 

Upcoming on the Las Vegas Raiders…

You need more out of Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs to really send this team into Super Bowl conversations. Hopefully the defense can stay healthy and stay strong as they help support a good offense behind an offensive guru. Their win total is 8.5 and they are +4000 to win the Super Bowl. 

Week 1 @ LA Chargers – Big statement game for the season and a much-needed win against an AFC West opponent, and this will be a revenge game for the Chargers who look for payback against the Raiders for knocking them out of playoff eligibility.

Week 2 vs Arizona – Kyler Murray will be without their star wide receiver Deandre Hopkins, but this will still be an aerial onslaught as both teams will probably air raid down the field. 

Week 3 @ Tennessee – Better hope that rush defense is fixed, or Derrick Henry is going to have a field day.

Week 4 vs Denver – Russell Wilson takes over the Broncos and the Raiders will welcome this stout team as they try to win matchup 1 of 2. 

Week 5 @ Kansas City – Buckle up for this one as they play game 1 of a two-game series. Being able to get 1 win against Mahomes and the boys would be huge for the playoff picture. 

Week 6 BYE

Week 7 vs Houston – Easy win.

Week 8 @ New Orleans – Stout defense and depending on what team Jameis Winston is throwing the ball to, this could be a resounding win for the season.

Week 9 @ Jacksonville – You want to think this isn’t a trap game but Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars spent some money in the offseason, so this team is better than last year. 

Week 10 vs Indianapolis – Colts have Super Bowl ambitions so beating this AFC juggernaut would be a huge boost to the season.

Week 11 @ Denver – Round 2 vs Russ and hopefully a win as the AFC wins need to start adding up.

Week 12 @ Seattle – Easy win against this revamped team with no bite. 

Week 13 vs LA Chargers – Crucial win is needed. 

Week 14 @ LA Rams – Going into enemy territory against the Super Bowl champs is never an easy game. The defense will really be tested as Matthew Stafford will toss the rock up and down the field. 

Week 15 vs New England – Oh boy, Josh McDaniels returns to his former home and hopes to walk out with a W against Bill Belichick’s bunch. 

Week 16 @ Pittsburgh – Weather is going to be horrible but with this mediocre team still lacking power up and down the roster, Raiders should win by 10.

Week 17 vs San Francisco – Another NFC powerhouse that looks to make some noise of their own behind Trey Lance. 

Week 18 vs Kansas City – Round 2 vs Mahomes and final game of the season. I would be highly surprised if either team is resting their starters, so get your popcorn ready for the show.

Past, Present & Future – Los Angeles Chargers

Previously on the Los Angeles Chargers…

A soft 9-8 as consistency eluded the talented Chargers. A Week 18 matchup vs the Las Vegas Raiders would put the winner in the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Chargers could not contain the Raiders as they lost in overtime to not even touch postseason play. Besides getting blown out by the Baltimore Ravens, every game was pretty much determined by a touchdown. Losing to the Texans though by 11 is just horrible. The Charger’s defense was helpless against the rush as they were 3rd worst in rush yards allowed. Joey Bosa had a great season and established his name a little further with the league. Derwin James played lights out and earned a massive payday after the season. Asante Samuel Jr. is developing nicely as they hope he finds another gear for next season after getting 12 games in before injury took him out. On the offensive side there were a lot more positive notes like Austin Ekeler establishing himself as the best receiving running back in the NFL. His quickness, agility, and soft hands make him a matchup nightmare for any defense. Justin Herbert BALLED as he dropped a 5,000-yard season through the air. Offense was not an issue this year but they couldn’t string it all together to dominate the good teams and crush the weak ones. 

Currently on the Los Angeles Chargers…

JC Jackson gets PAID as the former New England cornerback hopes to lock down some of the secondary that the Chargers desperately need. Khalil Mack comes over from Chicago to try and rejuvenate his All-Pro career after some up and down seasons. The defense is looking SCARY at this point! You really hope 2020 1st round pick Kenneth Murray can finally develop into the star that got him drafted by the Chargers as they desperately need a cornerstone linebacker. The offense is ready for another crack at the Super Bowl with pretty much the same squad. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams had a very productive season as he remained healthy, which is incredible to have from both of them. Left tackle Reshawn Slater played every game as a rookie last year and will look to build on an already great career after just 1 season. 

Upcoming on the Los Angeles Chargers…

Hopefully the new defensive additions can be that extra zing to the Super Bowl sauce that the Chargers are desperate for. Herbert can be the guy for numerous years, but a tough AFC West will always be an immediate factor for postseason play. Their win total is 10, which is a pretty solid number given the divisional play, but this team could be a huge dark horse later in the season once they all start clicking. A Chargers championship would pay out at +1400

Week 1 vs Las Vegas – Huge home opener in round 1 vs Derek Carr and the Raiders. An early win would be a massive boost to the team and give them a crucial win over an AFC West opponent. 

Week 2 @ Kansas City – Trial by fire as the Chiefs aim for the Super Bowl as well. Both teams have incredible offenses so let’s hope the defenses can try and keep up. 

Week 3 vs Jacksonville – Easy win. Got to be.

Week 4 @ Houston – Definitely an easy win. Chargers by 14

Week 5 @ Cleveland – No Watson because of his suspension so there should be no problem beating this team. 

Week 6 vs Denver – This will be a very entertaining game as Denver rocks a tough secondary and Russell Wilson takes over the offense for the Broncos.

Week 7 vs Seattle – Russell Wilson is gone so no problem. Easy win. 

Week 8 BYE

Week 9 @ Atlanta – Easy win.

Week 10 @ San Francisco – The Niners are never an easy team to beat, and we will witness the Bosa battle again, as Nick Bosa will try to sack Joey’s QB. 

Week 11 vs Kansas City – At home. Got to win these kinds of games with tough opponents especially in this round 2 matchup. 

Week 12 @ Arizona – Kyler vs Herbert as the youth take over the league and the Cardinals should have Deandre Hopkins back from injury. 

Week 13 @ Las Vegas – Round 2 matchup vs AFC West opponent and if they can get both wins, that would be incredible.

Week 14 vs Miami – Tyreek Hill joins Tua down in Miami and this game should be electric. Dolphins also have a strong secondary so Herbert should be tested at home. 

Week 15 vs Tennessee – Derrick Henry comes battering into LA as the Chargers hope they can stifle the former MVP. 

Week 16 @ Indianapolis – Matt Ryan leads the Colts at home against the Chargers as he tries to reach another Super Bowl. The offense will be tested as the Colts are expected to have a top 5 defense this year. Their offensive line is really stout so Mack and Bosa will have their work cut out for them. 

Week 17 vs LA Rams – NFC Powerhouse and Super Bowl champs will be a tough test at home if not a crucial late season test. 

Week 18 @ Denver – Ending the regular season with a road trip to playoff hopeful and former Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson.

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