NFL: Can anyone take the AFC West division title from the Chiefs?

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NFL: Can anyone take the AFC West division title from the Chiefs?

The defending champions Kansas City Chiefs are the betting favourites to win the AFC West again. The Chiefs have dominated this division over the past few years, winning the division every year since 2016. Now Russell Wilson is in his second year in Denver with Sean Payton by his side and Justin Herbert is entering his prime, can one of the other AFC West teams steal the division from the Chiefs?

Quick Take

  • Last time Chiefs lost the AFC West was in 2015
  • Broncos have the second worst odds
  • Chargers have the second best odds

The Chiefs division to lose

The defending champions Kansas City Chiefs are the betting favourites to win the AFC West on NFL betting sites. They have -164 odds to win the division on Sports Interaction. The Chiefs lost a few of their starters to free agency this offseason. They lost OT Orlando Brown Jr. to the Cincinnati Bengals, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster to the New England Patriots, WR Mecole Hardman to the New York Jets, and DE Frank Clark to the Denver Broncos. Although the Chiefs lost some good players, this is not the first time. The Chiefs lost Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins last season and went on to win the Super Bowl.

The Chiefs have given us no reason to believe these losses will stop them from being one of the best teams in the league, especially during the regular season. They finished with a 14-3 record last season, two more wins than the year prior with Hill. The Chiefs have finished first or second in the AFC every season since 2018, the last time they lost the AFC west was the 2015 season. The Chiefs are the safest bet in this division because Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Chris Jones, and Andy Reid are still there.

Notable Additions: OT Jawaan Taylor, DE Charles Omenihu, OT Donovan smith, LB Drue Tranquill, S Mike Edwards

Draft picks 

  • DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah
  • WR Rashee Rice
  • OT Wanya Morris
  • CB Chamarri Conner
  • DE BJ Thompson
  • DT Keondre Coburn
  • CB Nic Jones

Can the Broncos make things interesting? 

The Denver Broncos have the second worst odds to win the division. The Broncos have +549 odds on Sports Interaction. Head Coach Sean Payton is one of the Broncos’ biggest additions this offseason. While Payton was with the Saints and QB Drew Brees, the franchise consistently had one of the better offenses in the league. Offense was the biggest problem for the Broncos last year. In Russell Wilson’s first season with the franchise, they had one of the worst offenses in the league.

The Broncos tied for second fewest touchdowns scored in 2022. For the Broncos to win this division, their offense will need to be a lot better than last year. Considering they did not add many players to that side of the ball, the Broncos may need to rely on their defense to win this division. They have a small chance if Wilson has a bounceback season.

Notable Additions:  OT Mike McGlinchey, G Ben Powers, DE Zach Allen, RB Samaje Perine, DE Frank Clark

Draft picks

  • WR Marvin Mims Jr.
  • LB Drew Sanders
  • CB Riley Moss
  • S JL Skinner
  • C Alex Forsyth

Justin Herbert & the LA Chargers

The LA Chargers have the second best odds to win this division. The Chargers have +340 odds. On paper, this team might be the biggest threat to the Chiefs this year. QB Justin Herbet is recognized as one of the best in the league going into his fourth season and has a lot of weapons. One of the only concerns on offense is whether or not they can get on the same page with RB Austin Ekeler.

If Herbet has the best season of his career this year, the Chargers should be competitive in the division. With players like WR Keenan Allen, LB Joey Bosa, and LB Khalil Mack on the roster to help Herbert, there is no reason this team should not be able to compete if they are healthy.

Notable Additions: LB Eric Kendricks, DT Nick Williams

Draft picks

  • WR Quentin Johnston
  • LB Tuli Tuipulotu
  • LB Daiyan Henley
  • WR Derius Davis
  • G Jordan McFadden
  • DT Scott Matlock
  • QB Max Duggan

Las Vegas Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders have the worst odds to win the AFC West. The Raiders have +1198 odds. There are almost no reasons to pick the Raiders to win this division. The Raiders are rebuilding their roster and have a lot to prove. Their defense was one of the worst against the pass last year, they have a new QB, and they did not add an elite player to the roster. To win this division, the Raiders will need a miracle.

Notable Additions:  QB Jimmy Garoppolo, WR Jakobi Meyers, S Marcus Epps, LB Robert Spillane, CB Brandon Facyson

Draft picks

  • DE Tyree Wilson
  • TE Michael Mayer
  • DT Byron Young
  • WR Tre Tucker
  • CB Jakorian Bennett
  • QB Aidan O’Connell
  • S Christopher Smith II
  • LB Amari Burney
  • DT Nesta Jade Silvera