AFC West


1. Oakland Raiders

They are a top choice to contend with the Patriots and Steelers for the AFC crown.

2. Denver Broncos

With a new coaching staff the defense won’t be tampered with, but the offense will need some work.

3. Kansas City Chiefs

There isn’t enough depth/talent at key positions for them to stay in contention.

4. Los Angeles Chargers

A change in scenery will have them flying under the radar, but they are talented enough to finish near the .500 mark.

Head Coach: Jack Del Rio

Key Position: Pass Rush

They were dead last in sacks last year with only 25. Khalil Mack accounted for 11 of them. The Raiders need more support in this area. They were fortunate to be tied for first in turnover differential with a +16.

Key Acquisitions: T Marshall Newhouse (New York Giants), TE Jared Cook (Green Bay Packers), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (Minnesota Vikings), RB Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks)

Key Rookies: CB Gareon Conley, S Obi Melifonwu, DT Eddie Vanderdoes

Head Coach: Vance Joseph (Miami Dolphins)

Key Position: Running Back

The production here was just awful last year. Once C.J. Anderson went down with an injury, it only got worse. With him back and healthy and the acquisition of Jamaal Charles to help offset any injury issues that may come up, this unit should be much better.

Key Acquisitions: G Ron Leary (Dallas Cowboys), DT Domata Peko (Cincinnati Bengals), RB Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs), T Menelik Watson (Oakland Raiders)

Key Rookies: T Garrett Bolles, DE DeMarcus Walker

Head Coach: Andy Reid

Key Position: Wide Receiver

This is a position that has now become a problem with the release of Jeremy Maclin before training camp. There is Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, but the names drop off after that. A lot is riding on whether the Chiefs can take that next level with Alex Smith at the helm. Now he has a replacement waiting in the wings in Patrick Mahomes.

Key Acquisitions: DL Bennie Logan (Philadelphia Eagles), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (Seattle Seahawks), LB Reggie Ragland (Buffalo Bills), OL Cameron Erving (Cleveland Browns)

Key Rookies: QB Patrick Mahomes, DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, RB Kareem Hunt

Head Coach: Anthony Lynn (Buffalo Bills)

Key Position: Running Back

This is a position of strength with Melvin Gordon having a solid season last year before he was hurt. With a new head coach who likes to run the ball a lot, this will be a potentially big year for Gordon who can put up numbers comparable to former Charger LaDainian Tomlinson.

Key Acquisitions: T Russell Okung (Denver Broncos), QB Cardale Jones (Buffalo Bills)

Key Rookies: WR Mike Williams, G Forrest Lamp, G Dan Feeney

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