2016 AFC West Outlook

Posted: September 4, 2016 in NFL

Denver Broncos

The defending Super Bowl Champions went 12-4 last season and made playoffs for a fifth straight season. Head Coach Gary Kubiak was in his first season last year with the Broncos. Including his prior experience with the Texans, Kubiak has a regular season record of 73-68 and a postseason record of 5-2. The Broncos offensive coordinator was Rick Dennison last season and he will continue into this year as well. The Broncos offense took a major step back last season ranking 25th compared to ranking 3rd the season prior. Most of the decline was a result of poor QB play from both Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. The Broncos won the Super Bowl because of stellar defensive play, ranking 1st in the NFL by a wide margin. Wade Phillips will enter his second season as defensive coordinator for the Broncos.

Offseason Summary

Departures: LB Danny Trevathan, DE Malik Jackson, QB Brock Osweiler, G Evan Mathis, S David Bruton

Arrivals: OT Russell Okung, OT Donald Stephenson, DE Jared Crick, DE Billy Winn

Top Draft Picks: QB Paxton Lynch (Memphis, #26 overall), DE Adam Gotsis (Georgia Tech, #63), S Justin Simmons (Boston College, #98)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Von Miller

Offensive Player of the Year: Emmanuel Sanders

Defensive Player of the Year: Derek Wolfe

Other Notable players: Demaryius Thomas, Russell Okung, Matt Paradis, Chris Harris Jr, Brandon Marshall

Strongest position group: Secondary

Weakest position group: Quarterback

Preseason Projection

The Broncos are projected for 6.9 wins with a 90% confidence interval of 2.3 to 10.8 wins. They begin the season with an approximate 16.2% chance of making the playoffs and a less than 1% chance of winning the Super Bowl. The graph below shows the Broncos probability of winning X number of games.

Broncos.png

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs finished last season at 11-5 and made the playoffs as a wild card team. They began the season 1-5 and then won ten straight games. Andy Reid will begin his fourth season as head coach of the chiefs. Reid has had plenty of success so far, going 31-17 with two playoff appearances in 3 seasons. Andy Reid has a career regular season record of 161-110-1. The Chiefs employ co offensive coordinators: Brad Childress and Matt Nagy. The Chiefs has the 6th ranked offense last season with the top rushing offense in the NFL. Bob Sutton will enter his third season as defensive coordinator for the Chiefs. The Chiefs also had the 6th ranked defense last season with the fifth best passing defense in the NFL.

Offseason Summary

Departures: CB Sean Smith, G Jeff Allen, OT Donald Stephenson, S Tyvon Branch

Arrivals: OT Mitchell Schwartz, QB Nick Foles

Top Draft Picks: DT Chris Jones (Mississippi State, #37 overall), CB KeiVarae Russell (Notre Dame, #74), OL Parker Ehinger (Cincinnati, #105)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Alex Smith

Non-QB MVP: Justin Houston

Offensive Player of the Year: Jeremy Maclin

Defensive Player of the Year: Derrick Johnson

Other Notable players: Tamba Hali, Eric Berry, Mitchell Schwartz, Jamaal Charles

Strongest position group: Front seven

Weakest position group: offensive skill players

Preseason Projection

The Chiefs are projected for 8.9 wins with a 90% confidence interval of 5.1 to 12.7 wins. They begin the season with an approximate 47.7% chance of making the playoffs and a 1.7% chance of winning the Super Bowl. The graph below shows the Chiefs probability of winning X number of games.

Chiefs.png

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders finished last season at 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the thirteenth straight season. Jac Del Rio will enter his second season with the Raiders. Del Rio has a career record of 75-80 in regular season. In his ten years as head coach, he has made the playoffs twice. Bill Musgrave will enter his second season as offensive coordinator. The Raiders saw a major improvement last season going from 30th in the NFL in 2014 to 18th last season. The Raiders had a major improvement on the defensive side of the ball, jumping from 26th overall to 15th. Ken Norton Jr will enter his second season as defensive coordinator for the Raiders.

Offseason Summary

Departures: OT J’Marcus Webb, C Tony Bergstrom, OT Khalif Barnes

Arrivals: G Kelechi Osemele, CB Sean Smith, LB Bruce Irvin, OT Donald Penn, S Reggie Nelson, LB Aldon Smith

Top Draft Picks: S Karl Joseph (West Virginia, #14 overall), DE Jihad Ward (Illinois, #44), Shilique Calhoun (Michigan State, #75)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Derek Carr

Non-QB MVP: Khalil Mack

Offensive Player of the Year:  Rodney Hudson

Defensive Player of the Year: Mario Edwards Jr

Other Notable players: Donald Penn, Gabe Jackson, Reggie Nelson, Sean Smith, David Amerson

Strongest position group: Offensive Line

Weakest position group: Offensive skill players

Preseason Projection

The Raiders are projected for 8.7 wins with a 90% confidence interval of 4.9 to 12.6 wins. They begin the season with an approximate 44.1% chance of making the playoffs and a less than 1.5% chance of winning the Super Bowl. The graph below shows the Raiders probability of winning X number of games.

Raiders

San Diego Chargers

The Chargers finished last season 4-12 and missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six years. Mike McCoy will begin his fourth season as head coach in what will be a very important year for his future with the Chargers. In his first four seasons with the Chargers, McCoy has a regular season record of 22-26. Ken Whisenhunt will be the new offensive coordinator for the Chargers this season. San Diefo finished last season with the 15th overall offense, but had the second to worst rushing offense in the NFL. John Pagano will enter his fifth season as defensive coordinator for the Chargers and his fifteenth season with the Chargers organization as a whole. The Chargers ranked 28th overall on defense last season and second to last in rush defense.

Offseason Summary

Departures: S Eric Weddle, TE Ladarius Green, CB Patrick Robinson, DE Kendall Reyes

Arrivals: WR Travis Benjamin, CB Casey Hayward, DT Brandon Mebane, S Dwight Lowery, G Matt Slauson

Top Draft Picks: DE Joey Bosa (Ohio State, #3 overall), TE Hunter Henry (Arkansas, #35), Max Tuerk (USC, #66)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Philip Rivers

Non-QB MVP: Keenan Allen

Offensive Player of the Year: Matt Slauson

Defensive Player of the Year: Jason Verrett

Other Notable players: Antonio Gates, King Dunlap, Casey Hayward, Melvin Ingram, Jerry Attaochu

Strongest position group: Front seven

Weakest position group: Secondary

Preseason Projection

The Chargers are projected for 7.9 wins with a 90% confidence interval of 4.1 to 11.8 wins. They begin the season with an approximate 30.3% chance of making the playoffs and a less than 1% chance of winning the Super Bowl. The graph below shows the Chargers probability of winning X number of games.

Chargers.png

Projected AFC West Standings

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-7)
  2. Oakland Raiders (9-7)
  3. San Diego Chargers (8-8)
  4. Denver Broncos (7-9)
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