2017 AFC West Outlook

Posted: August 31, 2017 in NFL
Denver Broncos

The Broncos finished 9-7 and failed to win the AFC West for the first time in five seasons. Vance Joseph is the new head coach for the Broncos, replacing the retired Gary Kubiak. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy returns to Denver after spending four seasons as head coach for the Chargers. Joe Woods was promoted to defensive coordinator following Wade Phillips’ departure. Woods previously served as the Broncos defensive backs coach.

Prior Year DVOA Rankings (footballoutsiders.com)

Offense – 28th Overall, 29th Rushing, 22nd Passing

Defense – 1st Overall, 21st Rushing, 1st Passing

Offseason Summary (walterfootball.com)

Departures: WR Jordan Norwood, OT Russell Okung, DE/DT Vance Walker, NT Sylvester Williams, DE/OLB DeMarcus Ware, LB Dekoda Watson, CB Kayvon Webster

Arrivals: OT Menelik Watson, G Ronald Leary, DT Zach Kerr, DT Domata Peko

Top Draft Picks: OT Garett Bolles (Utah, #20 overall), DE DeMarcus Walker (Florida State, #51 overall), WR Carlos Henderson (Louisiana Tech, #82 overall)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Von Miller

Offensive Player of the Year: Emmanuel Sanders

Defensive Player of the Year: Chris Harris

Other Notable players: Aqib Talib, Brandon Marshall, C.J. Anderson, Demaryius Thomas

Strongest position group: Secondary

Weakest position group: Quarterback

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs won the AFC West last year with a 12-4 record and lost in the divisional round of the playoffs. Andy Reid will be entering his fifth season as head coach of the Chiefs after making the playoffs in three of his first four years there. Matt Nagy is the new offensive coordinator for the Chiefs after serving as co-offensive coordinator with Brad Childress las season. Bob Sutton will enter his fifth year as the Chiefs defensive coordinator.

Prior Year DVOA Rankings (footballoutsiders.com)

Offense – 13th Overall, 19th Rushing, 10th Passing

Defense – 14th Overall, 25th Rushing, 7th Passing

Offseason Summary (walterfootball.com)

Departures: QB Nick Foles, RB Jamaal Charles, RB Knile Davis, WR Jeremy Maclin, DE/DT Jaye Howard, DE/DT Kendall Reyes, NT Dontari Poe

Arrivals: RB C.J. Spiller, TE Gavin Escobar, NT Bennie Logan

Top Draft Picks: QB Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech, #10 overall), DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (Villanova, #59 overall), RB Kareem Hunt (Toledo, #86 overall)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Alex Smith

Offensive Player of the Year: Travis Kelce

Defensive Player of the Year: Eric Berry

Other Notable players: Justin Houston, Marcus Peters, Chris Jones, Ron Parker, Tyreek Hll

Strongest position group: Front seven

Weakest position group: Offensive skill players

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers finished last season 5-11 and last place in the AFC West for a second straight year. Anthony Lynn, who served as Bills assistant head coach and running backs coach from 2015 to 2016, is the new head coach of the Chargers. Ken Whisenhunt will return as offensive coordinator for his third season with the team. Gus Bradley moves on from Jacksonville as defensive coordinator of the Jaguars.

Prior Year DVOA Rankings (footballoutsiders.com)

Offense – 18th Overall, 24th Rushing, 15th Passing

Defense – 7th Overall, 15th Rushing, 9th Passing

Offseason Summary (walterfootball.com)

Departures: RB Danny Woodhead, WR Stevie Johnson, OT King Dunlap, G D.J. Fluker, ILB Manti Te’o, CB Brandon Flowers

Arrivals: RB Kenjon Barner, OT Russell Okung, S Tre Boston

Top Draft Picks: WR Mike Williams (Clemson, #7 overall), G Forrest Lamp (Western Kentucky, #38 overall), G Dan Feeney (Indiana, #71 overall)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Philip Rivers

Offensive Player of the Year: Keenan Allen

Defensive Player of the Year: Melvin Ingram

Other Notable players: Melvin Gordon, Joey Bosa, Jahleel Addae, Casey Hayward

Strongest position group: Offensive skill players

Weakest position group: Offensive line

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders finished last season 10-4 and lost in the wild card round after an injury to Derek Carr late in the season. Jack Del Rio will enter his third year as head coach of the Raiders. Todd Downing was promoted to offensive coordinator for the Raiders after serving for two seasons as quarterbacks coach. Ken Norton Jr. will enter his third season as Raiders defensive coordinator.

Prior Year DVOA Rankings (footballoutsiders.com)

Offense – 8th Overall, 16th Rushing, 4th Passing

Defense – 22nd Overall, 17th Rushing, 25th Passing

Offseason Summary (walterfootball.com)

Departures: RB Latavius Murray, WR Andre Holmes, TE Mychal Rivera, OT Menelik Watson, DT Stacy McGee, OLB Malcolm Smith, ILB Perry Riley, CB D.J. Hayden, S Nate Allen, S Brynden Trawick

Arrivals: QB E.J. Manuel, WR/KR Cordarelle Patterson, TE Jared Cook, OT Marshall Newhouse, OLB Jelani Jenkins

Top Draft Picks: CB Gareon Conley (Ohio State, #24 overall), S Obi Melifonwu (Connecticut, #56 overall), DT Eddie Vanderdoes (UCLA, #88 overall)

Preseason Awards

MVP: Derek Carr

Offensive Player of the Year: Kelechi Osemele

Defensive Player of the Year: Khalil Mack

Other Notable players: Rodney Hudson, Sean Smith, Bruce Irvin, Amari Cooper, Marshawn Lynch

Strongest position group: Quarterback

Weakest position group: Front seven

AFC West Preseason Projections
Team Projected Record 90% Confidence Interval Odds to win Division
Chiefs 9-7 5.4-10.6 11.9-4.1 50.6%
Broncos 9-7 4.8-11.2 11.5-4.5 32.4%
Raiders 7-9 3.4-12.6 10.1-5.9 8.3%
Chargers 7-9 3.5-12.5 10.1-5.9 8.7%

 

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