Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
Sep 8, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

AFC West stands to best division we see in 2022

The NFL always has wild divisional races, and while the NFC East might be a big national story, the AFC West could be a four-team brawl.

For six years, the Kansas City Chiefs have hung banners for the AFC West. Now, the challengers are stepping up.

In Los Angeles, the Chargers won nine games last year and signed corner J.C. Jackson along with a trade for edge rusher Khalil Mack, pairing him with Joey Bosa. Los Angeles has arguably the biggest collection of stars in the league, led by Pro Bowl quarterback Justin Herbert.

 

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Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Raiders acquired All-Pro receiver Davante Adams in a trade with the Green Bay Packers, before signing edge rusher Chandler Jones. Finally, the Denver Broncos swung the biggest deal oof all, landing Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks for a quartet of draft picks, along with tight end Noah Fant, defensive tackle Shelby Harris and quarterback Drew Lock.

In Kansas City, this offseason saw the Chiefs remake themselves some, with receiver Tyreek Hill traded to the Miami Dolphins, and Pro Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu allowed to leave in free agency for the New Orleans Saints. And while Kansas City seems to have drafted well while finding a few quality free-agent additions in edge rusher Carlos Dunlap, receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster, and safety Justin Reid,  it’s hard to argue the gap hasn’t closed.

If the Chiefs are going to stay ahead, it’ll largely be because of a youthful defense stepping up combined with the lethal combination of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid. For Kansas City, that duo is the potential trump card once more.

 

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Early on, we’ll see a couple of key divisional battles. In Week 1, the Raiders visit the Chargers, before Los Angeles goes to Kansas City come Week 2. Those games could give us a barometer of where those clubs are at.

Although those are only a few contests, they could well set the tone for a division that likely comes down to the last few weeks, along with tiebreakers starting within the gaggle itself.

It’s rare one division could put forth four playoff-quality teams, but the AFC West could produce such a group. And yet at least one is likely to be left on the outside of the postseason picture, with the others all capable of a Super Bowl run.

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