AFC West Off-Season Outlook
Updated: Mar 24, 2021
Here's our next NFL Division Off-Season Outlook in which we break down each team's most pressing needs this off-season. You can check out our previous editions on the AFC East, NFC East, & NFC West by clicking those links.
If you'd prefer to watch us discuss this & the other divisions instead of reading, click here.
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes and the chiefs are set to run it back for a third straight Super Bowl appearance. With P-Money healthy & their defense getting better each year so far, they have a real shot to be great for a long time. One thing to concentrate on for them is the offensive line. They recently released Mitchel Schwartz and Eric Fisher, their two starting tackles. It also appears their center is going to hit free agency. The Chiefs line is depleted right now & that should be a major focus for them this offseason with so many great players being let go. It could be an easy retool of the O-line if they play it right. They also might want to try and add some defensive help with maybe another pass rusher or cornerback, but as Hunter mentioned on our AFC West show, it could be wise to bring in a veteran like Patrick Peterson. With plenty of options out there to retool, it looks like the Chiefs can have all the makings to be in their third straight Super Bowl & of course be the AFC West division Champs.
The Broncos, like many teams across the league, have a tough decision to make at the QB position. Is Drew Lock the guy or should they go find an upgrade? I haven’t been too impressed with Lock; I don’t think many have. He’s going into his third year and I think this will be a make or break season for him. The only problem is do they have the time to waste another year finding out? With a top 10 defense, they need to use that to their advantage and start winning now. Unfortunately, I don’t think that starts this season. Drew Lock is a huge question mark and the Broncos know it or else they wouldn’t be mixed in in the QB trade rumors. I don’t think they have faith in Lock and this year may just be another lost one. Aside from that, their offense has weapons and like mentioned; their defense is elite. If they are able to land a guy like Deshaun Watson, they'll be contending in this division.
Las Vegas Raiders
The raiders are in a weird spot. Derek Carr is good but not great. The defense is starting to turn the corner on being good but also still not great. The coaching, with Jon Gruden leading the way, can sometimes be good but it's not great either. If you’re catching on here, you’ll see the raiders are a good team... but not great. In a tough division, you’re not going anywhere just fighting to be good at 8-8. They need to start finding some star players who can greatly affect a game in a positive manner for them. They tried to do this in Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden's first offseason together in 2019; signing guys like Antonio Brown, Trent Brown, Terrell Williams, Vontaze Burfict, Lamarcus Joyner, Brandon Marshall, & Isaiah Crowell. They all have since been cut, traded, or have not even played a down with the team as of 2021. It was a terrible first free agency and if they want to win, Jon Gruden needs to add game changing talent all over the place; kind of like the players they had when he took over (Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper) but that’s in the past and they're not coming back. Time to find your own talent Gruden.
Los Angeles Chargers
The chargers have a promising QB in Justin Herbert. They have weapons in Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler, and a promising defense with Joey Bosa, Derwin James, Casey Hayward, & more. They have some big needs on the O-line at basically every spot, as well as TE if they let hunter Henry leave in free agency. Another pass rusher opposite of Bosa would help as well. The main pieces for a team are filled for the Chargers with QB, Edge Rusher, CB & WR. Give Justin Herbert some protection and they could be looking at a wildcard spot behind the Chiefs. It all starts up front on the offensive line. This is a great year to retool at positions as I said with the chiefs. The Chargers can do the same and should if they want to compete in this division.