The Kansas City Chiefs put the NFL on notice in 2018 with Patrick Mahomes slinging the ball with ease on opposing defenses. The Chiefs finished the season at 12-4 and won the AFC West division title.
Kansas City was the first seed in the AFC when the playoffs began, but they ultimately got knocked out when they came face-to-face with the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.
Heading into the 2019 season, the Chiefs are heavy favorites to repeat as the AFC West divisional winners. Who could possibly dethrone the high-powered offense of the Chiefs this upcoming season?
Revenge of the Bolts
The Los Angeles Chargers showed in 2018 that their window with Philip Rivers as their quarterback isn’t completely closed just yet. Rivers may be 14 years older than Mahomes, but he can still throw with the best of them.
In 2018, the Chargers finished in second place in the AFC West with a 12-4 record. They tied with the Chiefs, but Kansas City held the tiebreaker thanks to a better record within the division.
The Chargers have a very talented team on both sides of the ball with Rivers under center, Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler in the backfield, and Keenan Allen plus Mike Williams to throw to. That group of guys led the Chargers to the 11th ranked offense in 2018. Over the course of this offseason, they lost Tyrell Williams to free agency, but they still have loads of talent.
When Gordon is healthy, he is one of the best at his position because of how dynamic he is. The same can be said for Allen at the wide receiver position.
On defense, the Chargers made some noise led by their rookie phenom in Derwin James. Along with James, the Chargers have Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Casey Hayward, and Denzel Perryman.
In today’s NFL, you need a formidable pass rush to take down the best teams in the NFL. With Bosa and Ingram on opposite sides, Los Angeles has just that.
James had a phenomenal rookie season in 2018. The talented rookie finished with 105 tackles, three interceptions, and 13 pass deflections. Having someone like James on the backend of your defense gives you an advantage. He will be looking to improve upon his 2018 season with an even better one in 2019.
The Rest of the West
There were plenty of moves made within the AFC West this offseason. The Denver Broncos traded for Joe Flacco while also signing Kareem Jackson and Bryce Callahan to their defense.
Then to top that, the Oakland Raiders traded for Antonio Brown while also landing Trent Brown and Tyrell Williams on big free agent deals. Oakland also brought in Lamarcus Joyner to bolster their secondary.
The Chiefs added Carlos Hyde on offense and Tyrann Mathieu to help improve their 31st-ranked defense in 2018. The defense of the Chiefs is what makes them very beatable in the AFC West.
With the bevy of acquisitions that the Raiders made this offseason, some may be intrigued with the idea that they will be the biggest threat to the Chiefs in 2019. Well, I have bad news for fans in the Black Hole. As long as Philip Rivers has an arm attached to his body, there is always a chance he can secure the AFC West crown for
San Diego Los Angeles.