Week 3 AFC West Predicktions

Balls filling in for JMC this week. We are still thinking of he and the War Department, praying she returns to full health soo. Take care, bud.

Short and sweet this week.

Chiefs over Colts 31-20, Mahomes and company is too much.

Chargers over Jaguars 24-20, expecting Herbert to play, albeit in a safe, cautious manner by and the Staley/Lombardi’s game planning.

Titans over Raiders 23-20, Raiders offense still reeling.

49ers over Broncos 26-23, back and forth affair. Russell/Hackett’s offense still struggling at times vs a 49ers team that is ready to rally behind Garappolo.

fuck your teams

Weekly Grade and Predictions

Week 1 is in the books, and we learned a lot about the division. In some cases, there were new things to discover, and, in some cases, we learned our concerns were well founded.  Let’s rock and roll….

GRADES

Chiefs

The Chiefs are the returning division champs and after week one, Mahomes and company look like they are planning on repeating. Patrick Mahomes was 30 of 39 (76.9%) for 360 Yards and 5 touchdowns. Isiah Pacheco had 12 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown. Travis Kelce had 12 receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown. Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 7 carries for 42 yards with 3 receptions for 32 yards and 2 touchdowns. The defense had 3 sacks and 4 tackles for loss. Harrison Butker was 1 for 1 on fieldgoals and 4 for 4 on extra points. When you score 44 points in the opening week, you are putting not only the division but the entire AFC on notice.

Grade: A

 

Chargers

The Chargers have been one of the pre-season favorites to make a Super Bowl run and they got off to a great start with a win in their home opener. Justin Herbert was 26 of 34 (76.4%) for 279 yards and 3 touchdowns. Austin Ekeler had 14 carries for 36 yards with 4 receptions for 36 yards. Keenan Allen had 4 receptions for 66 yards. The defense had 6 sacks and 5 tackles for loss with 3 interceptions. Dustin Hopkins was 1 for 2 on fieldgoals and 3 for 3 on extra points. This was a great way to start the season for Chargers.

Grade: A-

 

Raiders

The Raiders were a playoff team last year and created some hype with the additions they made but the offensive line and secondary remained a large concern and for good reason. Derek Carr was 22 of 37 (59.4%) for 295 Yards and 2 touchdowns with 3 interceptions. Josh Jacobs had 10 carries for 57 yards and 1 reception for 16 yards. Davante Adams had 10 receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown. The defense had 5 tackles for loss. Daniel Carlson was 2 for 2 on fieldgoals and 1 for 1 on extra points. The bright spots were watching Davante Adams go nuts and Jacobs averaging 5.7 yards per carry but, when you surrender 6 sacks, fumble 3 times and create no turnovers, you cannot expect to win especially on the road.

Grade: C-

 

Broncos

The Broncos started the Russell Wilson era in primetime against the Seahawks and though it was a close game it did not have a fairytale ending, it was more like a nightmare. Wilson was 29 of 42 (69%) for 340 yards and a touchdown. Melvin Gordon had 12 carries for 58 yards with 2 receptions for 14 yards. Jerry Jeudy had 4 receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown. The defense had 2 sacks and 3 tackles for loss. Brandon McManus was 3 for 4 on fieldgoals and 1 for 1 on extra points. The Broncos got within the 3 yards line and only scored 3 points. They are also the first team since 1987 to lose two fumbles at their opponent’s one yard line. Clock management and going for a 64-yard fieldgoal was, well puzzling to say the very least.

Grade: C

 

PREDICTIONS

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs

This will be a flat-out barn burner. The winner will take early control of the division and remain undefeated. Thursday night special too.

Chiefs 31 Chargers 24

Spread: -3.5 Chiefs

Over/Under: 54.5

 

Arizona Cardinals at Las Vegas Raiders

This should be a great game but injuries and needed adjustments for both teams from week one makes this a very hard game to predict.

Raiders 28 Cardinals 24

Spread: -5.5 Raiders

Over/Under: 51.5

 

Houston Texans at Denver Broncos

The home opener for the Broncos should be great game for them. The offense should be front and center in this game.

Broncos 28 Texans 16

Spread: -10 Broncos

Over/Under: 44

Last Week: 2-1

 

This was a very interesting start to the season but there are a lot of questions still to be answered. Football is back and none too soon.

NFL Season Kickoff and Predictions

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is a process; working together is success.”

-Edward Everett Hale

This start to this season is very different than the last 6 years. The reason: the division is not only the best in the NFL, but there is also much more parity (at least on paper). Each team could win this year. Each team also could lose as well. There are a lot of questions to be answered and boy oh boy does that make it that much more interesting.

The Broncos traded for QB Russell Wilson. The Chargers traded for DE Khalil Mack. The Raiders traded for WR Davante Adams. The Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill (YAHOOOOO).

There are some great additions to each team, but each team also has some serious question marks. Good, bad or indifferent, the game is played on the field and we are less than two weeks away from the start of the 17 game death match.

The Chiefs have owned this division for the last 6 years and the division has produced only 3 wildcard spots during that time. The question is will we see a division that beats the hell out of each other and only the division champion gets into the playoffs or will we send multiple teams to the show. Time will surely tell.

 

DIVISION STAT LEADERS

Passing Yards:

  1. Justin Herbert – 5,175 Yards
  2. Derek Carr – 5,025 Yards
  3. Patrick Mahomes – 4,890 Yards
  4. Russell Wilson – 4,400 Yards

This is the cream of the cream. Not only will Herbert lead the division in passing yards, but he will also lead the NFL. Carr gets arguably the best receiver in the league and one of his best friends to help get him to 5k. Mahomes will knock on the 5k door yet again with his new receiving corps. Wilson will have his career year in Denver.

Rushing Yards:

  1. Javonte Williams – 1,200 Yards
  2. Austin Ekeler – 1,150 Yards
  3. Josh Jacobs – 1,100 Yards
  4. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – 950 Yards

This was bar none the hardest to predict because every team will be using a two headed monster in the run game. Williams will establish himself as the guy in Denver, but Gordon will be in the mix. Ekeler will be the guy for the Chargers and is the best receiving back in the division but the addition on Michel will take some of those carries away. Jacobs will be the lead back for the Raiders but White will be utilized to spell him. Edwards-Helaire is the lead guy in Kansas City but the addition of Jones will take some of the carries away.

Receiving Yards (Wide Receivers):

  1. Davante Adams – 1,700 Yards
  2. Keenan Allen – 1,200 Yards
  3. Mike Williams – 1,050 Yards
  4. Jerry Jeudy – 1,025 Yards
  5. JuJu Smith-Schuster – 1,025

Adams will be the guy in the division and will be top 5 in receiving in the NFL. Allen and Williams will form the only 1,000 yard receiving tandem in the division. Jeudy will top 1,000 yards and Sutton (975 Yards) will just miss giving them a 1,000 yard tandem as well. Smith-Schuster will be the lead guy on the outside for the Chiefs.

Receiving Yards (Tight Ends):

  1. Travis Kelce – 1,125 Yards
  2. Darren Waller – 1,025 Yards
  3. Gerald Everett – 525 Yards
  4. Albert Okwuegbunam – 500 Yards

Kelce will be, well……Kelce. He will be top 2 in receiving yards in the NFL. Waller will bounce back this year and post a 1,000 yard season. Everett will be a solid receiving option. Okwuegbunam could post higher number if he stays healthy.

 

PREDICTIONS

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals

This will be one of the funniest games to watch all season. There will be lots of offense, but the bigger question is which defense will step up.

Chiefs 31 Cardinals 24

Spread: -4.5 Chiefs

Over/Under: 53.5

 

Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers

Nothing like starting the season against a division foe. There are so many sub-stories in this match-up that it is impossible to list them all. Buckle-up!

Chargers 27 Raiders 24

Spread: -3 Chargers

Over/Under: 52

 

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson returns to Seattle in Prime Time. This one is going to be fun.

Broncos 27 Seahawks 14

Spread: -6 Broncos

Over/Under: 42

 

Football has returned and this is going to be a fantastic season. Every game in this division is must see tv. Buckle up boys, war has been declared!

AFC West Offseason Review: Las Vegas Raiders

Three down, one to go in our series of AFC West Offseason Reviews. The grand finale is that of the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Raiders had a very busy offseason. They started by relieving general manager Mike Mayock of his duties, and choosing not to retain interim head coach, Rich Bissaccia. That began the search of a new front office and coaching staff. A search that led them to former New England Patriots front office/coaching staff members, nabbing Dave Ziegler as general manager and Josh McDaniels as head coach. They rounded out the coaching staff with several former Patriots staff members highlight by offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo, but the most notable addition would probably be adding Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator.

From there, the Raiders got busy reloading a roster that had just taken an injury/off the field depleted team to the playoffs, where they would lose to the eventual AFC Champions in the final seconds of the game.

Free Agents Lost:
CB Casey Hayward, WR Zay Jones, QB Marcus Mariota, DT Quinton Jefferson, FB Alec Ingold, LB Nicholas Morrow, DT Solomon Thomas and a few others.

Free Agents Retained:
OT Brandon Parker, DT Johnathan Hankins, OL Jermaine Eluemunor.

Free Agents Added:
EDGE Chandler Jones, DL Bilal Nichols, RB Brandon Bolden, CB Anthony Averett, WR Mack Hollinsm OG Alex Bars, FB Jakob Johnson, CB Darius Phillips, S Duron Harom, WR Keelan Cole, LB Kenny Young, LB Jayon Brown, DT Vernon Butler, WR Demarcus Robinson, RB Ameer Abdullah, EDGE Kyler Fackrell, LB Micah Kiser.

Traded For:
WR Davante Adams, CB Rock Ya-Sin

Traded Away:
EDGE Yannick Ngakoue

Draft Selections Added:
OL Dylan Parham, RB Zamir White, DT Neil Farrell, DT Matthew Butler, OT Thayer Munford Jr, RB Brittain Brown

Notable Undrafted Free Agents Added:
LB Darien Butler, WR Justin Hall, CB Sam Webb

With the overhaul of the front office and coaching staff, it was inevitable that the Raiders would see quite a bit of turnover among the roster, which is evidenced above. The Raiders addressed a few areas in particular. Pass rush by adding Jones, getting younger and more skilled in man coverage by adding Ya-Sin/Averrett, and also replenishing Carr’s WR corps, by trading for the best receiver in football in Davante Adams after Carr’s offense was cut off at the knees last year after the loss of Henry Ruggs III in 2021.

On paper, the Raiders seems to have addressed some concerns on the roster, and re-tooling for the new regime quite well but a few question marks linger. How quickly can the coaching staff implement their scheme, and will wins come sooner or later? Will the young offensive line gel quickly and with the diversity evidenced by other Patriots’ offensive lines over the years? Will the younger Raiders’ secondary be up for the task?

The Raiders’ offseason gives plenty of reason to be confident in the path moving forward, re-tooling an already talented team around a solid QB on offense w/ strong weapons as well as a few notable standout players on defense. It also gives plenty of reason for skepticism including an entirely new front office/coaching staff trying to implement their scheme, an OL that is unproven at best/completely doomed at worst, and an entire team centered around a QB whose career accomplishments include a 0-1 career playoff record over his 9 years.

In a division full of playoff contenders, featuring a perennial AFC favorite like the Kansas City Chiefs, the Raiders are as difficult as the rest of their division foes to predict how they will fare in 2022. I believe certain pieces of their coaching staff has improved, certain pieces of their roster has improved, but it will all depend on how it all comes together this season as to whether they will find themselves in the thick of AFC Playoff contention or trying to keep themselves out of the AFC West basement, like they had finally gotten themselves out of in recent years.

In other words, it’s on you, Josh McDaniels, Derek Carr and company!

AFC West Offseason Review: Denver Broncos

We are nearly July, which means we are getting closer to the NFL Training camp, and football. Let’s look back at the offseason moves by a third AFC West team in this mini-series, the Denver Broncos.

A lot of change this offseason for the Broncos, but what’s new? This offseason featured the sale of the franchise for (Oh-Em-Gee!!) $4.65 Billion. The 2nd year general manager fired Vic Fangio, and replaced him with rookie NFL head coach, Nathaniel Hackett who proceeded to bring in his own staff. They also made a big addition at the most important position in sports, adding Russell Wilson at quarterback in exchange for a few early draft picks.

Let’s look at the rest of the moves up and down the roster.

Free Agents Lost:
QB Teddy Bridgewater, CB Kyle Fuller, CB Bryce Callahan, LB Kenny Young, LB Micah Kiser among others.

Free Agents Retained:
RB Melvin Gordon, S Kareem Jackson, TE Eric Saubert and DT DeShawn Williams

Free Agents Signed:
DE Randy Gregory, DT DJ Jones, CB K’Waun Williams, OL Billy Turner and OL Tom Compton.

Traded For:
QB Russell Wilson

Draft Selections Added:
OLB Nik Bonitto, TE Greg Dulcich, CB Damarri Mathis, DT Eyioma Uwazurike, S Delarrin Turner-Yell, S, WR Montrell Washington, C Luke Wattenberg, DT Matt Henningsen, CB Faion Hicks.

Notable Undrafted Free Agents Added:
OLB Christopher Allen, CB Ja’Quan McMillian, RB Tyreik McCallister

Broncos front office and rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett went to work rebuilding a defense that had been tailored to former head coach Vic Fangio. They moved on from players on all levels and brought in guys they felt were more suitable for DC Ejiro Evero.

The offensive side of the ball featured the addition of pro bowl quarterback Russell Wilson, and fortifying the offensive line to better protect the QB than Denver has done in recent years.

It is a very interesting time in Denver for the Broncos, a lot of change, a new era, and a lot of new shiny players/coaches. Ultimately, I believe there are simply too many moving parts to expect the Broncos to take the crown in a loaded AFC West, but if they can find a way to gel early and the coaching staff is as good as some believe they are I would not rule them out. There is a fair amount of talent on this roster in nearly every unit.

Fuck the Broncos.

AFC West Offseason Review: Los Angeles Chargers

Happy 1st Day of June! Happy LGBTQ+ Pride Month! Especially our very own, Lord. Let’s celebrate by reviewing the offseason for his beloved 2nd favorite NFL team, the Los Angeles Chargers.

Free Agents Lost:
EDGE Uchenna Nwosu, DL Justin Jones, LB Kyzir White, LB/EDGE Kyler Fackrell, OT Bryan Bulaga, DL Linval Joseph, CB Chris Harris Jr, OG Oday Aboushi and a couple other less notables.

Free Agents Retained:
QB Chase Daniel, DL Christian Covington and a couple other less notables.

Free Agents Signed:
CB JC Jackson, DL Sebasatian Joseph-Day, DL Austin Johnson, LC Kyle Van Noy, TE Gerald Everett, CB Bryce Callahan and a couple other less notables.

Traded For:
EDGE Khalil Mack

Draft Selections Added:
G Zion Johnson, S JT Woods, RB Isaiah Spiller, DT Otito Ogbonnia, OL Jamaree Salyer, DB Ja’Sir Taylor, DB Deane Leonard, RB Zander Horvath

Notable Undrafted Free Agents Added:
RB Kevin Marks Jr, EDGE Ty Shelby, TE Erik Kroemmenhoek

There was quite a bit of turnover on the roster for the Chargers, which isn’t out of the ordinary for teams in year 2 of a new coaching regime. Staley seems determined to rid the team of any remaining “Anthony Lynn” players that he believes may be holding them back. The biggest takeaway from all of the moves is that GM Tom Telesco and HC Brandon Staley know that they are in “win now” mode. I mean, most teams are in this mode in some capacity, but I believe everyone is aware of the urgency of trying to capitalize on championship aspirations while one of the game’s top franchise QB’s is still playing on his rookie contract.

So the Chargers made a few notable moves in particular this offseason. They traded for an aging, yet still effective and at times dominant defensive end in Khalil Mack. They paired that move with adding arguably the best cornerback available in JC Jackson, though one can only wonder why New England was so willing to let him walk. They also know giving Herbert time to throw is a priority, so they added OL Zion Johnson in round 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

They addressed a weak interior defensive front 7 by replacing Linval Joseph and Justin Jones, with Joseph-Day and Johnson. They added one of the better TE’s on the market to a weak TE room, and a couple depth players in the secondary.

The Chargers’ 2022 Draft Class features a number of guys with pretty significant upside (Johnson, Woods, Spiller, Salyer, Ogbonnia), but plenty of reason to be cautiously optimistic due to the circumstances they were taken in. #17 overall is a bit rich for an OG, and overall the only picks they had in the top 150 were used on G, S, and RB. For a team that is devoid of talent and depth in a few areas, drafting positions that I would consider to be less positional value than others seems like a luxury the Chargers weren’t really in a position to afford.

Overall, the Chargers did a solid job getting younger and faster at a few positions. They added a couple potential game-changing players to the defensive side of the ball and bolstered the run defense which was badly needed.

They will be in the mix in the AFC West, but it’ll be hard to predict a division championship is in the cards given the competition.

Fuck the Chargers.

AFC West OffSeason Review: Kansas City Chiefs

The offseason is upon us. Let’s take a look back and see how each AFC West team fared this season, beginning with the defending division champions, Kansas City Chiefs.

Free Agents Lost:
CB Charvarious Ward, CB Mike Hughes, S Tyrann Matheiu, WR Byron Pringle, WR Demarcus Robinson, S Dan Sorenson, S Armani Watts, G Austin Blythe and a couple other less notables.

Free Agents Retained:
DT Derek Nnadi, TE Blake Bell, OT Andrew Wylie.

Free Agents Signed:
S Justin Reid, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, RB Ronald Jones II, LB Jermaine Carter and a couple other less notables.

Traded:
WR Tyreek Hill

Draft Selections Added:
CB Trent McDuffie, DE George Karlaftis, WR Skyy Moore, S Bryan Cook, LB Leo Chenal, CB Joshua Williams, OT Darian Kinnard, DB Jaylen Watson, RB Isaiah Pacheco, S Nazeeh Johnson

Undrafted Free Agents Added:
WR Justyn Ross, RB Jerrion Ealy, LB Jack Cochrane (Former USD Coyote)

Reviewing all of the roster moves made this offseason, it’s obvious that the Chiefs differ greatly in terms of where their roster is at compared to their peers in the AFC West. They are talented, seasoned and have a lot of players that are valuable in this league. That means they have to either find a way to pay them in order to keep them, trade them, or let them walk when they hit free agency.

The Chiefs lost a lot of talent this offseason, highlighted by 3 of their top 4 wide receivers including All-Pro and bona fide game changer, Tyreek Hill. They were able to get some high draft picks back in that trade, but it will be hard to replace a player of that caliber. They also lost starters and other contributors on multiple levels of the defense, most notably the overhaul in the secondary.

They approached free agency with some money to spend, focusing on adding quality players in the wide receiver room and on defense. The Chiefs entered the draft needing to pick up some help at CB and EDGE, but otherwise had a pretty quality roster in place allowing them to be nimble throughout the draft. The Chiefs hit all the right notes throughout the draft. I am not nearly as high on CB McDuffie and WR Moore as many, but I am no draft expert and will defer to the more qualifed experts that widely liked these additions for the Chiefs.

The Chiefs also picked up a few rookies post draft that have a real shot to make this team in WR Ross, RB Ealy, and LB Cochrane as a special teamer.

In review, it’s hard to argue the Chiefs got better this offseason considering all that they lost, but they did about as good of job as one could expect given the circumstances. If they hit on a good number of the many new players they brought in this offseason, they not only very well could have gotten better but given the amount of youth they added on affordable deals, they could have set themselves up for another strong multi-year run in this division/conference.

Fuck the Chiefs.

AFC West Final Mock Draft

Well gentlemen (and lord), the wait is finally over. We are a day away from the draft and this one is going to be very interesting.

The Chiefs have 12 picks with two picks in each of the first four rounds. This should help them refortify the team. The Chargers have 10 picks with four in the final round. The Broncos have 9 picks after trading multiple selections for QB Russell Wilson. The Raiders have 5 picks after trading their top two picks for WR Davante Adams.

This mock will be the first three picks for each team. Let’s rock and roll….

Denver Broncos
Team Needs: OT, TE, LB
Picks #64 Abraham Lucas, OT Washington State
Lucas is a big right tackle with the frame to wall off defenders. With Russell Wilson at the helm, protecting him becomes priority number one. Lucas should be the starter for years to come.

Pick #75 Isaiah Likely, TE Coastal Carolina
Likely is smooth and instinctive in the open-field after the catch. He is a vertical threat with very good speed. Teams will have to game plan for him and he will give Wilson an outstanding weapon to go with Albert O.

Pick #96 Brian Asamoah, ILB Oklahoma
Asamoah is one of the most explosive off-ball linebackers. He is good in coverage and has the speed to match up with backs. He will push for playing time in year one.

 

Las Vegas Raiders
Team Needs: OT, DT, WR
Pick #86 Daniel Faalele, OT Minnesota
Faalele is a massive right tackle with exceptional height, bulk and arm length. He has the power to overwhelm defenders in the run game. McDaniels has had success with big right tackles in his offense.

Pick #126 Matthew Butler, DT Tennessee
Butler has the active hands, body control and top-end speed to develop into a disruptive interior pass-rusher. He is also able to play in either line set which is a requirement for the hybrid defense deployed by the Raiders.

Pick #164 Tyquan Thornton, WR Baylor
Thornton has good instincts and the ability to create separation on the move. He’s a vertical threat with elite speed. This is exactly what the Raiders need for their offense.

 

Los Angeles Chargers
Team Needs: OT, DT, LB
Pick #17 Trevor Penning, OT Northern Iowa
Penning is an outstanding run blocker and relentless mauler who overwhelms defenders at the point of attack. Add him to last year’s pick and the Chargers have a set of the best bookends in the NFL.

Pick #79 Phidarian Mathis, DT Alabama
Mathis has the long arms to lock out blockers. He locates the ball quickly and explodes to and through ball carriers. He is really good against the run and has pass rush ability, that is something the Chargers really need.

Pick #123 Brandon Smith, ILB Penn State
Smith is a rangy run-defender who flies around the field and has outstanding speed. A true thumper in the middle is something that is needed to improve the Chargers horrible run defense.

 

Kansas City Chiefs
Team Needs: WR, EDGE, ILB
Pick #29 Treylon Burks, WR Arkansas
Burks is a thickly built receiver who excels after the catch and is a mismatch. He is AJ Brown 2.0 but because of his 40 time at the Combine he slips to the bottom of the draft and right into Andy Reid’s hands. What a steal.

Pick #30 Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
Mafe has one of the fastest get-offs in this class. He has impressive torso flexibility and explosive finishing burst. He should be great on the other side of Frank Clark.

Pick #50 Christian Harris, ILB Alabama
Harris is a sideline-to-sideline run-defender who sifts through traffic and closes well. He is a great fit and is a technical guru with defensive schemes.

There are going to be a lot of trades and a lot of surprises in this draft. Not sure how it is all going to play out but it should make for some interesting tv. Here is to hoping your team shits the bed. Til then………FO!

AFC West Team Needs and Mock Draft 2.0

Well gentlemen, we are a little over two weeks away from the 2022 NFL Draft and things have never been more exciting in the division. With all of the free agent signings and trades, the division is a lot tighter and the draft has become a required success for each and every team.

The Mock Draft will cover each teams top three picks.
Let’s get it…

Denver Broncos
Team Needs: LB, TE, OT
Pick #64 Trey McBride, TE Colorado State
McBride is a reliable target with great hands and a above average blocker in the run game. With the Broncos trading Fant and with Okwuegbunam’s injury history, getting another quality tight end is a must.

Pick #75 Troy Anderson, LB Montana State
Anderson is an athletic freak with Wide Receiver speed. He is also a tackling machine and would be a instant plug and play guy.

Pick #96 Rasheed Walker, OT Penn State
Walker will need some time to develop but should be ready to start sooner rather than later. The Broncos have been a revolving door at Right Tackle. Drafting Walker should put that to rest.]

 

Las Vegas Raiders
Team Needs: IDL, OT, WR
Pick #86 Phidarian Mathis, DT Alabama
Mathis has size, strength and the ability to play in any defensive front. He also has some pass rush ability.

Pick #126 Abraham Lucas, OT Washington State
Lucas has size, power and movement skills that make him an excellent pass protector. He is pretty good in the run game.

Pick #164 Tyquan Thornton, WR Baylor
Thornton is the fastest receiver in the draft and that is exactly what the Raiders need to add to the team. He has the ability to take the top off of the defense but he will have to add some weight and muscle.

 

Los Angeles Chargers
Team Needs: OT, DT, WR
Pick #17 Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Penning a flat out mauler and plays with a chip on his shoulder. This would give the Chargers a set of the best bookends in the game and open up their offense even more.

Pick #79 John Ridgeway, DT Arkansas
Ridgeway is a big, strong Nose Tackle that is almost impossible to move in the run game and will be a beast in the middle.

Pick #123 Calvin Austin, WR Memphis
Austin is short (5’8″) but he is a flat out burner and a nightmare to cover. This guy in the slot will be a fantastic option for the Chargers offense.

 

Kansas City Chiefs
Team Needs: WR, DE, ILB
Pick #29 Skyy Moore, WR Western Michigan
Moore was the best all-around Wide Receiver prospect at the Combine. He does everything really well and can play both in the slot and on the outside.

Pick #30 David Ojabo, DE Michigan
Ojabo was considered a top 10 pick but because of his injury (Torn Achilles) he slips down to the Chiefs and they get the steal of the draft.

Pick #50 Christian Harris, LB Alabama
Harris is a high-upside athlete with fantastic coverage skills. He is a great fit and is a technical guru with defensive schemes.

The draft is going to be so interesting this year. How many remotes will get destroyed? How much alcohol will be consumed? Will there be more celebrations or commiserations? Stay tunned……Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.

The Powerhouse that is the AFC West (and the making thereof)

“there is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”
― Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

While attending the National War College, this book was required reading. Since the start of free agency, each team in the AFC West has applied this mentality and have left the rest of the NFL in its dust. The strength of this division is unbelievable and we are still in the middle of free agency with the NFL Draft still to come.

Each year you see a team or two make a big trade or a big free agent signing. What you do not see is a entire division make huge moves that propel it leaps and bounds ahead of the entire NFL. This season will be a downright bloodbath and every week a team in this division will be in a featured game.
Let’s look at the moves each team has made so far….

Denver Broncos:
QB Josh Johnson, QB Russell Wilson, OT Calvin Anderson, OL Tom Compton, DE Randy Gregory, DT D.J. Jones, DT DeShawn Williams, LB Josey Jewell, LB Malik Reed, LB Alex Singleton

The Broncos went all in to get a pro-bowl quarterback and did so with the trade for Russell Wilson. They surrendered 5 draft picks and 3 players to get him and a draft pick but if he can regain his pro-bowl form, this team could be in the mix for a playoff spot. They also were able to sign Gregory who is a terror on the edge.

Kansas City Chiefs
QB Chad Henne, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, OT Orlando Brown, DE Frank Clark, S Justin Reid

The Chiefs did not need to do much but resigning Brown and Clark was very smart. Adding JuJu Smith-Schuster should be great as he will see more one on one coverages on this team than he has ever seen before.

Las Vegas Raiders
QB Garrett Gilbert, RB Ameer Abdullah, RB Brandon Bolden, FB Jakob Johnson, WR Davante Adams, DE Maxx Crosby, DE Chandler Jones, DT Bilal Nichols, CB Anthony Averett, CB Rock Ya-Sin

The Raiders new brain trust started slow but boy oh boy when they did get started. Resigning Crosby was a must and they got it done. To stay up with the rest of the teams in the division, they went out and traded for arguably the best receiver in the NFL and one of the most consistent sack artist as well.

Los Angeles Chargers
QB Chase Daniel, WR Mike Williams, TE Gerald Everett, DT Christian Covington, DT Austin Johnson, DL Sebastian Joseph-Day, LB Khalil Mack, CB J.C. Jackson, LS Josh Harris, K Dustin Hopkins

This was the year that TT and the Chargers decided to swing for the fences and so far it is clean out of the park. He resigned Williams after a career year. Bringing the interception machine that is Jackson to the team was not enough, they also went out and traded for the sack machine that is Mack.

 

The quarterbacks in the division are second to none. The defensive ends are sick. The receivers are top tier. There are just so many good football players in this division with more to come.

Which ever team/s make it to the playoffs from this division, they will be completely battle tested and should make a deep run. No coach can complain that they don’t have the talent to win as each GM has really done their jobs to this point with the draft to come.

There are some serious football warriors in the AFC West and we should see some incredible football this year. Buckle up gents, it is going to be a fun ride.

“The only reason a warrior is alive is to fight, and the only reason a warrior fights is to win”
― Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy