That’s a WRAP on the 2021 NFL Preseason for the AFCW, which means its time for my final AFCW Predicktions. The teams got through the preseason relatively healthy, with only a few small injuries. The Raiders did end up a little thin at LB, so they elected to trade for Denzel Perryman one of PFF’s top 3 rated LB’s in 2020 to play for his old defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. They appeared to shore up that position prior to the start of the season.
The Chiefs enter the season as large favorites to win the AFCW, and I see no reason to disagree with that. They have been significantly better and more consistent the last couple years than the other teams, with only the Raiders providing them a bit of a challenge in 2020, splitting the series and looking very evenly matched throughout 8 quarters of football. The Raiders lacked the consistency and overall quality of defensive play to make a strong push down the stretch.
The Chargers and Broncos have numerous areas to improve in order to be contenders in the AFCW. The Chargers elected to revamp the coaching staff around their star young QB Justin Herbert. They brought in some quality offensive lineman to give the QB time, but many question marks remain, particularly on the defensive side of the ball and the lack of experience in the new coaching staff. Meanwhile, the Broncos elected to bring in QB Teddy Bridgewater in the hopes to gain more consistency and improve on their -16 turnover differential, which was last in the league. They addressed the offensive line and brought in some new corners to hopefully improve the pass defense in 2021.
My predicktions are as follows:
Chiefs – 13-4 – Barring injury, the Chiefs are still the class of the division by at least two or 3 games. Their season begins in January. Fuck them.
Raiders – 10-7 – The Raiders continue to steadily improve under Gruden and Mayock, with the offense leading the way. The defense finally shows signs of life after several years of disappointment under Paul Guenther. They finally get back to the playoffs, and Derek Carr gets his 1st playoff start in his 9th season. GOAT.
Chargers – 8-9 – Too many holes to fill in one offseason, too much uncertainty around the coaching staff and getting everyone on the same page. They will flash at times, but will lack consistency to make the playoffs in 2021. Justin Herbert shines, Keenan Allen has another strong campaign, but the rest of the pieces on O and all 3 levels on defense leave a bit to be desired.
Broncos – 6-11 – Another year, another new QB starting in Denver makes for another year of up and down offensive output, mostly down. Denver does have some weapons to throw to, I’m just not sure they have the QB situation to fully utilize them.
AFCW MVP – Patrick Mahomes, easily.
AFCW Offense POY – Travis Kelce, easily.
AFCW Defensive POY – Justin Simmons edges out Derwin James.
AFCW Offensive ROY – Not many to choose from here, but Javonte Williams should be in for a nice season only sharing carries with MGIII and Mike Boone out for the season. A few quality rookie OL throughout the division, but don’t typically get the shiny hardware.
AFCW Defensive ROY – Trevon Moehrig gets the INT’s necessary to edge out Surtain and Samuel, Jr.
Just a casual reminder that my Predicktions for the AFCW have been pretty spot on for a number of years. I do tend to miss on one team but only one, and outside of 2017, it is never the Raiders. So think of that as you proceed to tell me how wrong I am.
Enjoy the season. Fuck your teams.