AFC West preview, predictions, picks for 2022 NFL season

Steve Serby previews the AFC West as The Put up offers division-by-division breakdowns forward of the 2022 NFL season.

1. Los Angeles Chargers 

Coach: Brandon Staley 

2021 report: 9-8 

O/U wins: 10.5 

Key additions: EGDE Khalil Mack, CB J.C. Jackson, EDGE Kyle Van Noy, CB Bryce Callahan, TE Gerald Everett, DT Morgan Fox, DT Austin Johnson, LB Troy Reeder, DT Sebastian Joseph-Day, LS Josh Harris, RB Isaiah Spiller, G Zion Johnson, S J.T. Woods 

Key departures: DT Linval Joseph, LB Kyzir White, CB Chris Harris Jr. TE Jared Prepare dinner, RB Justin Jackson, G Scott Quessenberry, DT Justin Jones, TE Stephen Anderson, CB Davontae Harris, WR Andre Roberts, EDGE Uchenna Nwosu, OLB Kyler Fackrell, G Oday Aboushi, T Bryan Bulaga 

First-and-goal: QB Justin Herbert (69 TDs, 25 INTs) appears like a generational expertise. WR Keenan Allen is in search of his fourth consecutive 100-catch season, and WR Mike Williams (76 catches, 9 TDs) earned a three-year, $60 million contract as an rising 6-foot-4 playmaker. RB Austin Ekeler (70 receptions, 12 TDs) is a dual-threat weapon. LT Rashawn Slater and C Corey Linsley had been 2021 Professional Bowlers, and RG Zion Johnson was the 2022 first-round choose. WR Joshua Palmer has opened eyes. EDGE Khalil Mack and CB J.C. Jackson will assist DE Joey Bosa and S Derwin James get the ball again to the big-arm quarterback. Carter upgrades the return sport. LS Josh Harris was a Professional Bowler final season. 

Justin Herbert is predicted to achieve peak efficiency this season.

Fourth-and-long: The proper deal with place is responsible till confirmed harmless. The run protection is suspect. The kick and punt-return items are a piece in progress for brand new particular groups coordinator Ryan Ficken. LB Kenneth Murray, a 2020 first-round choose, is gifted however has been slowed by an ankle that value him 5 video games final season. Staley (third in fourth-down makes an attempt) may be too daring for his personal good. The division is homicide. 

Serby Says: 11-6. A generational younger quarterback and playmakers on each degree of the protection. 

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2. Las Vegas Raiders 

Coach: Josh McDaniels 

2021 report: 10-7 

O/U wins: 8.5 

Key additions: WR Davante Adams, EDGE Chandler Jones, LB Jayon Brown, CB Rock Ya-Sin, RB Brandon Bolden, DT Bilal Nichols, QB Jarrett Stidham, LB Micah Kiser, FB Jakob Johnson, RB Ameer Abdullah, S Matthias Farley, S Duron Harmon, DT Tyler Lancaster, OLB Kyler Fackrell, LB Jordan Jenkins, RB Austin Walter 

Key departures: EDGE Yannick Ngakoue, LB Cory Littleton, QB Marcus Mariota, EDGE Carl Nassib, LB Nick Kwiatoski, WR Bryan Edwards, LB Nicholas Morrow, RT Denzelle Good, LB Okay.J. Wright, DT Quinton Jefferson, DT Solomon Thomas, WR Zay Jones, CB Casey Hayward, G Richie Incognito, FB Alec Ingold, CB Keisean Nixon, CB Brandon Facyson, S Tyree Gillespie, C Nick Martin 

Derek Carr
Derek Carr will reunite with Davante Adams years after their days at Fresno State.

First-and-goal: Carr-to-Adams all these years later after Fresno State. All WR Hunter Renfrow did was catch 103 passes and 9 TDs final season. TE Darren Waller is one other potential 100-plus catch weapon when wholesome. LT Kolton Miller is a gifted bodyguard. RB Josh Jacobs is enjoying for a brand new contract. Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby are elite cross rushers. The kicking sport is in good ft with PK Daniel Carlson and P AJ Cole. FS Tre’von Moehrig-Woodard is a playmaker. New defensive coordinator Patrick Graham is a brainiac. McDaniels might be missed by Mac Jones, and proprietor Mark Davis is playing that he’s realized from his disastrous 11-17 rookie tenure in Denver. 

Fourth-and-long: The O-line is suspect and 2021 first-round OT Alex Leatherwood was waived. There isn’t sufficient secondary depth to cope with Herbert, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson. Will DE Clelin Ferrell, the fourth-overall choose of former GM Mike Mayock’s 2019 draft, ever make an affect? And can Graham attempt him inside? The division is homicide. 

Serby Says: 10-7. The very best Derek Carr but turns Sin Metropolis into Simply Win, Metropolis. 

Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes will seemingly undergo with out Tyreek Hill.

3. Kansas Metropolis Chiefs 

Coach: Andy Reid 

2021 report: 12-5 

O/U wins: 10.5 

Key additions: WR Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, RB Ronald Jones II, EDGE Carlos Dunlap, CB Trent McDuffie, DE George Karlaftis, WR Justin Watson, WR Skyy Moore, DT Taylor Stallworth, LB Elijah Lee, G Geron Christian, S Justin Reid, DT Danny Shelton, S Deon Bush, RB-KR Isiah Pacheco, S Bryan Prepare dinner, LB Leo Chenal 

Key departures: WR Tyreek Hill, S Tyrann Mathieu, CB Mike Hughes, S Daniel Sorensen, DT Jarran Reed, EDGE Melvin Ingram, LB Anthony Hitchens, S Armani Watts, C Austin Blythe, WR Demarcus Robinson, G Kyle Lengthy, LB Ben Niemann, RB Darrel Williams, WR Byron Pringle 

First-and-goal: Patrick Mahomes has 151 touchdowns in opposition to 37 interceptions for his profession and TE Travis Kelce has 35 TD catches throughout the final 4 years with a pair of 100-plus catch seasons — and Tyreek Hill is in Miami. The O-line is without doubt one of the greatest with LT Orlando Brown Jr., LG Joe Thuney and C Creed Humphrey. Isiah Pacheco hasn’t resembled a seventh-round select of Rutgers and will eat into Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s touches. Professional Bowl DT Chris Jones is again inside pressuring quarterbacks. DE Frank Clark has made the final three Professional Bowls with Jones. MLB Nick Bolton and OLB Willie Homosexual Jr. make a formidable tandem. PK Harrison Butker is second in NFL historical past in profession field-goal proportion (minimal 100 makes an attempt) with 90.1 p.c, trailing solely Justin Tucker. Andy Reid might be a Corridor of Famer, and he swears by offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy. 

Fourth-and-long: The electrical Hill has taken his skills to South Seaside, Smith-Schuster and MVS could have their moments, simply not as many game-changers as Hill. The secondary has younger expertise, however Mathieu’s savvy and management might be missed, and rookie CB Trent McDuffie should change Charvarius Ward. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo wants to search out greater than final season’s 31 sacks. Particular groups protection items misplaced a number of key contributors. The division is homicide. 

Serby Says: 9-8. Mahomes will miss Hill and Spagnuolo will miss Honey Badger. 

4. Denver Broncos 

Coach: Nathaniel Hackett 

2021 report: 7-10 

O/U wins: 9.5 

Key additions: QB Russell Wilson, EDGE Randy Gregory, Okay’Waun Williams, RT Billy Turner, LB Alex Singleton, TE Eric Tomlinson, OT Tom Compton, DT D.J. Jones, OLB Nik Bonitto, TE Greg Dulcich 

Key departures: QB Drew Lock, QB Teddy Bridgewater, CB Kyle Fuller, DT Shelby Harris, TE Noah Fant, CB Bryce Callahan, LB Micah Kiser, CB Mike Ford, RB Kenyan Drake 

Russell Wilson
After a decade with the Seahawks, Russell Wilson will now hope to carry a Tremendous Bowl win again to Denver.

First-and-goal: Coach Hackett says he was extra excited to fulfill Ciara than Wilson. Understood, however he’ll gladly Let Russ Prepare dinner as an alternative — you gained’t be listening to “Go Hawks” from him anymore. WRs Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton will flourish. Jeudy gained’t go with out a TD catch this season. RBs Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon type one of many league’s greatest tandems. The secondary characteristic a pair of stars in Professional Bowl FS Justin Simmons and CB Patrick Surtain. SS Kareem Jackson offers management. If Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory keep wholesome, the cross rush might be wholesome. DT Dre’Mont Jones (12 sacks final two seasons) has star potential. 

Fourth-and-long: Inside linebacker subsequent to Josey Jewell is a query. Can TE Albert Okwuegbunam change Noah Fant? LT Garett Bolles must rebound, and is there a top quality bookend proper deal with in the home? WR Tim Patrick (ACL) is misplaced for the season, and P Sam Martin was waived. The division is homicide. 

Serby Says: 9-8. Wilson will give his new group an opportunity to win the division, simply as the opposite quarterbacks within the division will give their group an opportunity to win the division.

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