One prediction for every AFC West team in 2022


After an insane NFL off-season, the AFC West has emerged looking like one of the toughest single season divisions in NFL history. All four of these teams are capable of making a Super Bowl run in 2022, meaning every game out West this year is especially important, and every divisional matchup without a doubt will be must-see television.

All these teams are great, and with the NFL expanding to three Wild Card teams a year ago, the potential is there for all four of these talented squads to make the playoffs. Whether that happens or not depends on a variety of factors, but here is a prediction for each AFC West team heading into the 2022 season. 

Kansas City Chiefs - Patrick Mahomes thrives without Tyreek Hill and the Chiefs take the division crown

The Kansas City Chiefs have been one of the best teams in the NFL throughout Patrick Mahomes' tenure, and despite all the talent that's been added to the West, until they're knocked off, they are still the best team in the division. The wide receiver group took a hit, sure, but with a great QB and an offensive genius running the show, the Chiefs aren't yet ready to surrender the AFC West.

The division has never been tougher, and they'll need to win a lot of divisional games to make it happen, but no one is better set than Kansas City with their amazing blend of youth and experience. It will be fun to see who steps up in Tyreek Hill's absence, but Patrick Mahomes can play at an MVP level with this group once again without a doubt. 

Los Angeles Chargers - MVP caliber Justin Herbert leads a deep playoff run

The Los Angeles Chargers have seemingly been on the verge of the playoffs for years now, and if Justin Herbert can take another step in 2022 like many expect, they could be in for an incredible season. Both sides of the ball were improved in the off-season, making this one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, and at this point, anything less than at least one playoff win should be considered a big time failure.

This division is tough no doubt, but to be the best, you have to beat the best, and after Joe Burrow and the Bengals took a surprise deep trip through the playoffs in 2021, there's absolutely no reason why a more talented Chargers roster shouldn't be able to do that in 2022. The Bills are the AFC's Super Bowl favourite, but Herbert is every bit as good as Josh Allen, and if he can stay healthy, a matchup between the two in the AFC Championship game could be on par with the insane Bills-Chiefs playoff game from a season ago, and it's battles like that which will set the Chargers up for potential long-term success with this talented squad. 

Denver Broncos - Russell Wilson helps this team sneak into the final Wild Card spot

The Denver Broncos have had a talented roster for the past few years, but have lacked the QB play and health to take the next step, which is why they made the blockbuster trade to bring Super Bowl winning QB Russell Wilson to the Mile High. This team is very talented and always tough to beat in Denver, and if they can hold their own against the elite AFC West teams, they can no doubt sneak into one of the three Wild Card spots in 2022. 

On their day, anyone can beat anyone in the NFL, and if the Broncos can sneak into the playoffs, there's a chance with the experienced Wilson at QB that they can make a big time run. With so many teams ahead of them though, Denver will have to be at their best at all times to beat the better teams, and while most teams would be happy with a playoff berth, John Elway, Russ and co. will be in search of much, much more. 

Las Vegas Raiders - Derek Carr to Davante Adams is lethal, but not enough for playoffs

The Las Vegas Raiders, like every AFC West team made a splashy trade this off-season, but unlike Kansas City, it was to acquire one of, if not the best wide receiver in the game. While this makes Vegas one of the strongest and most balanced offences in the NFL, they may just lack the overall talent to compete with the top teams in the brutal AFC West. 

It's not that this team is bad by any stretch, but if the Raiders fail to go at least 4-2 within the division, which seems unlikely, they'll have a very hard time keeping the pace to find themselves a Wild Card spot in 2022. Vegas could easily find themselves winning 8 or 9 games this season, but unless someone in a weaker division slips up badly, there's just way too much competition in the West for them to be able to find a playoff spot in 2022. 

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports