The AFC West features the Super Bowl contender Chiefs, a team that has beefed up its offensive line in hopes to better protect Patrick Mahomes. Las Vegas made some key changes on defense, while Denver now has Teddy Bridgewater starting at QB. Finally, the Chargers are extremely talented and hope to just stay healthier this season. That, plus no sophomore slump from Justin Herbert. So, how do these changes impact my 2021 AFC West Season Predictions?
A new NFL season means a few renewed traditions at The Wife Hates Sports. First and foremost, it’s THE WIFE releasing an ultra-heavy dose of eye rolls, as she knows the next chunk of months will see the weekends swallowed up by football (both college and pro). Secondly, it’s time for KP’s NFL season predictions, specifically piggybacking off the SportsChump and his annual Over/Under Contest, where you predict the upcoming regular season win totals of NFL teams (by confidence).
Only, this year will feature something new. While I will – and did – complete my top ten over/under win total bets for the 2021 season, I’ll also tackle every team’s record (by division).
Specifically, here are my 2021 AFC West Season Predictions – oh, and don’t forget that the upcoming year has been supersized to seventeen regular season games.
Team – 2021 O/U
- Kansas City Chiefs – 12.5
- Los Angeles Chargers – 9.5
- Denver Broncos – 8.5
- Las Vegas Raiders – 7
Above features the projections from Vegas, and here are my picks for the AFC West:
2021 AFC West Season Predictions: Over/Under Win Total Bets
Kansas City Chiefs – (12.5 wins – OVER)
I don’t question the offensive speed on KC’s roster, but maybe the depth at the WR position. A few from that group (e.g. Mecole Hardman) will need to step up and be the clear #2 WR. The Chiefs also made significant changes to its offensive line (enter Joe Thuney, Kyle Long, and Orlando Brown). Much improved, but how quickly will that group gel? Add in a division that appears to be getting stronger and more experienced. With that said, any time you have Patrick Mahomes and surrounding talent, 13 wins is a definite possibility. Still, any better is a tall order.
KP’s Prediction: 13-4 | Confidence: Low
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Los Angeles Chargers – (9.5 wins – OVER)
The Chargers have been bitten by the injury bug over the last few years. Close losses hounded them a few years back, as well. Still, look at this roster! Can this team remain relatively healthy? If so, watch out. Let’s also assume that Justin Herbert can build off a very solid rookie season. Add in Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler, and more on offense. Joey Bosa anchors the trenches, along with players like Derwin James and Chris Harris in the secondary. Rookies Rashawn Slater and Asante Samuel Jr. are nice additions, as well. Overall, this team has a real shot to compete with the Chiefs.
KP’s Prediction: 12-5 | Confidence: High
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Denver Broncos – (8.5 wins – UNDER)
Teddy Bridgewater has been named the Week 1 starter over Drew Lock. Last year’s Broncos finished with a disappointing 5-11 record. Bridgewater adds some stability, but his performance failed to lead to too many wins in Carolina last year. Despite that, there are plenty of weapons for Bridgewater to throw to, including Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Noah Fant. Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, and Josey Jewell anchor a defense that ranked 21st in the NFL last season. Another slow start could mean the end for Vic Fangio. In fact, coaching and a strong division is why I don’t trust the Broncos. Denver desperately needs a franchise QB.
KP’s Prediction: 6-11 | Confidence: Low
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Las Vegas Raiders – (7 wins – UNDER)
Derek Carr (4,103 passing yards, 27 TD, 9 INT) was outstanding last year, almost to the point that maybe we should expect a bit less in 2021. The most noticeable change is the overhaul to the defensive line, headlined by Yannick Ngakoue. We’ll see how this impacts a run defense that ranked 24th in the NFL last season (125.8 ypg allowed). Overall, it’s hard to see Vegas even matching last year’s eight-win mark, especially with the talented teams in the division. Specifically, the Chargers and Broncos suffered through injuries last year and the Chiefs made it to the Super Bowl. One team has to finish last in the AFC West and I think that team is Vegas.
KP’s Prediction: 6-11 | Confidence: Medium
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Who do you have hoisting the AFC West division crown? Chime in via the comments section below and as always, thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
Recap of all Teams/Divisions for the 2021 NFL Season
- AFC East Preview
- NFC East Preview
- AFC West Preview
- NFC West Preview
- AFC North Preview
- NFC North Preview
- AFC South Preview
- NFC South Preview
- NFL Top Ten Over/Under Win Total Bets
References: NFL.com Stats | OurLads Depth Charts
Image Credit: CBS Sports
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