The AFC West is loaded with talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Names such as Von Miller, Khalil Mack, Eric Berry and Joey Bosa are headliners, but the division has so much depth. To go 16-0 is no joke, especially in this division that not only contains these kind of defensive stars, but also offensive studs such as Derek Carr, Demaryius Thomas, Melvin Gordon, and Tyreek Hill. The division is challenging, but each team has the ability to pull off the perfect season.
The continued development of Derek Carr has given the Raiders one of the best offenses in the league. The Fresno State-product threw for 3,937 yards and 28 touchdowns before breaking his leg against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 16. The Raiders looked poised to challenge the AFC’s best in the playoffs before Carr’s season ended. With strong weapons on the outside like Amari Cooper with his saucy route running and Michael Crabtree, who is still feasting off the motivation from the Richard Sherman episode, this Raider’s offense should be unstoppable. Oh, and there’s some running back nicknamed beast mode too.
Beast Mode is Back
That’s right, number 24 is back-in-black. Marshawn Lynch has come out of retirement, and is looking to punish your favorite team’s linebackers and secondaries with his freakish strength. Lynch is a bully. He will take your lunch money and punish you for trying to touch him. Beast Mode has reservations for six, and no one is stopping him from crossing the plain.
The Black Hole is where some of the wildest fans in the NFL reside. This group dresses up in some of the craziest attire you will see at a football game, and they bring the heat and noise. Plus, these fans only have their team for a few more seasons. The Raiders might be in Las Vegas by 2019, so you know the fans are going to bring it for the last few years. Why not send Oakland off happy with a 16-0 season?
The Broncos arguably have the NFL’s best defense. Von Miller, Brandon Marshall, Chris Harris and Aqib Talib yet again lead the way for the donkeys in orange. Miller is the most feared defensive player out there, and you can just see how he gets in quarterbacks’ heads. Quarterbacks often look timid, dancing around like a ballerina against this defense because it is not only Miller they’re worried about, but possibly the most talented cornerback duo in the league. This defense has enough firepower to lead this team to a 16-0 season.
Demaryius Thomas, although sometimes carrying bricks for hands, still can be one of the NFL’s best. Emmanuel Sanders is also a very versatile receiver who can line up out wide or in the slot and beat people with his speed and route-running ability. C.J Anderson didn’t have a great season last year, but look for him to bounce back to his elite self. Also, if Jamaal Charles can come back from injury and return to his former speedster ways, watch out for this offense to be much better than last year.
Motivation to be elite again
The Broncos were on the biggest stage just two years ago and they still have some of the same leaders they had on that Super Bowl team. Von Miller is going to be hungry, which is a scary thought. Look for Miller and the likes of Talib and Thomas to motivate this team to be great yet again, possibly even 16-0 great.
Los Angeles Chargers
Joey Bosa and Melvin Gordon both had great seasons last year, and they should only get better this year. Gordon rushed for 997 yards in 13 games before being placed on injured reserve for a knee injury, but he should be back, looking to recapture some of that magic from last year, where he dashed for 12 touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Bosa recorded 10.5 sacks in just 12 games, and looks like a defensive superstar in the making. The Chargers have young leaders on both sides of the ball who look poised for fantastic seasons.
Doesn’t it feel like the Chargers are always close but never finish? They always have the talent but they just can’t close the door. Their 11 losses last year were by an average of 5.8 points per game. Nine out of their 11 losses were one possession games. There time has to be coming. It has felt like this for the past few years and maybe Philip Rivers will finally start closing the door. Hopefully he can close that door 16 times.
New City- Hollywood Story
Welcome to the city of Angels, where dreams are made and where Hollywood is oh-so-close. Why not spark up some Hollywood, movie-like magic with a 16-0 season to start the franchise’s tenure in Los Angeles? Crazier things in this world have happened, and this Chargers team could have a Hollywood ending as their first year as the Los Angeles Chargers.
Kansas City Chiefs
This team has a swagger to them. Eric Berry and Justin Houston lead a tough, vicious and hard-hitting defense that is one of the NFL’s best. They’re afraid of nobody, not even their Week 1 opponent, the New England Patriots. This Chiefs defense is going to bring the heat, and on the other side of the ball, Tyreek Hill is going to bring the speed to race past defenders.
The Other Gronk
Travis Kelce has established himself as one of the best tight ends in the NFL. Kelce snagged 85 balls last season for 1,125 yards and four touchdowns, giving this Chief’s offense a much needed boost. Teams are going to have a hard time containing “the other Gronk” this upcoming season yet again. Look for Kelce to be a go-to red zone target and a player safeties and linebackers fear.
Arrowhead Stadium is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. The Tomahawk chop will put fear into the opposing team’s heads as the noise will be deafening. Also, don’t the Chiefs red jerseys just look so classic and tough too? Yeah, opposing teams are not going to want to play here one bit.