2014 AFC West Picks, Preview and Predictions
2014 AFC West Division Winner Pick:
Denver Broncos (-300 at Bet Mayor Sportsbook)
More than any other division in football, the AFC West has a clear favorite. The Denver Broncos are in Super Bowl or bust mode again this season, and while the rest of the division might have improved, Denver is still the team with the highest aspirations. After allowing 43 points to Seattle in the Super Bowl, Denver made some wholesale changes on their defense this offseason. They brought in Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward and DeMarcus Ware to help their 22nd ranked pass defense. They also drafted Ohio State corner Bradley Roby in the first round. They also let starting RB Knowshown Moreno walk and are hoping Monte Ball can carry the workload in their pass first offensive scheme. The Kansas City Chiefs still have one of the best defenses in the NFL and a QB in Alex Smith who doesn’t turn the ball over. They would be a contender to win most any division in the NFL, just not one with a team led by Peyton Manning. Jamaal Charles will be one of the best backs in the league again this season but it will be their lack of big play ability that keeps them from making a run late in the season. The San Diego Chargers are the team most likely to give Denver a run for their money, if they decide to play a little defense this season. They brought in Brandon Flowers from Kansas City and spent their first two draft picks on the defense in hopes to limit the number of shootouts they play in 2014. If their defense, especially against the run, can at least slow some people down and get off the field every now and again, the Chargers will be in contention for a Wild Card spot again this season and might even steal a game from Denver late in the season. Oakland has a legitimate shot to become the second 0-16 team in NFL history. Their lone bright spot, Darren McFadden has never played a full season and with nothing around him to take the load off his shoulders. We will be shocked if he is playing after Week 10. The Broncos are the clear favorites in this division and in the Super Bowl picture in the AFC.
2014 AFC West Final Standings Prediction:
Denver Broncos 12-4 (Odds to Win AFC West -395 at Bet Mayor Sportsbook)
San Diego Chargers 9-7 (Odds to Win AFC West +510 at Carbon Sportsbook)
Kansas City Chiefs 8-8 (Odds to Win AFC West +676 at Bet Mayor Sportsbook)
Oakland Raiders 2-14 (Odds to Win AFC West +2941 at Justbet Sportsbook)
2014 AFC West Final Thoughts: While the Chiefs and Chargers are on the brink, it is clear who the class of this division is. The Broncos have what it takes to win a Super Bowl and it is going to take a rash of very serious injuries to keep them from winning this division. San Diego and Oakland don’t have the defenses to make a playoff run and Kansas City is an elite quarterback away from competing with Denver. As long as Manning is healthy and starting the road through the AFC West goes through Denver.