The NFL’s regular season is just weeks away, and the anticipation is building, especially for numerous teams in the AFC.
The AFC West is looking like the most competitive division in the league, and perhaps the most competitive division anyone has seen in many years.
People’s picks as far as who will win each division are coming into focus, and many of them are picking the Los Angeles Chargers to finish first in the AFC West.
As much as I love my Raiders I think the Chargers are the team that will win the AFC West
— Ron Karres (@highdesertRon) August 8, 2022
Chargers absolutely for sure 1000% winning the AFC West this season. Everything is perfectly in place. The time is now! 🙏🏼
— Chuck (@VivaLaChuck) August 4, 2022
2022 Projection: Los Angeles Chargers
Record: 13-4 (1st Place AFC West)
More in comments
— David Syvertsen (@Ourlads_Sy) August 10, 2022
Aight I’m about to do my opinion on the AFC West as a whole. My predictions.
Let me start with records.
— Alan Thicccc (@APtheOG_) August 10, 2022
raiders 10-7 pic.twitter.com/b6qDt8kXeO
— * (@wowwdres) August 8, 2022
Many around the league are used to the Chargers being picked to win the division during the summer, only to fall short almost all of the time.
But this year, things are different, as they have made some major upgrades.
This could be the long-awaited year that the Bolts seriously contend for the Super Bowl after so many years of disappointment.
The Cavalry Has Come In
Last year, Los Angeles finished 9-8 but missed the playoffs after losing an epic, down-to-the-wire contest to their division rivals, the Las Vegas Raiders, in Week 18.
The team had one of the NFL’s best offenses, particularly when it came to the passing game, but its defense was lacking, and it specifically couldn’t stop the run.
General manager Tom Telesco decided there was no time to waste, and he went to work trying to assemble a monster.
But their biggest splashes came elsewhere on the defensive side of the football.
Mack may not be quite what he used to be after a foot injury prematurely ended his 2021 season, but even if he’s 80 percent of what he used to be, he will make a tremendous impact.
In the secondary, L.A. acquired J.C. Jackson, an up-and-coming cornerback who made the Pro Bowl last year as a member of the New England Patriots.
At age 26, Jackson can still get a little better, and coming up in the Pats’ system under head coach Bill Belichick could pay major dividends for the Bolts.
Two Others In The AFC West Look Weakened
The Kansas City Chiefs appear to be a safe pick to win the AFC West, but the big question is how they will overcome the loss of Tyreek Hill, one of the game’s best wide receivers.
Patrick Mahomes won’t be able to look for him in third-and-long situations, and it’s not entirely clear who will adequately fill that void, especially in big games.
To begin with, the Broncos had the least-impressive collection of receivers in the division.
If the Chargers take full advantage of their schedule, they could be playing for a spot in Super Bowl LVII come January.