Many experts around the NFL are predicting the Los Angeles Chargers to win the AFC West in 2018. With the season days from kicking off, how do the Bolts stack up against the rest of the division?
The AFC West is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing divisions in the NFL coming into the 2018 season. It is not comprised of three possible Super Bowl contenders like the NFC South. And as long as all the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants are functioning, the NFC East will always be the media’s most beloved division.
But the AFC West is riddled with headline-grabbing questions across the board.
Chaotic is a justifiable way to describe the Oakland Raiders’ offseason. Prior to Aug. 31, their most noteworthy acquisition was the signing of new head coach Jon Gruden to a 10-year, $100 million contract. It was a head-scratching move given he had not been on the sideline since 2008. However, the Raiders trading two-time All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears on August 31 rocked the Oakland locker room.
Major personnel changes also shook up the Kansas City Chiefs’ roster. Second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes enters his first season as the full-time starter after the Chiefs traded veteran signal caller Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins in January. Smith’s 2017 campaign was the finest of his career, so Mahomes will have big shoes to fill.
Kansas City also shipped shutdown cornerback Marcus Peters to the Los Angeles Rams in the offseason, leaving a massive hole in the Chiefs’ secondary.
After a miraculous season with the Minnesota Vikings, quarterback Case Keenum found a new home with the Denver Broncos for two years. This comes after the Broncos rotated between Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler under center last season.
So how will the Los Angeles Chargers fare against their divisional foes in 2018? The slides below will analyze their six matchups against the AFC West this coming season.