Final AFC West standings prediction: Where do the Chargers finish?

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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3. Denver Broncos, 9-8 record (wild-card team)

In an earlier offseason predictions piece, I was convinced that the Denver Broncos would finish second in the AFC West. After all, the team definitely has talent on the roster and fixed its biggest issue from the last few seasons by adding Russell Wilson under center.

That being said, there are a few reasons why Broncos fans should be cautious with their optimism ahead of the 2022 season. First of all, Russell Wilson has not been the same guy over the last year and a half. What made him so lethal as a passer was his ability to extend plays and get out of the pocket and he simply does less of that in his older age.

Wilson has looked more and more like a pure pocket passer and that simply is not his bread and butter. That does not make him a bad quarterback, but he has fallen from being in that elite tier one of QBs to being in the second tier with the likes of Kyler Murray.

The other potential concern for the Broncos is the overall depth of the roster. There are definitely some strong star players like Patrick Surtain and Bradley Chubb, but the overall depth is a bit concerning if you are a Bronco fan.

The wide receiving corps is unproven and the offensive line is fine but is one injury away from being pretty bad. Tight end is nothing special and outside of the blue chippers on defense, the defense lacks that overall depth.

Denver is still going to be a winning football team and will sneak into the playoffs as the third wild card, but I do not think they will be fighting for the division in Week 18.