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Two future Hall of Famers and the quarterback with the most passing yards in his first two career seasons in the same division! wow!
Rarely has a division been as unpredictable and competitive as the American West will be in 2022. Since 2016, the Kansas City Chiefs have reigned on top of the lot. Before them, the Denver Broncos did the same for five seasons with a certain Peyton Manning. The division completed by the Los Angeles Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders is so dominant on paper that we could see a first in NFL history with four teams from the same division in the playoffs.
In the mountains, with the arrival of Russell Wilson as a starter, the Broncos are again pointing the muzzle in the race for the title. With the rise of Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Javonte Williams, young offensive linemen and defensive masters Pat Surtain Jr. and Bradley Chubb, all under a new head coach with the offensive spirit in Nathaniel Hackett, the Broncos have all the elements to put an end to the hegemony of the Chiefs. Outraged DangerRussDenver has not greatly changed its offense except for the departure of Noah Fant and Drew Lock in the same trade.
On defense, fans hoped for Von Miller’s return, but the Super Bowl 50 legend turned to the powerhouse Buffalo Bills who offered him a six-year deal. As a replacement for Miller, the Broncos added Randy Gregory, a player with great potential, but whose performance has not always been consistent. Defensive lineman DJ Jones also joined the Colorado roster to help out against the run.
After Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, Drew Lock, Brandon Allen, Jeff Driskel, Bretty Rypien, Kendall Hinton and Teddy Bridgewater, the Broncos can finally count on a star quarterback to lead their attack on the big potential. Will Wilson want his first MVP award?
In the desert, the Raiders and their new general manager, Dave Ziegler, didn’t hesitate to take out the big greenbacks during the offseason by obtaining possibly the two most beautiful elements in the free agent market as any good would. living room general manager in the most recent copy of the game Madden.
In a personnel move that surprised quite a few observers, Davante Adams left the Green Bay Packers when everyone agreed that it was Aaron Rodgers’ presence that was in doubt. At the Raiders, Adams joins his former quarterback from Fresno University, Derek Carr. One thing is certain, Adams does not lack confidence in his friend, even going so far as to say that he is going from one Hall of Fame quarterback to another! That’s it bromance! With guns like Adams, Darren Waller (healthy) and Hunter Renfrow, Carr has no more wiggle room with the competition in the division. He must demonstrate that he is one of the quarterbacks who can take his team to another level and not those who put the brakes on a team’s progress.
Besides Adams, the Raiders got their hands on Chandler Jones, who just collected at least 10 sacks for a sixth consecutive season in which he played more than five games. With the 25e defense for points allowed in 2021, the arrival of a star veteran like Jones could give a shock to a defensive unit that badly needs it. Add to these additions the arrival of a new head coach, the renowned Josh McDaniels and (probably) fewer scandals surrounding the team than last year and the Raiders have a real chance of causing an upset.
In California, the Los Angeles Chargers certainly had a sour taste in their mouths at the end of the season when rookie head coach Brandon Staley called an overtime timeout that led to the Chargers’ loss to the Raiders, eliminating them in the passage of a first presence in the playoffs since 2018.
Justin Herbert continued his impressive progression in 2021 and with a solid offensive line and the return of his main weapons, there is no indication that the powerful California offense will slow down in 2022.
The team’s Achilles heel obviously ended up on the other side of the ball. With the 30e average in points allowed and for yards per rush, the Chargers had to indulge in offensive festivals. Los Angeles has offered itself the means to help its defense, in particular with the arrival of Khalil Mack who excels against the ground game in addition to being a constant threat for the opposing quarterbacks. LA has also rebounded in the secondary with the arrival of JC Jackson, a constant threat for interceptions, and Bryce Callahan, a very effective half inside the field when he can avoid the infirmary.
With a revamped defense and a menacing offense, Los Angeles could very well afford a first division title since 2009.
Finally, there are the Chiefs. Obviously. The Kansas City squad needs no introduction. However, for the first time in several seasons, K.C. has lost important feathers, so that their hegemony is in serious danger.
The Chiefs had to say goodbye to Tyreek Hill who wanted a record wide receiver contract. To make up for Hill’s loss of momentum, the Chiefs turned to Skyy Moore in the draft. Moore rushed for 40 yards in 4.41 in the draft and he could establish himself as an interesting weapon in his rookie season for the Chiefs. K.C. also added Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Juju Smith-Schuster. In the case of the former Steelers, he will try to bounce back after a year marred by injuries. Fortunately for the Chiefs, the Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes duo will always be there and as long as MVPat will be behind center and Andy Reid on the sidelines, there’s little to worry about for Missouri’s offense.
On defense, the Chiefs are looking to a youthful turn with two first-round picks in cornerback Trent McDuffie and defensive end George Kalaftis. There could be times of adaptation with a young squad.
With the new playoff format since 2020, it is mathematically possible for four teams from the same division to participate in the playoffs. The odds remain low since the team that wins the division must also be crowned champions of the Association and the other three must carve out a place among the best teams drafted.
With so much talent and the best division for quarterbacks, that rare feat could be on the horizon. One thing is certain, regardless of the order of the analysts’ and amateurs’ predictions, all the arguments are valid with as much talent in each formation.