“AFC-West—What I See-What I Think”
The big gamble, that is what is going on in the AFC-West, where the Kansas City Chiefs reign supreme with the Super Bowl Ring they earned in February.
It may take a gamble with the Chargers, Raiders, or Broncos, to make a big jump in the AFC-West, because the track record of each of the other three teams is not very good, from GMs decisions to coaching to quarterback play.
A week out from the NFL draft, a quick look at the four teams in the West, what has happened, what might be next.
CHIEFS….Despite enormous salary cap problems, they have kept this team intact. They franchise tagged stud DT-Chris Jones (15M) and will work to build out a multi-year contract with him going forward. They kept Sammy Watkins by convincing him to take a pay cut (14M-to-9M). In fact they return 20-of-22-starters and lost just one key contributor, in S-Kendall Fuller. They don’t have high draft picks, so they will go get athletes off the board. But they do have Patrick Mahomes. Andy Reid has retooled this franchise twice in his stay at Arrowhead Stadium. He has a Hall of Fame career 232-wins. In KC colors (82-40) with the Super Bowl ring
CHARGERS…Coach Anthony Lynn is on the clock, getting just a 1-year extension. He then ran off QB-Philip Rivers, and is sales pitching everyone that Tyrod Taylor is a winning quarterback despite a (23-21) career record. They are going to be different in the front seven on defense after roster deletions, but adding CB-Chris Harris for the secondary is huge. They draft high (6-37-71). GM Tom Telesco inherited Philip Rivers, has seen his team get to the playoffs twice in 7-years, with just 2-playoff wins. His franchise is (55-61) overall. They better get this draft right, especially with the QB decision.
BRONCOS…John Elway’s teams have been up and down. They have gone thru head coaches, and quarterbacks. They do think Drew Lock is the right one, but it took them a long time post Peyton Manning to find a quality quarterback…(Flacco-Keenum-Lynch-Osweiler-Siemian) to find their way out of the forest. They add Melvin Gordon to the offense among the three quality off season free agents. Von Miller is the last remaining part of what had been a good defense, though they are stockpiling young talent, with a young QB. But Elway has had 5-failed first round picks in his 10-years. Though he has a Super Bowl ring as an exec, and his career GM mark is (85-59), his last four years are (27-37).
RAIDERS…As Al Davis used to say ‘The Greatness of the Raiders is in the future’….It better be because the past is horrible…Wonder if the NFL fans in Las Vegas know what they are getting. Yes there is Jon Gruden of coaching-TV fame, and Mike Mayock and Mark Davis. They get QB-Derek Carr, not much offense, a very young defense. They have spent to sign 3-experienced starters for defense in free agency, but they still need game breaking players. The best WR is a Cowboy (Amari Cooper) and the best defensive player is a Bear (Khalil Mack). They also get a franchise that will draft #12 and 19 in the opening round and has5-of 91-picks at the start. They get a coach who is always looking at the green grass on the other side of the fence, when it comes to QBs, loves them all but does not seem to love his QB. And in Las Vegas, the Raiders drag with them this fact….1-winning season in 16-years…1-playoff appearance, a loss, since 2002…and a composite record of (92-180) in that span. Long way to go as they start over in the desert.