Most things have stayed the same at the top of the AFC West in the weeks since we tackled our midseason report. The Kansas City Chiefs continue to dominate and lead the division with a cushion over the second-place Las Angeles Chargers.
The bottom half of the division, however, has seen some fluctuation.
The Las Vegas Raiders were wallowing in last place while the Denver Broncos were on an upswing last we checked in with the AFC West. Since then, the Broncos have collapsed and fallen deep into last place. On the other hand, the Raiders are playing much better and challenging the Chargers for a playoff berth.
- Odds to win AFC West -20000
- Odds to win AFC +220
- Odds to win the super bowl +450
The Kansas City Chiefs remain the obvious choice to win the AFC West and are tied for the best record in the conference heading into Week 14. It’s realistic to assume that the Chiefs can go on to win another Super Bowl bet with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce locked in.
Mahomes is on another planet right now with six straight 300-yard games prior to Week 13 and is a front-runner for the MVP. Kelce is tied for second in the NFL in total touchdowns and is tied for first with Davante Adams for the most receiving touchdowns (12).
The Chiefs did suffer a deflating 27-24 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13. It was the first loss for KC in six games but the third in a row against Joe Burrow and the Bengals.
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The defense continues to be an issue and was the primary reason for the Chiefs‘ failure against the Bengals in Cincinnati. Cincinnati went 7-for-11 on third down, totaled 431 yards from scrimmage, and went 3-for-7 in the red zone.
The Chiefs are destined for the playoffs but won’t make it to the Super Bowl betting if they cannot find a way to beat the Bengals.
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- Odds to win AFC West +2000
- Odds to win AFC +3300
- Odds to win Super Bowl +6600
The Chargers may still be in second place in the AFC West, but they are in far worse shape than the last time we checked in.
The Chargers fell to .500 after getting beat by the rival Raiders in Week 13 with a final of 27-20. Devante Adams scored twice while Josh Jacobs ran for 144 yards and a touchdown. It’s safe to say the Chargers’ defense has seen better days.
Los Angeles is 1-3 in the last four weeks with losses to the Raiders, Chiefs, and 49ers. Those are some impressive rosters that the Chargers are proving they can’t hang with.
To be fair, the Chargers have been dealing with an unfortunate and impossible number of injuries.
On the offensive side, Mike Williams, Sony Michel, Jason Moore Jr., and Corey Linsley all sat out against the Raiders. DT Sebastian Joseph-Day added his name to the injury list with a knee issue against the Raiders.
Austin Ekeler was the standout of this roster during our midseason report, but things have gone poorly since that article. Ekeler led the NFL in touchdowns earlier in the season but has since fallen off the pace. Ekeler is still tied for second with three other players, but his yardage total has been disappointing.
With the injuries mounting and Ekeler losing his mojo, it will be hard for the Chargers to hold off the Raiders and remain in the No. 2 spot behind KC.
- Odds to win AFC West +8000
- Odds to win AFC +8000
- Odds to win Super Bowl +15000
The Las Vegas Raiders were in the basement of the AFC West when we last checked in during our midseason report.
Now, heading into Week 14, the Raiders are on a 3-0 streak with wins over the Seahawks and fellow AFC West rivals Denver and the Chargers,
Thanks to said hot streak, the Raiders have moved into third place in the division behind the Chargers and Chiefs.
Should they keep up the pace, the Raiders could finish the season in second place behind the Chiefs with winnable games against the Rams, Patriots and Steelers in the coming weeks.
The Raiders have RB Josh Jacobs to thank as the stud back led the NFL in rushing heading into Week 13. In Week 12 against the Seahawks, Jacobs went off for a franchise-record 303 yards from scrimmage.
If Jacobs continues to play the way he has, it’s not insane to imagine the Raiders clawing their way back into the playoff hunt. But, with two overtime wins back to back, they were a couple of bad bounces away from being 3-9.
- Odds to win AFC West N/A
- Odds to win AFC +50000
- Odds to win Super Bowl +100000
The Denver Broncos haven’t won a game since our midseason report with four straight losses in as many weeks. The Broncos aren’t losing to the best teams in the league, either. They were defeated by the Ravens, Panthers, and Raiders in recent weeks.
In the last few weeks, the Broncos tumbled to the basement of the AFC West and turned out to be one of the worst teams in the league.
At the least, the Broncos have the most disappointing offense in the league. At the center of their offensive failures is quarterback Russell Wilson, who is playing like anything but the franchise savior Denver hoped he’d be.
Wilson is struggling across the board and ranks 28th in touchdowns and 17th in passing yardage. Those issues pale compared to Wilson’s terrible track record in the red zone this season. Wilson’s red zone QBR went from 91.9 last season with Seattle to 6.3. I’m no math whiz, but that looks like a massive dropoff in production.
Wilson went from being one of this generation’s most reliable red zone quarterbacks to the statistical worst in less than 12 months.
On the other hand, the defense continues to play fantastic football despite a lost season. The Broncos rank fourth in opponent points per game, third in yards allowed, and, ironically, are first in a red zone defense.
Unfortunately, it matters very little how good their defense plays if the offense can’t score when the goal line is staring them down.