The AFC West could be the best division in football in 2017:

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire

Author: Jon Kuzma

There are plenty of talented divisions in the National Football League but in 2017 the AFC West could be the best of them all. Three out of the four teams in the AFC West posted winning records in 2016 (Broncos, Raiders, and Chiefs) and to be honest the Chargers had one of the best drafts out of any team in the league. That could help Los Angeles close the gaps on the other teams in the division and one thing is for certain this race will be as tight as it can get. You’d think that the Chiefs or Raiders are the favorite to win the AFC West just because they were the best teams last year. However every year we have a few surprises and some teams get better while other teams get worse. Andy Reid is the best coach in the AFC West so you know Kansas City is going to be prepared better than the other teams. Although the Raiders could easily make a push for division supremacy as well. If Derek Carr can make a full recovery from that broken fibula he endured at the end of last season that would give Oakland a chance to be special again in 2017. On the opposite side of that argument if Carr isn’t up to par then the Raiders could slide back and maybe get passed by the Broncos. It feels like the Chargers will still be near the bottom of the division but anything can happen and we won’t know what any team’s capable of till the regular season rolls around. The other good news for the Chiefs is they have a fresh young quarterback in Patrick Mahomes to keep Alex Smith on a short leash. If Smith struggles and handicaps the Chiefs offense, Kansas City can at least give Alex Smith the impression that they might turn the page on him. While that likely won’t happen right away it’s a real possibility that Kansas City does indeed make a change at quarterback later on in the season. There’s no sense in Reid wasting another year with an underachieving Smith at the helm should the Chiefs win the division and make the playoffs. Finally the Denver Broncos seemed to have improve from 2016 to 2017. They got better at the quarterback position just because each quarterback on the roster has another year of experience under their belts. Denver also made some good picks in the draft as well so the Broncos have definitely been moving in the right direction and they could surprise some people this upcoming season. At the end of the day each of these teams have the potential to have a winning season and it’s not often that all four teams are this competitive. While the NFC East is usually the best division in football the AFC West certainly made a push for that title this off-season and it should make for a lot of great football in 2017.

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