- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
No question the AFC West has been the talk of the NFL this offseason. The Broncos acquiring Russell Wilson in trade with the Seahawks and the Raiders nabbing Davante Adams from the Packers seemed to lead the way in terms if big additions.
But while those moves raise the overall competitiveness in the division, according to Peter King, that only moves them into the top half of the NFL, paling in comparison to what’s ahead for the Chargers and Chiefs.
King put together his power rankings this week. Topping the list is the Buffalo Bills. But right behind them are the Chargers and Chiefs — in that order.
He has the Chargers at two overall ahead of the perennial AFC West champion Chiefs.
King ranks the Chargers so high, because he says they attacked their needs and “won the offseason” particularly on defense.
Trading for Khalil Mack, though a bit of a health gamble, gives L.A. as good a 1-2 pass-rush tandem with Joey Bosa as any team in football. “He’ll give people someone to account for opposite Joey,” Telesco said. But the Chargers gave up 4.6 yards per rush last year, so bulking up inside with free-agents Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson might turn out to be as important as the Mack addition. In the secondary, the Chargers added the best corner in free agency, J.C. Jackson, who showed tremendous instincts in New England and pairs well with second-year corner Asante Samuel Jr.
As for the Chiefs, he notes the talent they lost in Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu, which only serves, apparently, for the Chargers to move past them, but not to knock the Chiefs from among the NFL’s elite. Primarily because they went about making up for those losses with other additions.
As long as Patrick Mahomes is healthy and dealing, and as long as Reid/Veach have a competitive roster, Kansas City’s going to be a Super Bowl contender. Annually. That’s how I look at this edition of this team. Someone—Marquez Valdes-Scantling, JuJu Smith-Schuster or Skyy Moore—or some combination of newbies is going to have to produce to make up for Hill.
The trade of Hill (plus other picks as ammo) brought cornerback Trent McDuffie and the speedy Moore. Jettisoning Mathieu made room for 25-year-old strong safety Justin Reid in free agency.
Not sure we needed reminding just how stacked the AFC West is, but lest we should forget that the Chiefs aren’t going away and the Chargers are stacking talent.
The Chargers will have to prove they belong among the league’s best, just as the Raiders and Broncos will have to try and prove they are better than their fringe playoff worthy rankings.