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10 Bold Predictions for the AFC West in 2022

Publish Date: 08/31/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
COSTA MESA, CA - JULY 27: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers attempts a pass during training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex on July 27, 2022 in Costa Mesa, California. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

 Bold Predictions

The AFC West should be the toughest division in the NFL this season. The Raiders added Devante Adams to what was a playoff team last year, the Broncos added Russell Wilson, the Chiefs are still the Chiefs and the Chargers look to be loaded! Check out our top football betting strategies if you want to place a bet on NFL games this season.

10. The Chargers will win the West

The Chargers look to be the most well-rounded team in the division as the offense is stacked, and the defense could be dominant if they can stay healthy. This is an important year for Justin Herbert, as he has everything needed to make a deep playoff run.

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9. Skyy Moore is the Chiefs wide receiver in production

The Chiefs offense will have to play differently in 2022 because there is no Tyreek Hill. This will likely mean that the Chiefs offense will spread the ball more and continue last season’s trend to reduce big-play aggression.

Travis Kelce is their most prominent receiver. However, Moore has the best combination of skills to be their leading wideout. Moore is a great receiver with many release options, strong hands and the toughness to win in every area. Moore averaged 3.46 yards per route in college and racked up more than 1,200 yards and ten touchdowns.

8. George Karlaftas will outperform any Kansas City rookie season Frank Clark had.

Since they traded for Clark, Clark has disappointed the Chiefs. Clark had a huge veteran contract that was supposed to provide a source of pressure and production from the edge. But he hasn’t been producing at the level the Chiefs require. Keep that in mind, and you won’t be surprised to see rookie George Karlaftis surpass Clark’s Year 1 average. Karlaftis was an overlooked edge rusher in the draft. However, he was extremely productive in college, scoring over 50 pressures twice and finishing his last season with a 90.6 PFF pass-rushing grade. Karlaftis has the technical ability to make an immediate impact, even though he might have a ceiling in his play.

7. Pete Carroll was wrong

The idea that Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was responsible for holding Russell Wilson back and putting a limit on his effectiveness as a quarterback was the foundation of the “let Russ Cook” movement. As Wilson assumes control of the Broncos’ offense, we will see for the first time how true this is. Wilson’s style of play may be innate and not due to Carroll or the Seahawks. While Denver may be more aggressive in passing, Wilson isn’t always following the same quick-game passing strategy. Wilson’s ability to make big, high-value, but low-efficiency plays downfield is what makes him so special. Although Wilson is a great football player, his style may not allow him to be the type of quarterback that others are.

6. KJ Hamler Breaks out

Last season, Hamler was barely seen in 88 snaps over three games. He is a rare receiver. Hamler, who is just 5’9 and 173 lbs, could be the perfect designated deep threat for the league’s best deep passer. Hamler averages 1.18 yards per route in the NFL but has had to deal with inept or conservative quarterback play. Wilson was familiar with taking advantage of these types of players even though they may not have the same skill set as Hamler in college.

5. Derek Carr’s highest PFF grade is his entire career

Adams was the NFL’s top receiver for several years. He led the league in PFF grades (93.1), and third in yards per run (2.82) over the past two seasons. Adams was also Carr’s favorite target in college, so they already have chemistry.

4. The Raiders have an offensive line that ranks in the bottom five

The offensive line is the only thing that could sink the Raiders this year. It ranks 29th going into the season. The offensive line is the core of the offense. The offensive line can make or break the Raiders’ ability to field a quarterback and other skill players. Alex Leatherwood was the only lineman to allow more pressures last season (67), while the Raiders were 24th in pass-blocking efficiency. To avoid problems, this group must be able to provide pleasant surprises. In the end, the lack of a high-quality offensive line will probably be the downfall of the Raiders.

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3. CB Nate Hobbs goes to the Pro Bowl

The Raiders’ rookie cornerback Nate Hobbs was a shining light last season. He was second in defense’s PFF grade to Maxx Crosby. Hobbs was primarily a slot cornerback and allowed only 8.5 yards per catch for the season. Hobbs may benefit from more coverage variety, even though the Raiders had a predictable defense. Hobbs is a talented slot corner and could be a Pro Bowler.

2. Chargers defense ranks among the top 10

The Chargers already had a lot of talent on defense and Staley’s defensive strategy was among the most innovative in the NFL. It was expected that he would make an immediate impact on this unit. However, it came in 24th place for EPA per play last season. The Chargers have added significant reinforcements to their offseason — Khalil Mack and Sebastian Joseph Day will all make a big difference in their ability to stop the run, while Mack will add real pressure. Check out the top football odds.

1. The Chargers defense will be ranked top-five in turnovers

The Chargers’ priority in acquiring ball hawks for their secondary will play a large part in the defense’s turnaround. Turnovers can be one of the most important plays in football and can help offset a lot of lost yardage. J.C. Jackson had 25 interceptions and 28 more pass breakups in his four seasons with the league. Asante Samuel Jr. had an underwhelming rookie year but still managed to score two interceptions and seven pass breakups. He is a skilled ball player with a knack for breaking the football. Derwin Jim is a great playmaker in the NFL. Nasir Aderley offers an elite range of free safety. The Chargers were not bad at turnovers last season, but they are among the best in the league this year.

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