The AFC West went from a Patrick Mahomes-led division to quite possibly the best in the NFL. Huge trades in the free agency period have shaken up the AFC West. Those trades could cause serious problems for the Chiefs and their division title defense. The Chiefs have won the division six years in a row. Could this crazy offseason start the tide shifting to another AFC West champion? Let’s check out if the Chiefs should be concerned by the moves made by the rest of the division.
Huge Trades That Will Matter
As I mentioned already, the AFC West has seen a huge intake of high-value players this offseason. None of which are now in KC. The Raiders and Broncos made the most significant moves, and the Chargers also made some key trades and signings. The Chiefs maybe went in the opposite direction in their offseason moves. So which ones matter the most in the AFC West?
Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins for draft picks
The Tyreek Hill trade is easily the move that affects the Chiefs the most. They lose one of, if not the best wide receiver they’ve ever had. Hill was traded to the Dolphins for five draft picks, including the Dolphin’s first and second-round picks in the upcoming draft. Hill was a valuable player, while the Chiefs have added JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdez-Scantling.
The Chiefs now have the task of getting two new wide receivers acclimated with Patrick Mahomes. I do not see this being an issue, as #15 is the best quarterback in the NFL. If Mahomes is under center, it does not matter who is catching the ball. However, it will be interesting to see the Chiefs’ offense without Tyreek.
Davante Adams to Las Vegas Raiders for draft picks
The Raiders made a splash this offseason when they acquired Derek Carr’s former Fresno State teammate and NFL superstar, Davante Adams. Adams lands in Vegas in exchange for the Raider’s first and second-round picks in the upcoming draft. This was easily a “win now” move by the Raiders to fully compete in the AFC West.
Why does this move affect the Chiefs? Well, guarding Davante Adams twice a year will be a problem. He is arguably the best receiver in the NFL, and rightfully so. Derek Carr needed another receiver, and they decided to get the best one in the league. The Raiders also added Chandler Jones to bolster their defensive line. The Raiders want to dethrone Kansas City, and I would say they made big enough moves to have a shot.
Russell Wilson to Broncos for draft picks and multiple players
The Davante Adams trade and this one might be tied, but it’s in the third spot for formality’s sake. This again affects the Chiefs simply because they have to play against Russell Wilson twice a year. Wilson has not had much success recently as a quarterback, but now he gets a fresh start in Denver. This move reminds me of the Peyton Manning to the Broncos deal. An aging quarterback is looking for another shot at titles, and apparently, Denver is the place to provide that narrative.
The Broncos also added former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory to boost their already good defense. Denver saw a chance to bring in “win now” talent, and they have succeeded so far. The Broncos want to show they can get back to their days of winning Super Bowls and defending the AFC West.
Should The Chiefs Be Worried?
This is the major question for many Chiefs fans right now. Before trading away Tyreek Hill, the worry level might not have been very high. But now I feel like the new version of the AFC West should worry KC somewhat. It isnt every day your divisional competition goes from Teddy Bridgewater to Russell Wilson or Davante Adams twice a year. The LA Chargers have also boosted their roster by adding guys like JC Jackson and Khalil mack. Overall, the AFC West will be an exhausting division to play in this year.
First, the Chiefs need to fill some holes in their roster to feel more comfortable. With all the draft picks they got from the Hill trade, the draft could provide that relief. If Tyrann Mathieu does not return, the safety position has been taken care of. So should the Chiefs be worried? I am comfortable saying no; they will be fine. Have there been some tide-shifting trades in the division? Yes, absolutely, but this should not derail the progress Andy Reid and company have made. With Mahomes under center and Andy Reid calling the shots, I think KC is still the prime contender to win the division for the seventh year in a row.
Far Too Early Prediction For The AFC West
Again, this division will be the most competitive and probably the best division in football in 2022. The Broncos and Raiders made moves to become “win now” teams. The Chargers were already on the cusp, and now they might have the finishing touches to be elite. The Chiefs still have Patrick Mahomes, who is like Thanos and the infinity gauntlet. Chiefs Kingdom should sleep easy as long as Mahomes is throwing the ball. That being said, here is how I see the division panning out.
This division will likely come down to who can win against each other in divisional play. The out-of-division games will help, but the only games that I think will matter in the end is the division. It will be tough to include slugging it out against the Russell Wilson Broncos, Davante Adams/Derek Carr Raiders, and the up-and-coming Justin Herbert Chargers. If the Chiefs can find a way to win those key division games, the AFC West title will stay in KC.
Final Verdict: No, the Chiefs should not be worried
Do you think the Chiefs should be worried about the AFC West? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.
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