The Kansas City Chiefs will not win the AFC West in 2023


Having just won the Super Bowl, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs face a treacherous regular season in 2023 and will not win the AFC West. Now, here’s why they won’t.

The Chiefs are arguably the best team in football; however, they lost a lot in the offseason. Receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman both decided to send to the AFC East, Juan Thornhill to the Cleveland Browns, and their tackle Orlando Brown Jr. switched sides in their rivalry with the Cincinnati Bengals. Oh, and they also lost one of their best defensemen to their division rivals in Frank Clark. They added Jawann Taylor to replace Brown, but he’s no better than Orlando Brown for what they’re paying him. While Creed Humphrey is arguably the best center in all of football, the rest of the lineup isn’t so great; notably also losing their other starting tackle, Andrew Wylie to the Washington Commanders.

For this team to take the next step, they need to strengthen the offensive line. Mahomes had issues during last year’s playoff run that led to him playing on a bum ankle for the rest of the playoff run. Kadarius Toney needs to step up for this team, and we saw glimpses of that in the Super Bowl. This team can’t just rely on Isiah Pacheco and Travis Kelce. Their secondary is also a bit alarming to me as during the AFC Championship game they started several rookies.

That Los Angeles Chargers has been the second best team in the AFC West since Justin Herbert arrived. This offense could be one of the most explosive offenses in the entire league if everyone stays healthy. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are a great one-two punch through every level of the field for Herbert. They also drafted Quentin Johnston from TCU, which is a hybrid of speed and size. Despite trade rumors, Austin Ekeler is one of the best dual-threat running backs in the league with his great ability to not only run, but also be a receiver out of the backfield.

Defensively, the Chargers added Eric Kendricks from the Minnesota Vikings, who has been a great linebacker recently and will only add to this defense that has some stars and future stars. Obviously, Joey Bosa and Derwin James lead the way. However, Asante Samuel and Kenneth Murray are clear stars who will only continue to play better each season.

The biggest story in the AFC West is, of course Denver Broncos. Of course, last year’s attempt to “let Russ cook” turned out horribly and led to the firing of Nathaniel Hackett. But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as they were able to pull Sean Payton out of retirement and hired him as their next head coach. People have been quick to write off the Broncos this year, but don’t remember how much of a good coach Payton is. He will easily be able to exercise the demons Russell Wilson dealt with last year and mold him back into the Wilson we all loved in Seattle. This offense also has a lot of nice pieces, especially at the receiving position. While trade rumors have been flying around, Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and KJ Hamler make up a great core group of young receivers and will all thrive in Payton’s offensive scheme. They also did a lot to improve one of the worst lines in football last year.

Payton immediately came in and made a splash on the line, signing guard Ben Powers of the Baltimore Ravens and Mike McGlinchy of the San Francisco 49ers for four and five years, respectively. They also added Samaje Perine from the Bengals, who I think is one of their better signings overall. Perine is starting to come to life as the explosive power back with speed we remember as one of the best running backs in college football when he was at Oklahoma. And if he gets the chance to be the best running back, it could make a huge impact for Payton, as he’s also blossomed into a pretty good receiving back.

On the other side of the ball, the Broncos signed former Chief Frank Clark, who will immediately make an impact on a defense that needs it. Zach Allen was also signed from the Arizona Cardinals. Patrick Surtain is one of the best young corners in the NFL right now, and safety Justin Simmons continues to play at a high level. DJ Jones is a monster on the interior defensive line and Baron Browning is starting to become their leading edge rusher at the outside linebacker position. If their defense can improve and Wilson returns to his old form, this team could make a serious push to dethrone the Chiefs.

The Chiefs have won seven straight AFC West championships, and Mahomes always plays at an MVP level. But with the rise of the Chargers and Broncos and some key losses to their team, the Chiefs face a tough challenge. Especially with a schedule that sees them play Denver and Los Angeles twice, the good AFC East, the Eagles and of course the Cincinnati Bengals. The Kansas City Chiefs WILL NOT win eight in a row and have to contend for a wild card spot this year.

For more NFL content, check out the following links:

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