NFL Season in Review: AFC West

AFC West

Denver Broncos (12-4)

In an unpredictable season for the Denver Broncos, nothing can sum up the season better than their win over the New England Patriots and their loss the Indianapolis Colts. Peyton Manning struggled early, but was helped out by the defense who was playing at an unsustainable level early in the year. Manning went down late in the season and Brock Osweiler stepped into his new role. In Week 16, the Broncos came up with a big win on Monday night that gave them a tie breaker over the Cincinnati Bengals. Week 17 belonged to Peyton Manning who came off the bench for the first time in his career to lead the team to the #1 seed in the AFC.

Kansas City Chiefs (11-5)

After a slow start to the season, the Chiefs were looking at a potential run towards the #1 pick. Jamaal Charles went down for the season and the Chiefs were 1-5 through six weeks. Of those five losses, four were to eventual playoff teams which makes sense as to why a team that ended up winning ten straight games lost five in a row. Despite losing Charles, the story of the season was Eric Berry. Returning from his fight with cancer, his election to the Pro Bowl is a perfect summary of the Chiefs season. After a major struggle, the Chiefs came back strong and finished the season with the best of the best.

Oakland Raiders (7-9)

After seven weeks, the Raiders sat at 4-3 with losses two the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos. Things were looking up for the young team as Derek Carr was meshing well with new additions Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. Then things went downhill. Losing six of the final nine games, the Raiders again missed the playoffs, but things look bright for the future. Khalil Mack had a single game with five sacks, Amari Cooper finished with 72 receptions and 1070 yards, and Michael Crabtree received a nice extension after his 85 catch season. Things are looking up in Oakland, the offense is moving in the right direction and another good off-season could put this team in the playoffs next year.

San Diego Chargers (4-12)

In a mess of a likely final season in San Diego, the Chargers prepped for their move with only four wins this season, all over teams that failed to reach .500. Keenan Allen went down for the season with a lacerated kidney, the offensive line seemed to have a different line-up each week, and Melvin Gordon ended up on the IR. The bright side for fans was that both Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates posted strong seasons in for the San Diego fans. However, the city has clearly moved on as Qualcomm stadium was consistently filled with opposing fans. Capping off the season, fan favorite Eric Weddle was placed on the IR, despite the fact that he was seen sprinting at practice soon after. Likely moving to Los Angeles, this was a poor send-off for a team that has seen some of the best players in the league over the past decade.

 

*Images from Conservative Post, USA Today, Sporting News, and Draft Manager

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