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AFC West: Examining Over/Under Win Totals for the 2022 Season

Patrick Mahomes: Breaking Down the NFL MVP's Mind-Blowing 2018 Season

The Kansas City Chiefs will look different this year and may not have had the buzzy offseasons that their AFC counterparts have, but Patrick Mahomes and company remain the team to beat in what should be a highly competitive division.

For the second straight year, the NFL division that could be the most fun will be the AFC West. There have been some major comings and goings involving this division with pretty much everyone adding a crucial piece outside of the defending division champs, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Las Vegas Raiders made a change at general manager and head coach and also added a legit No. 1 wide receiver in Davante Adams, who has been reunited with his college teammate Derek Carr. The Los Angeles Chargers added two big pieces to their defense by trading for pass rusher Khalil Mack and signing lockdown cornerback J.C. Jackson in free agency. But the biggest move of all may have been Denver swinging a blockbuster trade for quarterback Russell Wilson, giving the Broncos their best field general since Peyton Manning helped the team win Super Bowl 50. You could make a case for any of these teams to win the division, and it could produce as many as three playoff teams.

NFL Win Totals for 2022: AFC East I AFC North I AFC South I AFC West I NFC East I NFC North I NFC South I NFC West

(Numbers courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)

Denver Broncos (Over 10 -110...Under 10 -110)

Division Title Odds: +260

Offense: The offense just got a major upgrade with Russell Wilson taking over at quarterback. The Broncos weren't horrible on offense last year (19th in the NFL in total and passing offense), but there's no denying that Wilson is a major upgrade. Wide receiver Tim Patrick is out for the season, although Denver should still be in fine shape with Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and KJ Hamler the top options. Albert Okwuegbunam could emerge at tight end with Noah Fant sent to Seattle in the Wilson trade. The backfield will once again feature Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon III, although it probably won't be a 50/50 split on the carries like last season. The offensive line will need to do its part to give Wilson time, but he's also well familiar with using his legs and mobility in the pocket to extend plays when the protection breaks down.

Defense: This unit wasn't the issue last year, checking in third in scoring defense and eight in both total and passing defense. The hope is that this unit will be on the field less with Wilson leading the offense. The front seven has added free-agent signee Randy Gregory, who is coming off rotator cuff surgery. Gregory's presence should allow Bradley Chubb to make more plays. The secondary could be one of the league's best with Pat Surtain II on his way to becoming a lockdown cornerback while Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons form one of the best safety duos in the league. If the line holds up and the pass rush takes a step forward, the sky is the limit for this side of the ball.

Schedule Notes: Week 1 has Wilson returning to Seattle for "Monday Night Football." After that game, four of the Broncos' next six are at home before heading to London to take on Jacksonville. Denver gets Kansas City twice and both L.A. teams as part of a brutal five-game closing stretch.

Prediction: Solid number, as I come up with 9-10 wins. I guess that means a slight lean to the under, but 10 is very achievable.

Related: Denver Broncos Depth Chart

Kansas City Chiefs (Over 10.5 -120...Under 10.5 EVEN)

Division Title Odds: +175

Offense: Patrick Mahomes had a brief stretch last year when he didn't look like himself, but he still finished with 4,839 passing yards and 37 touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions. We'll see how he fares with Tyreek Hill now in Miami. Fellow wide receivers Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson are gone as well, but the hope is that JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling can do more than increase Scrabble scores. The team also is high on second-round pick Skyy Moore. Travis Kelce figures to attract even more defensive attention, but that doesn't mean teams will be able to stop him from putting up his usual numbers either. More is needed from the ground game, which will look different with Ronald Jones II and rookie Isaih Pacheco joining Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon in the backfield rotation. If it stays healthy, the offensive line will maintain its status as one of the best in the league.

Defense: Reinforcements have been added in first-round picks Trent McDuffie (CB) and George Karlaftis (DE). They will likely start right away, and some other rookies could see plenty of playing time as well. Kansas City remade its secondary after finishing 27th against the pass last season and seeing safety Tyrann Mathieu and cornerback Charvarius Ward leave in the offseason. Getting pressure on the quarterback will be paramount after recording the fewest sacks (31) among AFC teams in 2021.

Schedule Notes: Three of Kansas City's first four games are on the road with trips to Indianapolis and Tampa Bay in that group. The Chiefs come out of the Week 8 bye with three of four at home. This could be a key stretch for them, since Weeks 13-15 have them on the road to face Cincinnati, Denver, and Houston.

Prediction: I came up with 10-11 wins. At even money, I may put a sprinkle on the under as tough as it is to bet against Andy Reid and Mahomes.

Related: Kansas City Chiefs Depth Chart

Las Vegas Raiders (Over 8.5 -130...Under 8.5 +110)

Division Title Odds: +650

Offense: One of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL now resides in Vegas with Davante Adams joining Hunter Renfrow, who took the league by storm last season. There is an expectation that this side of the ball will be even better because former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is the head coach. He's got a lot to work with, including Darren Waller who is looking to bounce back after an injury-plagued campaign. Derek Carr has a new, offensive-minded head coach, has been reunited with his college teammate in Adams, and signed a contract extension earlier this offseason. He's positioned for a career year and has a chance to really establish himself in this league. It'll be interesting to see how the backfield carries are distributed after the team declined to pick up Josh Jacobs' fifth-year option and cut ties with Kenyan Drake shortly after the second preseason game. Rookie Zamir White could see plenty of touches. The offensive line is a question mark as the coaching staff looks for the right starting five.

Defense: For the third season in a row, there's a new defensive coordinator calling the shots. Patrick Graham is going to play a 3-4 defense, which should suit the linebacking group that is so much stronger with the addition of free agent Chandler Jones. Pairing Jones with Maxx Crosby should cause nightmares for opposing quarterbacks. The secondary has to produce more than six interceptions, which ranked dead last overall. Safety is in good shape with Johnathan Abram and Tre'von Moehrig, but the big question mark is at corner. New acquisition Rock Ya-Sin is expected to start alongside Trayvon Mullen Jr. Depth also is a concern across the entire defense.

Schedule Notes: The Raiders get a couple of their divisional road games out of the way in the first five weeks of the season. Their Week 6 bye is followed by a stretch of four of six on the road, including trips to New Orleans, Denver, and Seattle. That means a home-friendly finish with three of the final four in Allegiant Stadium.

Prediction: I'm not as much of a believer in this team, but nine wins seem about right. My worry is the questionable O-line leads to a Carr injury that ruins the season.

Related: Las Vegas Raiders Depth Chart

Los Angeles Chargers (Over 10 -140...Under 10 +120)

Division Title Odds: +220

Offense: Offense wasn't an issue for this team last year, and all the major pieces are back. There is a new tight end, but Gerald Everett could put up even better numbers than Jared Cook. The key is Justin Herbert, who really broke through last season with 38 touchdowns vs. 15 interceptions. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams both went over 1,000 receiving yards, and running back Austin Ekeler is capable of doing the same. Ekeler will continue to lead the backfield, but rookie Isaiah Spiller could end up playing a big role as a complementary piece before the season is over. The Chargers also addressed their major concern up front by drafting Boston College guard Zion Johnson in the first round. If a serviceable right tackle emerges, this group could be among the best offensive lines in the league.

Defense: A defense that already had difference-makers at outside linebacker and in the secondary added two more this offseason. Khalil Mack, acquired in a trade with Chicago, will pair with Joey Bosa to wreak havoc, while Chargers general manager Tom Telesco opened up the checkbook for free-agent cornerback J.C. Jackson to take some of the pressure off of do-everything safety Derwin James Jr. Stopping the run and getting off the field on third down were this unit's two biggest shortcomings last season. The reshuffled defensive line will need to do its job to free up the playmakers in the back seven.

Schedule Notes: The first two weeks are important divisional games, with the Chargers opening at home against the Raiders before heading to Kansas City for "Thursday Night Football." The Week 8 bye is followed by four road games over the next five weeks, including games at San Francisco, Arizona, and Las Vegas. Los Angeles needs to make the most noise it can in the first three months because a finishing stretch of Tennessee, Indianapolis (road), the Rams, and Denver (road) is not what you want if you are fighting for a playoff berth.

Prediction: Lean to the over, although it massively concerns me that head coach Brandon Staley goes for it on fourth down at inopportune times, which could cost the Chargers in a pivotal contest.

Related: Los Angeles Chargers Depth Chart

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.