Sports Illustrated AFC West Predictions: How the Chargers Stack Up Among Their Division Opponents

How does Sports Illustrated predict the Chargers will finish in the AFC West this season?

The AFC West looks to be the most competitive division in all of football. With all four teams piecing together offseasons that align themselves to be playoff-worthy, the competition among the Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos should be superior.

The start of the regular season kicks off next week and with that, the national team of Sports Illustrated, completed by staff writer Conor Orr, released its preview and prediction of the AFC West.

The predicted standings came in as such:

Chiefs (11-6)Chargers (11-6)Broncos (10-7)Raiders (9-8)

Orr wrote the following about the Chargers:

Best Case: Justin Herbert continues his rise, and their talented but aging receiving corps stays healthy. New personnel help coach Brandon Staley run the defense he envisions for Los Angeles, and not the version that buckled with a playoff berth on the line against the Raiders in Week 18

Worst Case: Defensive additions fizzle as J.C. Jackson’s big year for the Patriots in 2021 looks like an outlier, and Khalil Mack, 31, is too old to make a difference. That is a problem both now and down the road, because the Chargers sacrificed draft capital and cap space to bring in those players.

The Chargers hold the second-highest odds at +225 on SI Sportsbook to win the AFC West, trailing the Chiefs who are the betting favorite at +160.

Clarity on who rises above the rest within the division will present itself early on. The NFL schedule has thrown the AFC West a bundle of divisional game early on. The Chargers will open up with the Raiders in Week 1, before turning around four days later to go on the road and play the Chiefs in Week 2.

View the original article to see embedded media.

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Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Charger Report. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel for more Chargers coverage.

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