Bold predictions for each AFC West team heading into 2024

Each team in the AFC West has new faces in crucial roles, and along with those new faces come an entirely new set of expectations. While the law of averages will likely remain undefeated, let's take a look at some bold predictions for each team heading into the 2024 season.
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders come into 2024 with a lot of excitement surrounding the franchise. Antonio Pierce had the team fired up to end the 2023 campaign, going 3-1 in their final 4 games to close the season including a Christmas Day win over the Kansas City Chiefs. In the spirit of Las Vegas, I placed a $100 bet on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl the Tuesday after that defeat and brought home $1,000 when it cashed in February. Thank you, Raiders, for dipping the Chiefs Super Bowl odds to a season-long low.

Also, thank you Raiders for still being an LOL-worthy franchise. Coming off of a season where Vegas cycled through Jimmy Garoppolo and Aidan O'Connell at QB, what did they do to improve the position in the offseason? They brought in journeyman (and little ass boy) Gardner Minshew and drafted a guy named Carter Bradley, who looks more like the president of your university's Sigma Ki chapter than an NFL quarterback.

They did draft well, though. Grabbing Brock Bowers in the first and beefing up their offensive line in the second and third rounds with Jackson Powers-Johnson (sounds like an accounting firm) and DJ Glaze (donut-themed wedding DJ?) were solid moves in a division that has a lot of horses up front on the defensive line. But the addition of Minshew is one that I feel is going to push the Raiders over the hump to one of the most coveted spots in the AFC West: second place.

Yes, the en vogue pick for the Chiefs' chief competition in 2024 is the Los Angeles Chargers with their new head coach Jim Harbaugh. However, I believe that Minshew is enough of a gamer and glue guy in the Raiders locker room to push Vegas past the Chargers and Broncos (almost didn't mention them, but I'll get to that next) in the divisional race.

Will they make the playoffs? I am 100% unsure of that. Ultimately it will depend on how the other deeper divisions of the AFC shake out. Will the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets all make it, or will Aaron Rodgers opt for a position as a permanent ayahuasca sherpa? Will Trevor Lawrence and Anthony Richardson join CJ Stroud as potentially elite AFC South QBs? What happens in the AFC North, where Joe "Derek Zoolander" Burrow, Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson, and Deshaun Watson will be slugging it out all year?

I can't predict that the Raiders will make the playoffs, but I am saying that Minshew will be the clear cut number 2 to Mahomes in the AFC West arms race, and the Raiders will finish the season above .500 and in second place in the AFC West.