NFL Playoffs Picture 2020: AFC West Teams Ranked

For the first time since 2016, the NFL season begins with the AFC West boasting the reigning Super Bowl champions. The Kansas City Chiefs extended their divisional dominance last season, winning a fourth consecutive AFC West title before going all the way to Miami where they hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the first time in half a century. The Chiefs remain the team to beat this season not just in the AFC West but in the NFL as a whole and it would be a huge shock not to see them claim the divisional title for the fifth straight year.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders begin new eras with plenty of question marks, while the Denver Broncos hope to build on the optimism sparked by a strong end to last season.

Here's what to expect from the AFC West this time out.

All odds are courtesy of DraftKings.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs return 20 of their 22 starters as they hope to become the first team in 15 years to win back-to-back Super Bowls. Patrick Mahomes committed his future to the franchise by signing a monster 10-year contract extension in the offseason, with five-time Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce and defensive tackle Chris Jones also signing new deals as did head coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach. Establishing a dynasty is the hardest coup to pull off in the NFL, but the Chiefs tick all the boxes.

  • Odds to win AFC West: 1/5
  • Odds to win Super Bowl: 6/1

Los Angeles Chargers

A new era begins in Los Angeles as the Chargers move to a shiny new stadium and a new quarterback replaces Philip Rivers under center after 16 seasons. Tyrod Taylor will start in Week 1, but former Oregon star Justin Herbert, whom the Chargers drafted with the sixth overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, is waiting in the wings. The Chargers signed two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Joey Bosa to a five-year extension worth $135 million this summer, but offseason optimism was dented last week when star safety Derwin James was ruled out for the season with a knee injury.

  • Odds to win AFC West: 8/1
  • Odds to win Super Bowl: 45/1

Denver Broncos

After flirting with irrelevance for a few seasons—the Broncos have missed the playoffs every year since winning Super Bowl 50—optimism is again sweeping through the Mile High City and for good reasons, too. John Elway's track record in terms of selecting a quarterback may remain patchy, but the two-time Super Bowl winner looks to have finally found the answer to his problems in Drew Lock.

The rookie quarterback steered Denver to a 4-1 record in December and while that wasn't enough to reach the playoffs, it was more than enough to set the pulses racing in Denver. Elway fueled the feel-good factor with some shrewd additions in the offseason, which included exciting rookie receivers Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler and veteran running back Melvin Gordon.

The Broncos need a few more pieces to complete the jigsaw but could end the season with a winning record for the first time since 2016.

  • Odds to win AFC West: 9/1
  • Odds to win Super Bowl: 50/1

Las Vegas Raiders

Like the Chargers, the Raiders embark on a new era, moving not only to a different stadium but to a whole different state after leaving Oakland for a second time. The Silver and Black have progressed steadily under Jon Gruden and have added intriguing talent in the draft in the shape of rookie wide receivers Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards, while big things are expected from second-year running back Josh Jacobs. Bar a major surprise, however, the Raiders will face an uphill battle to clinch a playoff spot.

  • Odds to win AFC West: 12/1
  • Odds to win Super Bowl: 66/1
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts after defeating San Francisco 49ers by 31 - 20 in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium on February 2 in Miami, Florida. Jamie Squire/Getty