AFC West

Mapping Out The Potential Of Each AFC West Team In 2022

Las Vegas Raiders

I haven’t said it until now, but the teams are actually listed in the order I see the AFC West falling at the season’s end. As I stated, the most probable scenario in my eyes was Kansas City taking the division, but the Silver and Black are my second place team.

On offense, things are looking great. Snagging the league’s No. 1 wideout will always be a massive step forward, never mind the pre-existing friendship and chemistry that comes with reuniting Davante Adams and Derek Carr. The running back room is so deep that Josh McDaniels had no problem feeding Kenyan Drake to the wolves, and the Pro Bowl duo of Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow are simply more weapons for Carr to throw to.

Defensively, the additions of Chandler Jones and Rock Ya-Sin should go a long way.

Jones has become very underrated since joining the Silver and Black. The 2020 season aside, where he appeared in only five contests, Jones has posted double-digit sacks in each of his last six seasons. In 2019, no defender forced more fumbles than Jones (8), leading him to second in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

Replacing Pro Bowl cornerback Casey Hayward will be tough, but in the Raiders’ new defensive system, Ya-Sin was truly one of the best options league-wide. Under Patrick Graham, expect Las Vegas to run a significant increase of man coverage, especially given the addition of Anthony Averett who finished the ’21 season as a top-10 cornerback in press, per Pro Football Focus. Ya-Sin, who Las Vegas acquired in a trade with the Colts, posted the lowest completion percentage in the NFL when in man coverage last year which was 26.7.


The highs are very clear. Offensively, the skill positions house five Pro Bowlers, and the defense has all the tools to excel in coverage. Las Vegas even grabbed Duron Harmon in free agency, who should help mask Abram’s weaknesses in the passing game. This roster took a lot of steps forward, and by the looks of it, so did the coaching staff.

With so many new pieces, it will be much easier to catch teams by surprise. If they catch fire, the sky is truly the limit as opposing teams scramble through limited film in hopes of finding ways to stop Las Vegas.

Record: 12-5


There’s so much to like about the 2022 Raiders, but this team certainly does not come without faults. The disastrous offensive line could halt the Raiders’ success before it even begins, and the magnitude of new parts could spiral in the opposite direction and work against them. While I don’t believe the latter will happen at all, it’s still a possibility that exists. A reasonable floor would be about .500, but I’m not taking “floor” lightly; I’m going with the worst-case scenario here.

Record: 7-10

Next: The Los Angeles Chargers

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