2023 AFC West Win Totals Projections

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AFC West win totals will conclude our series for the American Football Conference. But don’t worry, we’ve still got the entire NFC to cover. Welcome back to our win totals series where we take a look at win total projections for every single team in the NFL.

AFC West Win Totals Are Widely Talked About

We analyze each division and take a look at what different factors can impact win totals. We have already evaluated the AFC East, North and South. Below, we take you through our analysis of AFC West win totals. You can see our last one that outlined AFC South win totals.

Check out my over/under picks for each team’s win totals as we head closer and closer to the 2023 NFL season.

Current AFC West Win Totals
Current AFC West Win Totals

Can Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs deliver more Super Bowl success? Will Josh McDaniels improve in year 2 with Vegas? Does the addition of Sean Payton help bring Russell Wilson back to glory? Maybe the Chargers can put it all together? Let’s see.

Let’s Analyze AFC West Win Totals 

The Chiefs will once again lead the way as favorites to pick up the most wins for the 2023 season. The LA Chargers will be looking to bounce back from their shocking defeat in the Wild Card round of the playoffs last season. 

The Denver Broncos are hoping that new head coach Sean Payton can improve their fortunes after a disastrous 2022 under Nathaniel Hackett. Payton himself even called out Hackett for his woeful display in Denver. Finally, the Las Vegas Raiders are rolling with a new quarterback for the first time since 2013. 

How long can the Chiefs continue to deliver success? How much of an impact will the loss of Eric Bienemy make? Can Russell Wilson return to the top of his game after a terrible 2022? How much of a difference can Payton make to the Broncos?

Will Jimmy G be able to succeed in Vegas? Is he a downgrade from Derek Carr? Will Justin Herbet continue to deliver for the Chargers? Can Kellen Moore influence the offense? These are the questions that will make the difference to AFC West win totals.

Denver Broncos – AFC West Win Totals

  • AFC West Win Totals: 8.5
  • 2022 Record: 5-12

It didn’t work out for Hackett in his first head coaching job at the Broncos last season and he was fired in December after going 4-11. For all his success with Aaron Rodgers at the Green Bay Packers, Hackett couldn’t make things work with Wilson in Denver.

New coach Sean Payton recently stated that Hackett’s season with the Broncos was “one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL.” A pretty crazy thing to say about a fellow coach. It will certainly be an interesting match-up when the Broncos and the Jets meet on October 8. 

The Broncos have struggled across the NFL for nearly a decade and haven’t won the AFC West since 2015 under Gary Kubiak. They won the Super Bowl that season too in Peyton Manning’s final year in the NFL. They have managed to reach a total of nine wins in just one of their last seven seasons. 

Payton will now oversee proceedings in the Mile High City as he returns to coaching in the NFL after a one-year absence. Can he get the best out of Wilson once more? Or is Mr. Unlimited’s time at the top of the game over? 

Mr. Unlimited has to improve – Russell Wilson’s performance will alter AFC West win totals

Russell Wilson’s ten-year stay with the Seattle Seahawks came to an end ahead of last season as he was traded to the Broncos. However, he was unable to deliver in Colorado as he went on to suffer his worst season in the NFL, winning just four games. Wilson’s performances in 2023 will most definitely influence AFC West win totals. 

A positive way to look at it is that Wilson was humbled after such a poor year. He has stated himself that he will use the offseason to work on himself and improve. However, reports have suggested that Wilson has been struggling during training camp. 

What made the acquisition even more of a calamity, however, was how much the Broncos gave up when they traded for Wilson. The Broncos gave up two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, Drew Lock, Shelby Harris and Noah Fant all to receive Wilson and a fourth-round pick.

Wilson is sure to affect AFC West win totals
Wilson is sure to affect AFC West win totals

The offense was shocking last season, even under Hackett who had delivered resounding success with Rodgers in Green Bay. The Broncos offense averaged the lowest points per game across the entire NFL last season. It will be key for Wilson and Payton to get on the same page prior to the beginning of the new season. Payton has stated that Wilson is doing well and that he likes what he’s seen of Wilson so far, despite talks of the quarterback having issues.

How can Sean Payton influence AFC West win totals? 

After the disaster of Hackett as head coach last year, the Broncos have turned to a proven quality in Payton to lead the way. Payton has demonstrated his ability to deliver at the New Orleans Saints over the years and will now hope to turn things around in Denver. 

The 59-year-old head coach has an impressive career record of 152-89 and was a Super Bowl winner for the 2009 season with the Saints. He was also able to guide the Saints to seven NFC South division titles, including four consecutive triumphs between 2017 and 2020. Payton will play a big role in AFC West win totals. 

Nevertheless, it seems a tough task this year for him to guide the Broncos go over the projection. After the Broncos won just five games last season, their AFC South win totals sits at 8.5. That would mean Payton would need to find an extra four wins. 

Denver Broncos Current AFC South Win Totals: 8.5

Payton will be expected to make big strides with the Broncos next season and we are expecting him to get a few more wins. However, the offense in particular, is lacking in quality. It will be extremely difficult for the Broncos to find an extra four wins from last season to hit the over. 

Best Bet: Under 8.5 wins 

Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West Win Totals

  • AFC West Win Totals: 11.5
  • 2022 Record: 14-3

Last year’s Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs will continue to be one of the deadliest teams in the NFL in 2023. Led by star quarterback Patrick Mahomes and elite head coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs will be expecting success once more this season.

Will the loss of Bieniemy cost the Chiefs

The Chiefs have secured at least 12 regular season wins in the last five consecutive seasons in the NFL. Every year that Mahomes has been the starting quarterback, the Chiefs have never lost more than four games. 

However, offensive coordinator Bienemy has left Kansas. How will Matt Nagy perform in his return to the sidelines, this time as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator? There are certainly some big shoes to fill. There are also some concerns on the offensive line after the loss of two starting tackles. Will Mahomes have enough protection in 2023? 

The loss of Eric Bienemy could be detrimental 

Bienemy has left Kansas City after four incredibly successful seasons as offensive coordinator. His departure could make a huge impact on AFC West win totals. Former Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy has made his return with the Chiefs and will now undertake the role as offensive coordinator. 

Reid clearly has trust in Nagy and he was the Chiefs’ OC from 2016 to 2017, before Mahomes became the starting quarterback. Nevertheless, Nagy worked with Mahomes last season as senior assistant and quarterbacks coach so will be hoping to build on the work Bienemy has done over the last few years. 

Many thought that the Chiefs’ offense would take a big hit after they lost star wide receiver Tyreek Hill for the 2022 season. However, they still managed to gain the most passing yards across the entire league last year and averaged the most points per game. Mahomes and the offense continue to find ways to adapt. 

Travis Kelce will remain Mahomes’ number one target, while there are high expectations for 2023 second round pick Rashee Rice. Rice had an incredible 2022 at SMU where he made 96 catches for 1344 yards and ten touchdowns. He could make a big impact on AFC West win totals for KC.

Potential issues on the O-line 

The Chiefs lost two starting tackles over the offseason. Orlando Brown Jr. was an unrestricted free agent and has joined the Cincinnati Bengals, while fellow tackle Andrew Wylie has joined the Washington Commanders.

O-line issues could affect AFC West win totals
O-line issues could affect AFC West win totals

The Chiefs brought in tackles Donovan Smith from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jawaan Taylor from the Jacksonville Jaguars as their replacements. They also drafted tackle Wanya Morris in the third round of the 2023 draft. 

The former posted good pass blocking grades last year, according to PFF, but struggled to stop the run. Smith had a run block grade of just 41.5. That is a similar story for Taylor since he also excelled in terms of pass blocking, being graded at 76.4. However, his run block grade of just 39.7 is a cause for concern. 

Frank Clark will be missed 

Three-time Pro Bowler Frank Clark has left the Chiefs over the offseason and he will be yet another big loss for the franchise. He managed to produce six sacks last year and had a PFF grade of 67.2. He will be a big miss to the Chiefs defensive line. 

2022 first round pick George Karlaftis will be expected to step up this year after a very solid rookie season that saw him also get six sacks on the year. This year’s first round pick in Felix Anudike-Uzomah will be expected to help support the pass rush too. He posted eight sacks in his final year in college at Kansas State. 

Nevertheless, let’s not forget about the quality of four-time Pro Bowler Chris Jones. The 29-year-old defensive tackle recorded a behemoth 15.5 sacks – tied fourth in the NFL for 2022. That was also a tied career-high for Jones. There are some potential issues with Jones’ contract situation and he is yet to attend training camp. His future will play a massive role in AFC West win totals.

Kansas City Chiefs Current AFC West Win Totals: 11.5

It wouldn’t be too audacious to question the Chiefs’ offense after the loss of Bienemy. However, Reid and Mahomes are still there and you’d expect them to carry on in a similar fashion. Sorting out a deal for Jones will be important, but the expectation is that it will get done. The Chiefs should once again reach at least 12 wins. 

Best Bet: Over 11.5 wins 

Las Vegas Raiders – AFC West Win Totals

  • AFC West Win Totals: 7.5
  • 2022 Record: 6-11

The Las Vegas Raiders were expected to push on after they traded for Davante Adams last year. However, 2022 ultimately proved to be a disaster and Carr failed to deliver under center. That saw the Raiders release Carr back in February. They are set to have a new starting quarterback for the first time since 2013. 

Jimmy Garoppolo will now take the reins as starting quarterback in Vegas. He started ten games for the San Francisco 49ers last season, despite Trey Lance being named the starting quarterback during training camp. However, that was only because Lance was ruled out after playing in just two games before he suffered an ankle injury that ended his season. 

Jimmy G has now signed a three-year, $67.5 million contract with the Raiders. However, is he a downgrade from Carr? Did Garoppolo only look good due to the excellence of Kyle Shanahan? There are plenty of question marks surrounding the Raiders as we head into 2023. Let’s try and answer them and see what can impact AFC West win totals. 

Is Jimmy G a downgrade from Derek Carr?

Garoppolo has failed to nail down a regular starting role in the NFL. It didn’t work out for him in New England after he was drafted by the Patriots in 2014. However, in his first full season as a starter, Garoppolo had a fantastic season with the 49ers. 

Under the guidance of Shanahan, Garoppolo was able to lead the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV. Despite losing to the Chiefs, it was a fantastic year for the quarterback and San Francisco. The regular season saw Garoppolo throw 3978 yards for 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions – his best season of his career so far. However, he has failed to reach those heights in the seasons after. 

Garoppolo has never been considered one of the top QBs in the NFL. Many believe that he was only made to look good due to the effectiveness of Shanahan’s system. It will be an incredibly difficult task now for the Raiders. 

Raiders’ defensive woes continue to impact AFC West Win Totals 

Carr had to endure an awful defense for pretty much every year he was with the Raiders. The Vegas defense was poor last season too. They gave up the fourth most passing yards across the league last year and ranked in the middle of the pack in terms of rushing yards too. 

Despite having elite edge rusher Maxx Crosby on the roster, who recorded 12.5 sacks last year, the team ranked 30th in terms of total sacks. The signing of four-time Pro Bowler Chandler Jones didn’t work out either as he managed to get just 4.5 sacks on the year. The Raiders also gave up the seventh most points in the NFL last season. Clearly there needs to be an improvement on defense.

Raiders will need Crosby to step up again in 2023

The franchise has attempted to make some improvements to the pass rush during the offseason. They drafted edge Tyree Wilson with the seventh overall pick in the 2023 draft and also selected defensive tackle Byron Young in the third round. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will need to take some big strides in 2023 to impact AFC West win totals. 

Las Vegas Raiders Current AFC West Win Totals: 7.5

There’s a lot of work needed to be done in Vegas if they are to find an extra two wins to hit the over. Many consider Garoppolo to be a downgrade on Carr too and the loss of Darren Waller will also hit the Raiders hard. It will be a surprise if the Raiders can hit eight wins in 2023. 

Best Bet: Under 7.5 wins

Los Angeles Chargers – AFC West Win Totals

  • AFC West Win Totals: 9.5
  • 2022 Record: 10-7

After a mixed start to 2022, the Chargers turned things around towards the end of the regular season . They won four out of their last five games to go 10-7 and secure a spot in the playoffs via a Wild Card spot. However, they will still be hurting after their loss in the Wild Card round as they were dumped out by the Jacksonville Jaguars, despite leading 27-0. 

The Chargers have managed to reach ten wins in just two out of their last 13 seasons in the NFL. However, they have a top QB in Justin Herbert, alongside an elite running back in Austin Ekeler. The roster certainly looks good enough to hit at least ten wins.

Brandon Staley managed to keep his job, but the playoff defeat signalled the end for offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterbacks coach Shane Day. How will new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore fare in LA?

How much can Kellen Moore affect AFC West win totals? 

Former Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Moore has now joined the Chargers. The Cowboys performed well on offense last season and scored the third most points in the NFL. Dallas averaged the 14th most passing yards and ninth most rushing yards per game in 2022. 

The pass-catching corps in LA looks frightening too and one that Herbert and Moore can utilize. Ekeler has proven to be an elite dual threat running back over the past two years. He rushed for 915 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, as well as completing 107 receptions for 722 yards and five touchdowns. The likes of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, 2023 21st overall pick Quentin Johnston and Gerald Everett are also on the roster. 

That should give Moore plenty of options in what could be an extremely dynamic offense. Williams has been used in the slot a lot more during training camp, despite previously excelling on the outside. The thought is that it could also provide more opportunities for five-time Pro Bowler Allen. 

Allen was only able to start ten regular season games last year as he dealt with injury issues. But the 31-year-old could be set for a bounce back year. Now that Johnston is on the roster, and Williams being deployed more in the slot, the hope is that Allen will be able to find a bit more space in Moore’s offense. Allen’s health will determine the Chargers AFC West win totals in 2023. 

Rushing defense must improve from 2022

Chargers fans will still be hurting after their Wild Card round collapse against the Jags. Although it was the offense that was blamed for the defeat, question marks remain surrounding the defense. Despite putting in a fantastic display in the first half of that game, forcing four turnovers, it struggled in the second. 

It was in the run game where the Chargers’ D struggled last season, giving up the fifth most rushing yards per game in the NFL. However, they did have to deal with a host of injury issues on the defense, which largely contributed to the poor display. The main problem was with outside runs, nevertheless, with Staley himself stating that they need to improve their tackling on the edges.

Chargers defense will have a say in AFC West win totals
Chargers defense will have a say in AFC West win totals

Four-time Pro Bowler Joey Bosa was injured for most of last season, making just four starts. His health will be key to the Chargers defense in 2023 and will make a big impact on AFC West win totals.

Fellow edge defender Khalil Mack also failed to match his success from recent years. His PFF grade of just 61.7 on run defense will need to improve. The signing of Eric Kendricks should help out in the run game. He is coming off a strong 2022 that saw him have a run defense grade of 79.5, per PFF. 

Los Angeles Chargers Current AFC West Win Totals: 9.5

The Chargers should excel once again on offense next year and it looks exciting under new OC Moore. Drafting Johnston should help open it up and give Herbert even more options in the passing game. If Bosa can keep fit and they fix their issues with stopping the run, the Chargers should smash their win total. 

Best Bet: Over 9.5 wins

AFC West Win Totals – FAQ

How are AFC West win totals set?

A great market to bet on prior to the beginning of the NFL season is a team’s win totals. Bookmakers will set a projection of how many wins they think a particular team will get by the end of the season. Bettors have the option whether to select the over or under in regards to the total set by the sportsbook

Can staffing changes impact AFC South win totals?

There are a host of different factors that can impact AFC South win totals. One of those is staffing changes, and there were major ones in the division in the offseason. A new head coach or a new coordinator can change the whole style of football as well as having a huge say in culture.

Who is the favorites to win the AFC West in 2023?

The Kansas City Chiefs are the current favorites to win the AFC West in 2023 at -160. The Chiefs have won the division for the past seven consecutive seasons. The LA Chargers are second favorites at +325, followed by the Broncos at +550 and the Raiders at +1200. Inter-division games will definitely affect AFC West win totals.

Which players can make the biggest difference to the AFC West?

There are plenty of high quality players that play in the AFC West. The likes of Joey Bosa, Patrick Mahomes, Maxx Crosby and Russell Wilson can make the biggest impact to AFC West win totals.

How can scheduling impact AFC West win totals?

The difficulty of a team’s schedule can play a big role in how many wins a team gets over the season, and is no different for AFC West win totals. For example, if the Chargers have a favorable schedule, they should be able to pick up more wins. Conversely, a team with an easier schedule will be more likely to record a high number of wins.