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Broncos Can Exploit These Major Weaknesses of AFC West Rivals

The AFC West improved this offseason but no team is perfect.

The rosters of the AFC West improved greatly this offseason as a whole. The Las Vegas Raiders signed edge rusher Chandler Jones and also traded for All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams.

The Los Angeles Chargers added two star defenders, cornerback J.C. Jackson and edge rusher Khalil Mack, and the Kansas City Chiefs had a stellar draft, filling many areas of need. 

No roster is perfect, though. The Denver Broncos will still seek to exploit their rivals' weaknesses.

Analyzing the AFC West teams, what are the biggest holes the Broncos can take advantage of? 

Las Vegas Raiders: Back Seven

The Raiders' most glaring weakness is the back seven of their defense, a unit that relinquished 222.9 passing yards per game last season, which is the middle of the pack. Vegas only managed to pick off its opposition six times in 17 games which ranked dead last. 

Nate Hobbs was the Raiders' standout corner last season, giving up only one touchdown in coverage, but he allowed a 92.0 passer rating to quarterbacks throwing his way. Jayon Brown and Denzel Perryman head the team's off-ball linebacker corps. These two only have one season between them with north of 100 tackles and aren’t reliable in pass coverage.

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Kansas City Chiefs: Pass Rush & Cornerback

Kansas City’s problems also stem from its defense, with the lack of depth at edge rusher and cornerback at the top. First-rounder George Karlaftis is a relative unknown. 

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Mike Danna has five sacks over two seasons, and Joshua Kaindoh missed his entire rookie year sitting on injured reserve. Frank Clark as a starter isn’t anything special as he's only managed to notch 18.5 sacks in three seasons as a Chief. 

At corner, L’Jarius Sneed is Kansas City's best asset. Behind him is DeAndre Baker, who hasn’t played a more than eight games in a season with the Chiefs. 12 of the games he missed were as a healthy scratch. The Chiefs added Trent Mcduffie in the draft to bolster their depth but his 5-foot-11 stature is a concern against bigger wideouts (like Denver's).

Los Angeles Chargers: Defensive Line

The Chargers also struggle when it comes to the defensive side of the ball — in particular their defensive line. Los Angeles struggled mightily against the run last year allowing 138.9 yards per game. 

This is attributed to defensive linemen Linval Joseph and Jerry Tillery’s failing to anchor the middle. Linval was replaced with Sebastian Joseph-Day, who could be an improvement but he doesn’t have Aaron Donald taking away attention from him. 

The depth behind Bosa and Mack is also lackluster. An injury to either pass rusher leaves the Chargers with average talent at best to replace them. 


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